Exploring Lived Religion and How Others See the World! Past Review

By (Global Studies, Global College) - abroad from 09/05/2012 to 04/30/2013 with

LIU Global: Multiple - The Europe Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned so much about other religions and came to see and respect religion in a whole different light. I also really improved my cross-cultural skills and have foundational understandings of the history, politics, economics, culture, language of four new extremely important cultures in the world. More importantly, from those foundations, I have learned how to live and adapt to a new country- if someone called me up today and said you have the chance to move to Angola tomorrow, I could do it even though I know barely anything about Angola.

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.

Each week is different and I definitely came out having learned a TON, but it was not rigorous in the traditional sense of a lot of papers and a ton of readings. Some weeks there were a ton of readings and classes and others were not rigorous at all.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

We had great field trips, great accomodations and you really get to know the administrators/professors well so if you have any problems you can talk to them. It's not perfect because sometimes they're planning things on the go out of necessity, but they do a great job.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

We lived in a lot of different places, but overall it was great. We were living in 3 star-ish hotels or college dorms in Taiwan, and it was really nice.

* Food:

We get a food stipend and then we are in charge of getting our own food, so we can choose. They are really generous with the stipend though.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt really integrated with the culture- we were always going on site visits to local places of worship, and we had local coordinators and were always exploring the local culture in one way or another. But, like any study abroad program, it is better if you go out of your way to make local friends and explore on your own, rather than always stay with the group of Americans, and you will be more connected and learn way more.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

The staff takes great care of anyone who gets sick. We have students that are designated to carry around a med kit and help people who are sick and the staff or students will accompany anyone to the hospital if they need it.

* Safety:

This greatly varies as we are moving to four different countries, but I will go through each of them individually. Taipei, Taiwan is one of the safest cities in the world- they have security cameras on the telephone polls which greatly discourages crime, etc. Chiang Mai, Thailand is a very safe city and we are in a very safe neighborhood. In New Delhi, we are in an isolated Tibetan community and we were not allowed to go out in the city all by ourselves, so it was safe. And Istanbul is also safe if you stay in large groups and don't go out late at night. Just like any city in the U.S. you need to use your head, but you can easily stay safe if you do that.

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)

Again, depends on the place, but they gave us a generous stipend that you can easily live on if you budget well. Especially in India and Thailand food is really cheap.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 20
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Plan what you want to do on the breaks before you buy your flights, I spent a lot of money on changing my airline tickets and buying last minute flights to go places on winter and spring break.


* 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

We were encouraged to learn and use the language, but we were only in the places for two months each so our language skills were minimum. We usually had 10 hours of language classes.

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? 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? Learning even the little bit of the local languages will help you understand the local cultures so much more. Find people to teach English to and they will teach you their language- it is a great way to make local friends and learn more about the culture.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
  • Host Family
  • Hotel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
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?
  • Field trips- we went to so many one-in-a-lifetime ceremonies and wonders of the world!
  • Group environment- people really accepting and you get so close
* What could be improved?
  • Classes- some classes were incredible, others were just mediocre
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had studied more of the local languages

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!