The Beginning of a Summer Studying in Beijing

Photos taken by Juliano Dantas Portela (Yale University), Student Correspondent for CET Beijing, Summer 2024

Host University

During orientation at Capital Normal University (CNU), we participated in a scavenger hunt to explore the campus with our 语伴 (yǔbàn – language partner) and CET friends. One of the tasks was to take a photo with a CNU staff member, and here’s our group completing the task together.

    The photo on the right captures our first banquet after the academic orientation at Capital Normal University (CNU). We had the opportunity to meet and chat with our teachers and fellow classmates while enjoying a variety of delicious Chinese dishes. The banquet, sponsored by CET, was a wonderful way to kick off our journey and immerse ourselves in the local culture and cuisine.

    Language Pledge

    A CET Beijing teacher giving a presentation on the language pledge in front of the classroom

    张老师 (Zhāng Lǎoshī – Teacher Zhang) giving us an introduction to one of the core parts of the CET Beijing experience: the language pledge. We commit to speaking only Chinese 24/7. It seems daunting at first, but it’s incredibly useful and you get used to it quickly.

    Boba Run

    Two CET Beijing students with a language partner drinking boba on the street

    Enjoying a fun boba run with my roommate Manaf (马文泽 – Mǎ Wénzé) and his language partner 李海平 (Lǐ Hǎipíng). This outing, sponsored by CET, was a great way to bond and relax after classes. We tried different flavors of boba tea and explored the local area together.

    Intensive Chinese Language Class

    Two CET Beijing students smiling with two thumbs up by a certificate on the board and a whiteboard with Chinese characters

        A photo of me and Anna (李安娜 – Lǐ Ānnà) receiving prizes in our Advanced Low class (四百班) for our excellent performance in the debate activity. We both worked hard and it was rewarding to be recognized for our efforts.


          Exploring Beijing with a visit to the beautiful Yindingqiao (银锭桥). Our 语伴 (yǔbàn – language partner) recommended this spot, and it was a fantastic suggestion. The night scenery, vibrant atmosphere, and serene water views made for an unforgettable experience. The vibrant lights and lively atmosphere made for an amazing evening.

          Chinese table

          CET Beijing students sitting around a large round table

          One of my favorite activities: 中文桌子 (zhōngwén zhuōzi – Chinese table) after our exams end on Friday. We get to eat food paid for by CET at a local restaurant with our teachers and classmates. It’s a great opportunity to learn more about the culture and bond with our friends.

          The Forbidden City

          Me, my friends, and other 语伴 (yǔbàn – language partners) on a CET organized excursion to the Forbidden City (故宫 – Gùgōng). It was a great time, and we learned a lot about the history and culture of this iconic place.

          A great view from the entrance to the Forbidden City (故宫 – Gùgōng) from the iconic Tiananmen Square (天安门广场 – Tiān’ānmén Guǎngchǎng) during the CET sponsored excursion. It was an amazing experience to see these historical landmarks up close.

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