Past Review

By (Accounting, SUNY - Binghamton) for

SUNY Binghamton: Shanghai - Chinese Business Language & Culture at Fudan University

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was very helpful and worthwhile. The most important thing I gained from the program was the sense of family. Every night for dinner, you're eating out with others. During that time, you chat with them and learn about them. That is the essence of Chinese meals, family style. At home I just took that for granted, but after eating with friends every single night it made me realize how grateful I am for that aspect. The program also made me really want to visit China again and stay much much longer. Hopefully I would also be able to work in China too.

Personal Information

If you took classes at multiple universities, list those universities here: Fudan University
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.

The workload was not extreme. The only recommendation I have is to reduce the amount of classes taken so that we would focus on specific classes. Our Chinese language class only met for 12 times during this program and we only covered 3 chapters in the whole textbook. Instead of having 7 different classes, we could have increased number of times our Chinese class and 1 or 2 others met.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

We didn't really have a faculty leader or program administration in country. We had a really good student leader who communicated with the combined faculty but I can't really name who the lead faculty member was. Each teacher was available on their own and had knowledge about China.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Tong He International student housing in Yang Pu district in Shanghai. The area was a pretty decent area and I really liked how we didn't leave in metro Shanghai and get a skewed view of China. Where we lived was down to Earth and "real" China. <br /><br /> Housing was arranged through the university. The neighborhood was safe, there was a 24 hour security guard. The apartments were very close to the school, a 10 minute walk every morning, and very close to restaurants right outside and down the street. Location was convenient for everything, with a bus stop right outside as well.

* Food:

The food was great and very cheap compared to American prices. There are great restaurants in Wu Jiao Chang and lots of family owned restaurants right downstairs of the apartment complex. The quality and quantity is great, considering the price in USD and no tip!!!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

We had a tour of Shanghai on our first weekend, which was amazing. It wasn't arranged by the school, but one of the student's family, so I am very thankful to them for that. There are a lot of attractions to visit, but you just have to be open to it. We lived so close to train stations and bus stops that would get us everywhere.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Safety was not an issue, especially since the Expo was in Shanghai. There was no problems on my part, but we did live down the street from a hospital.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? First off, the housing deposit and full stay payment had to be paid. That totaled about $800 American/5500 RMB for me, required on the first night. Fortunately the management gave us time to change money and pay that. Food was about 80-100 yuan a day, roughly $15 USD (which is how much you spend in the dining halls).
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? The housing deposit mentioned above.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

Luckily for me, there were 2 fluent speakers of Chinese in the same class so when I talked with them, I told them to only speak to me in Chinese. Otherwise (as mentioned above) there was not too much improvement in language skills. The majority of the class just spoke to each other in English. A suggestion would be to integrate our class with other universities. One of our business trips included a class from the Philippines so it could be an option to put a class together with them. Another option would be to have a pen pal sort of program where you get matched with a native Chinese Fudan University student.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

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

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Business students would benefit most considering it is the Chinese BUSINESS Language and Culture program. There is a lot to learn from business in China and it would be a great help in the future.