Fresh Spring experience in China! Past Review

By (Middlebury College) - abroad from 02/02/2017 to 06/04/2018 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury in Kunming

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Studying at Middlebury's Kunming program was definitely worth it because I got to improve my Chinese and in a beautiful city!

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

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* 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

I would do it again because Kunming is amazing and Middlebury has changed the academic structure since I have left so I know it would be an amazing experience!


* 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)

Yes, it was incredibly easy because food and transportation were inexpensive.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? On average I was able to spend less than $50 per week.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Take advantage of Kunming's wonderful transportation system!


* 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

Middlebury's language pledge really does wonders for your language skills.

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? Chinese 400
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? Try to adhere to the language pledge and also hangout with your roommates as much as possible!

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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Language experience
  • Kunming
* What could be improved?
  • Academic materials used
  • give students more time to explore the city
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? How course material is somewhat limited due to government control. Middlebury language programs are amazing, and I wish they could have one in Taiwan.

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:

International News

Course Department: Chinese
Instructor: Professor Ma
Instruction Language: Chinese
Comments: I liked my professor, but there is little academic freedom in an authoritarian regime so we could only read PRC approved articles from state media.
Credit Transfer Issues: none
Course Name/Rating:

Kunming Studies

Course Department: Chinese
Instructor: Professor Liu
Instruction Language: Chinese
Comments: Yes it was engaging, and I got to learn more about Kunming's historical importance in modern Chinese history.
Credit Transfer Issues: none
Course Name/Rating:

Tutorial in Chinese (One Belt One Road)

Course Department: Chinese
Instructor: Professor (Master's Student)
Instruction Language: Chinese
Comments: Unfortunately, my tutorial class was very constricting because we could not access any academic materials that provided critical feedback on the One Belt One Road Initiative. Thus, I felt I only learned one side of the story.
Credit Transfer Issues: none.
Course Name/Rating:

Contemp Issues in China

Course Department: Chinese
Instructor: Professor Liu
Instruction Language: Chinese
Comments: I enjoyed this class because we were able to focus on spoken Chinese and discuss issues that many Chinese people face in urban centers especially the housing market.
Credit Transfer Issues: none