Not academically challenging but culturally educational and beautiful. August 21, 2018

By (Brandeis University) - abroad from 06/08/2018 to 08/04/2018 with

IES Abroad: Hong Kong - Summer Internship

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was absolutely worthwhile. I have never learnt so much about myself and the world in such a short period of time and I understand now how other cultures function and how difference the nuances are in comparison to american culture.

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 course was not challenging and did not include any resume building help or professional aid for our futures even though the syllabus included these aspects.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Elite Interns was not communicative with the students in the program whatsoever and never gave us any information on their interaction with our jobs/bosses. Elite interns also did not give us an opportunity to understand what our internship would be or choose different options.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Living arrangement was spacious and clean but the beds were extremely uncomfortable and the location was in a really crowded area.

* Food:

Kitchen was not a kitchen but rather one hot plate and a microwave. Really difficult to cook by yourself. Should have been clearly informed of these circumstances.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Felt almost completely immersed in the local culture and ways of life, especially in the work place

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

A little too much push to go to the hospital if even the smallest thing was wrong.

* Safety:

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

The internship I was placed in was something totally different than what I thought I would be doing and was not intellectually challenging. There was no communication whatsoever and no support with our struggles through language barrier and cultural differences in the work place. The class was not a real class and nothing constructive/hands on was learned.

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)

About $100 a week on food and personal expenses if I cooked at home, didn't take public transport and didn't go out for drinks.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $50-$150 depending on what I did and how much I ate in restaurants
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Cook yourself; don't go out to eat in the western styled restaurants because they're really expensive. Grocery shop away from the central part of the city. Shop on Mondays instead of weekends because things are cheaper. Take the tram as public transport instead of the MTR. Don't buy any souvenirs on hong kong island; wait to go to the temple street night market in Kowloon where there is more stuff for way cheaper. McDonalds is surprisingly good and really cheap. Use 7/11 for everything.

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* 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?
  • Cultural Immersion
  • Freedom
  • Personal growth
* What could be improved?
  • Internship Coordination
  • Coursework
  • Communication
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That my job would be totally different from what I expected and that I am not immune to western culture.