The Experience of a Lifetime! Past Review

By (Finance, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics) - abroad from 08/27/2014 to 12/22/2014 with

IFSA/Alliance: Shanghai - International Business in China

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
The experience was absolutely worthwhile. The people you meet from not only the US and China but from all over the world allow you to see into all cultures. The greatest thing I took from the program was adopted some of the traditional thinking that many Chinese hold which I believe has made me into a better overall person.

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.

The best part about the courses through the Alliance Program are that they complement the outside the class learning that you are undertaking on a daily basis. When you have questions your professors are always happy to answer with real world experience.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Great group of people; everyone is willing to help you in anyway.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I truly enjoyed my living situation. The area was at the time being developed with many skyscrapers all around, however if you are to do the Alliance program in the future this area's renovations will be complete.

* Food:

I wish I could give 7 stars for how delicious the food is in China.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt completely emerged into the society in which I was living in, however I did not meet as many Chinese students as I would have hoped.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

If any one has a problem 24 hours a day they are taken care of.

* Safety:

Safety was the programs first priority, and living in Shanghai, ranked one of the worlds safest cities, there was never a time in which I was afraid.

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)

Living expenses are drastically lower than in the US

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $100
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? The fake markets and fabric markets is where you will spend the majority of your money! Be careful!


* 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 signed a 24 hour language agreement

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? never had taken the language
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 great to talk with people whenever you have the opportunity; on the bus, subway, and cab drivers.

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
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 in the program
  • The food
  • Travel opportunities
* What could be improved?
  • certain class times were inconvenient
  • n/a
  • n/a
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Before going on this program I wish that I had a stronger background in the Chinese language. This program allowed me to skip 100-300 levels upon return to my University where I am currently in a 400 level class, however if I were to study abroad at this time I can only imagine the advances I would make in the language.

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!