Full Degree in China
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MA in Chinese Philosophy and Culture at Fudan University, Shanghai, China

Name: Jules van der Sneppen
Study: MA in Chinese Philosophy and Culture
University: Fudan University
Destination: Shanghai, China
Duration: 2 years
Description: English MA program that aims to provide students with broad and extensive knowledge of the intellectual currents that have shaped China, and other East Asian countries, over the past centuries. 

Why did you go? 
China has long fascinated me. After having traveled through China for a month, three years ago, and having studied abroad in Taiwan for six months, I still felt a hunger to learn more about Chinese history and China's current situation. I believed studying Chinese Philosophy and Culture could show me how China has become the way it is now, and give me an understanding of the country that goes beyond the superficial. Knowing where China is headed requires to know where it came from. Besides, who wouldn't want to live in Shanghai for two years on a full scholarship? The Sino-Dutch Bilateral Exchange Agreement Scholarship covers all my expenses here, so its a double-win situation!

What did you expect? 
Learning a lot about China, eating a lot of Chinese food, being surrounded by a lot of Chinese and getting a lot better at speaking Chinese.

What stood out? 
The great differences between different regions within China. Even in Shanghai you can find yourself in a completely different world after turning a corner. From skyscrapers to markets with chickens running around, from dirty rivers to intimidating mountain ranges, China manages to show a different face every time.

What turned out better than expected? 
The amount of good restaurants in Shanghai! 

What disappointed? 
Living in China is not always easy. Different norms for behavior apply in public spaces, and this takes some getting used to (I keep telling myself that one day I will...). Furthermore, the language barrier is quite high. I can easily get by on a daily basis and talk to people about various topics, but making Chinese friends really requires a certain level of fluency. Anyway, more reason to work on my Chinese!