Before my semester abroad, China was a country with a big question mark for me. Which also made it much more exciting and which is why I ultimately decided to study at Fudan University in Shanghai for a semester.
Since my university didn’t have a suitable partner university for me in China, I was faced with the big task of organizing my semester abroad in China myself. While doing research on the Internet, I came across the MicroEDU website and was very grateful for the advice and help with all organizational questions. With the help of MicroEDU , several universities in China were open to me, and I ultimately chose Fudan University in Shanghai. MicroEDU accompanied and advised me through all the application steps. I would recommend the organization at any time. Visit act-test-centers.com to get information about study in Austria.
As for the Chinese universities, I had absolutely no knowledge of the Chinese universities. I was initially very interested in Fudan because of the course schedules I received from MicroEDU. In addition to language courses, courses in the fields of marketing, business administration, cultural studies, politics and psychology were offered. In addition, Fudan University is considered to be one of the best universities in the country, which is reflected in the teaching staff, materials, buildings and general teaching aids. But why I am particularly happy to have chosen the Fudan, the entire organization of our semester is there. The’Contemporary China Studies Program’ consisted not only of ‘bare’ lessons, but also of numerous excursions outside and within Shanghai, to which our coordinators accompanied us. Our program included trips to Wuzhen and Suzhou, a trip on the Huangpu River, tea ceremonies and meals together. In addition, every exchange student has been assigned a Chinese ‘buddy’, i. e. a Chinese fellow student. These helped us, especially in the first few weeks, to orient ourselves and to find our way in everyday life in China. In the further course of the semester you could meet with them and exchange ideas. Our coordinators clearly tried to the atmosphere is always very pleasant and relaxed.
As a guest I have my Tohee dorm. This has many advantages: it is right on the campus, it is cheaper compared to an apartment in Shanghai, the organization is uncomplicated and it is the best place to meet other exchange students. I had decided on a two-person flat share. The apartment was very large and comfortable for students. The basic furniture, as well as washing machine and air conditioning are already included. Things like rubbish bins, crockery and cutlery, towels, etc. have to be found by yourself in the first few days. There are several supermarkets right next to the Tohee and there is a Walmart at the Wujiaochang metro station, to which our guide took us on the first day to buy everything we needed.
When applying for the Tohee, I would recommend asking for a room in one of the two newer buildings # 15 and # 16. Almost everyone from our program was accommodated there, but not all of them and they had some problems with defective air conditioning systems (which are also heating) and leaky windows, which could not be fixed so quickly. However, the Tohee staff is actually very good. You can call reception at any time and everything will be taken care of. You pay the total rent in advance, there are only monthly costs for water and electricity that you have to pay. These were mostly around 10-30 € per month, depending on the time of year and the need to heat.
The location of the dormitory was also quite good. It takes about an hour to get to the Bund, but there are numerous restaurants and supermarkets, bars and pubs in the immediate vicinity and the street food vendors always came in around 9 o’clock in the evening. Everything you need in everyday life is in the immediate vicinity.
What I would definitely recommend is to get a bike for this time. The campus is very large and it takes about half an hour to cross it. Especially if you have evening classes (and you have that quite often), it is much more pleasant to go back home by bike.
In the first two weeks you can register for all courses that interest you and then attend them before you finally decide on four subjects. I chose the subjects ‘ China through contemporary film ‘, ‘ Doing Business in China ‘, ‘ Chinese Society and Culture ‘ and ‘ International Marketing ‘. There was also a Chinese language course that everyone attended. There is a placement test at the beginning if you have already learned a little Chinese beforehand. Teaching was entirely in English.
Overall, I am very satisfied with my choice of course. The teachers were very competent, the content of the lessons mostly very exciting, the examinations sometimes more, sometimes less demanding than in Germany. In almost every course there were midterm tests in the middle of the semester, and at the end there were either exams, group presentations or essays. However, everything is not too difficult and feasible.
Shanghai and China
In addition to the numerous parties that take place on weekends and the numerous discos and bars that you absolutely have to visit, I would recommend to everyone who lives in China for a long time to take a look at the country. China is very diverse. How much, but you only notice when you’ve really traveled a bit through the country. I myself was in Nanjing, Chongqing, Wuxi, Suzhou, Xi’an, Beijing, but the places Chengdu, Jiuzhaigou, Guilin and Hainan (the Chinese Hawaii) were particularly beautiful. I really enjoyed the tours through China and got to know a lot about the country and the people. I would recommend it to everyone!
Shanghai itself also has a lot of beautiful places that you absolutely have to see. Besides the Bund, I would highly recommend the Yuyuan Garden and the French Concession. A trip to the different markets is always worthwhile, but you should act diligently.
The costs are the only drawback of the entire semester abroad. Especially since the euro is currently very weak, you have to reckon with total tuition fees, dormitory, food, travel, etc. at around € 12,000 to € 15,000. Depending on what travel plans and other expenses you still have. Food in China is relatively cheap, but clothes and everyday items cost about the same as in Europe.
I am very happy that I chose Fudan University and would do the same anytime. All the impressions and experiences during this time will be with me for the rest of my life.
I am also glad that I chose Shanghai, as it is a bit easier to find your way here as a European than in other big cities like Beijing. The program was very well structured and our coordinators and Chinese fellow students gave us a very warm welcome. I have gained a lot of new impressions and hope that I will soon find the opportunity to travel to China again. I would recommend a semester abroad at Fudan at any time.