Summer in Shanghai Past Review

By (Wellesley College) - abroad from 06/16/2014 to 08/08/2014 with

CET Shanghai

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned more about the Chinese language and culture. It was definitely worthwhile.

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.

The language course required a lot of time outside of class to prepare for the daily quizzes and other homework assignments. There was also a lot of time dedicated to reading for the elective courses.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

For the most part it was good. The program director left at the tail end of our time abroad, which made it a bit harder to communicate with him.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

It was really great living with a roommate from China. I was able to really work on improving my Chinese. We had western toilets and our own desk, closet, and bed. There was also a TV in each room, which I didn't have time to watch.

* Food:

It was really cheap to eat at the school's cafeteria. A lot of times the dishes were really salty, but there was always a good variety of foods to eat. It was also easy to pick something up on the way home from work.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I feel like I could have integrated with the local culture more if the work load wasn't so heavy. I did manage to travel a lot on the weekends which gave me the opportunity to explore more of China and its culture.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

All the students in my program needed to have health check ups in order to legally intern in China. This process was very interesting as the doctors were very thorough.

* Safety:

I generally felt pretty safe. I didn't have any problems, although I was very cautious with my belongings. I used common sense to avoid potentially dangerous situations. There are guards at the entrance/exit of the dorms. I felt safe using the subways on my own and walking around.

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)


* 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

While there wasn't a language pledge, we were encouraged to speak in Chinese with our roommates and while on the second floor of the building where our classes were held. We also had Chinese table each Friday for lunch where a roommate would give a presentation in Chinese, and then we would only be allowed to speak Chinese while eating lunch.

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? CHIN302- Advanced Chinese I
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? Tell your roommate ahead of time that you really want to practice speaking Chinese. Tell them not to speak to you in English. Don't be afraid to make mistakes.

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?
  • Local roommates
  • Time to travel
  • Chinese class
* What could be improved?
  • Internship placement
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had used Chinese more. I would have spoken more Chinese with other classmates and with the roommates.

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!