Rigorious, yet Enriching Past Review

By (Plan Ii Honors, The University of Texas at Austin) - abroad from 09/03/2012 to 12/14/2012 with

CET Shanghai

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Learned that I can learn a language quickly. That study abroad is a lifetime experience. It's definitely worthwhile; studying abroad allowed me to realize what I wanted to do with my life.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The academic rigor was very intensive. Although it wasn't an intensive language program, we spent much time in the classroom only speaking chinese, learning a lot of material, and studying every weekday for a couple of hours. The resources were convenient. We had easy access to our teachers and Chinese roommates.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Fantastic. Very supportive.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Great living arrangements. Although the bed was hard and sometimes cultural barriers affected relationships with roommates.

* Food:

AMAZING FOOD at Dongua University. Especially the jiaozi.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I didn't feel super connected to the Chinese culture, but that was due to living in Shanghai. When I visited my roommate's home in Henan, that was when I felt integrated with local culture.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Health care was easily accessible since we had a nearby international hospital. Even on campus, we had a healthcare specialist.

* Safety:

Shanghai is a pretty safe city overall. Just be in pairs wherever you go at night and don't be stupid.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No


* 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? I would say 30 dollars.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? If you want to save money, eat cheap aka local cuisine. And don't spend all your money at the bar scene.


* 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? 3rd semester of college Mandarin
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? Always practice with your roommates.

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?
  • Teachers
  • Roommates
  • Food
* What could be improved?
  • Better Roommates
  • More creative chinese curriculum
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I saved up more money to travel!

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!