Intensive Chinese in Kunming Past Review

By (Bates College) - abroad from 06/13/2012 to 08/10/2012 with

CET Kunming

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned so much Chinese, there was a huge jump in my confidence and ability to speak smoothly. Upon returning to my college my professors all agreed that my Chinese had improved a lot. I feel like I was able to experience the real China, and that truly made my experience one that I would love to live all over again.

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.

This program is perfect for someone looking for an intensive language course in China. It pushes and motivates you to reach above and beyond the average college language curriculum. You will come back feeling more confident in Chinese and even more passionate to learn.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The faculty and staff were a great support system to have away from home. Many students who had previously studied abroad in China would say that the staff at CET made them feel more at home than anywhere else.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Although there were a few nights without electricity due to some reconstruction, housing was one of the highlights of my CET experience. CET is best known for its roommate arrangements. Every CET student lives with a roommate from the host country. These roommates give CET students and invaluable experience. Students are culturally immersed in a very comfortable setting, when you arrive it is like you already have a friend there waiting for you.

* Food:

Food is not included with this program, but the school offers lunches for a cheap price. Homemade daily those were some of the best meals I had when I was in China, always delicious and always fresh!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The program is designed not to throw you into the culture, but to help you dive in. The location of the housing in Kunming is in a place also known as "Foreigner's street", this name can be slightly misleading. This location is perfect because it allows students to experience some of the riches aspects of Kunming culture. It is just walking distance from Kunming's most famous lake, where students can see live, daily performances of minority singing and dance, and even take part in cultural activities with locals in the park. It is also near an array of cuisines ranging from the most authentic international foods, to typical Kunming Mi xian!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I was never ill on the program, but a few students were. Those that had health issues the program was very helpful. Roommates and the program's staff were always available to take someone to the doctor.

* Safety:

Kunming is a very safe city, since it is not one of China's larger cities. Living in one of China's less developed cities has it's perks; for instance a lower crime rate, fewer pick pockets, and friendlier people.

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)

It wasn't too hard to live in Kunming on a budget, but it was a little more expensive than perhaps living in other cities. Due to the fact that the dorm is located very near to the mecca of Kunming.

* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? No
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 70- 150 Yuan, depending on how much shopping I did.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? It can be tempting to buy a lot when you first arrive, try to lessen the amount of shopping you do when you first arrive. It can be a great savings because later on you will learn a lot about bargaining and get things a lot cheaper than you would have when you first arrive.


* 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, which means that while the program is in session, day or night, we always spoke Chinese.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Advanced
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Fluent
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? I had taken Chinese 301 in my College
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? Always speak with locals, listen carefully and learn how they uses certain phrases. A lot about studying a language is learning how to listen, once you have trained yourself to listen well eventually it will come naturally and you will not even have to actively think about every sentence.

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
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?
  • Academic rigor
  • Roommate arrangements
  • Travel opportunities
* What could be improved?
  • Internet connection
  • Electricity
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I do wish that I had known that studying would take up most of my free time and that I would not have a lot of down time on my own to go exploring. But this was not really a problem for me since I did spend two weeks after the program exploring China.

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!