Making Sense of he Middle Kingdom Past Review

By (International Marketing., Fordham University) - abroad from 01/09/2013 to 05/19/2013 with

The Beijing Center: Semester and Full Year Abroad

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot more of the language, the local culture, and the country's people. It was completely worthwhile, because I was challenged in countless ways just in order to make a life there, but I wouldn't have changed it for anything.

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

The food on campus is easily accessible and very reasonable by U.S. standards. However, the food off campus is much better and also more varied. There is hotpot, fried rice/noodles, jian bing (burrito-like), dumplings, steamed buns, Korean, sushi, etc.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

You can become very comfortable with the local area and Beijing as a whole, and many of the locals are very friendly and kind, but you will always remain a "laoren" or foreigner. If that is fine with you, then you should have no problem acclimating.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Very safe city, in all likelihood, the only problems you will run into are in the foreigner-dominated bar streets (pickpocketing, mugging) but I almost never heard of crime perpetrated by Chinese.

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)

You can survive on $10 per day and still eat well.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? About $70 to $80
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Avoid going to Western bars and restaurants as much as possible, as they usually cost three to four times as much as the Chinese joints.


* 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

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? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Intermediate II
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? Have a Chinese roommate, and look for ways to speak with locals. Always order in Chinese, even if you can only order two dishes.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
  • Hotel
  • Hostel
* 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?
  • The TBC students
  • The ability to travel over the continent
  • How far my money went
* What could be improved?
  • Language immersion
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had known that having a Chinese roommate would have been an excellent choice for language immersion.

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 Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.