April 8, 2014, by Student blogger

Why I chose to study in China

By Emmie Studencki.

I knew I wanted to do a masters abroad and I wanted to study in an up-and-coming place, but somewhere with a highly-ranked, English-speaking university. Coming from Sweden where my study is all funded, I knew that if I was going to pay a tuition fee I wanted to have good value for money. The University of Nottingham’s campus in Ningbo China ticked all the boxes – a good reputation, highly-ranked and in China, the place to be! I was interested in studying MSc International Management and the course outline offered lots of optional modules and flexibility for me to choose modules in line with my interests. Online you can also read about the tutors for each department – I knew before arriving that my tutors would be an international mix from good universities. The most important thing that made my decision was that at Nottingham’s China Campus even though I would study in China my degree would be fully taught in English and I would get the same British degree certificate as studying in the UK. Great!

Emmie in Shanghai

So what’s China really like? China for me was foreign – isn’t it the place where people grow rice, talk and write an alien language and eat strange things like grilled cockroaches? Well yes…but there’s so much more to it! People used to travel west to find gold in the USA, now you go east to do business in China. It’s the new world economy, with its global hub in Shanghai, which is only 1hr 40mins train away from Ningbo where the university is. It’s nice and handy for a short weekend away!

Before arriving in Ningbo for the first time, I had many ideas about what it would be like. I’m happy to confess that many were completely wrong!

• I thought it would be small. Wrong. It’s huge (six million people)!
• I thought it would be very Chinese and there’d be no clothes or shoes for me. Half wrong. It’s very modern and both Chinese and Western. Ningbo is by far the most developed city I’ve lived in, full of skyscrapers, international brands like IKEA, H&M, Zara, Disney and Marks & Spencer etc. I was so happy to hear IKEA opened last summer!
• I thought it would be difficult to get non-Chinese food. Wrong. I can actually get foods from all over the world such as Indian, Thai, Italian, Spanish, Lebanese, Turkish, Mexican etc. Lots of us eat out quite a lot as it’s pretty cheap too.

My first impression of the campus was great as I arrived on a sunny day – the British buildings along with the well-kept gardens made me feel safe. The campus is in the south of the city in a district called Yinzhou, an area that they only started to build ten years ago. The campus is very green and quiet and it’s a gated area which I think is important when moving to a country you don’t know much about.

I have loved every minute of my studies so far, the teachers and students are all very down to earth and sociable, it’s easy to make friends and the University offers activities outside the classroom, such as societies, sports and free Chinese lessons. There are students from more than 60 different countries now and I’ve made friends from Europe, South America, Africa, US and Asia.

What are my plans for after I finish my course? For my future career path I would like to work in an international business on a management level. Knowing how important business in China is today and how it will keep developing in the future, I know that I am in the right place at the right time. My masters will not only prepare me for my future career but it will also act as a reference and proof of a lifelong investment I have made in myself.

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