Wishing I could go back! Past Review

By (International Business and Entrepreneurship, Elon University) - abroad from 08/14/2012 to 12/16/2012 with

The Beijing Center: Semester and Full Year Abroad

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
There is no better gift that you can give yourself than the chance to experience living in a different country for an extended period of time. China taught me so much about developing a global perspective, challenging myself to take risks, seeing things from other points of view, and exposed me to so many new ideas. I began the program with the overall mentality that I wanted to go somewhere I could (1) further my studies in business--had to have a competitive academic program, and (2) experience a culture that was completely removed from any other Western country I had visited before, or would want to "vacation" later in life. I did not want to be comfortable, I wanted to be challenged and pushed. The Beijing Center supplied me with the supportive programming and community for this to happen in a positive way. Because of this program, I am more interested in international travel, have made countless friends, and even more memories.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Unlike some study abroad programs, The Beijing Center provides students with intensive, challenging, and rewarding course loads. Initially, I chose this program because it has a strong emphasis on business and global trade. I ended up learning so much about the Chinese economy, politics, culture, and language--the choice definitely paid off!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

China is a great way to challenge yourself and immerse yourself in a new culture.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The dorms are clean and in a good location.

* Food:

There's lots of great local food places to eat around the dorm area that are absolutely delicious.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Best part of the program- organized trips to cultural spots around China created invaluable learning experiences.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

China, and Beijing specifically, is very safe. The US Embassy and the Beijing Center always would alert students of any political or social unrest around, and tell us what areas to stay clear of.

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)

If you are smart, manage your money, and live like a local there is no reason why you should not be able to live on less than $45 a week.

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Bargaining is social acceptable, and encouraged, in many places in China (clothing markets, tourist shops). Just not in restaurants and defined establishments.


* 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

I went to China not know ANY of the language. The courses at the Beijing Center are taught at a international university, so they are extremely intensive. You are provided with outside support, with a Chinese student tutor, and the professors are extremely committed to your success.

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?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
* 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? 10+

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Friends
  • Business Classes
  • Arranged Trips
* What could be improved?
  • Absolutely Nothing
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I would have gone sooner or stayed longer!

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.