6 weeks to go …

A quick update on my preparations for my upcoming year at Fudan University in Shanghai:

 

Firstly: I’m not crazy. Phew. I suspected as much but it’s nice to have it officially confirmed by a doctor along with confirmation that I don’t have leprosy, yellow fever or tuberculosis.

‘Foreign Medical Examination’ having gone well then, I’m now free to enter China with the appropriate visa (which I obtained earlier this week). The visa application process was amazingly straightforward. As long as you fill in the forms correctly, show up on time and have no past criminal records it will take a mere 3 working days for your visa application to be processed. 3 working days!!! I was in complete shock when they told me that as I spent a full 6 months trying to get my visa forms processed when I applied for my work placement in the USA back in 2010.

So, only 6 weeks to go now: got my visa, had my medical check, about to start a course of (very expensive!) vaccinations, Fudan have sent me an orientation pack with information on the accommodation I’ll be living in during my time there and I’ve even got some Yuan (the Chinese currency). One slight problem is that as my Chinese language lessons finished with the undergraduate semester back in May, I have now almost completely forgotten everything I learnt … going to be in need of some serious revision before I leave.

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My orientation pack and visa forms from Fudan

Also, very fortunately, Prof. Heyong He who will be acting as my supervisor while I am based in Shanghai is visiting St Andrews next week so I will have the chance to discuss my research with him and to get his input on what would be a good direction for my research to take while I’m working at Fudan. I intend to make the best of the opportunities I’ll have out there and so I want to pay particular attention as to what areas Prof He and his colleagues have the most expertise in and to the different equipment and analytical techniques I may be able to use at Fudan which I cannot use, or simply do not have access to, here in St Andrews.

 

All going well from now on, I should be arriving in Shanghai on the morning of the 2nd September to an estimated temperature of up to 34 °C and a humidity of up to 90%! It’s going to be quite an adjustment to a standard Scottish autumn!

 

 

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