Erfahrungsberichte

zur Übersicht

Wer

castelli.alexander[at]gmail.com

Typus/Richtung

Austausch - OUT

Jahr

11/12 SS

Universität

CN-
Shanghai - Fudan University - School of Management

Studienfach

Betriebswirtschaftslehre (3010)

Gesamteindruck

The overall feeling about my stay in Shanghai during the exchange program at the Fudan University, School of Management, International MBA has been very constructive. The great opportunity of sharing different knowledge, habits, cultures and ways of thinking and studying with people from all over the world has completely improved my learning and human skills. For instance, during the several team assignments I confronted myself with singular approaches which made me aware about how students from different cultures behave in meetings and deals with problems. In addition, the fact of following MBA classes and thus of sharing knowledge with professional experienced students (most of them from Asia) allowed me to learn how Asian people in practice conceive subjects such as management and leadership, corporate social responsibility or communication. I really feel that these five months in China, which for me represented a completely new environment, have significantly contributed to my personal and professional growth, especially in a world that is becoming more and more multicultural and international.

Vorbereitung

 The enrollment to the IMBA, School of Management revealed to be quite simple. Maggie Yu, who is the exchange coordinator, professionally helps students in every administrative step and she kindly answered any kind of question. In addition, although before going to Shanghai exchange students are required to book the courses, they still have one week after classes have started to modify their study plan. Please note that all the information necessary to choose the classes are provided in advanced on the Fudan University students website. Usually exchange students from the University of Zurich choose about four classes among twelve-fourteen courses. At the Fudan University most of the courses are two credits classes composed by six four hours lectures each and commonly they are taught during the evening in order to allow part-time students to attend. Two Chinese credits at the School of Management corresponds to four ETCS at the University of Zurich. Although we were asked to buy books before going to Shanghai, slides for each lecture were provided in advanced.

 The VISA application is also quite simple. Thanks to the school invitation, exchange students are allowed to apply for the F VISA with one entry in China. Nevertheless, when you arrive in China the Fudan University offers the opportunity to change/modify the current VISA in a multiple entries, in order to permit students to exit and enter China as many times as they want. Please note that the modification of the F VISA requires from students to take some physical examinations and few administrative steps which are charged to students. The whole procedure takes around 2-3 weeks.

Ankunft

I arrived in Shanghai with very few knowledge of the Chinese language. Initially, the situation was rather difficult since in general Chinese people do not speak any English and therefore communication was quite hard. However, after little time you can learn some basic words necessary to communicate in common situation as at the metro station, with taxi drivers, in restaurants, etc.. All in all, it is very easy to live in Shanghai also without Chinese. Personally, I also looked for Chinese schools at the Fudan University, but it only provided upon payment classes and the timetable did not fit my studying schedule. In any case, it is possible to find many different kind of Chinese classes in other universities: private classes, for professional or amateur, etc..

Zimmersuche
Wohnen

During the five months I lived in downtown (Laoximen metro station, line 8 and 10), only two metro stops faraway from People Square, which is considered the city center of Shanghai. I shared the apartment with two foreign flat mates: one flat mate has been working for two years for an Australian company, while the other flat mate was studying Chinese at the Donghua university. Since the Fudan university was more or less 40 minutes far from the city center (9 stops from Laoximen metro station with line 10) I decided to find an apartment closer to downtown in order to have the opportunity to easily access the attractions of Shanghai. The west side of the river, in front of Pudong, is called Puxi and I would recommend to live there. Living in downtown it revealed to be a practical and convenient idea. Usually students go to the University between three and five times per week and therefore most of the free time is spent in the city center, where it is easier to meet and socialize with other students and new people. The rent for a nice room close to the city center in Puxi area could fluctuate between RMB 2’500 and 4’500 (CHF 380 and 680) and in my opinion this district has a convenient price-quality ratio. Please also note that a room above RMB 3’000 from a Chinese point of view is considered to be rather expensive.

Websites like smartshanghai.com can help you to find accomodation with expats. 

Universität

First and foremost, I would like to highlight that the Fudan University is a very popular and respected name in China. As a matter of fact, Chinese people consider Fudan University as one of the most important and famous university in the whole country. The School of Management in order to integrate students organized some kind of team-building activities such as welcome parties and tour-trips. In addition, professors from all over the world are invited to deliver speeches, career plans and internships opportunities are presented to students during the semester. Furthermore, thanks to the student card some discounts are available, especially for tourist attractions and venues. Finally, facilities such as the library, cafeteria, restaurants close to the school with different cuisines, soccer and badminton courts, gym, etc. make the stay at Fudan more enjoyable.

Leben/Freizeit

Shanghai is one of the most beautiful cities where I have ever been. It is amazingly international and multicultural and it offers full of different activities and facilities, from a huge choice of restaurants with all the different ethnic cuisines, to venues such as temples, parks, the Old Town, the French Concession, to a spectacular view from skylines, to a nice walk on the Bund or Pudong, to live music bars where you can quietly enjoy a drink and clubs. The most special feature of this great city is the opportunity to meet people from all over the world. Unfortunately, it is not easy to meet and establish friendships with Chinese people because of the language barrier, but as soon as you have the chance to find someone that speaks English you will understand how cordial and friendly Chinese people are. Moreover, the number of foreign people (expats) is increasing over the years and it is uncomplicated to meet and create good relationships. Furthermore, close to Shanghai there are many other beautiful cities such as the well known Suzhou, which in China is named the “Venetia of China” because of its characteristic small canals. Although prices are cheaper than in Europe (especially if compared to Swiss prices), Shanghai is the most expensive city in China. Venues frequented most by expats easily reach the Swiss cost level, while local restaurants, bars or supermarkets are much cheaper. It has been funny to discover that one of the most appreciated entertainment in China (it seems also in most of the Asian countries), it is the karaoke (KTV) which is integral part of their modern culture. In addition, I would like to underline that Shanghai, like most Chinese and more in general Asian cities, is very safe. Although Shanghai has more than twenty millions citizens, I had never felt in jeopardy, even when I was walking alone, at night, in a new place. The only drawback of Shanghai is the weather, where the sunshine is something rather rare, very cold during winter and very hot and humid in the summer. Nevertheless, as far as I am concerned, few cosmopolitan cities in the world offers the same broad range of activities, venues, cultural and modern places to appreciate and enjoy.