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Bondies Abroad | Tsinghua University

The world's window into China

Juris Doctor student Ouran Li shares his adventure on exchange.

Tsinghua University was created from the return of some reparations paid by China, to the United States, following its defeat by the Eight Power Allied Forces. In 1911, Tsinghua University formally opened its doors and operated as a preparatory school for Chinese students to study in the United States.

One could say that Tsinghua was China’s window into the West.

Over 100 years later, as a symbol of China’s re-emergence in the global community, Tsinghua University is now the World’s Window into China!

Spending my 6th and final semester in law at Tsinghua allowed me to gain unfiltered access into the student life at the University. I also choose to live outside of campus so that I could have greater access to the city and experience the life of a local Beijinger.

Exchange at Bond

Embark on an international adventure while earning credit towards your degree.

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Hard at work! Reading the China Law Review inside the moot court

Tsinghua Law School

One of the perks of a studying on Exchange is that you can select subjects from study areas not offered at Bond. I look advantage of this and took both domestic Chinese law and International Arbitration courses (Tsinghua also offers courses in International Intellectual Property).

The domestic law courses allowed me to gain a greater understanding of the Chinese legal system, as taught by Chinese academics and practitioners. The International Arbitration courses showcased Tsinghua’s prominent international standing by featuring global players in the world of Arbitration as guest lecturers. These lecturers included Meg Kinnear (Secretary-General of ICSID), Ms. Anna Joubin-Bret (Secretary of the UN Commission on International Trade Law UNCITRAL), Jingzhou Tao (CIETAC International Advisory Committee member and Managing Partner at Dechert LLP China), and Dr. Yang Ling (Deputy Secretary-General of HKIAC).

Dinner with the Chinese Legal History class discussing the Qing Code

Global Networks

The students studying at Tsinghua are truly from all parts of the world. I have met students from Switzerland, Holland, United Kingdom, United States, Japan, Israel, Canada, Ecuador, France, Germany, Morocco, India and of course a few fellow Aussies. Prior to coming to Tsinghua, I knew nothing about EU Law but after several conversations with European exchange students, I developed a greater understand of the European Union and of many Civil Law jurisdictions.

In one of Tsinghua’s many canteens enjoying “spicy pot” and a local Beijing dessert “sugar gourd”

Campus Food

Tsinghua University has 17 canteens – that’s right – 17! I have probably eaten at 7 or 8 canteens thus far. While writing this blog, I have reminded myself to check out a few canteens I have not eaten at – mmm! In addition to the canteens, there is a fast food restaurant, hot pot, and a buffet level inside the canteens. In addition to food, I really enjoyed the school coffee shops and the relaxing music inside. My go-to favourite is an Americano with extra milk!

Tiananmen 天安门 – Look at all the people to the left of me


In Beijing, celebrations are plentiful for the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. On October 1st, the National Day, many tourist areas are free of charge including the Beijing Zoo. To list the places one could go as a tourist would take a book to write – the Summer Palace (颐和园), the Forbidden City (故宫), Great Wall of China (长城)- spending a semester here is not enough to experience Beijing. In many ways, China and the western world are two different universes. You may be able to look into China through a window, but you have to live here to really appreciate their way of life, culture and customs.    

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