General and Specific Report on Study Abroad in Suzhou, China by Tyrza Nanlohij ( )

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1 GENERAL REPORT Host Institution and Exact Dates of Semester Abroad The university where I did my study abroad is Xi an Jiaotong-Liverpool University in Suzhou (China) which is established as a partnership with the University of Liverpool (UK). The exact dates of the semester abroad in terms of lectures and tutorials are: 1 September- 13 December. There is an introduction week from 25 August- 29 August and the exam period takes place between 5 January- 16 January. Contact with Home Faculty, Preparation and Journey From the moment I heard the great news that I was accepted as an exchange student in Suzhou, the preparation time begun. Since I was, together with 7 other Dutch students from Groningen, the first exchange student going to Xi an Jiaotong-Liverpool University it took more time and effort to get to know the city where I was going to study and of course, the university where I was going to study for one semester. No written reports were available from previous exchange students, so there was some time needed to figure everything out. The University of Groningen was quite helpful with the study abroad workshops they provided, in order to get a clear picture on studying in China. The contact with Xi an Jiaotong-Liverpool University was very good, the ISRS office (their international office) was really helpful and they ve put a lot of time and effort in helping us and providing us with essential information about studying in Suzhou and the formalities that needed to be taken into account. When booking your flight ticket, a good tip is to book an open student ticket at Kilroy. In this way you can change the time and date of your return flight, since it is always uncertain when you finished your final exams and whether you want to travel after your exams or not. Residence Abroad Visa: Prior to departure, you need to take care of your visa application, vaccinations, accommodation etc. In order to get a Chinese visa, it is very important to fill out every form very clearly, Chinese officials are very strict. When studying abroad for only one semester you need to apply for a student X2 visa (duration of stay= 180 days) and when studying abroad for a longer time period you need to apply for a student X1 visa ánd you need to arrange a residence permit when you arrived in China (the university will help you with this). It is important to arrange this well in advance as it takes some time, also make an appointment online (https://www.visaforchina.org/hag_en/). Vaccinations: Before leaving to China it is important to make an appointment at The GGD Groningen. Just tell them that you are going to study in Suzhou (C hina) and they know which vaccinations you ll need. If you re planning to travel prior to your study abroad, make sure they know this as well. They will ask you whether you want the vaccination for Rabius, but this is not necessary. It is a very expensive vaccination which is not covered by Health Insurances in The Netherlands and it is just not necessary as Suzhou is a very clean city.

2 Arrival and Departure Dates: Xi an Jiaotong-Liverpool University has an introduction week from 25 August-29 August to get to know other exchange students, to take care of all the formalities needed and to get to know the university. I arrived on 24 August in Suzhou and we were only with 4 Dutch exchange students during this introduction week. However, it is not mandatory so you can choose to which information sessions you want to go. I recommend you to arrive in Suzhou during this week, as you can get to know the city, buy a bicycle, arrange all the formalities and get to know other exchange students from Groningen as well as other countries. Also, when the semester starts the international student office will arrange a welcome party for all the international exchange students, a nice opportunity to get to know other students! Accomodation: Xi an Jiaotong-Liverpool University arranges accommodation for you if you want. I did it like this as it is quite difficult to search for apartments in Suzhou when you re still in The Netherlands. You can choose between dormitories (4-6 persons with shared living room, kitchen and personal bathroom and bedroom) or you can arrange a room in the MBA hotel. If you re staying in Suzhou for only 6 months, the first option is a really good option (I had a 4 bed-room apartment), since many exchange students (also from other universities in Suzhou) are living in this building. Some students that lived in Suzhou for a longer period chose to go to the MBA hotel after 6 months, but I recommend you to first apply for a room in the international student apartments (4-6 bedroom dorm) and if you don t like it you can ask the ISRS office to help you with finding another apartment. The international student apartments are very clean and more or less newly built, including cleaning service every two weeks (no extra fee)! Some people say you can arrange cheaper apartments in Suzhou, but in my opinion these apartments are very good for this price (1980 kuai per month, 400 kuai electricity (I paid this amount only once as electricity is very cheap in China, it just depends on how much electricity you use)). Reception and Introduction: as mentioned before, the university arranges an introduction week for all new exchange students. Moreover, you will be assigned to a Chinese student who will show you around on campus and he/she can help you with fixing a Chinese sim-card etc. These students are very helpful throughout the year, also for booking train tickets etc. as the woman that works at the travel agency cannot speak a single word English. If you re taking a Chinese language course, you will be assigned to a Chinese language buddy as well, who can teach you about the language and culture. My partner was great and she took me to nice Chinese restaurants (almost all menus are in Chinese characters so a Chinese buddy is helpful when ordering). Student Life, Culture and Leisure: The university and apartments are a minutes drive from down town. You can go to downtown either by bus (only 2 kuai) or by taxi ( kuai). All the clubs are in down town, we always took a taxi as it is still very cheap if you share the taxi). During my stay in China, the exchange rate was 7.5 kuai for 1 euro so you can imagine how cheap the taxis are. Some nice bars and clubs: Hippies Bar, The Muse, Pandora (pay 50 kuai at the entrance and show your student card and you drink the whole night for free. This was our favorite club. Some internationals work there and you need to get into

