This changed my life! Past Review

By (Religion/Religious Studies., Central Washington University) - abroad from 08/20/2012 to 12/01/2012 with

Sichuan University: Chengdu - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained SO MUCH self confidence, a better view of what the 'real world' is actually like, and a lot of gratitude for my own country. Also, I sharpened my street smart skills and got comfortable with navigating unfamiliar places. I fell even more in love with the culture than I already was and learned things you just can't comprehend by sitting in a classroom and reading a textbook.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

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:

You need to have a good head on your shoulders if you're going to really explore the city, obviously. There are important traffic rules for pedestrians to obey just like anywhere else.

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)

Cost of living in China was much cheaper than I expected. Most of the "larger expenses" I had were due to wanting to buy things for family and friends back home. I learned the skills of bargaining in the large street markets though!

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $15
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Do your research about the general cost of living in the city you'll be living in. Then you can get an idea of how much you should be spending. Set yourself a realistic budget. The best thing I did was to shop where the locals were shopping for food. Seriously, get comfortable with that and your food bill will go down in no time!


* 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? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? 0
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Just USE it. It can be tempting to fall back on pantomiming and kindergarten English to get your point across, but the more you simply use the country language in as many everyday situations as possible, the better you'll get at speaking it.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
  • Hostel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The food
  • The cultural immersion
  • The available activities
* What could be improved?
  • A bit more contact with in-country program supervisors
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Things happen, and you just need to go with the flow.

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!