Nina’s Blog: Life as a Villa Student Studying Abroad in Shanghai

Nina’s Blog: Life as a Villa Student Studying Abroad in Shanghai

Hello everyone!

Nina Truong - Shanghai Airport

Quick selfie in the airport bathroom

My name is Nina Truong. I transferred to Villa Maria College for the Fall 2018 semester from Temple University. My major at Villa Maria is Business Administration with a concentration in Human Resources, and I was born and raised in Syracuse, New York.

So, how did I decide to go study on the opposite side of the world?

I have a friend who suggested I study abroad because I have a passion for traveling. After months of considering where to go, what school to go to, and talking to many people who knew more information about going abroad, I finally decided to study abroad in Shanghai, China.


I have wanted to go to China for quite some time because my ethnicity is half Chinese and half Vietnamese. I was warned that the process of studying abroad was long and stressful. But, after two semesters of setting everything up, I was finally ready to take my life to Shanghai, China for one whole semester and study at Fudan University.

Nina Truong outside of Guanghua Towers

Outside of Guanghua Towers, where most of my classes will be held.

The one thing I was (and still am!) nervous about is the language barrier, but I am more excited to be able to explore a big, well-known city! Oh, and you can’t forget about the food! I’m a huge foodie so the thought of trying authentic Chinese food was exhilarating. I am now living off-campus at a hotel/apartment complex right across from campus. I actually just moved in over the weekend. Yes, I’ve been here one week and I just finally found a place to stay.

If I could give a few pieces of advice to anyone interested in studying abroad in Asia, especially China, they would be:

2. Make sure you know the time difference, and…

I made the mistake of messing up the time zones and was put on the waiting list for a dorm and ended up not being able to get it. Also, one more piece of advice, if you don’t know what to do, then ask! I have had a very stressful and overwhelming first week but I stayed optimistic. If you are studying abroad in another country and you are going by yourself, make sure that as soon as you get to that country and to your campus, you immediately try and make friends.



Nina Truong - Shanghai Streets

Exploring Shanghai

Walmart in Shanghai

Walmart in Shanghai

It will be uncomfortable at first but everyone is in the same shoes as you, so they’ll most likely want to make friends too. This has been a huge help for me because I came here not knowing anyone and not speaking the language. During orientation I went up to strangers and started conversing with them and we ended up exchanging info on WeChat or WhatsApp. It is okay to go up to someone when studying abroad and just start getting to know them. It’s also great to ask them if they wanna go out and grab a bite to eat. That way you immediately made a new friend! I would not have gotten through this week without the friends that I’ve made so far. It has been a crazy first week for me here in shanghai, but I am now officially settled in and ready to start this semester!

Nina Truong - Guanghua Towers 2

Another shot of me outside of Guanghua Towers!

Stay tuned for my next update, coming soon!

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