Best Semester of my Life Past Review

By (Loyola University Chicago) - abroad from 08/11/2014 to 12/19/2008 with

The Beijing Center: Semester and Full Year Abroad

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned about a whole other culture that I knew very little about and I learned that despite all our differences we are all people who want the same things life, love, family, companionship, safety, etc. I also learned a lot about myself and the challenges that I am able to overcome if I put myself to the test.

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.

One of the most academically challenging semesters of my undergrad but in a good way! It challenged me to question things and seek out information for myself and made me a much better student and person as a result. Also despite being a lot of work it wasn't so much work that it prevented me having free time as I still had plenty of time to go out and explore the amazing city of Beijing.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The staff are very helpful and always willing to go the extra mile to help resolve any issues you have going on.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

Real Chinese food is amazing and I miss it all the time! There was also an opportunity to take a cooking class and I will have those memories and skills with me forever!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

You have to make a lot of extra effort to make Chinese friends. The tutor program is great but I wish there were more opportunities to meeting Chinese students.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

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)

Living expenses are very affordable in China! You are able to eat for very very cheap on campus and even the restaurants off campus are not expensive either.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $30
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Eating on campus will save you a ton of money! Also eat real Chinese food instead of fast food or western food and you will save a ton of money!


* 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

TBC makes language learning fun and easy by giving you a private Tutor and intensive language classes.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? 102 Beginner Level
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? Hang out with Chinese students like your tutor or a Chinese roommate so that you can practice more. Go to shops by yourself so you can practice without the crutch of having a friend that speaks the language better than you! Chinese are very helpful when they see you are making an effort to learn!

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
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?
  • Excursion Trips!
  • Tutor Program!
  • Chinese Food!
* What could be improved?
  • Internet Access
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Don't spend all your time hanging out with other Americans! Challenge yourself to go out and meet new people and it will be well worth it!

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.