Nils Wistrand: Life as a Student in China

12 Mar 2012 10:51

Nils Wistrand is in his final year of studies at Dalarna University.

Tianjin University of Finance and Economics

In the autumn of 2011, Nils Wistrand went as an exchange student to Tianjin University of Finance and Economics (TUFE), which is located on the coast some 120 kilometres from Peking. Dalarna University collaborates with TUFE in the fields of Economics and Statistics, and organises exchanges for students, teachers and researchers between the two universities. The collaboration has been in place since 2006.

"I really wanted to take a course in the field of studies that I'm pursuing here at Dalarna University, a course that was about staffing policies and management," explains Nils.

He describes his trip to China and all the planning that went into it. He says that going to study in another country is worthwhile, especially when it comes to simply experiencing a different culture. The courses you can take are themselves useful, but it is the meeting with another language and culture that can bring with it the best experiences.

Not exactly as planned - but good nonetheless!
The term had not exactly begun when Nils first arrived. The buildings were empty, and he had to search for members of staff and teachers, as well as the group in which he would be a member over the coming term.

The courses were not exactly as Nils had expected, but everything turned out well enough.

"It turned out that I had ended up in a course in Chinese. It was interesting. Shame on those who give up!" he says before laughing. His study peers were from such countries as the USA, Mongolia, Vietnam, Korea and Hungary.

Any advice for other students considering such an experience?
"It's hard to generalise when you're talking about studying abroad. There's going to be big differences depending on when you end up of course. It's important to understand that the unexpected can occur. It's good to have a good deal of patience and to try to be flexible," states Nils, adding, "It's about cultural differences that leave you with interesting experiences."

In the beginning of the summer 2011, Marita Hilliges, the Vice-Chancellor of Dalarna University, and a delegation from Dalarna University visited the collaborative universities in China, including Tianjin University of Finance and Economics. In conjunction with the visit, Marita Hilliges was awarded the title of Visiting Professor at the university.

Read more about the visit here.

Read more about the Chinese universities here.

Translation based on original text by Annette Skogsjö.
Photograph Annette Skogjö.