3 contact with them in order to make use of this deal), The Drunken Clam (place where international students as well as expats come, it is a bar not a club, but really nice place to drink!). Moreover, Suzhou is of course known for its Venetian canals and the famous gardens (Humble administrators garden is the most beautiful garden). Language: as many people in China cannot speak a single word English, it is helpful to attend a Chinese course at the university. The staff at the university can speak English very well, and some people that work in little shops also, but most of the times you ll be faced with a huge language barrier. In Shanghai of course (20 minutes by bullet train, 40 RMB), almost everyone can speak English. Money Grant: Prior to departure you will receive 70% of the Marco Polo grant, which is different for every country. If I remember it correctly this is approximately Euros prior to departure and some 300 Euros when arriving at home. Expenses Abroad: Living in China is very cheap as meals only cost you around 1-2 Euros! You can eat lunch at Wenxing plaza (opposite of the university) second floor (above the KFC) and have dinner at the foodcourt at the international student apartments. Wenxing plaza also has other restaurants and shops such as a sushi restaurant and muslim bbq. Study Lectures and tutorials start at 01 September and end at 13 December. From 13 December-4 January is the winter holiday and also time to study for the exams. From 5 january-16 january is the exam period. During the first week you can attend several courses in order to find out which modules you prefer. Attendance is mandatory for some modules. Note that the level is lower than at the RUG, except for some courses (e.g. Business in the APR is a very interesting course as well as Chinese Language of course). It does not matter from which year you want to follow modules, just make sure they will be given in the semester you are studying at XJTLU. Summary Impression All in all, Suzhou is a great city to study, as it is not as busy as Shanghai, but there are still some western influences (western cafes, many expats etc). I really enjoyed my stay there and I wish I could ve stayed longer. If you want more information you can always contact me via Facebook.

4 SPECIFIC REPORT Doing Business in the Asia Pacific Region 1 lecture per week of 2 hours and 1 tutorial per week of 1 hour. No course materials available, articles and cases will be handed out during classes. Overview Lecture Program: No need to prepare anything for lectures, need to prepare cases in advance of tutorials (groupwork). This module takes into account all aspects of doing business in the APR, from international management and management styles per country, to ways of entering APR, real life examples of Asian companies etc. Lecture Related Activities: Each student needs to hand in 1 report on a specific country and specific industry (e.g. Japan and electronics industry) 3000 words. If you study IB there is relevance, as IB is about doing business abroad. Not a lot of time and effort needed for lectures and tutorials, they are all very interesting. Assignment takes a couple of days, depends on level of difficulty of country and industry chosen.

5 Mandarin Chinese for Beginners 2 hours per tutorial, two tutorials per week. Overview of Lecture Program: Intensive language course. 1 chapter per week will be discussed and a lot of practice during class (group work as well as individual work). Basics of the Chinese language: the four tones, grammar, vocabulary and writing Chinese characters. Lecture-Related Activities: 1 dictation every week about Chinese characters (takes a lot of time and effort but in the end you ll know it s worth the effort as you need to know all the characters of every chapter during the final exam). Final exam consists of speaking in Chinese (individual and group), writing an essay in characters, the dictation grades of every week and a final examination (55%). Relevance to IB program Dictations take a lot of time and effort but are worth the effort. Overall, this course takes you a lot of time if you really want to learn the language. However, after a few weeks you know that this course is really helpful as you can order in Chinese etc etc.

6 Corporate Social Responsibility 1 lecture per week of two hours, one tutorial in every two weeks of 1 hour. Overview of lecture program: Need to prepare cases in groups for tutorials. Everyone must contribute otherwise you will be excluded from the tutorials. Discussions during class. Interesting to learn about Chinese culture and how Chinese people perceive things All about social responsibility, environmental responsibility and ethics. Lecture-Related activities: Prepare cases and presentations about the case for every tutorial. Every tutorial will be graded. Relevance. More or less similar to Ethics in International Business taught in Groningen, but more reallife examples and cases. Group work with only Chinese students makes it interesting. Preparation for tutorials takes approx. 2 hours, depends on your group members. Chinese students face difficulties with cooperating with international students so then it takes longer. Tip: divide the task among group members and everyone prepares 1 part, more efficient and less time consuming.

7 Psychological Approaches to Decision Making 1 seminar per week which takes 3 hours. Overview of Lecture Programs: In beginning no need for preparation. After some weeks you ll be assigned to groups of 4-5 students and you need to design a marketing plan about a newly invented product by your own group. Each group needs to present 4 times. Moreover, every student needs to hand in a reflection paper weekly (30 minutes work). During the end of semester: each students needs to write an individual report of 2000 words. Furthermore, many guest lecturers are invited to talk about their company or about a specific subject. More or less about decision making in marketing department. See above for more information about assignments. Lecture-related activities: See overview of lecture programs for more information Relevance. Somewhat similar to innovation management in multinationals, but level of difficulty is lower and in this module every student group is marketing department and needs to launch new product. Group work takes some time as well as individual report

8 Learning, Training and Development 1 seminar of three hours per week Overview of lecture program: No need to prepare anything. Lectures about chapters in the book. Class discussion is interesting to learn about Chinese perspective This module is about learning, training and development in organizations. The analysis of training needs, design of training etc. This is an HRM course. Lecture-Related Activities: Group-based written assignment, need to use academic articles, takes some time and effort, 3000 words No relevance to IB program, this is an HRM course. No need to prepare anything for seminars. Only the final group-assignment takes some time but you ll have many weeks to finish this assignment. Plan well and it only takes 2 days to finish the assignment.

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