Unforgettable Past Review

By (Foreign Languages and Linguistics, Swarthmore College) - abroad from 06/05/2015 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?
Absolutely worthwhile, I gained such an intercultural perspective on life

Review Photos

Beijing Foreign Studies University: Beijing - Direct Enrollment & Exchange Photo Beijing Foreign Studies University: Beijing - Direct Enrollment & Exchange Photo Beijing Foreign Studies University: Beijing - Direct Enrollment & Exchange Photo

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.

Very intense, but I left the program feeling much more confident in my language ability--all in all, totally worth it!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Very helpful, willing to listen to student input and were very involved with activities outside of class

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

We lived in a dorm, and although it would have been nice to have a Chinese roommate it was still a good experience

* Food:

Food was wonderful and relatively inexpensive, and the quality was amazing!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

We had many opportunities to explore and interact with people outside of the program, which left many opportunities to meet people

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I didn't personally, but a friend had to visit the doctor and IES helped to coordinate that. As for vaccines, it really depends on where you go in China, because some health issues like malaria are more prevalent in the south.

* Safety:

As safe as any major city

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)

The lower cost of living made it easier to live on a budget

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? around 40
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? If you go out to eat family-style, take home the leftovers for another (free) meal! Also, if you're buying souvenirs, be sure to bargain so you don't get gipped.


* 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 9-5 language pledge, and then for the last few weeks a 24 hours language pledge, so they really encouraged us to speak

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? Chinese 4
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Watch tv and listen to music in the target language, also practice the language through texting with friends!

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
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?
  • Free time
  • Independent language project
* What could be improved?
  • Gender neutral accomadations
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That it wouldn't be as expensive

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!