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Kunshan – China

Kunshan

Overview


Kunshan city is an emerging, modern metropolis with a history dating back more than 2,000 years. Located at the heart of the Yangtze River Delta region in eastern China’s Jiangsu province, it neighbors both Shanghai and Suzhou, two dynamic cities. It also boasts a rich collection of cultural heritage, as well as picturesque rivers, lakes and forests.

The city is today home to about 1.6 million people. Its superior mix of natural and urban landscapes (rivers and forest occupy over a quarter of its 359-square-mile area) has attracted residents from around the world.

Kunshan is widely considered a successful model of China’s social and economic development. The city has consistently topped Forbes China’s list of the mainland’s best county-level cities. In 2010, the local government also received the UN-Habitat Scroll of Honor Award in recognition for its contribution to housing development.

The city has multiple Fortune 500 companies and other leading enterprises, as well as several high-tech and economic development zones.
History & culture

Since being established in the Qin Dynasty (221-206 B.C.), Kunshan has played an important part in many chapters of Chinese history. It has been home to many historical figures including mathematician and astronomer Zu Chongzhi of the Northern Wei Dynasty (386-534) and geographer Gu Yanwu, writer Gui Youguang and painter Gong Xian of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).

The city is also the birthplace of pianist and composer Ding Shande, as well as astronaut Fei Junlong, who took part in China’s second manned spaceflight.

In terms of culture, it’s impossible to talk about Kunshan with mentioning Kunqu Opera, which originated in the area and is one of the oldest forms of Chinese opera. The art form dominated Chinese theaters in the 16th and 18th centuries. In 2001, it was listed by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

The area is also famed for its well-preserved ancient water towns including Bacheng, Jinxi, Zhouzhuang and Qiandeng.

The central and state-of-the-art Kunshan Culture and Art Center hosts more than 350 cultural performances each year, including Kunqu Opera and theater shows, as well as regular art exhibitions, painting and calligraphy workshops, and many other free activities.

Shopping & sports


Kunshan has a wealth of commercial areas and malls offering a mix of stores, restaurants and entertainment venues, as well as many recreation areas for watching or taking part in almost any sport.

Dayu Bay, a picturesque spot just five minutes’ walk from the Duke Kunshan campus, has restaurants serving Chinese and Western cuisines along with bakeries, bars (including a Duke-themed sports bar), clothes stores, a gym and a rowing club.
Popular malls dotted around the city, such as Nine Square, Golden Eagle and Wanda Plaza, are also packed with stores and supermarkets selling local and Western brands, cinemas, fitness centers and education training centers.

The large, central Sports Center has a 30,000-seat stadium, which is home to the city’s soccer team, Kunshan F.C., and has recreation facilities for basketball, table tennis and badminton, among other sports. The center has hosted multiple national and international events.
For fans of shellfish, the freshwater Yangcheng Lake itself is famous for hairy crab, which is considered a delicacy in China.

Zhengyi Old Street also offers an authentic taste of traditional life in Jiangsu – it’s one of the only places to buy bulb wonton, a local specialty – while the bird and flower market, where vendors are spread through a network of narrow alleys, is a visual feast.
Sightseeing

Kunshan is a city with something for everyone. For nature lovers, there’s Forest Park, a 3,151-acre ecological wetland filled with a variety of plants, wildflowers, fruit trees, lotus ponds and bamboo gardens. Tinglin Park, with its green peak and clear waters, also welcomes hundreds of thousands of tourists each year. Both parks are fairly central and offer a scenic escape from the developed downtown area.

Another great attraction is the grand Chongyuan Temple. Originally built around 1,500 years ago, the temple sits on an artificial island on the edge of Yangcheng Lake and is home to largest indoor Avalokitesvara and many other precious relics.
Getting around

In addition to its comprehensive inner-city bus network and easy-access bike rental system, Kunshan is also connected to its neighbors Shanghai and Suzhou by high-speed rail services, subway lines and express buses.

For more information about the city, check our “Fun in Kunshan,” a handy guide produced by Duke Kunshan’s Language and Culture Center.
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Health Service

Health Services

Health and Wellness Counseling Services

As Duke Kunshan University is a student-centered organization, we always ensure our students have the resources they need to be safe and successful. In order to protect the health of students, faculty and staff, Duke Kunshan University is equipped with an on-site medical clinic. The clinic’s medical staff is composed of a number of professionals with both overseas experience and professional medical skills. They provide a range of medical services, including general medical care and preventive health care, for all members of the campus community. Patient privacy and confidentiality is strictly enforced at all levels, allowing students the feel at ease when booking a consultation. Duke Kunshan’s medical center hopes to continue promoting and improving the health of students, faculty and staff through warm, relaxed and pleasant doctor-patient communication.

