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Campus Life

How do I register?

All students need to register with the PKU Shenzhen Education Affairs Office on the designated day of registration. You must be present on the day of your registration; no one can do it on your behalf. If you cannot be present for registration, please fill a leave request form and submit it to your school for approval. Students who don’t register within one month of the beginning of classes without approval will be dismissed from the school. You will receive information on online course registration from your school during orientation.

What is included in orientation?

Information about Orientation can be found here.

PKU Shenzhen offers a campus life orientation lasting about one week. Your school will also provide an academic orientation. PKU Shenzhen staff and your school’s staff will assist you with school registration, applying for your campus card and applying for your resistance permit. We will organize a campus tour, a trip to Ikea and go on some cultural excursions in Shenzhen. We will also assist you with learning how to take public transportation and familiarize you with the metro and buses that serve campus.

What do I need to do to get my student ID? Library card?

Once your admission is confirmed by PKU and approved by the relevant authorities, the school will assign a student ID. We can provide this ID before arrival in admission materials or over email. Please pay attention to all communications from the school.

The campus card can only be acquired after arriving on campus. However, in most cases, we can apply for the campus card on behalf of the student before their arrival to make the process go slightly faster. On the arrival day, all international students will have the opportunity to go to the Ping An bank on campus to activate or apply for their campus card.

Your campus card has many functions including bank services. University Town campus cards are managed by Ping An Bank. In addition to serving as a bank card, it has as a campus account that can be used for payment at all University Town cafeterias and convenience stores. The campus card also serves as a library card and is linked with your campus internet account.

How can I open my personal bank account?

Your campus card is linked with Ping An Bank personal bank account. Shenzhen University Town has a partnership with Ping An Bank and there is a Ping An Bank on campus. You are also welcome to open a personal bank account outside of campus. You will be required to present your passport to the bank when opening an account. There are also several foreign banks around campus (HSBC, Standard Chartered, Citi Bank).

Do I need to buy medical insurance?

Yes. All students of Peking University are required to be medically insured throughout their entire period of study (for students enrolled for more than 6 months) by a local Chinese insurance company. PKU Shenzhen recommends purchasing the Comprehensive Insurance Plan of Foreign Students provided by Ping An Insurance Company (recognized and recommended by the Chinese Ministry of Education), which covers accidental injuries and hospitalization - but not outpatient care.

See the Medical Services page for more related information.

If you would like more information, you can also refer to the insurance company's website here. The insurance company has a 24-7 hotline with qualified English-speaking staff: 4008105119

There are several insurance-related information documents available on our Resources page.

Should I exchange money before I get to China? Will I be able to use ATMs? Should I take traveler’s checks?

You will open an account at a bank in China once you settle down at the university. We recommend you then transfer money into this account. Your campus card is automatically linked with a bank account and serves as a debit card. CNY (RMB) is the only legal currency in mainland China. You may convert most currencies at any Bank of China branch in Shenzhen.

If you have an international credit card belonging to either the Mastercard or the Visa network, you can withdraw RMB at any ATM belonging to those networks. The transaction fee will depend your bank. There is a Bank of China ATM and Ping An Bank ATM located on campus besides Mirror Lake. The Bank of China ATM will allow you to withdraw money from foreign accounts.

Can I join a sports team? Can I join a Chinese student club for volunteer activities?

You are encouraged and welcome to join any of the student associations at PKU Shenzhen and to take part in all the events organized by the school. Student associations include rowing, golf, rugby, English language school newspaper and dance, just to name a few. In addition, you will be informed by email or through PKU Shenzhen website of the events organized by the school. To join or set up an association, please contact the Student Affairs Office (H Building 102B). You can find on this website a list of all the Student Associations.

Are there sports facilities on campus?

Yes, Sport facilities include a gym, ping-pong tables, badminton courts, pool tables, tennis courts, a track and field, a football field and basketball courts. The new University Town Sports Center also includes a swimming pool, gym, tennis courts and basketball courts. For detailed information on the sports facilities, hours and membership costs, visit our Facilities page. Student associations (football, basketball, rugby, golf, rowing, etc) often organize activities open to all students.

Is there campus security? Is the campus in a safe location?

Yes, University Town and PKU Shenzhen are gated with 24 hour security. All campus entrances and dormitory buildings have security guards on duty 24 hours. In addition, the campus card only allows residents to enter dormitory buildings. Any visitors are required to register with the security guard in the lobby.

The campus is located in the suburbs of Shenzhen. The campus is primarily surrounded by the Shenzhen zoo, a golf course and other natural areas. Campus is very safe, but you should still take common sense measures to guard against theft and be aware of your surroundings.

Can I take Chinese language classes?

