Creating Memories in China Past Review

By (Lebanon Valley College) - abroad from 08/31/2018 to 12/14/2018 with

CAPA Shanghai Study & Intern Abroad

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained a few months of international experience that I probably would have never would have gotten otherwise.

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.

Classes ran differently than they typically are for me (once a week for 3 hours or three times a week for 2.5 hours), which had its ups and downs.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

CAPA ran into a bit of a pickle as their Shanghai director needed to be out of the country for medical reasons, but they did a great job of making sure the program still ran smoothly.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The dorm situation was pretty standard with a little added challenge in that many people spoke different native languages.

* Food:

In order to save money, I ate in the cheapest part of the dining hall a lot, which doesn't have a lot of top notch food; however, spending a little extra can go a long way in terms of quality.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

This is one area that I wish I could have done better in. The language barrier kept me from integrating into the local culture as much as I would have liked.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had no serious health care concerns during my time in China.

* Safety:

Shanghai is super safe. Many of the apprehensions I had concerning safety were not legitimate concerns; it mostly came down to looking out for pick-pocketing.

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

For my first time abroad, I thought CAPA did a wonderful facilitating my experience.


* 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)

Budgeting myself went a long way for helping my finances stay on track.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $50-$60
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Record your expenses so that you can see how much you're spending on what.


* 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

My program didn't really encourage implementing the language outside of class.

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? Ended beginner's Chinese
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Bring a small whiteboard to practice writing characters on.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • My professors
  • Meeting other international students
  • Going to church in a different country
* What could be improved?
  • Communication during the Visa application process
  • Engagement with local students
  • Variety of classes
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew how to plan travel during time off from school because it fell early in the semester.

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!