Mariella @ Beijing

Host University:
Tsinghua University Beijing (TSEM), Beijing, China
Spring 2018


  • You will have to fill out an online application form – a detailed guide and information is provided by the CEMS office at TSEM
  • You need a visa to study in China – all documentation therefore is handled by Tsinghua university
  • The visa you get is a single-entry visa. If you want to exit China you have to apply for multiple entry visa at the immigration office in China (information about this will be provided at information day)
  • When you receive the first information package about visa documents from the uni make sure to start organizing them immediately – the time frame for sending them back is extremely short and you have to send everything physically
  • There will be a welcome day for exchange students where you will receive everything: sim card, bank account, student card, visa extension, important information + on-campus insurance
  • Some vaccinations are necessary – I recommend going to MA15 as consultation is for free there 😊

I lived in the Zijing Student dorm on campus. You will be notified by e-mail when the application opens, then you have to register for the dorm on a first-come, first-served basis. Living in the dorm was the cheapest option (~300 € per month) but it is probably also the least comfortable: very hard bed, cold in the winter, limited wifi (option to top-up for a small fee) and hot water only during certain hours. If off-campus living is preferred I would recommend you to look for an apartment in Wudaokou or Liudaokou (somewhere closed to uni) so that you can bike.


  • Accommodation: 300 €/ month
  • Food (on campus only): 100 € / month
  • Extra expenses for transport (subway and uber): 25 € / month
  • Other expenses (drinks, karaoke, PIZZA!!): 150 €/ month
  • Total: 575 € per month

Everyday life:
The Tsinghua campus is a real sports campus! You can do anything there! They have a huge areal for outdoor sports (running, soccer, tennis, basket ball, volley ball), there are several gyms on campus and a swimming hall. There will be a fair at the beginning of the semester around the Zijing playground – all clubs and associations at Tsinghua University will recruit new members. I was part of the TEDxTHU club, the blockchain association, the debate club and I played in the TSEM female soccer team. Opportunities are endless!! You will find anything you need on campus – supermarkets, shopping centers, banks etc… technically you do not have to go outside campus which becomes quite dangerously convenient. I would recommend to check out wudaokou for bars, restaurants and lots of Karaoke!!! Sanlitun is the expats area with a lot of bars. Go to a traditional Hutong at night (for bars & concerts) and do sightseeing in Beijing 😊

Be aware that CEMS in China is not a big thing and that usually there is little CEMS club activity – your chance to bring the CEMS spirit there and act as a CEMS ambassador !!!!! 😊 My CEMS moments were welcome & farewell dinner and Karaoke!

I think China is the real different experience…. If you are into cultural exploration thingy stuff and if you like it a bit difficult with language and cultural barriers you will find it amazing. If you are looking for a party semester you should probably stay in one of Europe’s Universities 😀 I think you can have a party life too in Beijing but bare in mind that your Chinese fellow students are more the kinds that will study and work hard every day and will not go out with you. That all depends on the CEMS exchange cohort that is there with you 😉

The best thing at Tsinghua University are the endless opportunities you have through all the different associations and clubs to broaden your skills, get to know people and learn new things! My personal highlight was also the business project which we did with Xiaomi. Overall I learned a lot during my exchange semester – I took a lot of data and business analytics courses where finally I was taught some hard skills 😀

Secret tips:
There is a Schwarzman College in the middle of the campus. They hold regular events with amazing lecturers that are open to the general public! E.g. I have been at a talk with Lawrence Summers (Secretary of the Treasury in the Obama administration). Try to get into a Wechat group where this information is being shared.

Anything else you would like to share?
Don’t expect people in Beijing or on Campus to speak English – really 😀

Would you be okay with being contacted by future outgoings if they have questions?
Facebook (Mariella Orasch) or E-Mail [email protected]