Keep an Open Mind and You Will Succeed! February 07, 2018

By (John Carroll University) - abroad from 08/13/2017 to 12/15/2017 with

The Beijing Center: Semester and Full Year Abroad

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It is critical to keep an open mind and for you to not get caught up on minor inconveniences. If you roll with the punches, your overall experience will be positive and you will look back at it as the amazing experience it was.

Review Photos

The Beijing Center: Semester and Full Year Abroad Photo The Beijing Center: Semester and Full Year Abroad Photo The Beijing Center: Semester and Full Year Abroad Photo

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.

The overall experience was extremely positive, but some classes were not as beneficial as others. The difference a good professor can make in a class is paramount. Most of my professors at TBC were excellent, some of the best I have had in my entire undergraduate experience.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

They were helpful when I needed a question that needed an answer.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

If they are still housing students in building 6 (it may have changed), then there might some people that are dissatisfied. I had no issues with it: occasionally some people (on the floor above and below me) would go without running water for a day, but the program usually lets us know when this is going to happen.

* Food:

The on campus dining halls (there are two) are multi-storied and have an extremely wide selection of Chinese food. It is really cheap and I ate there frequently (you can get food to go). There are also many small restaurants right next to campus that are really good!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

If you want to feel integrated, it is up to you to go out and meet Chinese students and people from the neighborhood. If you become a regular at a local restaurant, then you can get to know the owners/workers. You can also go through this program without diving into the culture, but that isn't what study abroad is about.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I heard a few stories from both good and bad, but I would be sure to speak directly to the TBC staff if you have any issues. This will avoid any confusion that might happen over email.

* Safety:

There are cameras everywhere, and people are generally friendly. If you have any comments sense then you will feel confident exploring Beijing all over at all hours.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

I am graduating but I would work for TBC if I could. The staff is very friendly and I felt in control of my own experience. There are many new things to try and it's a learning experience!

Finances

* 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)

China (in general) is very cheap, and if you budget yourself you can get by on very little.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? around $35 (US)
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Find a group of friend to travel with you; this will divide the cost of a taxi and Chinese meals are generally served family-style, so that is shared as well.

Language

* 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? 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? Through the 200 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? Use it when you are exploring the city! You may get some laughs from the locals, but it is the only way to try it out and learn from your mistakes.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • 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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The people I met. (friends, teachers, staff, students)
  • Exploring the sights and taking trips
  • The food/cost
* What could be improved?
  • More small trips to lesser known restaurants (free food)
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I prepared for study abroad so the transition was not hard. Read articles and books, watch videos, read news and you will have a head start when you arrive.

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

China in the World Economy

Course Department: Economics
Instructor: Frank Hawke
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This class was challenging and engaging. Hawke老师 has a wealth of experience and loves to share it with his students. Those that were able to recognize his qualifications and experience in China thoroughly enjoyed this class. If you go into this class with an open mind and put enough effort into it, you will be successful in the class and learn a lot about China's economy and how it plays into the world.
Credit Transfer Issues: No