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Resources for Newcomers
Living in Beijing
Beijing, where CKGSB is based, is one of the most ancient cities in China, with a history stretching back over 2,500 years. Yet it also stands at the center of changes that have transformed China over the last few decades. Not far from its modern skyscrapers and sprawling highways are traditional alleys (known as hutongs) where neighborhood life meanders along at the same sleepy pace as in centuries past. A thoroughly international city, the host city of the 2008 Olympics and the capital of one of the world's major rising powers, Beijing is nevertheless unquestionably Chinese, with an atmosphere and a cultural heritage all its own.
A Center of Business
As the capital of China, Beijing is the ideal city in which to study the close synergies between Chinese politics and economics. Many of the major Chinese companies and multinational corporations have chosen to base the headquarters of their China operations in Beijing. The Beijing Central Business District (CBD), conveniently located down the street from the CKGSB campus, has boomed in recent years, while the Zhongguancun area of northwest Beijing is renowned as the center of China's high-tech industries.
A Center of Learning
Few cities have educational credentials to match Beijing's. Over fifty universities operate within the city, including many of the oldest and most famous schools in China. Students at CKGSB have many opportunities to interact with professors and scholars at universities from throughout Beijing and to get a first-hand look at the cutting-edge research being done in the capital.
A Center of Culture
The cultural capital of China for centuries, Beijing has rapidly evolved into a center of global culture as well. The city's role as a melting pot for migrants from all over China and beyond is reflected in its vibrant cultural and social life and the delicious cuisines available in Beijing's restaurants. Furthermore, Beijing's proud historic legacy is reflected in the world-class museums and parks scattered throughout the city. Beijing dialect is also the basis for the standard (Mandarin) Chinese spoken around the country, making the city one of the best places to study the language.
Below, we've listed some resources you may find especially useful in introducing you to Beijing. The Beijinger http://www.thebeijinger.com is one of the major English-language resources for residents of Beijing. The site has a classified ads section (with sections for apartment rental, employment, and services of all sorts), a lively forum, a restaurant review site, a blog, and much more. The Beijinger publishes a free monthly magazine.
Calling itself Beijing's only "reader-generated" magazine, City Weekend http://www.cityweekend.com.cn/beijing/ also runs a website where visitors can publicize events and post reviews of restaurants and bars. It has classified ads section too.
Transportation around Beijing is fairly simple. The city is built on a grid, so it's generally easy to navigate. Beijing is very flat, without hills, so riding a bike is popular and economical. Taxis are affordable, starting at 10 yuan per kilometer (about $1.50). The subway network is extensive, growing rapidly, and cheap -- 2 RMB (30 cents) no matter how far you go. But if you really want to travel like a Beijinger, it's helpful to learn to navigate the bus system. Beijing Bus http://www.bjbus.com/, the official online presence of Beijing's public transportation system, can help you do that. Just input your location and destination in Chinese or English, and the site will tell you which buses to take to get where you need to go.
The country's main official English-language newspaper, China Daily http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/ has a website offering the latest news, bulletin boards, and more.
One of the major English-language blogs about China, Danwei http://www.danwei.org, offers translations from Chinese media, original articles, and links to China-relevant content elsewhere on the web.