I have studied Chinese in Beijing at two separate universities now, the latter being Peking University on the long term (one semester) course.
I am sad to say that it is really not up to par with other universities let alone worthy of the higher fees they charge. I know a good deal of people who were at PKU the semester before me and they actually transferred to BLCU for the winter semester.
The course is far too oversubscribed so they cannot put all of the students in the correct level, therefore you have people with vastly different abilities in the same class. Numerous people in my class tried to move up/down a level but were not allowed to, and subsequently the semester did not help their Chinese.
The teaching itself is quite poor, the method used is to strictly follow the books (Boya), and the teachers prioritise completing each chapter over whether the students can actually understand and dynamically use Chinese. Furthermore, most only speak Chinese so unless you have a fairly high level of Chinese already, they will be unable to explain grammar to you. Be prepared to be spoken to like a child and chastised by the teachers - even if you are far older and no longer a 'student'!
The books are average. The content can be interesting and is one of the few things I really rate, but they are peppered with typos and incorrect translations.
The administration department is really terrible, I don't know where to begin!
There is not enough accommodation for all students, so be prepared to find your own privately rented apartment. The email on the PKU website to a guy to help you find accommodation is redundant so you really must do it entirely yourself (I have some contacts if anyone needs).
Location is not great, unless you are keen to spend your time in Wudaokou (nothing much there except for some cheap bars), it is quite far from the centre of Beijing and over an hour from Sanlitun.
Not one person from my class of 15 was satisfied with the course, most selected PKU because of its reputation (in politics), not because it is particularly good at teaching Chinese.
Having been in Beijing for a while now, at two different universities learning Chinese, and having spoken to dozens of people on the topic, I would highly recommend either going to a private language school for a shorter period of time, doing a homestay with a Chinese family (the best method to learn), or taking private classes/finding a language exchange in your own country. To be completely honest it would be a waste of your time and money to go to Peking University if your aim is solely to improve your Chinese. If you must pick a university, may I suggest BLCU, or Tsinghua. (PKU is however good for absolute beginners, I have heard that the class 1 teachers are fantastic).
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