Why I decided to spend a semester abroad in China is easy to explain. I study Textile and Clothing Management in Mönchengladbach and in today’s China the textile economy / industry world / market leader. Which in turn means for me that I have good career opportunities there after completing my studies. That’s why it’s important to be more familiar with Chinese culture and the language, I thought. In preparation, I also took a Chinese language course at my university. Language skills are not required for this program.
First of all I would like to thank Sabine very much, she was always ready and answered or even settled every annoying question I had in a very short time.
I didn’t have a single minute of problems with applying to MicroEDU. All of the staff are incredibly helpful and all of my questions were always answered in the shortest possible time. After I sent all of my documents to MicroEDU , it didn’t take long to get the confirmation from Fudan University. So all in all a minimal effort for the application, since MicroEDU takes just about everything for you.
Flights / Accommodation
I only booked my ticket after I received the visa. Of course, I’ve been thinking for a long time about whether I should just book a one-way flight or a direct outward / return flight, because I wasn’t sure whether I would be traveling around in the end or not. In the end, after careful planning, I booked a return flight for 750 euros because it made me feel safer. There are of course cheaper prices. This award came about for me because I planned two more stopovers in Istanbul and also chose Kuala Lumpur as my departure airport instead of Shanghai.
I chose the Tohee International Student Village right next to Fudan. The dormitory consisted of 6 high-rise buildings with 2 or 3-person shared apartments on each floor. I lived there with two American exchange students. I was very satisfied with my room and the layout of the apartment, the only thing I suffered from was our bathroom, it was very old and damp and the toilet was often just so clogged, but I could live with it when I think about it Chinese students have to live. The university is about 35 minutes by metro from the city center, which I found perfectly acceptable.
Already at the introductory events it was mentioned several times that it was the best university in Shanghai according to answerresume and that it was also a leader in Asia. My program was the “ Contemporary China Studies Program ”. The focus was on economics from a Chinese perspective, with the imparting of background knowledge in culture, society, politics and history. I found that to be the most interesting.
Of course, this program did not support my textile studies in any way, but as I already described at the beginning, this semester abroad was only about getting to know the life and culture of China and being able to experience for myself whether I could live and work in China. In the end, however, I did a one-month internship with a fashion retailer, because my home university required that.
The classes were entirely in English, with relevant Chinese words. Most of the students were European or American and sometimes Chinese. There was a large number of subjects to choose from and within the first two weeks you could make up your mind if you didn’t like something at all. I found that really good, as there are some professors whose English is difficult to understand. In addition to the economic subjects, I also took a language course. Unfortunately, I came to the sobering realization that five months are not enough to master the language. But it is enough for daily survival.
Shanghai / China:
I liked Shanghai as a city very much and I will look for a job there immediately after my bachelor’s degree. Those who can deal with a lot of light, noise and people and even enjoy it in some cases will have a lot of fun there! Once you get to know the Chinese they are very open and amiable people, in between you are very at a loss and try to find the logic in something, but you should leave it and just accept it is my tip, the higher the fun factor.
There are also many destinations around Shanghai that you can visit over a weekend, for example Hangzhou, Nanjing, Huang Shan or Sozhou. The trip to Beijing and Hong Kong is a must in my opinion and if you have the money and the time, you should definitely go to the south of the country to Yunnan, for example, because there is a beautiful natural environment.
Shanghai is one of the most expensive cities in China. I noticed that after I traveled a little in China and had the comparison. I have to be honest, this semester abroad cost me a lot, but only because I allowed myself a lot and just wanted to enjoy this time.
So I thought it was a dream for every woman, there is something for every price range, various labels and malls can be found in Shanghai and all over China. It seems that shopping is one of the main leisure activities of the Chinese.
I can only recommend this break from the monotonous student life in Germany. My time in China / Shanghai was the best of my life. I enjoyed every day and saw it as an enrichment, met a lot of interesting people and made great new friends.