A semester abroad should be something very special – Fudan University in Shanghai offers the perfect opportunity for an unforgettable time. My decision to go to Asia was already made, as I had already lived in the USA and Ireland for a long time and now wanted to get to know a foreign culture; in a country without any language skills. In the end, I chose Shanghai, as this MegaCity forms the financial and economic center of China and Fudan University is one of the most renowned universities in China.
Application and planning:
With the application and planning I started very early, because I sure wanted to go that all services and from my home university to be recognized. With the help of MicroEDU this was not a problem, as emails and telephone questions were always answered immediately and the required documents, such as course descriptions, were provided. Although you might be a little skeptical at the beginning, as College Kontakt does not charge any direct costs for the service, it was the best decision I could make. I felt very well taken care of at all times.
However, I couldn’t make a lot of preparations because I got back from my internship in Dublin just ten days before my flight to China. In just under two weeks, the visa and credit cards had to be applied for, and an international insurance had to be taken out. The visa is not a problem and with a little skill you can get hold of a multiple entry. However, you should take care of your credit card beforehand. I also recommend applying for two credit cards in order to have a replacement credit card with you.
In retrospect, I’m glad I didn’t prepare and read too much. Otherwise you are very biased and it is also much more fun to explore and find out everything on your own – and there are quite a few of them!
I booked my flight relatively late and spontaneously, but I was lucky with the price and didn’t have to pay too much. It is highly recommended to book the flight so that you have a few days in Shanghai before the semester finally starts. A certain amount of time to get used to it is a great advantage, especially in China. I also recommend booking the flights separately. I then traveled to the Philippines and Thailand and then simply booked my return flight from Bangkok. It is very difficult to book the return flight that far in advance as many details are still unclear.
I stayed at the Tohee and stayed in a triple room. Of course, you don’t live in a luxurious apartment and, as in the pictures, it isn’t in reality either, but you don’t do more than sleep or meet shortly before the party. The location is very good, as you live right next to the university and a shopping center is only 1km away. The city can be reached by metro (line 10) for 4 kuai or by taxi for around 40 kuai. I would advise against the small café in Tohee, however, as it is grossly overpriced and there are tons of other small cafés in the area where you can spend a very cozy afternoon; either chatting with friends or learning about a book.
Overall, the course is very feasible, but you have to do a little to get good grades. At the beginning you have a lot of time and should use it, e. g. traveling, because towards the end of the semester you have to give a lot of presentations and write reports. Since everything has to be handed in at once, it gets a bit stressful towards the end.
The number of courses is manageable, but sufficient. The Chinese course is highly recommended. It’s a lot of fun and you not only learn the basics of the Chinese language, which you can use very well in everyday life, but also other things about the culture. I did the internship after the semester and would recommend it to everyone, as you have a lot more time during the semester.
The trips offered within the program are also highly recommended. Here, too, you learn a lot about Chinese culture and should definitely take it with you. These excursions are organized by the supervisors from Fudan University, who took great care of us during our entire time and helped us with everything.
Shanghai and China:
China and especially Shanghai are breathtaking. There is always something to do and something new to discover. Street stalls of all kinds are highly recommended. Don’t be too squeamish, then you’ll discover and experience most of it. The nightlife is also unique, as you have free entry to selected clubs with the help of a promoter and are provided with free drinks all night. So it can be celebrated very cheaply and every day of the week. As good as it may be to leave, you should use the time to explore China and to travel around a lot. Ctrip is very suitable for booking cheap flights.
Especially in warm weather, you can sit comfortably on the waistband and end the evening with friends and a couple with a view of the Pudong skyline – this is probably one of my most beautiful moments in Shanghai.
All the fun has its price, so we come to the only negative point – namely the cost. According to answerresume, the tuition fees at Fudan University are really steep and Shanghai isn’t the cheapest city either. Overall, the prices can be compared with those from Germany. Since the euro is now so bad, some things are even more expensive in Shanghai. Since you rarely cook or not cook at all, you should often eat at street stalls, as restaurants really run out of money in the long run. You should expect a total of 12,000-13,000 euros, because if you already have such an opportunity, you shouldn’t live on the back burner.
In summary, I can say that I would choose Fudan University in Shanghai anew every time, because I had a stunning and unforgettable time. If you have the change, I can only warmly recommend the CCSP, organized with the help of MicroEDU.