An Experience Worth the Long Trip Past Review

By (Trinity University) - abroad from 06/15/2016 to 08/14/2016 with

CET Kunming

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned how to understand Chinese in different settings as well as communicate with Chinese people with a little bit less of a language barrier. I feel that the program was worthwhile.

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.

The course was intensive like the name suggested, but it was fun and educational aside from just learning the language. The staff and other students were all nice and inclusive for all the activities. There were people available when needed and were willing to help you not only understand the language and class material, but also the culture and what life in the foreign country was like.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The on-site staff was available at anytime, but like any normal person, they wanted their sleep and preferred not to be disturbed after regular office hours unless it was an extreme emergency.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The living arrangements were good. The "dorms" were actually a hotel, so there were people who came and cleaned the room daily. The hotel was part of the university, so the dorms were nice and there were two building for dorms. One was separate and just dorms, while another was connected to the hotel lobby, but both rooms were similar. Although the rooms were similar, there were some differences between the dorm buildings, but nothing to large where one was extremely better than the other.

* Food:

The food was good and if you eat at the cafeteria, it was pretty cheap. The location of the university was located very close to public transportation and plenty of restaurants, so getting food was very easy.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I had a local Chinese roommate, so I had a daily interaction with someone from China. I also got accustomed to the daily life in China because I was under a language pledge. The language pledge was a requirement for the program, but it was not too hard to keep and actually turned out to be fun because it helped me to be more immersed in the local culture.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

The safety of the program was relatively good. For anyone who goes to China, I recommend wearing or holding any bags and personal belongings in front of your person in any busy area of the city or any place that does not feel comfortable. As Americans, it feels strange, but it is very common in China.

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

I would choose the same program because the program was enjoyable and I still learned a lot even though there were various levels for students to get into.


* 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 was fairly easy to stick to a student's budget because of the exchange rate between American and Chinese money, but I feel a part of it is because I have already been to China and I frequently ate with my roommate, so I ate good, but inexpensive food. Most items in China are cheaper than here in America and you can barter on a lot of products, so it is easier to stay on budget in China than here in America

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $20.00
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I would suggest that people look at the prices and if it is easy do a quick conversion to see how much it would be in their home country to see whether or not they would pay that price for an item or ask another person who lives in the country to see what they might think is an acceptable price.


* 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

They enforced a language pledge, which was helpful in understanding and becoming immersed in the culture of the country. Although the title language pledge sounds hard and imposing, it is not very hard after it has started and once it ends, it is a little bit hard to revert back to a person's native tongue the first day for some people.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Second Year College Level Chinese
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? Follow the requirements of the program and just enjoy your time abroad and make the best of it. Also, even if there is no pledge requirement, I would encourage other people to try to create their own pledge or goals to increase their language level and practice the language.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
  • Hotel
* 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?
  • The Activities
  • The Trips
  • The Food
* What could be improved?
  • The Timing of the Program
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew more about the requirements and information about the program before hand because there is not much information about the program on any website at the moment because of the location and the history of the program.

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!