by Lara Panahi

I want to write about our first days in the Fudan University and the Welcome dinner, which was held on the 18th of March. The first days at the new university were very exciting for all of us and we learned a lot of new things. First of all we learned to stay calm and to do not expect too much organisation. So we only knew at what time our courses started but nobody informed us if we have to register for the courses or not. We also did not have a welcome week like our Chinese buddies had in Salzburg so we had to figure out by ourselves how to get around the campus because our Chinese buddies were on vacation in their hometowns.
During the first days we figured out how to get our students ID and which cafeterias were good. Nevertheless our coordinator Jake was very helpful and gave us important information about our first excursion to Nanjing.
The courses started on the 9th of March with “environmental communication in china”, which is one of three courses belonging to the “Projektdurchführung” from the MCM-program. I never expected that I would attend all of the seven courses but they all sounded good and
had interesting topics. Since we have already met some of the professors in Salzburg at the Salzburg-Shanghai-Conference in January we knew that they are really nice and very openminded people but also critical about some aspects about their country. Besides the typical communication science courses we also have a course about “Chinese culture” and another course about “contemporary art in china”. I believe that we are going to learn a lot of new things about the Chinese culture, and some typical habits of the Chinese people. Especially from the lovely Mrs. Hong Guo, who will teach traditional Chinese culture like Tai chi and calligraphy writing.

The next big event I want to talk about was the Welcome dinner at the end of our first week of university. Jake invited us to the Fuxuan Hotel, which belongs to the school of journalism and we all dressed up. Guests were the chief of the school of journalism department, a woman from the Austrian centre of Fudan University and some of our professors. They all gave us a warm welcome to the university. They prepared several different meals for us, which were all very delicious and special. We ate traditional Chinese food like haizhe and sangshu guiyu. The atmosphere between the students and the professors was great. After the dinner Sam, one of our buddies organised a table in a karaoke bar and we all sung a lot.
It was a great experience for all of us getting to know the free time activity number one in china and we had a lot of fun together.