Friday, 12 September 2008

Fun time at Fudan

So it's been a pretty hectic couple of weeks, but I've decided to spend some time before I start my daily routine of wondering what exactly is going on to write a little bit about the insanity that is Fudan University. but before I get started, I'd like to apologise for the lack of pictures on this blog, my camera has been busted for a long time and I still haven't got round to fixing it. Check out Dara's blog for some pictures (Proxy needed in China).

Having lived in China before, and having gone to university here, I thought I was pretty prepared for the bureaucracy and general confusion that goes hand in hand with it all. I was wrong.

There are numerous factors that lead to Fudan being probably the worst university for foreign students to register, get a room, and work out what's going on, but the number one reason is most definitely that noone has the faintest inkling of an idea about what is going on.

There are (I have found so far, there might be more) three different foreign student offices, each of them staffed by people who seem to think that all your answers will be resolved in one of the other ones.

Then there are the police, who are trying to claim that it is now compulsory to get a physical in China before you can apply for residency and that this has never, NEVER, been any different. Of course, he just grunted when he was told that I had used the exact same form I had with me for residency two years ago...

And it's all topped off with the fact that I didn't seem to be on any Fudan electronic equipment. I just didn't exist. Luckily I had made a copy of my application acceptance letter, and that has helped me survive so far.

But once all that stuff was out of the way (even though it's not, I still don't have a resident's permit) Fudan is a decent place, with a really good School of Journalism – where I'll be spending most of my time over the next 6 months.

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