Thanks for the A2A. Tsinghua University or “THU” is among the best engineering schools in the world. Being among the best, as has already been mentioned, it is very competitive in both research and exams. However, for my answer, I won’t dwell too much on that, instead I would like to provide an alternative perspective.
Tsinghua University really is a top top place to study and live, and just walking around the campus on the first day makes you realize this. The campus is HUGE (compared to most places in crowded Beijing), and it is almost a city within a city. Nearly everything that a person might require is available on campus, which is an absolute privilege in a jammed city such as Beijing.
Everyone in the campus is in a rush, all the time. It is a common joke on campus that the people who walk are definitely tourists, and weirdly enough, it is true. To go about 200m, people on campus still prefer to bike just to save some ten seconds. One thing that happens to everyone in campus during Tsinghua life is, their biking skills improve at an astronomical rate. The speed breakers in Tsinghua all have about 5 cm of space for bikers to avoid, and within three weeks of living on campus, all students avoid these with extreme precision without a single hand on the bike handle (maybe an exaggeration, but only a slight one!).
The campus is delicately organized, and is very different from the neighbouring universities. There are no small stalls or carts in campus, which keeps the campus very clean. There are some supermarkets in campus but they are mostly near the dormitory areas, which makes it slightly annoying when someone is in the touristy part of the campus and suddenly wants to get a drink. Nevertheless, the shops within the campus are well equipped and sell almost everything that a student might need.
The only places to eat in campus are the cafeterias, which run on strict schedule. This can be a little troublesome if you are not very disciplined. In my first few weeks, I often missed out on dinner because of this. The cafeterias offer extremely delicious and cheap Chinese food. There are many different Chinese cuisines offered in different cafeterias but non-Chinese food is almost non-existent (aside from Korean food).
There are also lots and lots of sporting opportunities within the campus. They have lots of tennis courts, badminton courts, football fields, basketball courts and surprisingly (to me, at least) places to play Baseball, Cricket, Field hockey and even Rugby! There is a good gymnasium and an amazing swimming hall within the campus.
The libraries in campus are some of the best libraries in China. They are all well equipped, and well managed. Unlike many other universities in China, students can’t just leave their stuff to hold a couple of seats in the library; everyone has to book seats electronically.
Classes in Tsinghua are generally very good. In my experience, I have found all the classes either insanely intense or an insult to intelligence, with almost nothing in between. With so much competition in the campus (with regards to GPA), this ends up with many many students choosing jokes for classes and scoring high for doing the absolute bare minimum. However, the “good” classes are extremely good and interactive, which is to be expected with world-class professors that Tsinghua is blessed with.
Research, on the other hand, is excellent in my experience. Nearly every professor is a forerunner within his/her field, and most labs consistently publish and present their works in top journals and conferences. Tsinghua professors are usually invited all around the world to give talks, and gets a lot of academic talks from top academics in campus. The labs are well-equipped and there really is no dearth of academic knowledge in Tsinghua.
Finally regarding the students/classmates, I have found that most of the students in our campus end up in amazing jobs. I know that most of the people that graduated from our lab are either in Stanfords and MITs or have joined top tier IT companies (Google/Baidu/Microsoft) in both application and research departments. The people, generally, are extremely competitive but are extremely friendly once you get to know them. In the beginning, it is often terrifying to see your peers know so much more than yourself, but in a friendly-competitive environment, it is often the fear of being left behind that drives the students (at least that’s what drove me!).
All in all, Tsinghua is great for both learning new things and making genius friends. I have absolutely no regrets about coming here, and would recommend anyone with the opportunity to take it with both hands.