What's the best city to study abroad? - Page 6
Yeah Paris is my favorite city, but if you want to expose and immerse yourself in a new language/culture, you should go here. The people are really nice and there is a great mix of cultures there. There are a lot of great bars, you can walk absolutely everywhere, and when I was there, it was pretty cheap. I had an apartment for about 250 euros a month. And if you're not digging the vibe too much, you're just a short hop away from Paris and London, decidedly more "American."
As for the schools there, I went to the IEP- Lille, which I guess is somewhat highly regarded (I think after IEP-Paris (a really nice school), ENA, that tech school, and possibly the Sorbonne, which is overrated according to my friends). It's in a old textiles factory and pretty ghetto compared to American standards.
It does get cold in the winter though. REALLY cold.
Also, anywhere in costal Spain is awesome. I've only visited as a tourist, but it made me never want to leave. I am in love with Spanish women.
Great city, great student-friendly nightlife, friendly people.
HK could be good, too... Sort of a soft introduction to East Asia.
It's been a while but I stayed at the Intercontinental and the Peninsula in HK. Also went to some great places.
I couldn't possibly have done it in London, cost wise. Also, everyone, and I mean all educated people speak very good English in HK. Unless you are specifically studying Chinese, I think all college level classes would be in English.
HK is also a good starting point for travel. Macao, the China mainland, Korea, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and most of SE Asia and the South Pacific Islands would be accessible.
Of course London is a great starting point to anywhere in Europe. It all depends on what you want and what your goals and future plans are. If I were an undergrad theses days, it seems a familiarity and an Asian experience would be the way to go.
I'd recommend Seoul (unless the language has to be super "important")!
- Good universities (SKY) with loads of classes in english (at least by asian standards)
- The fact that Korea was so recently developed makes it a very interesting place, and very few westerners go there (except some english teachers)
- Since it's not a country that western people ever think about the exchange students are usually very interesting and well traveled people that just wanted to do something different.
- Alcohol is cheap so socializing over drinks is easy. Clubs were good while I was there but may have gone downhill since ... I'd recommend the ones in Gangnam rather than Hongdae.
- Cheap (and you'll get a dorm room unlike some other countries)!
I really didn't like Shanghai and Fudan. The area around the uni is pretty shitty and depending on what you're studying I wouldn't count on getting a very good education. Far away from anything fun (but at least taxi's are cheap). Nightlife is all about Top 40 and rich chinese guys trying to show off (Hasn't even Shelter started playing top 40 now?). The western people I met down town that are working in Pudong are pretty much the worst people I've ever met. Seems like they're actually trying their best to live up to the bratty stock broker stereotype, no matter what profession their in. Local people also flash their cash way too much ... Pollution is also unbearable at times. Not the right place for me.
I studied at Waseda in Tokyo and loved it. Never a dull moment. A lot of people will tell you "you're in Tokyo you wont speak any Japanese" but it's really what you make of it. Some kids on my prog just partied nonstop and didn't get much out of it language-wise. But they did the same thing on the portion of the program that was in the countryside. Some kids stayed in all the time. Just gotta find a balance.
I'm thinking about doing my spring semester abroad, I've got to apply soon. Anyone have any input on Germany, Norway, Sweden, Hong Kong? I'd like a program where I can study language, have fun and one that's not too homogeneous (ex: my friend went to Mishima via Stony Brook and found that most ppl on the prog were cliquish LIers who knew each other already)
Hong Kong is pretty good to study in if you can get into HKU! You'd be literally 10 min by bus away from Central. You could live on the cheap if you stay in the dorms. Local food is like 2-3 usd. Nightlife is happening, but there's only Top 40 atm. Don't know if that bothers you. Easy to get out and meet girls at least and drinks are cheap (can buy alcohol at 7-11). Exchange students are from all over the world, but tend to study business related stuff.
Negatives is that there's not much culture. No old buildings or anything like that. You don't get the whole mainland package where you're actually forced to take part in a very different culture. It's sort of China/Asia light (I guess this could also be positive if you haven't lived in asia before). Nature here is also pretty boring compared to my home country. But there's nice and accessible beaches and the ocean is warm (almost) year round.