Peng Peng

Master: International Public Management

Concentrations: Chinese and East Asian Studies

The place(s) I call home

Beijing and Paris

Prior to PSIA I was

Prior to PSIA, I was very uncertain whether I could live in a country where I didn’t master its language. But PSIA turned out to be a very international and inclusive institution where I could speak English and French freely.

My life at PSIA

I chose my program because it offers an opportunity to navigate through two vastly different cultures and academic landscapes. Students of the program can spend one year in Paris and one year in Beijing—two fascinating cities of distinctive culture and history. Since I hope to become a scholar who studies Chinese politics, I feel the imperative to understand the “inside” and the “outside” perspectives my country. In Paris, I was able to immerse myself in a professionally and academically rigorous environment and meet people of diverse backgrounds; in Beijing, I am able to get access to the best resources provided by Peking University, China’s best university. As far as I am concerned, the program provides an opportunity to enhance the ability to navigate through different cultures, which is essential to a globalized community.

What has been your most meaningful/fulfilling experience at PSIA (ex: gap years, internships, team projects etc.)?
I have been working for European Council for Foreign Relations as a research assistant. My job is to assist editors of ECFR’s publication China Analysis to gather information and resources published in Chinese. It was really inspiring to work with professional researchers at a European think -tank and to see how much these researchers value local Chinese voice. At the same time, it seemed to be a ScPo tradition that professors would organize small-scale class gatherings either at the very beginning or at the end of each semester. This was a really good opportunity to meet people and make friends. Professors shared their interesting stories with us and students got to know each other. As we were taking the same courses, many of us shared similar interests and future career plans.

My objectives

I am applying for doctoral programs in the United States, with a focus on Chinese politics and comparative politics. I hope I will work in academia to analyse Chinese political dynamics and become a prominent scholar.

My best tips

My most inspiring class so far has been: China’s Politics and Governance. This is a lively class given by Professor Stephanie Balme where we had many discussions and debates during the class. My key to success at PSIA: A clear vision of future is the key to keep a balanced life at PSIA. All of my classmates were talented young people of diverse background and career ambition. The highly competitive environment could easily overwhelm newcomers. At the same time, PSIA offers a diversity of professional and academic resources including lectures, conferences, events, and social networking opportunities. Combined together, one could easily feel lost. As a person with academic interest, I participated in events selectively. It is necessary to stay focused on what you really want and spend your time in a swift way.

My life outside PSIA

Recent “study breaks” include: I am at Peking University, preparing for master thesis writing.  

What do you like best about Paris:
My best memory of Paris is undoubtedly related to its cultural atmosphere. The entire city is a “moveable feast” where I could always bump into some pleasant coffee shops, private museums and bookshops. It is this sense of “unexpectedness” that distinguishes Paris, which undoubtedly comes from the city’s historical richness. I enjoyed jogging alongside La Seine while watching all those glowing faces of tourists who were obviously amazed by the beauty of Paris. To quote Hemingway, “if you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.”

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