My trip to China was a great experience overall and I highly recommend it May 16, 2020

By (California State University - Northridge) - abroad from 05/31/2020 to 06/10/2020 with

California State University: China- Sino-US Trade War Effects on Business, Hosted by the Asia Institute

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot about Chinese culture and how various businesses operate in China. There were many other things I learned along the way and all in all the trip was very worthwhile.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

This trip changed my outlook on China and the rest of the world for that matter. The experience meant a lot because it gave me such a greater insight into other people's cultures and traditions. The organizers made sure to help make the most of everyone's experience while I was in China. They genuinely wanted us to help make this trip as memorable of an experience as possible.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

This person knew their stuff and went above and beyond to make sure everything went smoothly. If there were any challenges or complications they were addressed appropriately and in a way that didn't ruin the experience for other people which I greatly appreciated. The program administrator also was available to answer all questions that I and the other students had which allowed everyone to feel safer while traveling around in the city.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The hotels were a lot nicer than I had expected. There was a minor problem with my room in Qingdao but once we brought it to the staff's attention they gave us an upgraded room for free which was really nice. The location was very good for both hotels and allowed for me to explore the city just by walking around.

* Food:

I am Vegetarian so I was honestly pretty concerned about being able to eat comfortably while I was in China but thankfully every place we went had some kind of veggie option that the organizers arranged for me in advance which I greatly appreciated.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

At first, I felt very disconnected, as time went on I became more and more comfortable and gained a deep sense of respect towards Chinese people and their culture.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

There weren't any real big health care issues that arose on my trip. I know there were people with food allergies, and because of that, the organizers took very special care to make sure nobody was harmed. The organizers provided emergency cards, so in the event of an emergency, every student had a plan of action.

* Safety:

The organizers provided emergency cards, so in the event of an emergency, every student had a plan of action. If there were any language barrier related issues then we could rely on the organizers to help us out.

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

From beginning to end this program helped create a safe pathway for me to truly experience a different country and I wouldn't want that to change.


* 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? $600 and i was being pretty frivolous with my spending
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I think just go in with a set budget and plan accordingly as your trip progresses


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Hotel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 10+

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The people
  • Food
  • Organization
* What could be improved?
  • We didn't realize that it might have been a good idea to exchange a small amount of money in advance so people could get lunch on our layover before were entered Qingdao
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That China can actually be a very fun place to visit and that most of the people I'm going to meet on this trip I will remain good friends with.

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.'