I am very grateful for the program I chose. July 30, 2018

By (Middlebury College) - abroad from 12/28/2017 to 06/21/2018 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury in Kunming

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was definitely worthwhile. Language and I began to understand the culture in a daily life and tangible ways rather than textbook lessons.

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I am incredibly grateful of all of the staff on-site, especially the director Li Laoshi, who went well beyond his duties to make Kunming and the program home for us.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I was very satisfied with the living conditions, it was quite luxurious actually and I bonded with my roommate quite well (still in touch with her), however it was very isolating in that we did not have a great deal of opportunities to get in touch with local students outside of our roommates.

* Food:

Amazing!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The activities were definitely making an immese effort to integrate us, but given that our classes and program is very separate from the students in the host university, that is a bit difficult sometimes to be achieved.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did have to go to the hospital once, and I felt very supported by the program and comfortable with the docotor. The program recommenede a hospital and it was a very easy experience and I was refunded for the visit by the insurance.

* Safety:

It was quite safe, but as in any other city you need to take precautions and stay alert.

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

I think that I learnt a great deal in Yunnan and while China is vastly big, I would choose to be in the same place again, I also created strong bonds with people in the program.

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)

While it is cheaper, living costs add up relatively quickly.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $45-50
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Save in the beginning and study the scene before starting to spend.

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Advanced
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? 400 level
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Get in touch with local activities and culture, create a friendship with roommate if possible or local students.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Hotel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local 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?
  • Trips
  • Roommates
  • Director
* What could be improved?
  • Kunming Studies Class
  • More contact with local students
  • Better class - outside school balance
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? All of the lessons of 101 and 102 are very very important.

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!

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

一对一 One on One

Course Department: HIST
Instructor: Li Laoshi
Instruction Language: Chinese
Comments: This class was challenging in that its structure depended on me and my instructor who was not very knowledgable on what I was interested in/ focusing on. However, she was very willing to learn with me and help me in all ways she could. We did not take any trips. I participated in class a great deal. Papers, exams and participation.
Credit Transfer Issues: No, I did not face any issues, however, I had already been in touch with my home institution and department before the program began.
Course Name/Rating:

China's Rural Floating Population

Course Department: Sociology
Instructor: Mo Laoshi
Instruction Language: Chinese
Comments: This class was challenging an ok amount. We did take very interesting and fun field trips that actualized the knowledge we were engaging with in class. The teacher was very passionate and knowledgable and well-prepared. I participated in class more than I would at my home institution. Exams, HW, presentations, participation etc.
Credit Transfer Issues: NA
Course Name/Rating:

Yunnan's Ethnic Minorities

Course Department: Anthropology
Instructor: Wu Laoshi
Instruction Language: Chinese
Comments: This class was the most challenging of the program and I did struggle a great deal. This class also used our location and took us to very interesting and engaging field trips, which added important insights into the material. The teacher was very passionate and knowledgable about the topic, and some of the 'western' and Chinese understandings of issues with minorities came to surface in discussions. I participated the same amount as I usually did at my home institution.
Credit Transfer Issues: NA
Course Name/Rating:

Kunming Studies

Course Department:
Instructor: Mo Laoshi
Instruction Language: Chinese
Comments: This class was very interesting, I particularly liked our debates and the topics. However, the issue I found is that while it was a grammar and language class with the setting being our place of study, our grammar was not corrected much excpet for exams, which was not the most helpful. It was not very challenging, but we did have useful vocabulary to study. The professor was very knowledgable and we did take relevant field trips which added a great deal to the material. I participated more in class than I would at my home institution.
Credit Transfer Issues: NA