By (health planning and administration, University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign) - abroad from 06/03/2015 to 08/01/2015 with

Beijing Foreign Studies University: Beijing - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
This past summer, I studied abroad in Beijing, China through IES Abroad. Studying abroad was one of the most challenging experiences I have faced, but it was also extremely rewarding. I had a really great time immersing myself in Chinese culture (everything from food to shopping to museums). I also really enjoyed taking Chinese language classes, an elective course (Business in China) and a calligraphy class. I think the classes I took complemented what I was learning by simply exploring the city with my friends. Study abroad has definitely changed my life in many ways. It has made me more self-aware and more confident in my abilities to problem solve and adapt to any situation. It has also helped me create lifelong friendships with people throughout the US. It has given me a greater awareness of my own lifestyle and what life is like on the other side of the world. It has also taught me how to persevere when times are tough. I won’t lie. There were definitely bumps and challenges during my time in Beijing, but I was able to push through them and I think I am a better, wiser person because of my experiences. I would recommend studying abroad to everyone because I think it is a great way to learn more about yourself and the world. You grow so much in such a short period of time and you can take those skills and experiences and apply them anywhere in the future!

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

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)


* 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 had a language pledge which really helped and encouraged us practice and immerse ourselves in the program and culture.

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? Intermediate

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • practicing mandarin
  • making new friends
  • traveling to the great wall and xi'an
* What could be improved?
  • organization/availability of professional staff
  • more field trips planned by IES
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? To relax and have fun

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!