Jessica M - Nanjing University

B. International Studies
Semester 1, 2017

Academic experience

I took classes that were all in English. Among what was offered, I chose to study Sociology of Knowledge, Classical Chinese Philosophy, Chinese Art History and The Chinese City. As a result, I don't think I got as much of an understanding of the different academic system compared to if I took classes that were only in Chinese, but it was definitely really interesting learning about some of the different rules and expectations that the Chinese academic system involves. For example, you need to achieve 60% to pass a class, but compared to UQ, depending on your teacher in a lot of respects you might find that some aspects of academic life are more relaxed. It was a bit challenging to encounter some of the more relaxed standards when I was used to more rigidity, but it is easier to navigate more relaxed circumstances when you are used to more strict enforcement than the reverse.

Personal experience

I definitely gained a lot of valuable friendships from going on exchange! I honestly wasn't expecting to make such poignant encounters but I'm really glad that I did. There are also a lot of incredible sights to see in Nanjing such as Laomendong and the Sun Yat Sen Mausoleum. Exchange was an incredibly rewarding experience that helped me to gain more skills and confidence as well as improve my Chinese.


On the way up Purple Gold Mountain

I lived on-campus, and I was definitely a lot more worried about securing accommodation than I needed to be. It was really great to be able to live at the uni five-ten minutes from the nearby snack place and canteen. The advice I would give to future students about housing at NJU is not to worry too much! I really stressed about there being no room for me on-campus but these worries turned out to be completely unnecessary; there is only a very small chance you would have trouble securing accommodation on-campus - but if you follow the instructions and submit your form on time you should be almost guaranteed to have a room, at least from my experience.


Living in China is really really cheap! I don't really have a good estimate of how much should be budgeted because I didn't really have to worry too much about money over there - I managed to overestimate what I needed by a lot. Of course, it depends on your individual expenses, however, but if you prepare well then you should be fine.

Professional development and employability

I have more confidence and am more motivated to get involved in opportunities such as volunteering projects as I was given such opportunities when in China and found it rewarding. It also taught me more about dealing with unfamiliar situations.


Laomendong at night
Laomendong at night

I don't know if I can choose just one thing that was the highlight. I got to see some incredible sights, make plenty of amazing friends and partake in so many experiences, not to mention the food! I think going to and seeing Laomendong at night was notable, not only is the architecture beautiful but there is a lot of rightfully famous food you can taste here, all within walking distance of each other!

Top tips

  • I know I heard this piece of advice a lot - don't be afraid to get involved in the opportunities that come your way.
  • It was only through doing this that I got the chance to meet many of the friends that I did.
  • And if anything, I wish I got involved in even more when I was over there.
Jessica M - Nanjing University