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

Counseling and Psychological Services is committed to providing diversified services to meet the needs of students’ personal and mental health development. Not only do we pay attention to the individual needs of students, but also to the overall needs of the student body and school community. Different from the individual psychological counseling model of traditional universities, CAPS also provides other unique services, such as group psychological counseling, crisis intervention and emergency services, referral services and general counseling (non-psychological counseling). In addition, CAPS also provides a variety of workshops and activities related to counseling and psychological services.

The CAPS Team

Dr. Yan Li

Licensed Psychologist and Director of Counseling and Psychological Services

Fan Yang

Senior Clinical Counselor

Yitong Cai

Psychological Counselor

Ke Xu

Psychological Counselor

Individual psychological counseling services

Individual counseling services provide students with opportunities to receive professional psychological care. All psychological counselors at Duke Kunshan University have professional backgrounds and excellent work experience. Students can seek help from CAPS in any situation, such as dealing with an inferiority complex, anxiety, depression, academic stress, parent-child or interpersonal relationship problems, etc. CAPS will provide students with short-term counseling services. Each consultation is scheduled for 45 minutes and will be strictly confidential.

Individual psychological counseling services

Individual counseling services provide students with opportunities to receive professional psychological care. All psychological counselors at Duke Kunshan University have professional backgrounds and excellent work experience. Students can seek help from CAPS in any situation, such as dealing with an inferiority complex, anxiety, depression, academic stress, parent-child or interpersonal relationship problems, etc. CAPS will provide students with short-term counseling services. Each consultation is scheduled for 45 minutes and will be strictly confidential.

Group psychological counseling services

Every Tuesday and Thursday from 4pm to 5:30pm, CAPS organizes fixed group psychological counseling activities. This is a professional psychological treatment method that helps with common student issues through joint discussion and guidance. Students who face similar problems can talk to each other and support one another.

Group psychological counseling services

Every Tuesday and Thursday from 4pm to 5:30pm, CAPS will organize fixed group psychological counseling activities. This is a professional psychological treatment method that helps with common student issues through joint discussion and guidance. Students who face similar problems can talk to each other and support one another.

Workshop & Outreach Program

CAPS holds regular workshops and related outreach projects on different topics to help students learn about psychology, adjustment skills, and to help reduce the pressure brought on by academic life. In the past few years, CAPS has successfully organized various activities that have been very popular among students. The most popular are Puppy Therapy and Ball-Pit Relaxation Stations during exam times.

Volunteers brought their therapy animals to the campus to help students release pressure and anxiety from final exam week
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During the Fall 2019 exam week, CAPS set up a large ocean themed ball pit on campus, allowing students to prepare for their exams and relieve stress at the same time in a unique and relaxing way

In addition to the above-mentioned stress-relief activities, CAPS has also held various activities such as a rainbow run, flower arrangement, cycling, hiking, meditation and various mental health lectures and forums.

For more information about CAPS, please visit the CAPS website.

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Student Activities & Clubs

Student Activities and Clubs

Duke Kunshan University is committed to providing students with a variety of student activities and services, encouraging students to explore their interests outside of the classroom. Our student activities and services are divided into 4 sections: Student Clubs and Organizations, Campus Activities, Art and Culture and the Blue Oasis Student Learning Center. These activities aim to strengthen cross-cultural understanding, promote extracurricular learning, increase participation in community service, enhance peer interaction and communication, carry out artistic and cultural exploration, and promote students’ personal development. Whether you like sports and fitness, art and culture, or volunteering in the community, you can always find like-minded peers at Duke Kunshan to share in your interests.

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Student Residence Life

Student Residence Life

All undergraduate students at Duke Kunshan live together with their peers in university-operated housing. Residence life at Duke Kunshan is considered an extension of the learning experience, where our diverse student body is brought together to learn from one another and develop lasting relationships.

We have several student residence halls to accommodate for our growing number of students. Each residence hall has a dedicated team of student RAs (resident assistants) and is supervised by a full time professional Residence Life Coordinator.

