Study abroad in China changed my life! Past Review

By (Bilingual Elementary Education, Bowling Green State University) - abroad from 09/17/2012 to 01/11/2013 with

Hunan Normal University: Changsha - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned about a new culture, new perspectives and behaviors, and how to communicate without much language - but I also learned alot of Chinese! It was an extremely rewarding experience!

Review Photos

Bowling Green State University: Changsha - Hunan Normal University, China Photo

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.

It was amazing!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The International Office Staff were extremely helpful with my visa and questions, and even arranged cultural activities and trips around the area!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

They were good - they provided me with all the necessities - and anything I didn't have, I could buy for not too much.

* Food:

The food was great! Spicy food is the specialty here!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

People were so friendly and eager to learn about American culture. They invited me to many social events: karaoke, dinners, hiking and sports events.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I didn't really have any healthcare issues, but there are several local pharmacies that offer all kinds of medicines - both Easter and Western - for all minor health issues.

* Safety:

I felt completely safe in Changsha.

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)

Cost of living in Mainland China is very inexpensive - I know most people can live on $200 a month if you stick to eating local food and taking the local transportation. Add in a little more if you plan to travel anywhere.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $50-$60/week
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Do as the locals do - eat at the local restaurants - NOT KFC! and take the bus or get a bike. Even though taxis are less expensive than those in the US, avoiding cabs will save you lots!


* 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

I had to use it everyday - to eat!

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? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? none
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? Get a local roommate if you can or "adopt" a host family - I was often invited to dinners and weekend trips with professor's family - they were very nice and showed me aspects of culture that I could not learn in class.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 10+

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • people
  • food
  • country
* What could be improved?
  • more students should participate!
  • stay with host families instead of in dorms
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I would have brought more small gifts from the US to give to my Chinese friends.

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.'