Shanghai 2014 Past Review

By (Economics., Mount Holyoke College) - abroad from 02/12/2014 to 06/06/2014 with

IFSA/Alliance: Shanghai - International Business in China

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was very worthwhile, I learned a lot about myself and a completely different culture. It taught me I can overcome anything I set my mind to

Review Photos

Alliance for Global Education: Shanghai - International Business in China Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I was challenged by the academics abroad, I was able to learn about a different region of the world, in a completely different way than the way I am used to learning in the US

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The on-site administration of my program was amazing! They were extremely helpful and made sure we were exposed to the culture. Any questions I had or concerns they were always available to me.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I really enjoyed the living arrangements of my program, we were each paired with a Chinese roommate which gave us the opportunity to exchange cultures as well as help one another with the language. It was also nice living close to the other American students in the program, it gave me a sense of closeness to home.

* Food:

As much as I love trying new things, I honestly did not enjoy the food so much. In the beginning I tried everything since I had to explore the culture, but after a while I was making oatmeal and eating cereal and sushi every day.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I was very integrated in the local culture, I had friends all over whether in restaurants, grocery stores or local residents. It was also nice meeting other international students from other programs.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Healthcare abroad was very accessible to us, and anytime we needed to go to the clinic for any particular reason it was very easy. Unfortunately I sprained my ankle very bad during my time abroad, when I needed to go to the clinic my on-site administration made sure I was taken very good care of

* Safety:

Safety was good in Shanghai, China although my heart skipped a beat every time I rode in a cab, because they do not obey the speeding limits unfortunately

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)

Everything was fairly cheap in Shanghai so that helped me a lot

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? About $5,000
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Just be very mindful what you spend your money on, because you are in another country with no source of income unless your parents are providing it


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

We always had Chinese table, and one-on-one meetings where we were forced to speak the foreign language

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Chinese 100
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Go out meet local residents, interact with them. That way you practice the language but also learn more about the culture

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The people
  • The experience
  • The memories
* What could be improved?
  • The food
  • The air pollution
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Nothing really, I was very prepared

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.