Amazing, Spectacular, Just Study Abroad Already Past Review

By (Loyola University Chicago) - abroad from 01/12/2015 to 05/08/2015 with

The Beijing Center: Semester and Full Year Abroad

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned so much about Chinese peoples, culture and myself. I had high expectations for my experience and this program somehow shattered them. I cannot say enough good things

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Challenging semester, but incredibly, incredibly intelligent professors. They expect a lot, but you learn a whole lot as well

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I had a good time, but I would highly recommend getting a Chinese roommate. Not having a Chinese roommate is one of my biggest regrets looking back at the semester.

* Food:

So good, so cheap. Be sure to adventure a bit with your culinary choices, you'll end up missing it when you get back.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Chinese roommates and tutors definitely help get you used to the culture, but it is hard (as with almost any program) to break outside of the program sometimes. The excursions do a great job at exposing you to new cultures in areas you would probably never end up otherwise.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

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)

China is fairly inexpensive, but you do have to watch yourself from time to time. You eat out almost every day, but most local restaurants have meals for $2-3USD

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? If you are going shopping at touristy places, learn to barter and when to barter. Also see if your Chinese friends will take you to the more Chinese malls away from most of the tourists. They generally have better rates


* 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

Classes are encouraged to use Chinese language terms in their syllabus and lectures. Language is push a lot.

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? Chinese 101
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? Use your tutor for help. If you often hang out with people whose Chinese is better than yours, ask if you can speak for the group from time to time.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
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?
  • Excursions
  • Course Offerings/Teachers
  • Cultural Experience
* What could be improved?
  • Better intergration with Chinese Campus
  • Awareness of some programs before arrival
  • Make students have Chinese roommates
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Get your textbooks over there/ buy an e-reader for them Get a Chinese roommate Have fun. It'll go by so quickly, so don't waste any time

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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The Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.