Challenging but almost always in fruitful ways. January 29, 2019

By (Middlebury College) - abroad from 08/30/2018 to 12/14/2018 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury in Kunming

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained a much more solid economic, cultural and political understanding of China. Learning about the Chinese lifestyle was mind-opening.

Review Photos

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury in Kunming Photo Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury in Kunming Photo Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury in Kunming Photo Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury in Kunming Photo Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury in Kunming Photo

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

The Kunming program is academically sound and very language-immersive, with many opportunities to learn about the region and travel around as well. Wish I had been encouraged to reach out and make more local friends though.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $100-160

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? 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? 426 CHNS Politics and Business in China: Advanced Readings and Discussion
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+

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?
  • Language Pledge
  • Faculty, staff and students
  • My roommate
* What could be improved?
  • More activities with the local community
  • More sanitary conditions in the hotel and classroom building.
  • It would nice to be able to take internships as a first semester study abroad student
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I didn't expect that the sanitary conditions would be so low. Rats are everywhere and they even showed up dead inside of our washing machines, floating in smelly water for hours before hotel staff worked on removing it. Food can be tricky too since the oil is often reused and not very clean. I also wish I knew better how to find the appropriate nutrients for a vegetarian in Chinese food, as I often resorted to a more Western diet.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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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.