Studying in China is a Must Past Review

By (International Relations and Affairs., St. Cloud State University) for

Sichuan University: Chengdu - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I enjoyed myself, but the program was quite disappointing, we were often told one thing and then something totally different would happen.

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.

Too many class hours, should have been given at least 3 more credits. The classes took up all of our time, so we didn't get much of a chance to get out and explore more on our own. We should have been learning practical Mandarin, as well as some of the local dialect to help us get by, rather than just learning from a book designed for people who live outside China.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

We all felt that the staff in charge were unaware of American culture as well as that of the Tibetan culture we were told we would be studying. The volunteers who helped us were other students and were usually more helpful than the people in charge of our program. We agreed that the program size was good, not too many kids that we had to always split up to go out to eat, but not too few either.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

We stayed in an old hotel on campus that was mainly filled with other international students, most of whom were American. Much of what we needed was provided for us, but there was no where to cook, so we had to eat out most of the time, or boil water in the teapot and eat ramen.

* Food:

It could be hard to get waiters to understand dietary restrictions, and it is hard for some people to order off the menu due to the fact that they were almost always written entirely in Chinese. Food was usually delicious, but occassionally there would be something ordered on our weekend trips that was ordered by SCU and would be unappetizing. Animal organs are also quite common, so it was hard for the students who had never eaten anything other than the usual burger and other American fare.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

It would have been so much better if we had less class and more opportunity to go out and see things and meet people. But we had fun visiting new places and seeing new things.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Chengdu is a very safe city as long as you are aware of the fact that pedestrians DO NOT have the right of way in ANY situation. If you get hit by a car it was your own fault. They also don't mark anything when they are making repairs or have a manhole open, so be careful where you are walking. As far as healthcare is concerned, they will help you to find a doctor who can treat you through the insurance you get with the program.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No


* 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? If you are like me you can easily eat off of less than 20 dollars a week, the local food is very very cheap.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? You may want to get a phone, even if you think you won't need one, believe me, you will.


How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? First year, but I had lived with Mandarin speakers previously
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Hotel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans