Shanghai: My Second Home Past Review

By (Accounting and Chinese, Bryant University) for

IFSA/Alliance: Shanghai - 21st Century City

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot about independent travel, Chinese culture, and globalization. Because of this experience, I am very excited for my next opportunity to study abroad.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

For my Chinese classes, I felt that the workload was appropriate because it was a 9-credit class. I liked that we had many assignments so grades weren't heavily weighted on only two tests. I did not like my culture class because the teacher never expressed her expectations for assignments, tests, or presentations.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

My Resident Adviser, Michelle, was very helpful and always accessible. I was disappointed when I realized that my classes did not have any native Chinese students.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I wish my Chinese roommate was more friendly and had more free time. She was barely ever in my room.

* Food:

I was able to find cheap options close to my apartment.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I really enjoyed our trip to Qinghai. I never would have went there on my own and it was very rewarding.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I got sick during the trip and my resident director helped me to figure out my insurance and go to the appropriate hospital.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

We had a language partner who we had a 25 minute one-on-one session each week. I used only Chinese to speak with my Chinese roommate, except times when I did not know how to say what I meant. Most people did not speak English so my Chinese significantly improved.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Chinese language teachers
  • My resident director
  • Trips
* What could be improved?
  • English-taught classes
  • Chinese roommates
  • Class space
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I would advise them to take the intensive language course. I felt that I would have gained more language skills rather than not really learning too much from my English-taught classes.