The Adventures of a Culturally Relativistic American Past Review

By (Child and Family Studies, Berea College) - abroad from 05/22/2014 to 06/21/2014 with

KIIS: Traveling - Experience China (Summer)

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained new insight. I was semi-ethnocentric when I arrived, but after while I began to adopt those same ways of being. I learned that every situation you walk into came sometimes be uncomfortable, but it is ultimately up to you to make the best of it.

Review Photos

KIIS: Traveling - Experience China (Summer) Photo KIIS: Traveling - Experience China (Summer) Photo KIIS: Traveling - Experience China (Summer) Photo KIIS: Traveling - Experience China (Summer) Photo KIIS: Traveling - Experience China (Summer) Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I loved having my own room. It allowed me time to really take in the fact that I was in China. I also enjoyed the single bathrooms. The only problem that I had was my bathroom floor was constantly wet due to a leaking toilet. They couldn't really do anything about it, so that was kind of disgusting.

* Food:

The food was very different from American Chinese food. It was spicy and sometimes hard to identify. Nevertheless, I survived. I really enjoyed getting to eat "American" food like Burger King, McDonald's, Pizza Hut. Surprisingly enough, they taste better than the ones in America.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I talked with a few students, but overall I found it hard to talk with the students. They either said they didn't speak English or they said nothing at all.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

BEWARE OF THE CARS!! Chinese citizens aren't really the nicest drivers. They will keep their feet on the gas even if they see you walking out int he street. It is imperative that you cross in large groups (7-10).

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I spent about 125 American dollars each week.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? When you go home for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Spring Break; pick up a job. I worked and everything that I earned I put 75% of it away. Everyone's situation is different, so even if you save 25% or 50% of what ever you earn then that'll help too. Ease off on going out to eat and shopping every weekend and you should be good to go.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

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? None
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Spanish 102

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
  • Hotel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • 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?
  • I like Dr. Gao. Our program director. She was so sweet and she made it so easy for us to adjust.
* What could be improved?
  • The flow between transit systems. When we got off of the plane, we were VERY tired. So we had to ride a bus for 2 hours (without a bathroom). Then run to our train. The train ride lasted for about 11 hours (which we weren't informed about AT ALL) so everyone was unprepared to sleep on the train.
  • After the train ride we had to ride another bus for 2 hours and finally we arrived at our dorm.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Keep my money seperated inside of my wallet. When you are buying stuff from vendors, they'll look in your wallet and see that you have more money which causes them to raise their price. Also, I wouldn't bring any toiletries. They have everything there. This would make your luggage lighter and give you more space to bring more souvenirs back to the States. I would only bring deodorant and tampons (I did see those items while there). I would only bring tennis shoes. I brought other shoes and I didn't wear them because we walked so much. I would get an umbrella. The sun is so harsh, I got sunburned multiple times. Also, I would bring bug repellent, they bugs are VISCOUS.

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!