Why did I choose Shanghai? I had already traveled to many places (including Asia) and yet I never had the pleasure of entering mainland China, even though I have been learning Chinese for two and a half years. The air pollution in Beijing had deterred me a little, which is why I decided on Fudan University in Shanghai which is also known as FDU according to AbbreviationFinder, as it is also one of the top universities in Asia and is sometimes mentioned in the same breath as the PKU, Harvard, MIT. . .
I didn’t have a single minute of problems with my application through college contact. All of the staff are incredibly helpful and all of my questions were always answered in the shortest possible time. After I had sent all of my documents to FDU, it didn’t take long for the confirmation from Fudan University to flutter into my house. So all in all a minimal effort for the application.
Flight / accommodation
In advance, I can only recommend everyone not to book a return flight from the start. It may sound cheaper to book a round trip at the beginning, but in the end it’s not worth it if you have to rebook your flight. I had no other choice, as I still had a few exams in Berlin, but if you are not faced with the same problem, you should settle in first and see if you don’t want to stay longer, because that was the case with all of them.
I made a conscious decision against the dormitory and it turned out to be the right decision. Thanks to my 6-person international flat share, I got to know so many other interesting people in addition to my university colleagues who I would not have got to know through Tohee. The apartment was in the middle of downtown which enabled me to explore and get to know Shanghai much faster, better and more intensively. You don’t have to worry that you will have much less contact with your fellow students due to an apartment outside and you should perhaps first think about how many courses you want to take and only then decide, e. g. I only had university 3 days a week. In addition to the taxi rides (50-70CNY) in the evening, you also have to buy kitchen accessories, sheets and bed linen yourself at the Tohee. Many from my program also moved to the city during the semester due to the reasons mentioned above. Websites like airbnb. com, wimdu. com or smartshanghai. com offer great apartments at reasonable prices and are therefore useful in finding accommodation very helpful.
The Fudan’s CCSP offers a wide range of courses that differ greatly in terms of both structure and requirements. In general, the content of the courses is not too demanding, so that you are definitely not overwhelmed and there is enough time to travel. I myself had decided against an internship and can therefore only advise from the stories of my fellow students to do the internship after the semester. Those who had done the internship on the side were sometimes too exhausted, both on the weekend and during the week.
Most professors can speak English very well, having studied at renowned universities abroad. If tasks cannot be submitted on time, the professors are very easy to talk to and everyone is pretty helpful.
Shanghai and China
The city is breathtaking and has something for everyone. At first glance it sometimes appears a bit superficial and not very cultural, but there is more to this city than just money and the party life. In addition to the well-known sights, I can only recommend taking a look at the parks in the morning, visiting the M50 in Moganshanlu or the K11. There is also something for everyone in terms of nightlife – whether simple bars with pool tables, typical Asian karaoke or clubs where you can dance until dawn!
In addition to the Great Wall of China and Beijing, I can also highly recommend Guilin and Zhangjiajie (also known as the Hallelujah Mountains). Although the rail and train system across China is well developed and the trains are also of a high standard, it is often much cheaper to take a flight if it is booked early. All beach lovers should consider Hainan if the opportunity to travel outside the country is not available. Otherwise, every province has something to offer and you shouldn’t limit yourself to the tourist strongholds!
This semester abroad in Shanghai was the best decision of my life and I miss every single moment there. In addition to the great city and great experiences, I was able to meet new interesting people and make many friendships.
My landlady told me on the first day: “Don’t stay too long, otherwise you won’t want to leave the city!” Well true, because now I’ll be looking for a job in Shanghai soon. I wish everyone who read this report a wonderful time in a wonderful city!