More fun than work. Past Review

By (Austin College) - abroad from 02/20/2012 to 06/15/2012 with

IES Abroad: Shanghai - Economy, Business & Society

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained improved language skills, a greater comfort with my speaking skills, and a few friends I'd like to remain in contact with.

Personal Information

If you took classes at multiple universities, list those universities here: Fudan University
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.

Classes are not challenging.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The staff was my favorite part o this program. They were always cheerful, helpful and fun to talk to.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I stayed in a homestay which was by far teh best decesion I made about studying abroad.

* Food:

You can get any food you want in Shanghai but it's more fun to try local foods.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Any integration with the cuture you want to do will have to be on your own time. The program really doesn't do much about introducing you to the community or even other students on campus,

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had no issues with healthcare but the friends who did have issues all said that things were handled in a professional way.

* Safety:

I always felt safe in my neighborhood.

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


* 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)

Shanghai is China's most expensive city to live in. You can get by on $100 a week unless you're planning on going out most weeks. Then you'd better plan for $200.

* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? Yes
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I spent about $100- $150 per week
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? 1)Styaing with a homestay saved me money on food. 2)With all the traffic, you might as well just save your money and take the train rather than spend it on taxis.


* 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

There was mild encouragment to speak.

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? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Intermediate
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? If yu really want to learn the language in this program, you will need to do most o the work on your own. Meet with your language partner often, stay with a host amily who will speak with you, and try to ecourage and challege your friends to speak with you.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • 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?
  • The great staff
  • My home stay experience
  • the city
* What could be improved?
  • classes need to be more meaningful. They really lack focus and don't hold student's attention.
  • Teachers and staff need to encourage students to practice their language skills more
  • They really could do more with organzied activites or weekend trips.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had known that my classes were going to be the kind that you only get back what you put into them.