Alliance for Global Education, Thank you! Past Review

By (Mount Holyoke College) - abroad from 02/12/2014 to 06/10/2014 with

IFSA/Alliance: Shanghai - International Business in China

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned how to be independent and adapt to any situation that is thrown my way. I am more confident in myself as a person now, and it is definitely due to my amazing experience.

Review Photos

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

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The International Business program took learning outside of the classroom to a whole new level. We were doing the basics in Chinese class, as well as 3 economics/management courses, but being outside of the classroom, exploring the city where, contrary to popular belief, English is not widely spoken forced us to use the Chinese we knew--even if it was only one semesters worth in my case--and improve my vocabulary and confidence in speaking a native language.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The program administrators were amazing. Wang Kai and Hannah were our rocks. They were our family, always taking care of us, looking out, making sure we were safe and healthy. It definitely made the transition to living on my own easier thanks to their parental nurturing.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The rooms were a bit cold and dark at first, but after learning how to use the heater, as well as giving them a personal touch, we all settled in great.

* Food:

I do not eat pork so at first it was very hard for me to eat but after I could fend for myself and order my own food, I became daring and tried many different kinds of foods.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

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)

I budgeted myself to $100 a week--Thankfully I went with scholarship money, therefore I was set for pretty much my entire semester. Due to tons of traveling and shopping, I did have to tighten my budget at the very end.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? roughly 600 RMB
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Save before you go and keep track of your spending! In a country like China where everything is cash based, money sometimes just disappears.


* 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

It was difficult not to speak Chinese, even with my fellow students, we would speak a mix of Chinese and English, and the occasional Spanish.

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? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? 301
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? It is hard to practice a language if you're not living in that environment. If you're like me and only had one semester of Chinese before going, (I was extremely nervous because I did not know much), don't be afraid-- You will adjust and be confident in speaking. You will get by.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International 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 administrators
  • The city/language
* What could be improved?
  • N/a
  • n/a
  • n/a
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew how much it would change my outlook on life. I am so thankful.

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 Networker
An active student leader, it was important for you to network abroad as well. Once overseas, you sought out student clubs, volunteered with local organizations, or attended community events. You encouraged your friends join you, and often considered how you could reflect your international experiences in a resume.