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Austausch - OUT


12/13 WS


Shanghai - Fudan University - School of Economics


Volkswirtschaftslehre (3020)


The experience of an exchange semester in Shanghai was great, interesting and difficult at the same time. If you are looking for a change in your usual and boring UZH life, Shanghai could be the best place to go! Like everywhere at the beginning there has been a little cultural shock but after some times things got better and was possible to fully enjoy the city, the culture and the country. 


The preparation for the exchange semester after the Fudan University confirmed that my application was accepted started with booking the flight. Is important to book it asap because 2/3 months before the flight prices begin to increase. The website of the Fudan School of Economics does not offer updated information and is usually less updated. Despite of that some useful information about the past semesters can be found on the website. Do not expect any sort of communications from the university before the semester start, I personally find out the official semester dates and full program of the courses at the orientation day. The brochure and information that you will receive per post are just indicative and provide an overview about the school and the semester. I tried to contact the School of Economics but the answer were usually late and not precise. So do not worry if when you are leaving for Shanghai you do not know anything about the University and the semester you are going to start, it is normal. Regarding the apartment is always good to have a look on to have an idea about the prices and the location where to live, but is usually difficult to get an appartment before arriving in Shanghai. Make sure to arrive 1/2 weeks before the semester begin in order to have time to find an apartment before most of the student start to look for it, there are plenty of students looking for apartment just before the semester begin and if you can arrive a little bit earlier everything would be easier.


When you arrive at the airport you have basically 3 choices to reach the center of the city, by taxi (around 200 RMB), by Maglev and then metro (40 RMB + 4 RMB) or by metro (6 RMB). The safest and most convenient choice is to take an official taxi just outside the airport. If you do not have any apartment yet, try to book an hotel in the city center (around people's square), it will be the best solution to visit the city and look for apartments. 


The university campus is outside the city, so i strongly recommend to chose an apartment in the city center, preferably on line 10. Yuyuan Garden, Laoximen are in my opinion the best places where to look for it. the research part could be pretty easy, if you arrive on time, or very painful, if you arrive late. I arrived 2 1/2 weeks before the school begin, around the end of august, and I think it was the right choice. is useful to have an idea about what you are looking for and the prices. Shanghai's rents are very expensive for the Chinese standards. The prices are similar to Zurich but the rooms are usually slightly bigger. The easiest way to find an apartment is to contact an agent (there are a lot around) and start to visit with her the different apartments in the desired area and range of price. Like always in China you can bargain the prices/deposit conditions. I personally found a very good 4 months deal very close to Yuyuan garden metro station (Line 10). Usually the contracts are signed for 1 year and after your semester stay you have to find someone else who take over the contract. The range price for 3 people apartment are btw. 8'000 - 11'000 RMB/month. 


As I said before be prepared to leave Switzerland without knowing anything precise about the School of Economics. The blue book sent with the visa documents has some useful information but be flexible to some changes, in China it is so. The EMA Master program in the School of Economics is fairly new and therefore there are a lot of things in the organization that do not work perfectly. In general do not expect the UZH organization at Fudan. Especially in the first days of the semester when you have to do all the registration stuffs you have to come with a lot of patience. Almost nobody will speak english and tell you where to go during the registration days (which will take place in the international dorms). Regarding the School of Economics you will find out all the courses and the official exam dates only the first day. The organisation is pretty chaotic as well so be patient and remember that in China not everything is strictly regulated, so everything (dates, courses, schedule of lectures, rooms, ...) can be quickly changed. After the first month you will have organized your semester and you will start to feel like in a normal university. The campus of Fudan is really nice and there are a lot of little restaurants and small shops around, the area is relatively quiet, but as I said, is far from the city center (45 min). 


This is one of the most exciting part of the exchange in Shanghai. The city offers a lot and there is always something going on each day of the week. It is really easy to lose the focus on the university and enjoy the Shanghai life every day. It is then important to remember all the term paper deadlines and do all your duties on time. I do not want to say too much in this section because I would let you have the pleasure to discover by yourself everything that Shanghai has to offer.