For more information about our specific residence halls, room application and assignment processes, policies, programs, staff, and ways to get involved, visit the Student Affairs website here.
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Green Campus

Green Campus

LEED Certification

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification (LEED) was established by the U.S. Green Building Council, a non-profit organization that conducts third-party certification for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings. It is currently considered to be the most complete, authoritative and influential certification in its domain. The evaluation standard represents the highest benchmark for green buildings.

Duke Kunshan University’s LEED certification

Duke Kunshan University obtained a green building certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in March 2016, becoming China’s first, and only, university to receive the “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design” (LEED) certification for all of its buildings. Among them, the Academic Building and Conference Center obtained LEED gold certification, and the Student Residence Hall, Faculty Residence, and Service Buildings have obtained LEED Silver certification. Like Duke University, the LEED certification reflects Duke Kunshan’s commitment to green buildings and green design. This commitment ensures that all new buildings and major repairs comply with Duke Kunshan’s sustainable building policies while achieving the goal of building energy- and water-saving campus.

‘’The design and construction of the Duke Kunshan University campus embodies the high integration of green building design concepts, advanced technology and traditional Chinese water culture. The perfect combination of these three components brings out the campus’ outstanding characteristics in terms of energy conservation and environmental protection. Campus life is an important part of the rich experience that Duke Kunshan University provides to teachers and students. The achievement of such an honor is an affirmation of Duke Kunshan University's goal of building a world-class university. "

- Jingnan Liu, Inaugural Chancellor of Duke Kunshan University and Academician at the Chinese Academy of Engineering

"We are very pleased to see how Duke Kunshan became the first university campus in China to be LEED certified. The design and operation of the Duke Kunshan University campus have thoroughly implemented the green building concept, which is very important to the sustainable development of the world. This extraordinary achievement will set a good example for educational institutions in China and around the world."

-Mahesh Ramanuham, Chief Operating Officer, U.S. Green Building Council

Sponge Campus

What’s a “sponge city”?

In October 2015, the State Council of the People’s Republic of China issued guidelines calling for building “sponge cities” to achieve the best control and utilization of rainwater resources. Today, areas that can achieve the integration of water absorption, water storage, water seepage, water purification, and water use are still very few in China, and even in the world. However, on the Duke Kunshan campus, these “future technologies” that originally existed only in people’s imaginations have become a reality. The Duke Kunshan campus has successfully used the surrounding waterscape system to achieve natural infiltration, natural purification and the reuse of rainwater.

Sponge City

Duke Kunshan University’s Sponge Campus:



Water is a core element in Duke Kunshan University’s landscape design. The entire campus has been designed to successfully use the surrounding waters system to achieve natural infiltration, natural purification and the reuse of rainwater. The water circulation system is composed of four complementary parts: the natural water features around the campus are responsible for rainwater collection and flow control; the roof garden helps rainwater infiltration; the underground filtration system ensures water quality; the irrigation system makes full use of treated rainwater for irrigation. Since the campus opened in the fall of 2014, all the irrigation on the campus has only used recycled rainwater, reducing water consumption by 100% and saving roughly 10 tons of water per day on average.

DKU's Sponge City

Environmental-Friendly Campus

Air filtration system:

The air filtration system is adopted throughout campus to ensure the circulation of indoor and outdoor air. The filtration system in the Innovation Building, where Duke Kunshan’s science laboratories are located, is equipped with HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filters, which can effectively prevent dust and filter out harmful substances in the air.

Carbon dioxide detector:

All classrooms in the Academic Building are equipped with carbon dioxide detectors. When the indoor carbon dioxide reaches a certain concentration, fresh air will be added. The air system will also accelerate air circulation and increase oxygen levels, ensuring teachers and students can maintain focus in the classroom.

Energy saving technology:


All buildings at Duke Kunshan University have used a number of internationally leading energy-saving and emissions-reduction technologies for the efficient use of energy, lighting, hot water, electromechanical systems, etc., in order to create a “low-carbon” campus. Most buildings use large-area glass to maximize the use of sunlight, thereby reducing the need for lighting. In addition to natural lighting, dimmers are installed in areas with high circulation such as classrooms, gyms and team rooms, to enable teachers and students to manually adjust brightness levels, making possible a more efficient use of energy. The campus buildings are equipped with high-efficiency water-saving devices that can reduce water consumption by 38%, saving up to 12,000 tons of water each year. The Conference Center and the Service Building are equipped with solar thermal panels on the roof, with a total area of 675 square meters that can generate 470,000 kilowatt-hours of renewable energy each year. This energy is then used to provide hot water on campus.