Liu Vera Liwei
P. R. of China
My faculty at my home university has a collaboration with the University of Antwerp and every year two students from Beijing come here and two go there. Actually I am studying Finance at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing.
I chose the University of Antwerp because of the option to have besides the international experience also another master’s degree. When I return home I will still have another year of my studies to get my Finance masters in China. Since that was also my bachelor I wanted to do something different. Therefore I am now doing the one year Master Business Economics here at the UAntwerp majoring in European and International Management with a minor in Strategic Management.
Because of the collaboration of the universities I pay just the same fees as Belgian students but had to apply like any other student. Since I always knew I wanted to go abroad I took all exams such as the TOEFL and GMAT even before I started studying in Beijing.
It’s a really good experience and although everyday life is definitely different school is after all pretty similar around the world. My fellow students are pretty international however and that’s nothing very common in China. I found the professors here very nice, helpful and more approachable than back home . You can interrupt the professors if you’ve got any questions during the lectures or just send them an e-mail. And while my studies itself have a very practical approach, some lectures put even more emphasis on it whereas others stick out because of their humor.
'The weather is fine'
Unfortunately I didn’t have the time to learn Dutch, but luckily almost everyone speaks English and can help you out. And some problems just exist on both sides. In the same way people have a problem with the pronunciation of my Chinese name or telling the first and last name apart I often find it hard to tell whether people are male or female which can add a little more excitement to addressing people in writing. To make things easier I picked like many other Chinese people a western name.
Antwerp has also a great location for travelling in Europe which was certainly also something I took into account when I decided to study at the UAntwerp. Compared to many of my fellow students from warmer countries I am also absolutely fine with the weather here, it’s neither too hot nor too cold and therefore absolute okay for me.
The University of Antwerp is a pretty young university and not really historically. But on the other hand it has all the requirements to be a first class university, since it’s young and creative and can offer you the same as any other traditional university.