ESSCA Shanghai- Academic matters

Steph is currently studying in China and shares her academic experience…

I will now write a small section briefly about each course.

International Monetary Governance-

International Monetary governance taught me about the existence of SOEs (State owned Enterprises) and TVEs (Township and village enterprises) and their overall impact on the Chinese economy. This subject contained various references to famous business organisations/people in Europe so I would recommend learning about these before classes if possible.

Legal System in China- Taught by Brian Schwarz

As an Australian student wanting to learn more about the legal system in China I found this course to be the most useful as the teacher constantly gave out articles with real life cases where foreign individuals/companies had made mistakes due to being ignorant of the legal system. This course is particularly convenient for any entrepreneurs out there who like to expand their business into China.


The main reason for me to come to Shanghai was to learn Chinese. ESSCA Shanghai offers two levels of Chinese; beginner and non beginner. The beginner classes are run intensively and at the conclusion of the semester the majority of students attain a Chinese level of HSK 2 (HSK is a international Chinese proficiency test). However for myself, I had already completed a year of Chinese before attending ESSCA Shanghai. I was placed in the non beginner class which has no teacher with three other students whose Chinese was far superior to my own. If you speak some Chinese before coming to ESSCA I would recommend contacting the school about which level you should join.

While in Shanghai I took courses in ‘Business Cultures in China’, Legal System In China’ , ‘China- Europe Relations/Trade Project’ , ‘International Monetary Governance’ , Old and Contemporary Chinese Civilisation, Politics and Society’ and finally ‘Chinese Language’. Unlike the ACU system where full time students undertake 4 subjects simultaneously over the semester, ESSCA runs a course for 2 weeks or so intensively then students sit an exam at the conclusion of the course and move onto the next course (with the exception of Chinese which is run throughout the semester.)

In general the academic material at ESSCA is extremely orientated towards a European perspective since the majority of students are from Europe (out of a class of about 40, there are 4 non Europeans including myself). For someone like myself with no background at all in European matters it came as a shock especially for one of my subjects where a graded in class assignment was handed out in which we had to compare various government policies of Europe and China. If you intend to study at ESSCA Shanghai I strongly advise for you to do some basic background reading about Europe/have some interest in Europe before commencing studies at this business school.