Unforgettable experience! January 27, 2017

By (Northern Illinois University) - abroad from 01/01/2017 to 01/12/2017 with

International Business Seminars: Winter SE Asia - Thailand and Vietnam in 13 Days!

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained a more open mind, patience, and a hunger for travel during my experience abroad. It was worthwhile because it showed me that I would like to work on an international assignment some day, and now if an employer asks me I can say "yes!" without any hesitation or uncertainty whether or not I will be happy!

Review Photos

International Business Seminars / IBS Winter Southeast Asia Photo International Business Seminars / IBS Winter Southeast Asia Photo International Business Seminars / IBS Winter Southeast Asia Photo International Business Seminars / IBS Winter Southeast Asia Photo International Business Seminars / IBS Winter Southeast Asia Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I learned things I could never in a traditional American classroom. The experiential learning process is invaluable.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

They were so friendly, personable, and took the time to give us additional personal insight from their lives.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The hotels they booked for us were safe, clean, secure, and I even felt spoiled when I saw the generous free/included breakfast buffet we had access to every morning.

* Food:

Spectacular! Breakfast was already included in our hotel fee (so free to us each morning), the street food was about $1 per meal, and there were plenty of American options for a little extra ($5-$8 per meal) for when we felt a little homesick.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

They were very welcoming and pleasant.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

There were no health issues during the trip. Nobody got sick from the food and everyone was safe.

* Safety:

I never felt unsafe during trip in either city.

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

I chose IBS because they have spent decades networking face-to-face all around the world in order to create unique presentation opportunities in the cities they offer seminars. I have been given the opportunity to talk to local business leaders and entrepreneurs by being on IBS seminars, and even have met people who are interested in hiring American business graduates for international jobs.

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)

I had more money in my bank account when I got home than I normally do on the 12th day of the month, due to the low cost of living in the countries we visited.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? less than $70
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Look for places to eat that do not charge a "language tax" (i.e. places that do have English-speaking employees will be cheaper and usually have menu photos you can point at to order. I learned what "vegetables" and "no meat" learned in each language to ensure I could order vegetarian dishes.

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

Minimally

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
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? N/A
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? Duolingo, other apps on your phone that are easy to use for small periods of time per day. Youtube is helpful for other cultural nuances.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Hotel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* 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?
  • Meeting new friends
  • That I was able to go without quitting my job or subletting my apartment (due to the reasonable length)
* What could be improved?
  • N/A
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? N/A

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 Networker
An active student leader, it was important for you to network abroad as well. Once overseas, you sought out student clubs, volunteered with local organizations, or attended community events. You encouraged your friends join you, and often considered how you could reflect your international experiences in a resume.