I'm so happy I decided to do this. Past Review

By (Tulane University) - abroad from 08/19/2016 to 12/09/2016 with

Beijing Foreign Studies University: Beijing - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned so much more about Chinese culture than I feel like most Americans know. Many Chinese habits seem to make more sense than American habits. It was very worthwhile.

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? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Very Intense, but the teachers were amazing. They were helpful, very intelligent, and helped every student.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

While I was there, the administration was going through some shifts, but overall the staff were very helpful to us, especially with culture shock

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My host family were lovely and the accommodations were extremely comfortable, but I wish the apartment was closer to campus, as it would take me 45 minutes of walking and riding the bus to get to campus everyday for my 8:00am class.

* Food:

Super delicious, healthy options available, very cheap. Vegan options were scarce, vegetarian options were easier to come by but still difficult. May take your stomach a week or two to adjust.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Sometimes it was easy to only stay with my fellow IES students, but when we went out together we met many other student, not just from China, but from all over the world. Our long trip also had us fully immersed in Chinese culture.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had food poisoning and was escorted to the hospital by my RA, and there was a tedious problem with my insurance, even though I had worked it out before coming. However, afterwards IES staff fixed the problem, and my RA was very helpful.

* Safety:

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

IES was simultaneously easy-going and intense. Administrative stuff was easy, but I was challenged in school, was taken on many fun and educational field trips, and had very nice accommodations.


* 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? around 40 USD
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? China is extremely cheap, so don't overspend just because it's so cheap!


* 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, during the first half of the semester we had to speak Chinese from 8:00am to 4:00pm on campus, then it switched to 24 hours while on campus.

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? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? ASTC2030
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? Try to stick to the language pledge, pay attention in class and study the vocabulary, make Chinese friends so you have to speak Chinese.

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

* Did you study abroad through an exchange program or did you directly enroll in the foreign university? Exchange

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?
  • Studies
  • Food
  • Fun
* What could be improved?
  • RA relationships to students
  • Closer host families
  • Academic rigor
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish that I brought certain American amenities with me before going.