intensive mandarin class, also 24/7 interaction with chinese students March 15, 2022

By (High School, High School) - abroad from 08/01/2018 to 08/31/2018 with

Minds Abroad: Chinese Language and Culture Study Programs in Yunnan

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
i improved my language skills a lot for just a month.

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.

I attended Minds Abroad before the pandemic and had a great experience. my main goal was on language immersion as i'd been studying mandarin for a couple of years and though i knew a lot it didn't all click together and i coudln't really have a conversation. so spending a solid month in an intensive chinese program, with chinese native teachers and also chinese students on the program, was just what i needed. i was also placed in a volunteer site in the afternoon where no one spoke english (aside from the chinese student peers that were taking part in the program too). but that was an enviorment where all the kids and teachers at the ngo we were volunteering at could only really understand chinese so i was able to practice. weekends were fun traveling around the province, very eye opening. .

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

the program coordinators / managers were great, they were there 24/7 and on top of every detail. it was a really action packed program and they were guiding us each step of the way.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

it was great. as i mentioned i really wanted to study chinese so living with chinese students was awesome.

* Food:

the food was fantastic. normally the food is spicy, which i don't like, but the managers were able to arrange for one table of students with non-spicy food and the other table or two with regular spicy food.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

nothing healthcare related came up. the program manager always carried around a first aid kit and there were always program managers nearby in case something urgent happened.

* Safety:

things were safe all the time. the program mentions in some of their material that pick pocketing can be an issue in touristy areas but there were no issues with any students on the month i was there.

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

this was exactly what i was looking for. it got me to where i needed to be --- i had previously only studied in the classroom and with this experience i was able to use the language in a variety of situations.


* 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)

5 = almost all expenses are already included in the main program fee. there isn't much outside that.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? there were occasional meals which we had independently. they always cost less than $5 US
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? nope


* 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

yes, not only were there classes but you were immersed with local chinese student peers throughout the program. this was why i choose this program.

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? i had done many years of chinese in middle and high school
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? find a program that is either an intesive homestay or a program like this where you are combined with chinese students--- don't surround yourself with other americans and western students and just talk to them all day

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
  • Hotel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local 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? 10+

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • local chinese student peers
  • action packed scheduled
  • very well done mandarin classes with just three students and one teacher
* What could be improved?
  • it would be better if flight prices were cheaper in the summer, they are 2-3x higher in aug than in other times of year
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? i wish id known more about yunnan and kunming.

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!