Photo Essay: CET Beijing

Photos by Reika Oshima (Brandeis University), Student Correspondent CET Beijing, Summer 2019


One of my favorite dishes from the 餐厅 (cafeteria) fried chicken and vegetables hot on a sizzling metal bowl. Students use their ID card to pay for meals with an easy tap. For me, ordering food at the cafeteria and communicating that I can only handle a little spice (有点儿), was one of first times practicing my Chinese in “real life.” Two weeks in, ordering food comes with ease.


In addition to calligraphy classes and Chinese painting, 中国武术 (Chinese Martial Arts) is taught every Monday by 安老师 (Teacher An), Champion of National Amateur Martial Arts Competition. This day, students follow the teacher’s instruction on wielding the wushu sticks.


Last week, took the much-anticipated trip to the Great Wall. Beijing for me was the perfect study abroad location because of how rich it was in its history and cultural experiences. Blessed with a rare day with mild sun and shade, the hike up to the wall was well worth it.


Students are pictured with their roommates celebrating completing the arduous hike up. Roommates are always free to join CET students to go on these trips, and many roommates become close friends this way.


My roommate has been the most amazing person for showing me around the city. One day after class, she took me to a shopping mall and showed me her favorite stores and brands.


On a night out, my friends and I came across White Rabbit candy ice-cream, which I’ve only ever heard about! For 3 元 each, we enjoy the late-night snack. One thing I’ll miss for sure when returning is the abundance of ice-cream sold in every convenience store and even in 中国房子, my dormitory building.


A student and teacher arm wrestling, testing their strength. I am in Level 200 (with one year of Chinese language schooling in college) at CET. With 15 students, and 6 teachers for our level, we quickly get to know our peers and teachers. The weekly lunches are another chance for the students to get to know the teachers in a context outside of the classroom, while still practicing every-day Chinese.


Two students celebrated their birthday this week! CET bought a fruit cake to our Friday lunch, and Jessica got caked in the face, all in good fun 🙂


CET plans excursions to the best of Beijing. Just a 1.5 drive away was the Horticultural Exhibit. Here, we are beneath a waterfall built into the center of one of the architectural masterpieces here. The trips are a great way to end a week of hard work.


Cover photo caption: My friend Karen and I are posing at the Horticultural Exhibit, at this week’s CET trip. CET provides transportation and tickets, but the whole day we have to ourselves to explore the park’s beautiful architecture and exhibits.