Yes, PKU Shenzhen provides a beginner, intermediate (based on enrollment) and advanced (based on enrollment) Chinese course to its international students free of charge. Classes are typically once a week for two hour sessions. These classes are not extensive, but they will introduce you to the language or continue your language study. You can also request to be paired with a Chinese volunteer tutor to work with you one-on-one. Orientation includes a “Survival Chinese” crash course for beginners.

Do international students have any student counselors? Is there any international student’s office on campus? Whom should I turn to if I have questions or difficulties?

All schools have staff members in the main administrative offices trained to help with student issues. The School of Transnational Law and HSBC Business School have staff members specifically to serve the needs of international students. Please feel free to turn to them for any questions or difficulties. For school wide issues or problems that cannot be resolved by your individual school, please contact the International Affairs Office of PKU Shenzhen. You can find all contact information on our Contact Us page.

Are there winter and summer holidays? Can I stay in my dorm room?

All students have a winter holiday for Chinese New Year in January and February. The break lasts for about one month in between semesters. The summer holiday is from late June or early July until early September. You are welcome to stay in your dorm room over the winter holidays and over summer holidays after your first year( provided you pay for your room for your 2nd year) if you are continuing your studies at PKU Shenzhen the following semester.

Exchange students and full-time students who have completed their final (or only) semester at the university must check out by the deadline for departing campus of that academic semester. Such students may not stay in their dorm room over the winter or summer holiday.

Can I travel on my own in China during the holidays?

Yes. You are free to visit China, alone, with friends or with your family. Some areas/regions are under strict control at some periods, you should make sure that no part of your trip covers restricted areas and obtain prior approval from the Chinese authorities.

Also, please be aware that certain regions of China are seperate from the mainland. You must have a valid residence permit or remaining entry on your Chinese mainland visa to visit Taiwan, Hong Kong or Macau, because this is required to return to mainland China. In addition, you should check the region you are planning to visit's entry requirements to see what documentation is required.

Can I have an internship in China during my holidays?

We encourage internships for students who have reached a point of academic progress in their studies where they would have enough free time for the experience. Many international students have participated in internships in Shenzhen and other cities in order to gain professional experience in China.

In order to do an internship, you must notify your school of your plans and apply for an internship permit. If you do not have the internship permit, you are not allowed to participate in an internship in China.

Your student visa doesn’t permit you to do paid work in China. However, you may apply to work on campus. The jobs available on campus are working as a student reporter/editor for the school newspaper, teaching assistant, research assistant or having an internship in an administrative office.

Can I invite my family members and friends to come to China during my holiday? How can I help them to get the visa?

To apply for a visa on behalf of your family members (spouse and children younger than 18), you are required to submit the required documents to Shenzhen Municipal Public Security Department. The procedure will be assisted by your school’s administration. Your friends and other family members can apply by themselves at a Chinese embassy or consulate. Your family cannot stay with you in the dormitories, but you can find a visit of nearby hotels for your family here.

Does PKU Shenzhen offer housing for international students? How do I apply for it?

We offer single room dormitories on campus for full-time international students at PKU Shenzhen. Exchange students are offered single rooms based on availability. Double rooms are half the price as single rooms and are also available for all international students. If you choose to live off campus, we can assist you in providing information on housing areas in Shenzhen, but we do not provide off-campus housing for students.

What will my dorm room be like? Should I bring my own blankets and sheets?

On campus dormitories include a private bathroom with a western style toilet and a balcony. All dorm rooms are equipped with basic furnishings: a single bed, dresser, desk, chair and bedside table. The first floor of the dormitory has a laundry room with washing machines and a dryer. For a better picture of our campus and dormitories, peek into current international student rooms.

You will be asked to provide your own bedding. Basic bedding is available at the campus shops or you can bring your own bedding with you. Student orientation will also include a shopping to trip to the nearby Ikea where you can buy everything you might need for your room.

I’m a married student; can I live on campus with my spouse?

Dormitories are reserved for PKU Shenzhen students only. If you and your spouse are both enrolled, we can arrange a shared room for you. If your spouse is not a student, he or she cannot live in the dorms with you. We can provide basic assistance on living off campus, but you will ultimately be responsible for arranging your own off campus housing.

Is wifi on campus and in the dorms?

Yes, the University Town’s wifi network covers the entire campus, including the classrooms, the library and the dormitories and costs 20 RMB per month. Once a student has received his/her username and password, the internet will be available for use on a 24-hour basis.

However, there is a student plan provided by China Mobile which, on top of  the normal calling and data features, includes campus wifi at no additional expense. This plan is only available at the beginning of the semester during the arrival period.

Can I take my electronics? Will I be able to use my laptop?

