Past Review

By (Economics., Centre College) for

Shanghai University: Shanghai - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I can't wait to go back, which I believe encompasses how I felt about my experience. Asia is a constant learning experience for a Westerner, and that is where its value lies.

Personal Information

If you took classes at multiple universities, list those universities here: Shanghai University
The term and year this program took place: Fall 2009

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

My Mandarin class was the only one that had any academic merit whatsoever. The "economics" and "culture" classes were poorly taught, way too long, and had a extremely vague agenda. Aside from the Mandarin class, there was no articulation of expectations or grading methods. Mandarin was a great class, however. Our professor was approachable, helpful, and thorough. I was challenged throughout the course.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Strengths: -good intentions -willingness to get students involved -approachable employees weaknesses: -lack of communication at times -never did a great job of passing along information

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

No complaints - the dorm was very nice. <br /><br /> As good or better than I have in the States.

* Food:

Food was great. One of the best parts of the experience was trying new dishes on a daily basis. Eat at the canteen for lunch occasionally, but try surrounding restaurants frequently, and try many different menu items.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Shanghai is a great city for young people - lots of foreigners, a good night life, and exciting city atmosphere. My trips to other parts of China were more of a cultural immersion, and some of the best parts of my experience.

* Safety:

Always have a friend with you when you travel places, or at least have someone who knows where you are or will be going. Bring your own medication and plan for more than usual. Avoid going to the hospital unless it is necessary.

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


* 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)

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? China is very inexpensive - food is cheap, travel is cheap. The only high expenses are for items you might buy while there, such as clothes, souvenirs, etc. That depends on the individual. Practice bargaining frequently during your first few weeks - that will save you the most money in the long run.


How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
Language acquisition improvement?

I didn't know any Mandarin before going to China, so my skills increased exponentially, of course.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Open your mind, try weird food, study the language until it hurts, and make the most of every minute. It flies by. Prepare to be adaptable and learn on the go. If you can't muster the effort to do this, you'll probably be homesick and not have a great experience. If you can, you'll love every minute.