It's How You Make Of The Opportunity Past Review

By (Brandeis University) - abroad from 02/12/2016 to 06/04/2016 with

IFSA/Alliance: Shanghai - International Business in China

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Staying smart while traveling by myself and budget.

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 Chinese classes were intense but the other academic courses weren't really which was great since it gave us plenty of time to explore and travel.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The on-site administration was helpful especially if you have questions regarding anything such as visa, international calling, they would be able to help you out.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Spacious single bedroom with a shared living room and kitchen with two other students, one local and one American

* Food:

The food is inexpensive and delicious

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

It was mainly through traveling around China that I felt integrated. A large percentage of the time, i used English to communicate with my American friends. But I am forced to use Chinese in taxis and stores.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I didn't have any experience with health care system but a friend did end up in the hospital a few times and it seems like it was handled in a timely manner.

* Safety:

The city is a very safe place even at night. The only issue is traffic which pedestrians don't really have the right of way --- don't know if this will change in the future.

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

Through this program, I had an internship, took 4 classes, traveled throughout China and out of China to other countries in Asia, made friends with some locals, and especially became friends with people from the program. The Chinese class was rigorous but the other classes weren't really so it gave me sufficient time to travel and explore.


* 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)

You can live off less than $100/week if you were really tight on budget

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Around $40 to $50 per week
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Putting in deposits for borrowing equipments really helped me out towards the end of program


* 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? Advanced
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? CHIN401
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? Have a Chinese language partner and use it with the locals

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
  • 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?
  • Schedule/Time
  • Living Arrangements
  • The People
* What could be improved?
  • The Internship course was a waste of time
  • Course/research paper should be limited to 2
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Some everyday products such as blistex can't be found so I wished I bought more with me