Zài jiàn, Semester 4!

eating chicken feet in shanghai

CHICKEN FOOT! Thanks to Jason, I can now re-live the gag moment over and over...

What was last week’s sad realization has now become this week’s triumph.  Finals ended last night, and at this point, I don’t even care how I did.  I’m sure I will in a week or so, when I see those two SP’s on the finals staring back at me on the Duke registrar website in my Inbox:)

In my mind, this semester easily stands out from the prior three; the residency was such an eye-opening experience (in a good way), the distance portion workload was the most intense, and I’ve feel like my overall learning and appreciation of China (or just Shanghai for you sticklers) is just so much higher relative to the other countries we visited.  Going into the semester, I was ‘warned’ by Dan from the admission’s office that Shanghai would open my eyes to how the U.S. is in decline relative to the modern look, feel, and technology on display in Shanghai.  When I arrived and rode the maglev train from the airport into Shanghai, I knew that ‘warning’ would be fulfilled in spades.

There’s no rest for the weary, though, as we’ll be heading to Russia at the end of the month to start the whirlwind experience all over again. I don’t want to knock St. Petersburg, but I just can’t see how it can compare to all of the amazing Shanghai experiences.  A big thanks one last time to Ian, who organized one hell of an experience.  From the dinner when I arrived to the karaoke to see us off, I couldn’t have asked for a better time in the magnificence that is Shanghai.

Also, a big thanks once again to Section 2, Team 2!  Thanks for all of the hard work you all put in to close up the semester, what seemed insurmountable last week now seems like it was never an issue.

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2 comments to Zài jiàn, Semester 4!

  • Joseph

    Randy,

    I have been following this blog since its inception and am thinking about applying to the program (I have been to an info session in Durham about the program as well). I was wondering if you could post what your school expenses have been up to this point. This would include tuition, airfare, visas, typical money spent during the residency, etc. I understand that you might be partially or fully funded by your company but I am trying to get a realistic perspective of what the TOTAL cost of the program would be (not just what is stated on the Fuqua website). Thanks for your insight.

    ~Joey

  • Hey Joey –

    That’s actually a very good question…I’ve never sat down and done the calculation; I pay what I pay, and get what I get I suppose.

    In terms of what my company is funding, I’d rather not say. It’s more than the $5250 tax-free limit, but I’ll also be graduating with a significant amount of debt. For professional degrees, there really aren’t merit scholarships and discounts, just unsubsidized loans.

    Airfare, I don’t think I’ve spent less than $1000 yet…London has been the cheapest, and St. Petersburg has been the most expensive. The biggest cost driver here is whether anyone is flying direct. St. Petersburg isn’t really a major destination from the U.S., so it’s expensive; USAir leaves for London many times per day from Philly.

    Visas, you can go to http://www.travisa.com to see what the embassy charge is by country. Keep in mind that from the U.S., you don’t need a visa for London and Dubai. It’s probably between $150-$250 to get your visa.

    Money spent during the residency…that’s the biggest variable cost. Hotels and meals are covered as part of tuition, except for a few “per diem” meals. On those days, we’ve been given local currency to go out in the city and eat, but I can’t say whether that’s going to continue into the future.

    If I had to guess an average, I probably spend between $2000-$3000 per residency all in; getting back and forth, extra days in country, meals/shopping/entertainment.