Intercultural Competence Past Review

By (Brandeis University) - abroad from 01/17/2018 to 05/12/2018 with

IFSA/Alliance: Shanghai - International Business in China

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot about the Chinese culture, history and language through the local people I got to meet. I would definitely

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The courses were not as intense as a regular course at Brandeis. Very manageable.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The on-site administration was very helpful and easily accessible when any concerns or problems arose.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Very spacious, single rooms

* Food:

Very inexpensive; plenty of restaurants and food stands outside of the apartment and the school

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I was able to really get to know the locals and practice my Chinese in Shanghai. The program had very helpful administration and Chinese teachers that were open to talk and feed my curiosity about China. My internship also allowed me to further connect with the business culture in China.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Felt safe walking around the city during any time of day.

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

The staff and administration were very helpful. They were attentive to our needs and went out of their way to make us feel at home.


* 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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 300 kuai/ $47


* 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? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? One semester of Mandarin
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? Practice your Chinese when ordering food or asking for directions to a place. Talk frequently with your Chinese roommate.

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 I met
  • The places I got to travel to
  • Internship
* What could be improved?
  • Class structure
  • Wifi
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Financially plan ahead. Withdrawing money from the bank has fees and does add up. Set up a monthly or weekly budget. Making sure your phone is unlocked so you can put a local sim card.

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'