Life-changing! Past Review

By (Bunker Hill Community College) - abroad from 07/14/2019 to 08/11/2019 with

CUNY - College of Staten Island: Shanghai - Study Abroad at Shanghai University

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned about life in China. I breathed Chinese air, I felt the Chinese sun, and I walked Chinese streets. I gained a ton of perspective that I could never have gotten from a textbook or even a video or film.

Review Photos

CUNY - College of Staten Island: Shanghai - Study Abroad at Shanghai University Photo

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.

I was able to learn Chinese at an accelerated rate and apply it in everyday life. My teacher was beyond friendly and class was always fun. Other lectures were informative and in English. We learned a lot about Chinese culture that would often be relevant to our cultural excursions which brought me so close to the city of Shanghai!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

All of the organizers and volunteers were very kind and available. They made students feel at home in Shanghai and acted as guides when necessary.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

There were several buildings for international student housing. I stayed in the single dorms at the Yanchang campus. My dorm had a single bed, clothing storage space, a desk, and my own personal bathroom including a shower. Yanchang campus is located right off Yanchang road which is very close to Shanghai city center. The train station was only a 5 minute walk from campus. It was so convenient for seeing the big attractions of Shanghai.

* Food:

I wish I could have brought Chinese food back with me to America. I miss it every day. The on-campus canteen had plenty of options. There were also tons of restaurants along Yanchang road. If your Chinese is limited as mine was, menus almost always have English translations and often pictures.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Integration does not get any more intense than study abroad. In addition to the cultural lectures and excursions we went on, I was fortunate enough to make some Chinese friends that could should me around Shanghai.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Fortunately, I did not have any issues with health while overseas. I only needed a couple of vaccines before leaving for China.

* Safety:

I felt safe at all times in Shanghai.

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

Shanghai was amazing in two ways: yes, it is so different from America. It has a vastly different culture; a difficult language; a strong cultural heritage. But it is also an extremely modernized city. For Americans, the public transit system will amaze you as it did me, for example. These two attributes combined to create an experience where I was both surprised and impressed every day. I had a blast.


* 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)

The cost of living in China was a lot cheaper than in the US. The exchange rate helps with this. During my trip 1 dollar was equivalent to about 7 yuan. Meals would often cost around 14 yuan which, doing the math, is only about 2 dollars. This translates to everything else, including public transit as well.


* 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

Most of the locals in Shanghai did not speak English. This made venturing out a bit intimidating sometimes, but also made using Chinese imperative to the same degree.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
How many hours per day did you use the language?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International 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?
  • Chinese food
  • Chinese culture and heritage
  • The sights and landmarks of Shanghai
* What could be improved?
  • The trip to Suzhou and Hangzhou was a lot of activity crammed into a short amount of time. Unfortunately, I often felt a bit too tired to enjoy it as a result.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Some basic Chinese!

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!