Xiaofei (Fifi) Fu is a third-year Applied Finance and Commerce student. She went on a semester exchange to Fudan University, Shanghai, China, in Session 2, 2017, for which she received the Endeavour Scholarship (ECKSEP).
Although Xiaofei grew up in Australia, she chose to go to her country of birth as she was eager to see the rapid development she knew had occurred since her family had left, including the towering skyline of Shanghai. Xiaofei Fu, pictured above left, poses with her friend in front of that skyline at The Bund, Shanghai.
Why did you choose to go to a Chinese university?
I came to Australia at a young age and I chose China for my exchange program because I wanted to go back to see how different it was from my childhood memory. My curiosity about China’s recent development, the change in lifestyles for Chinese people and student life in general was the primary reason for my exchange.
Did you ever feel lonely?
The friendliness of the people in Shanghai was beyond my expectations. They quickly made me feel that I was not alone.
What was one of the most surprising things about your host university?
There were so many cats around the campus, which I liked. There was even a student society with the main goal of looking after and playing with the cats.
What did you like about the campus?
I am already missing the food offered at the university cafeteria. All the options were so delicious and affordable.
When you weren’t in class, what did you do?
Shanghai has a really convenient public transport system so it’s easy to get around. I went to the waterfront area known as the Bund, visited the Oriental Pearl TV Tower and strolled through the Yu Garden.
What was the highlight of your trip?
The highlight of my exchange experience is definitely the valuable friends I made. I met them in classes, in my dormitory and by joining the student society. They have been extremely helpful and nice to me and I am so grateful to have met those extraordinary people.
Can you compare student life in China and Australia?
From my observation, unlike the more flexible study and work balance we have in Australia, undergraduate Chinese students tend to be more diligent and focused on their study.
Do you have any tips for students thinking of going to China?
My advice for students going to China is to respect and be open towards the values of the culture. Don’t be shy in asking for help, but remember to be polite and respectful when you do so.
What did your Mac Abroad experience teach you about yourself?
Overall, this exchange experience has been a time of personal growth and maturity for me. It has expanded my horizons and I am now more confident about myself and appreciative towards everything.
Macquarie University has over 150 exchange partner universities worldwide. Applications for semester 2, 2018 and July 2018 are open. For more information on learning abroad, visit our website here, attend an information session or contact us at email@example.com.