Best decision I've ever made Past Review

By (George Washington University) - abroad from 08/18/2014 to 12/12/2014 with

Beijing Foreign Studies University: Beijing - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I loved my IES Abroad program! I attended the Beijing Language Intensive program in the summer and fall of 2014, and had the time of my life. The faculty were amazing, and truly understood what it is like to learn Chinese as a foreigner. The program also makes it easy to get out and explore Beijing and the rest of China. With IES, I found some great new friends, expanded my language ability, and saw more of China then I could’ve ever hoped.

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 faculty are incredible, it's rigorous but they know how to teach foreigners.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Helped from everything like visa issues to restaurant recommendations.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I loved living with a homestay, but the dorms were a little old.

* Food:

I miss it all day every day, so delicious and so cheap.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The program made it so easy and relaxed to truly infiltrate local culture.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

If you're smart, you're safe.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $20
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Don't convert; just because it's cheap for the US doesn't mean it's cheap in China


* 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

Language pledge was super helpful

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
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? Intermediate
How many hours per day did you use the language?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* 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?
  • Opportunities to travel
  • Language teachers
  • Location
* What could be improved?
  • Dorms
  • English class options
  • Orientation
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That I'd never want 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 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.'