It is not easy to say why I decided to spend a semester abroad in Shanghai in the end. For various reasons, China with its different cultures attracted me a lot and I wanted to experience something different from most students who do their semester abroad within Europe. In addition, abbreviated as FDU by abbreviationfinder, Fudan University is a globally respected university, which supported me in my decision.
It was very easy to organize with the help of MicroEDU. The staff are really friendly and were always ready to answer questions and help with anything even during the semester. I received help and advice in all application steps so that no problems arose. MicroEDU made the course descriptions available to me so that I could discuss the crediting of the courses with my university in Germany in advance.
The Contemporary China Studies program offers a wide mix of courses from the fields of business administration, politics, culture and psychology and of course a Chinese language course. Compared to my lectures in Germany, the lectures there and the relationship with the professors were more personal, as the courses were held in groups of 20 to 30 people and there was compulsory attendance. The content of the lectures was much more practice-oriented, which I really liked and at the end of the semester we had to give presentations instead of writing exams. There is an introductory week in the first week instead, in which you get a lot of information and a good insight into what will happen in the following weeks. Then you have two weeks to attend various lectures and finally choose the courses.
In addition, the course instructors of the CCSP have organized some day trips and other activities, such as a boat trip on the HuangPu, cooking traditional Chinese dumplings or simply having dinner together, which was always fun. Thus, the program consisted not only of lectures, but also of getting to know the city and Chinese culture better. The FDU provided each of us with a “buddy”, a Chinese fellow student who helped us to find our way around the campus in the first few weeks and to whom we could ask all questions about Chinese behavior and the culture associated with the Time have come. So many people tried to make our semester abroad as nice and interesting as possible.
The Tohee International Village is a dormitory directly on campus in the Wujiaochang district. The organization was very easy and you met a lot of other international students who were mostly very open to new contacts. So you got to know a lot of new people in the first few days. My fellow students also lived at the Tohee, so that you always had new friends close by and could also do something spontaneously or simply meet up for meals together. You have the choice between a 2 or a 3-person flat share with your own gender, unfortunately there are no mixed apartments. The apartments are rather spartan, but still have everything you need (including washing machine). However, dishes, towels, etc. had to be organized by yourself. There are a lot of good and cheap restaurants and bars nearby, so you don’t really need to use the kitchen. Supermarkets and a large mall at the metro station, which is about 10 minutes away by bike, are also within easy reach. With the metro it takes about 20 minutes to get to the Bund and within the city center you can easily reach almost everything without changing trains. The bike is the best investment for getting to the FDU, the metro station or restaurants, as the distances are somewhat underestimated.
The room there is comparatively cheap and I have often heard how difficult it is to find an apartment or a room in the city center yourself. So there is a very good alternative. However, the staff doesn’t speak much English and are not always helpful. If the plan changes, e. g. moving out earlier than planned, you will not get the rent back, which has to be paid in full at the beginning of moving out, and you will always try to steal a little more money than necessary. You should definitely read everything you sign carefully!
Shanghai is an incredibly diverse city with many contrasts, which makes life there really exciting. Every day you experience something new and the city has a lot more to offer than you think. There are many sights, a lot of parties and cool bars and interesting people, so that everyone feels comfortable in town.
In addition to FDU, I traveled a lot with my fellow student. I myself have been to Wuzhen, Hainan, Hangzhou, Tokyo, Huangshan, Suzhou, Beijing, Xi’an, Huashan, Guilin, Macao and Hong Kong and all of them were definitely worth the trip! The language barrier is a problem, especially outside of Shanghai, because very little or no English is spoken and my Chinese is not good, but I have made it everywhere. In general, China is a very safe country and you don’t have to be afraid anywhere, which makes traveling even more relaxed.
The costs of this semester abroad are very high. So far I haven’t dared to add up all the costs, but in total it comes to around 13,000 to 15,000 euros, depending on how much you travel and what else you spend in everyday life. Food and transportation are very cheap, but branded clothing and European products are much more expensive than in Europe.
During my time in China I was able to make a lot of experiences that definitely helped me personally and that I would not have had otherwise. China is really different from Germany, but definitely very beautiful in its own way. Shanghai also has a few western sides, so you can live there very well. I would definitely recommend a semester abroad at Fudan University.