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Austausch - OUT


15/16 WS


Shanghai - East China University of Political Science and Law


Rechtswissenschaft (2000)


My overall impression about this exchange program is very good. Going to China was a great experience and an awesome adventure. There are challenges of course, but that applies to every journey. It is certainly helpful, if you speak some Chinese, as English is not that common in China, but it is not a must.  


Preparations include looking for an apartment, getting a visa, collecting all the required documents and getting some information about the university you are going to visit. All in all this part is a bit annoying and requires patience. But after all everything will work out just fine. 


Arriving there requires patience and nerves, as you will have to queue quite a while at the beginning to get through the immigration. Finding a cab from the airport to the city is not hard, but 99.9% of the drivers in Shanghai do not speak any English at all. Therefore it is really important to bring your apartment address along, written in Chinese characters. 

The first one or two weeks are also a bit challenging as you will be really busy registering and applying for all kinds of documents, finding your university, getting a mobile plan, checking out the metro system and so on... I therefore highly recommend living in an apartment with international people, as they will be able to help you and show you where to find everything you need.

With some patience and diligence everything will also work out just fine and then you can  start to enjoy.   


I highly recommend using to find an apartment. Most students choose going to a hotel for the first days and then start looking for a room. I on the other side, organised a room while a was still in Switzerland. That might sounds a bit scary, but it worked totally fine as well. Communication with the current tenants all goes through WeChat (a must to get around in China). You usually don't have to worry about scams, if you use the site mentioned above. 

For an apartment in the City Center (Jing'an District), which would be about 15 - 40 minutes away from the university (by metro), you may expect the room prices to vary between 300 and 700 francs per month. Fees for the bills and the Ayi (cleaning lady) are to be paid additionally (less than 50.-  per month).  

My flatmates were all great and really nice.

I would recommend to look for a room in the Jing'an District, either near West Nanjing Road station or near Jing'an Temple. Alternatively living near East Nanjing Road station, People square or The Bund is also nice, but its a bit further away from the university. The station closest to the university would be Zhongshan park, where most of the students from ECUPL choose to live.  


ECUPL in general is a good university. They have two nice and big campuses (one in the city and the other outside [you will have lectures in the city, except you study Business]). The professors are nice, speak English and you will get help by them or a university representative if needed.

 It is not all that organised and structured as you are used to it from Zurich, but it all works out in the end (again: patience is key).  

You will be able to get a good insight into the Chinese law and also to learn some Chinese if you wish to.  


Life in Shanghai is great. The city is amazing. You will find all the restaurant chains and stores you know from Switzerland, there are also a lot of nice bars/ clubs and restaurants, a great skyline and of course there is the possibility to travel around other parts of China. Shanghai is really international, so there are also quite a hand full of foreigners living in the City Center. 

You will have a lot of fun and meet a lot of nice people.

The city is really safe, clean and also offers a lot of green areas (there are huge parks in every district).  Despite what you read, the pollution is not that bad (though not all the other students, who were there would agree with me on that). 

Summary: This exchange was great and I would definitely recommend it to everyone, but you should bring along some patience and expect to be challenged.