The only things I´ve had to buy are notebooks and pens, so there is no high material costs (usually). The notebooks here are really cheap. They are easily bought from the school´s shop. The Business practises in China course has been interesting, I am little bit not sure what was the main focus for the course as in the beginning we went through a lot of history about the evolvement of the Chinese economy and legal issues. After that we did case studies about different companies and their problems in China. I was kind of expecting more of something specific about how businesses are run, legal requirements etc.
There is no exam for that course, next week I will have a presentation about a problem in China and the solution to it. I just have to figure out what topic to choose. Previously there have been presentation about the pollution, environmental situation and the habits of Chinese people.
The E-commerce course has been very interesting in positive and negative ways. The course has a clear structure and the classes have been interesting. For that course there was a mid-term exam and there will also be a final exam. The timetable for that course has sucked a**. Most of the time there has been changes to the time of the class with very short notice. And there was so much trouble with my group, first time for me to have a bad experience about international group work 🙁 The people in my group were not replying to messages so it was very hard to communicate with them and then there was the language barrier. Also we had to change our presentation time several times as the rest of the group skipped class often. Bwah. Happy that that part is over…
There is still the exam sometimes next week, I truly hope that we will get notice of the time before the exam. The teacher, Marko has a stage presence similar to Sami Kalliomaa at JAMK. And what I mean about that is that they share the drive to teach about their topic, are enthusiastic about it and have a stage presence that demands attention. The Chinese way of informing students about exams and events is awful, it kind of drives you crazy after a while. You never know what is coming and when. There are no accurate timetables given in the beginning of the courses and no summary of the assignments. In that and some other ways I do prefer studying in Finland.
I also have the spoken Chinese class which I paid for myself (2800RMB). Generally speaking the course is useful but the thing is that I was told that it is elementary level and everyone else had studied the language for at least 6 months previously. So there has been a huge gap in vocabulary and general command of the language.
Even the teacher agreed that the course is not suitable for me really. Funny thing is when I went to the office to complain and ask for a refund I was told that I cannot get my money back because I already paid. Excuse me? I wouldn´t ask for a refund if I hadn´t paid. So the overall feeling about that course is that they just wanted to get my money and fudge everything else. But if you have studied Chinese recently before coming here I suppose the course can be of use.