WO AI ZHONGGUO! 我爱中国 (I love China) February 04, 2015

By (International Business., Rollins College) - abroad from 08/26/2014 to 12/20/2014 with

Alliance for Global Education: Shanghai - International Business in China

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I believe this was definitely one of the best experiences of my life. I learned so much about a unique culture and engaged in a completely different environment. I thought culture shock would affect me negatively, but on the contrary, I loved the 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.

Chinese classes are very intense. I LOVED my Chinese teacher. She would only speak to us in Chinese, which made us really concentrate during her class. Really small size classes so we had the chance to participate a lot.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Any help that you need will be covered. The program is very concerned about your safety and wellbeing. Also if you need any help they definitely respond.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in 3 bedroom apartments with 1 student from my college and 1 from China. It was a very nice place, with a kitchen and a bathroom. Very nice location with a bus stop right outside and very close to our classes.

* Food:

I was very concerned over food before going to China. At first I would only cook for myself, and go to more Western restaurants. However, little by little I started trying new things and I found so many things I like and wish I could eat right now. I think it depends on the person, but I think you should try as much as possible and you will find what you like.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

As soon as we left our apartment buildings, everyone would speak Chinese. If you ride a taxi, order food, or just walk on the street. At first many people including me were intimidated by this, but as time goes by you learn and become more integrated. At the end I could hold a basic conversation with the cab drivers.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

The insurance provided for us covered everything! I think this is definitely not an issue. There is Western medicine and Chinese medicine, and depending on what each one prefers you can easily purchase it.

* Safety:

Very safe neighborhood and city overall.

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

Finances

* 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)

Food and transportation is very cheap. Unless you are shopping or dining somewhere very nice, you can definitely live on a student's budget.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? No more than 50 dollars
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Chinese food is a lot cheaper than Western food, so maybe try eating at more Chinese restaurants if you are on a budget. Also using the metro is super easy and cheaper than taxis (Although taxis are pretty cheap as well).

Language

* 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

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? Intermediate Chinese
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? Talk to people you meet! Cab drivers, people at grocery stores, restaurants, etc. Try using what you learned that week in class so you stay in practice.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
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?
  • Having Chinese roommates was very helpful
  • Chinese teachers and classes were very good, I learned so much from them.
  • Location was very nice and convenient.
* What could be improved?
  • I enjoyed everything from the program but I would have liked a scheduled trip to Beijing.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Food is not an issue. Anything you want can be found, but it is definitely worth it to try new things. Also keep in mind that time goes by SO fast! Be careful that you won't even realize when it's over. Try and plan ahead and do everything you want to before you have to leave.

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!