You can use your own electronics in China, and the majority of the plugs fit several countries standards, including Europe and the United States. The voltage is 220V; you will need an adapter if the voltage in your own country is different. Electronics such as laptops and smart phones often have a built in converter. Smaller electronics such as hair dryers and razors will require a separate converter. It is recommended to buy smaller electronics in China as it is often cheaper than buying an international converter.

How early can I get in the student dormitories?

Since you have 30 days after your entry in China to obtain a residence permit and that the procedure to apply takes about 20 days, please do not come to China ahead of time. Students are not allowed to move into the dormitory ahead of the arrival day scheduled by their school. The Campus Service Center is open Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 12:30pm and from 2:00pm to 6:00pm.

What are the food options on campus? Is there non-Chinese food available? Are there Halal and Kosher food options?

There are dining halls and restaurants on campus (a meal costs between 7 and 25 RMB) four restaurants including Subway sandwich restaurant and a McDonald's. In addition to restaurants on campus, there are typical Chinese urban areas adjacent to the campus where you can eat local noodles and Chinese BBQ. For more information about food on campus, see our Facilities page.

There is a 'Halal and Kosher food' counter on the second floor of the dining hall. You can also find Chinese Halal restaurants and BBQ around campus and in Shenzhen.

I’ve never heard of Shenzhen, what is the city like?

Explore more about Shenzhen on our About Shenzhen page.

PKU Shenzhen is a diverse and globally-conscious campus in the thriving entrepreneurial city of Shenzhen. Fourty years ago, Shenzhen was a fishing village of little more than 20,000 inhabitants. Today, this Special Economic Zone is leading China’s modernization and development movement with a population of over 14 million. Located in Guangdong, the most vibrant province in China, Shenzhen is adjacent to Hong Kong and Macau, and only one hour by train from Guangzhou (Canton). Shenzhen also has growing expatriate community. You can find many international restaurants, shopping malls and grocery stores in Shenzhen.

Is it easy to buy things in Shenzhen? Are there international brand stores?

You will be able to find many international brand stores, such as Ikea, H&M, UniQlo, Decathlon, etc. You will be able to find almost everything you need in Shenzhen, so there is no reason to over pack. For more information on what to pack for China see our packing list on the Before Arrival page.

What kind of clothing should I take?

Shenzhen climate is sub-tropical, very hot and wet in summer, with frequent storms and abundant rainfall, while humidity makes winters rather cold, even if the thermometer rarely drops below 11 (51F). Spring and autumn are the best seasons with temperature varying between 29-36C (80-95F).

Can my use my cell phone in China?

You can use a Chinese SIM card in most cell phones. During orientation, you will sign up for a domestic SIM card. The best plan is offered by China Mobile and includes campus Wifi at no additional expense.

What is there do to in Shenzhen?

As a young city, Shenzhen lacks the cultural sites of Beijing and Shanghai, but has many hiking opportunities, city parks and beaches to explore as well as a growing expatriate community. See our Around Shenzhen page for recommendations and directions to popular spots. Shenzhen is still growing at a rapid rate; new restaurants, shops and bars are constantly opening. You can find out what events are happening in Shenzhen in the expatriate magazine That’s Shenzhen. You can also check out our school blog, The Nanyan Observer, for some more articles on things to do around Shenzhen.

How will we be able to get around town? Are taxis affordable? Are buses easy to use if you don’t understand Chinese?

Shenzhen has a large network of buses and 7 subway lines. The closest subway station is 25 minutes away on foot from campus and a bus stop serving the city center 10 minutes away on foot. While it can seem overwhelming to navigate public transportation at first, the increasing use of English makes it very accessible. The subway is very modern, practical and all directions are indicated both in Chinese and English. The radios on most buses and all subways announce the stops in both Chinese and English and most major bus stops are written in English or Pinyin.

Taxis are also very convenient and relatively inexpensive, and easier to take than a bus, provided that you hand the address of your destination written in Chinese to the driver. PKU Shenzhen being close to several natural sites however, traffic is not as heavy as in downtown; consequently taxis are also scarce around the campus.

We provide students and faculty with all the information they need to navigate the Shenzhen transportation system during the first few weeks of their arrival, organize trips and shopping days in Shenzhen and help them with all their transportation-related issues.

Is it easy to travel to Hong Kong?

If you go to the border by car, it is about 30-40 minutes. There are 5 border checkpoints that associable by the metro, bus, or ferry. It takes about 1 hour by metro to the border and then about another hour by subway to central Hong Kong. There is also a ferry and direct coach buses that (also about one hour) to central Hong Kong. Depending on the day and time you visit the border, it can take 20 minutes to 2 hours to pass through customs. For more information on transportation to Hong Kong visit the PKU Shenzhen website. While for most nationalities a visa is not required for Hong Kong, some nationalities are required to have a Hong Kong visa. Be sure to check with the Hong Kong consulate.