Excellent Teachers, Mediocre Program Past Review

By (Brandeis University) - abroad from 06/14/2017 to 08/12/2017 with

CET Beijing

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My language skills increased considerably, but I came out of the program exhausted. I felt like I didn't get the chance to travel/explore the Beijing area. In my opinion, 20+ chapters is too much to cram into 2 months. We covered and regurgitated an incredible amount of grammar and vocabulary, but I'm not sure I could use/remember 75% of it today. I would have liked to spend more time learning fewer chapters - it would have felt like a more in-depth education.

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:

Inexpensive food options became more sparse as the program went on.

* 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? No

Language instruction was great, but some of the issues brought to the program staff's attention were handled poorly (victim blaming). Class content also posed some risk to those with mental health issues (no content warnings given, insensitive discussion of mental disorders).


* 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

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? Second semester chinese (CHIN20)
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
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?
  • My roommate
  • My professor + TAs
* What could be improved?
  • Attention to the needs of students
  • Program environment
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? China is extremely difficult for vegetarians.