“As a student, going for an exchange is the best thing you can do”
Shanghai has the greatest skyline in the world and an exchange semester in this energetic metropolis will deliver more than you can imagine. Our former student Marianna studied at Shanghai University during autumn semester 2019. In this interview, you can read more about what she experienced and her own thoughts about how it is to be an exchange student in Shanghai.
What made you decide to come and study in Asia?
As a continent, I think it is one of the most dynamic places. Every country has a different identity that makes it unique. Also, I am personally interested in Asian cultures so it was an opportunity to experience it first-hand.
How did you get the study place? How was the application procedure?
It was really easy and fast, which was the most important thing for me since I didn’t have enough time to apply. AE made it really convenient for me, so actually it was easier to apply through them than through my university.
What have been the best things about your exchange experience?
Definitely the chance to get involved in the Chinese culture, as well as the chance to travel around Asia. I loved every bit of it, and it really gave me some abilities I did not have before.
How do you see the balance between school and free-time activities is working?
There’s enough time to do everything, personally I thought the school workload was not a problem. If you are organized you have enough time to travel or to do other activities and still experience the full student life abroad.
What was most interesting in your studies?
For me, it was being able to learn things I already knew but by the Chinese point of view. To understand the culture and the way of living was something really mind-opening.
Did you experience any culture shock in the beginning?
Of course, it was a different lifestyle, but I did not feel like a proper shock because I am also from a really big city, with a lot of people, so in that sense, it was not that hard for me to adapt.
Why is Asia a suitable exchange destination?
Because it has a lot to offer! First of all, is not that expensive, unlike Europe or other destinations, also it is very interesting, you will learn a completely different culture by enjoying the beautiful landscapes these countries have.
Why is it better to go for an exchange rather than just backpacking?
As a student, going for an exchange is the best thing you can do because you will still get the opportunity to study but also you will learn valuable life skills that will allow you to have a better future. To stay in one place for longer will allow you to connect with the people and culture you’re surrounded with while improving your academic path.
What would you like to say to a person who is thinking about going to exchange in Asia?
I would tell them to do it, to take that risk because they will never regret it. Living in Asia will change their lives and inspire them to do things they never thought they would do. It is an experience that will never leave their memories, as well as all the people they will meet in between.
This interview was made by our Digital Marketing Coordinator Fabian!