A SUMMER OF POLITICS, CULTURE AND EXPERIENCES
I applied for the summer school at Fudan University in Shanghai because I wanted a semi-sensible holiday with exciting academic content.
Name: Jacob Mørch
Programme: Summer School at Fudan University, Shanghai
I chose Shanghai because it is one of the world's most exciting cities. China is a growing economic power and among the most important markets in the world. An understanding of how this country works is very valuable, both for my studies and for a future job.
I am very happy with the stay, both academically and socially. I took the course "Chinese Politics and Society", which is a two-week intensive course with lectures, excursions and an examination that took the form of a final project report. The course had engaging topics and excellent lecturers, and had just the right academic level. I learnt a lot, but also had lots of time and opportunity to experience Shanghai and the surrounding area.
My fellow students at the summer school were a fun-loving bunch, and karaoke was shockingly fun!
A fascinating city
Shanghai is a fascinating city. It is a wonderful mix of impressive futurism and traditional history that just has to be experienced. In theory, it is impossible to put 25 million people in the same city without complete chaos, but in Shanghai it works. I have also learnt that China's economic growth is a result of Deng Xiaoping's pragmatic view of black and white cats.
When it comes to testing Chinese food and new exciting dishes, we first tried an "eat first, ask what it is later" approach, but after some surprises we shifted to "just eat your food!"
Some of what I remember the best from the stay was when we unwittingly wandered into a park and found ourselves in the middle of a "marriage market", an offline Tinder version put on by desperate Chinese mothers wanting to become grandmothers. It was an otherworldly match rate!
Go for it!
My top tips to others considering a summer school: If you have even a little bit of interest in international politics, go for it! Shanghai is a wonderful mix of impressive futurism and traditional history that just has to be experienced.
Personally, I have probably become a better person after having attended summer school. Not. Well, yes. At least I have expanded my cultural understanding!