China Student Exchange experience

Samuel Mugford reports on his student exchange experience from Shanghai Jiao Tong University Law School:

During my third year in law school I was lucky enough to be the first exchange student from the University of Adelaide accepted to study English courses in Chinese law and Chinese political economy at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. With classes only numbering around 15, the courses offered incredible access to our Chinese professors, who were also alumni from universities like Yale and UC Berkeley. This added greater depth and discussion to our classes and made the courses, Chinese foreign investment law and Chinese criminal law amongst others, far more interactive than many courses I had taken as an undergraduate student at Adelaide. On top of this, I was able to study courses that most Western lawyers would have no idea about and brought me a wealth of knowledge about the law from an international perspective.

The campus where the brand new law school is located is in the center of the old French Concession in Shanghai, likened by many to Manhattan. Right outside of campus you can find a multitude of tourist attractions (including the house where Mao Zedong convened the first meeting of the Chinese Communist Party) as well as arguably one of the best bar and club scenes in the world. There is a reason they call it the “Paris of the East” (hint: because it is awesome).

From a career perspective, Shanghai brought me innumerable opportunities to meet Australian and Chinese business people and lawyers. During my time in Shanghai I was lucky enough to intern with a top tier Australian law firm and still maintain many connections and friendships I gathered over my year there. If you chose to study in Shanghai or China in general you will certainly not regret it.

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