Host institution: Xi An Jiaotong-Liverpool Suzhou University, department IBSS (International Business School Suzhou).

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1 Suzhou: Xi An Jiaotong-Liverpool University Jarno Bambang Oetomo S Semester 1 September 2015 / January 2016 A General report 1. Host institution and exact dates of semester abroad Host institution: Xi An Jiaotong-Liverpool Suzhou University, department IBSS (International Business School Suzhou). The semester starts in the beginning of September and ends the 2 nd week of January. However, I went earlier, around half August to discover the Shanghai/Suzhou area and stayed until the end of Jaunary for some travel. In Mid August it is still very quiet on the campus and its area, so be aware of that. 2. Contact with home faculty, preparation and journey Contact with the faculty and host university was very easily. Upfront you get a contact of ISRS (international exchange office). In our case it was Jennifer, she replied always very accurate and her proficiency of English is very sufficient. She and the rest of the office can help you with visa, courses, housing and everything else you need in China. They have an office in the main building where you always can enter for any questions. The office is very helpful, however in the beginning some things where unclear. For example when the introduction week starts and which subjects and events are mandatory. It is not as clear as in Groningen. Some things you just have to figure out yourself. 3. Residence abroad Before we arrived we had the choice to let the university arrange housing or do it yourself. For half a year letting the university do it is the most convenient option. There were several choices such as Parfait Apartment (which is a kind of hotel room) and Shared apartment. I have chosen for the last one, it is a room in a 6 or 4 bedroom apartment in an international apartment complex on the campus. Every room has its own bathroom and has a 1 person bed with a storage and desk beneath it. The bed is very hard since there is a Chinese mattress (the mattress is less than 10cm), that s why I bought an extra mattress at the local store for 20 euro. The room is

2 convenient and has a air conditioner, a safe and enough storage. The power outlets are different than Holland but you can use them with the same connector, you don t need to buy any converters. I brought a multiple plug (verdeelstekker) so you have enough power outlets. The international apartment is located on the campus Wencui Plaza, this plaza contains many big buildings where Chinese live (they live in 2 or 4 dorm bedrooms. But also some buildings for PhD students and International student. The international apartments are mostly occupied by the French people from Skema (French Business School). Living in China, there is a bus that goes to the main buildings very frequently. Every 15 minutes from the main entrance of the campus (bus no. 180) but the most convenient way to move on the Industrial park is to have a bike. I bought a bike in the beginning at Wenxing plaza for 400y and sold it when I left for 200y, this means you have a bike for less than 50 euros. Its safe and convenient to ride a bicycle in the industrial park however it is to far to go to the city center. Other ways to go around is to take taxi or Uber. I would say Uber is perfect in China and very cheap too. Taxi rate starts at 10y so 1,5 euro and will increase with around 2y per km. 4. Grant The grant you get in Holland is the standard China Marco Polo grant. First you have to complete multiple forms and hand it in at the student support desk. This forms show that you will study outside Europe and that you are eligible for a grant. The grand consist out of 2 parts. 70% before you go to cover your ticket i.e. and 30% after you completed and hand in all forms. The grant for me was around 1200 euros. This will cover your ticket and also some extra expenses for example insurances or vaccinations.. It s a useful grant since you don t have to do anything for it. 5. Study (general)- Introduction, general advice, etc. - Dates of beginning and end of lecture series and examination period - Remarks on the organization of the study program- Study facilities/ International Office abroad- Summary of subjects taken. Upfront you are able to select your courses of the university, you should chose 50% business related courses but also have the availability to choose other courses. You are not obliged to do it but the university gives you the opportunity to broaden your knowledge. I choose 3 business courses and 1 Chinese course. Most courses have 5 local credits but with the conversion table of the RuG the credit will be 7.5ECTS. So you have to choose 4 courses in order to get the 30ECTS. Choosing a Chinese course is good since you broaden

