China 2015- a cultural, physical, and intellectual journey February 10, 2016

By (Economics, Wellesley College) - abroad from 08/26/2015 to 12/14/2015 with

CET Shanghai

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was definitely worthwhile. I was able to get a professional training which is very important in my life right now. I was also able to travel and see parts of the country and culture that I would never had otherwise. Being on the program made me take risks and allowed me to learn many new things. My language improved as a result of the interpersonal connections I made with the local students.

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?

Housing was great! Especially living with Chinese roommates

* Food:

* 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

I loved this program very much and It ended up working out very well for me on the internship, social, and academic fronts. I was very lucky. However, I think the more rational choice would have been to choose a more language intensive program since language advancement is my primary aim.

Finances

* 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? $10
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Go for less expensive food options. Not only will you save money but also you will experience a more authentic cuisine and food culture.

Language

* 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 were encouraged a lot but I wish we had some sort of modified language pledge (except for internships...)

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? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Chinese 302 at Wellesley College
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? Seek out conversations with people outside your immediate circle. (Street vendors, park goers, taxi-drivers etc)

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International 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?
  • Local roommates
  • Travel opportunities
  • Internship
* What could be improved?
  • Language Intensiveness lacked
  • Preparation for what to expect was minimal
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had a better idea of how to approach the experience of being abroad, especially as someone who has already studied abroad. I also think that while academics were a factor, they were not the most important aspect by any means and I wish that I knew not to take them as seriously going in.

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'