I feel really honored to get the opportunity to study in University of Zurich, not only because of the informative lectures given by the high level university, but also due to the different way of life it provides me. Here I meet teachers and students from different countries and cultural backgrounds, deeply impressed by their hardworking and their enthusiasm in life. Their positive attitude towards work and life influences me a lot and I believe my experience during this exchange program will be the lifelong treasure for me.
Especially I feel very thankful to Ms Gao Xiaomei from the International Relations Office in School of Economics, Fudan University and Ms Andrea Orbann from the International Relations Office in University of Zurich, whose work and kindness has helped me a lot during the whole exchange program.
I have a friend who came to this exchange program in UZH two years ago. She shared with me much of her rewarding experience in Zurich, which later became my strong motivation to apply for the exchange in UZH.
Before the nomination process in Fudan really began in March 2012, I had paid close attention to this program for a long time and I had done much work to prepare myself. In the School of Economics in Fudan University, nomination process of the exchange program in UZH is quite competing because many students apply for it, but only two of all the candidates will finally get the offer. These two students have to outperform others in many aspects, for example, English language level, campus course grades and so on. Candidates have to provide the result of IELTS test, the transcript, the proof of the social activities. At last, every candidate has an interview to discuss a topic about economic issues. The final nomination decision is made based on these aspects mentioned above.
After the nomination process, more preparation work started. Thanks to Ms Gao Xiaomei and Ms Andrea Obann, my preparation went on smoothly.
Besides the document preparation, I took German courses in my home university. Although it was impossible for me to command it in such a short time, those little German I learnt then helped me to some extent to get used to the new environment in Zurich later. In addition, I communicated much with the previous exchange-students to get to know about what the life would be in Zurich and tried my best to make greatest preparation for it.
This semester I took the beginners’ level of German course given by the Language Center. This course focused on the most basic vocabulary and grammar, and the most frequently daily used dialogue and sentences. The teacher prepared the course materials and homework very well. He provided much opportunity for everyone to speak and to practise in class. I felt fully involved in every class and certainly, made progress in German language.
Besides the German Course, I attended four courses given by School of Economics. All the courses were very rewarding and helpful.
The course Intercultural Management: Cultural dimensions of international management (3 ECTS) aimde at creating intercultural awareness and sensibility for living and working in a new country, and also identifying where and how culture impacts business. The course introduced several models and dimensions to measure difference in cultures so as to illustrate how cultures vary and how the difference may lead to peoples’ different practices in our daily life and in business world. It also expanded the symptoms and solutions of culture shock, which helped me a lot to get adapted to the new life at the beginning of the semester.
The course Organization Theories (3 ECTS) gave a comprehensive and systematic introduction to the organization theories, including their history, the plurality of different theories and their development. I saw different approaches to studying and assessing business organizations and also got to learn how to compare them, thus having some ideas how to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of different organization structures.
The course Real Estate Finance (3 ECTS) was really attracting because it showed some work using theoretical models to explain practical problems. It addressed the basic principles of urban economics and the characteristics of the real estate investment market, as well as the behavior of its market participants. I got to learn such interesting and technical topics as pricing and price dynamics of real estate, valuation of various real estate investments. Several guest lecturers were also invited to present their latest research in real estate market. It was really an informative and interesting course.
The course Introduction to Game Theory (6 ECTS) included lectures and tutorials. It introduced models of different types of games, gave out analysis and solutions to them, and provided an overview of the wide range of their applications. The course contents were well organized. The exercise tutorials were easy to understand and quite helpful for me to have a better understanding of the lecture contents.
During my stay in Zurich, I met many students from other countries. We cooked and ate together on weekends and communicated a lot. I joined the ESN group on Facebook and I really appreciate the events organized by them. What impressed me most was the city tour when I first arrived in Zurich. The students from ESN guided us to walk in the old city of Zurich and drew a first picture of the city in my mind. That was really a great taste of the city of Zurich.
I lived in the student dormitory of WOKO. I loved the place very much. It was my home in Zurich. Although it was a little bit far from the campus, thanks to the well developed public transportation system, it didn’t take me too much time and energy to commute. This dormitory building was well equipped and well managed. The best thing about it was that I could meet many other students there. It was a great place for us to cook, eat and talk together. We had many things to share with each other.
One of my favorite parts in UZH was my leisure time here. ASVZ provided wide range of sports courses for students there, like Yoga, Pilates, swimming, cycling and so on, just to name a few. I enjoyed Zumba course best. The coach was enthusiastic and the course was of high quality. I didn’t need to have any basic trainings. Techniques didn’t matter, either. The most important thing was to relax myself and to enjoy it!