To Stanford students, I think the most unfathomable part of the PKU student experience is having dorm electricity shut off at 11 pm (luckily, as international students staying in the Shaoyuan Guesthouses we are exempt from such atrocity). How is it even possible to be a student without all nighters and intense study sessions?
I learned from a PKU student who is a math major that because math is a more difficult major (苦, ku3, literal meaning "bitter"), math majors have access to classrooms in which they can study 24/7. As we are starting to feel the pileup of work from three weeks of play, Helen and I joined him for a study session last night, and it was actually very productive for our CS103B pset. Studying here is very different from studying in the US. We "work together" in study lounges but we also chat once in a while, listen to music, take late nite breaks, etc. At PKU, people study in classrooms, so they're sitting in rows, each studying his/her own material very seriously, and NO talking. Dead silence. Helen and I were the only ones with laptops, and our typing was a little disruptive, I think. Also, late nite is more along the lines of going out the South Gate and buying "small eats". And people usually pack up by midnight - I guess 24/7 access doesn't actually translate into 24/7 studying.