3 your knowledge with China, however the course I chose was mainly focused on the history of China which is in a sense important to current days but not what I expected to be and did not contribute to my business path. So be careful with which Chinese course you choose. 6. Other relevant info you want to share with our future exchange students The university has a lot of western teachers and is very international based since more than half of the Chinese students will go to Liverpool for the 2+2 program. This is a program that as 2 years at Suzhou and 2 years in Liverpool. The campus is good to life on but its not as lively as a city as Groningen. Bars and Clubs are far away, and are not compared to Groningen. In China going out is mostly used by the elite and not by the students. If you want to party go to Shanghai as we did. You find much better places her and is much more international oriented. The campus has a canteen where you can eat, there are multiple small stands with comprehensive menus, all Chinese food off course. It is cheap and the quality is ok. As a student you don t cook in China, most Chinese dorms don t even have the possibility to cook. The international apartments have but its very limited since none of the cooking stuff is provided. 7. Summary impression of the study period I recommend studying at the Xi An-Jiaotong Liverpool not only you have the experience with a UK degree in China also for your cross cultural aspects its is a good addition to your cultural knowledge. Chinese people differ in many ways with European or other Asian people. Its nice to experience how they differ in behaviour and living in this country shows this. Suzhou is a good base for travelling since they have multiple train stations, and Shanghai is only half an hour away by train. But do not underestimate the distance of the campus and the train station. This is more than half an hour. There is a direct train to Beijing from Suzhou North which takes 5 hours. There are multiple airports nearby who can take you cheap to other destinations in China such as Guilin, Kunming, Hainan, Harbin, Xi An or Chengdu. If you search for tickets check flights from Hangzhou, Nanjing, Shanghai Hongqiao and Pudong. All these airports are reachable in 2-3 hours from Suzhou and can save you cost easily. 8. Arrangements visa/ residence permit - kind of vaccinations and how to prepare the health check Arranging a visa requires some attention, there are several visas for China. As a student you

4 apply for a X1 or X2 visa. X1 is for people who stay longer than 6 months and this one requires a health check in China (arranged by the university most of the times) however for us as exchange students from Groningen we only stay half a year so we have to apply for a X2 visa, this is a visa for less than 6 months. This does not require a health check but requires some paperwork such as housing in China, letter of invitation by university and general info about yourself. Most of the papers that are required are received from the XJLTU in April/March. Requesting a visa can be done in Den Haag. Our group did not go to Den Haag but just did it online, you can send your passport to Visumservice or Visumcentrale and they arrange the visa for you. Otherwise you should physically go to Den Haag. This option is slightly more expensive but saves you more time and is easier. 9. Arrival and departure dates- Accommodation- Reception and introduction- Student life, culture and leisure - Language The XJLTU provides an arrival service for new students which is very convenient, you just inform them with your flight info and a driver will be ready to take you to Suzhou. You don t have to find out the way to Suzhou yourself, since the first time it can be quite complicated. I would suggest to come the last week of August and not earlier, since the Chinese students come the first week of September back from their hometown, it is not brivant on the campus yet in August. Student life is not as good as in Groningen, most Chinese students are very introvert towards foreigners which is something where Chinese are known for. Its hard to become friends with them and most of the time they are scared that their English is to bad. The university provides a Buddy program which considered out of a buddy. A Chinese person on who you can ask everything and can help you with arranging stuff. For us as exchange students they did not have a clear buddy because we only stay half a year but it is definitely more easy to have one. So ask the ISRS to arrange a buddy for you! Regarding language, Chinese is as we all know a difficult language. The university provides lessons 4 hours per week but they are highly occupied so you have big classes. If you want to learn some basic mandarin go on YouTube and watch some tutorials or do a language course at the Confucius institute in Groningen. 10. Amount- Information on the adequacy of the grant- Overall information about expenses abroad (living, food, travelling, For living, doing grocery s are the same as in Holland its not cheaper. However some articles are more expensive even, stick with the Chinese food and you will be fine. If you want to buy cheese or butter you pay almost 5 euros. The local stores at the campus only have Chinese style food. If you go to Auchan around 15 min drive you will find a bigger assortment of European food. Going out for dinner is much cheaper than in NL, if you go to the canteen at the campus you eat a meal for 2-3 euros. And you get a lot. If you go to a real restaurant in a mall or on the streets you pay around 10 euro per person, way cheaper than Europe. In malls the food is in general better and the hygiene is more appropriate.

