Study Abroad: Life at Sun Yat-Sen University – Edward

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Why did you choose to do a Study Abroad?

E. I first chose to do a Study Abroad in order to improve my English skills. Having lived with international roommates (Italian, Dutch and American) for five months, I was able to practice every day and English became my first language. Also, I was mainly looking to discover Asia. I have always been interested in China, as we hear regularly, it is becoming the world’s leading power and I wanted to see with my own eyes this country and all that it has to offer. Finally, wishing to turn to wealth management, I wanted to visit the city of Hong Kong and learn about its professional opportunities before considering a possible expatriation at the end of my studies.

What were your impressions of the city you joined?

I was first shocked by the immensity of the city. The average size of the buildings is that of the Montparnasse Tower and the tallest tower in the city is two and a half times the size of the Eiffel Tower (Canton Tower)! But I was especially surprised by the behavior of the inhabitants towards us since they were particularly welcoming. Guangzhou being a city in the south of China less touristic than Beijing or Shanghai, their admiration for the West and our way of life remained intact. It was not uncommon to be stopped in the street to have one’s picture taken. Student life is also very pleasant since the cost of living is relatively low, it was indeed more interesting to go to the restaurant than to shop at the local supermarket.

What was life like on the university campus?

Since the campus is very large and has several departments (law, medicine, etc.), our relationship with the University was limited to the courses we were taking. Our student life was organized around the network of expatriates, of all nationalities, who were studying there.

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How did you find accommodation?

In fact, I had chosen my roommates from the list of students who would be joining Sun Yat-Sen, which had been sent by the school. My roommates who lived in the university hotel found a real estate agency on a nearby avenue. The rest is very simple as they visited several apartments and finally found a 4-bedroom apartment near the Pearl River that offered a beautiful view. Rents in China are still much lower than in Europe or the United States, so for a very modest sum we had access to a very nice apartment.

I hope this will motivate some students to go to China!

Updated 24 February 2022