By (English Language and Literature, General, Westminster College, UT) - abroad from 08/22/2014 to 12/12/2014 with

Sichuan University: Chengdu - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Living in Chengdu was probably the best months of my life. I highly suggest that anyone who is interested in going stay for a whole year rather than one semester. You will not want to leave trust me!

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The resident staff is very helpful and very friendly. They can help you with anything you help you might need.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

It's a standard dormitory styled living arrangement so if you've ever lived on campus before you would pretty much understand what its like.

* Food:

Since my return I have been in a constant state of depression that I can no longer eat Sichuan cuisine.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Chinese people are extremely nice and friendly! I felt like it was very easy to make local friends and feel like an average Chinese citizen.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I didn't have any health issues so I'm not entirely sure how the Chinese healthcare compares to the U.S.

* Safety:

I felt extremely safe in Chengdu, even at late at night. Traffic is more chaotic than in the United States so be extra careful near streets. If you can make some simple precautions everything will work out fine.

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)

For better or for worse everything is MUCH cheaper in China than in the United States. I got a job tutoring 4 hours a week which payed all of my food and personal expenses and then-some.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 350 RMB
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Don't eat at western food restaurants too often, they are expensive and pretty disappointing over all. I would highly recommend finding a part time English Tutoring job, you can make a very good hourly pay.


* 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
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? Find a Chinese local to be your language partner! It is the best way to practice that I could find.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* 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
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?
  • Experiences I had
  • Friends I made
  • Things I learned
* What could be improved?
  • Housing
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had studied some Chinese before I got there! The first few weeks can be rough if you don't speak a word of Mandarin.

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'