5 B Specific report Courses I did: 1. E-Business 2. Chinese Civilization 3. Learning, Training and Development 4. Career Skills and current issues in Business In general: At the university you have 4 courses per semester as exchange student, since every course is 7.5ECTS after conversion. So 30 in total which is needed for the exchange. There are no blocks in China so you follow 4 courses the whole semester. In general there are a lot of international teachers at the IBSS business school. So its common that you have a international good speaking lecturer. Most classes are small with around 30/40 classmates. There are no big lectures such as Aletta jacobshal. The lectures are similar to Groningen with power points and theory. They use the online ICE system, which is similar as Nestor. E-business (International business school Suzhou) The course E-business was a course focused mainly on e-commerce, e-marketing and information systems. The course had a 2 hour lecture per week (not compulsory) and 1 hour tutorial per week. The lectures where based on literature of the book, mainly theory. The tutorials are more cases based. The exam is a midterm exam in October and a final Exam in January. The midterm counts for 30% and the final counts for 70%. The exams are very theory focused so learning it by heart is necessary. The study load is average, during the semester you don t need to do much. There are no assignments. The only time studying is for the midterm and the exam. Since the midterm only covers some chapters it does not require a lot of study. The final exam however requires more study. The course had 5ECTS in China but with the conversion of 1,5 it is 7,5ECTS for Groningen. The course is similar to the RuG Information Systems course. Aims To develop good understanding of information systems and information technology infrastructure in business environment. To introduce key system applications for the digital age and the information systems management in global business today.

6 Chinese civilization (China studies) This course was a non-business course focused on China. Since you have the opportunity to study in China it is nice to have a course that focuses on that country. That is the reason why I have chosen Chinese civilization. The course covers much history about China, such as Confucianism, legalism and Taoism. It not related to business at all. The course is more history than civilization. I thought this course was more based on current China and the society but its not. If you prefer the last one you should choose the course: Chinese politics. The course had a 3 hour lecture + tutorial per week. Its combined so you only meet once a week. You are in class with students of the Chinese department, which is a study that focuses on Chinese culture. The course requires a book but its not necessary. The main focus for the exam can mainly be on the compulsory articles and lecture slides. There is only one exam, the final exam in January. The course has 5 local credits so with conversion 7,5 ECTS.

7 Learning training and development (International Business school Suzhou) This course was a practical course doing presentation and reports. It did not contain a lot of theory however there were some necessary articles in this course. The course aims to train you more skills regarding presenting and how to learn. The course combines minimal level of literature with practical matters. An addition to this course was the fieldtrip, this is a company visit each year. This year we went to General Electric, which Asian headquarters is based in Shanghai. An amazing experience. During this course you have to present multiple times and you have to grade other classmates. Also you have to give a workshop which is basically teach the class something related to this course. This gives you the freedom to do whatever you like but its has to be original. This class had 2-hour lecture and 1-hour tutorial per week which were combined so 3 hours per week. There is no exam for this week. The course was as other courses 5 local credits which means 7,5ECTS with conversion. Aims The module aims to equip students with the ability to apply a range of learning theories, concepts and approaches to the design and delivery of training and development activities in organisations.

8 Career skills & current issues in business (International Business school Suzhou) The course covers the basic principles of the process after graduating. The process of writing your curriculum, applying for jobs and how to present yourself. It is a more practical focused course and has no exam. The lectures include many guest lectures from companies in Suzhou, which make it very interesting. Also a company visit was included in our semester. The course included a 2 hour lecture and 1 hour tutorial which in our case was directly after each other. So it was a combined class. For the grade you have to do a group assignment and an individual assignment. There is no exam in this course The course was 5 local credits which is with conversion also 7,5 ECTS Aims This module aims to provide students with the skills required to secure a work placement and to enhance students career knowledge.

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