Best Time of My Life Past Review

By (Fairfield University) - abroad from 08/06/2016 to 05/19/2017 with

The Beijing Center: Semester and Full Year Abroad

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I went to China alone and really learned how to be by myself and function without the help of others. I knew my experience was really up to me so I ahd to do what I had to in order to get the best of it.

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.

TBC has a private library for TBC students and staff with more books on China and Asia than I could even read. All the resources you need to study and or research can be found in that library. Not to mention its a great chill/ study spot.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

TBC staff are AMAZING! I never felt alone. Anything I needed, of relevance of course, they were there to help me out. What I loved most about tBC staff is that they didn't just do everything for me. They gave me the tool and resources for me to figure things out on my own and explore Beijing without a guide. This way I was able to get a feel for the large city and meets many people outside of my program.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Rooms are pretty spacious for a two person. We have our own bathroom in our room which is very convenient. Rooms also come with a huge flat screen TV, mini fridge, desks for studying and a round table which me and my roommate often enjoyed meals at.

* Food:

I would rate this 10 Stars if I could. Food was excellent. Of course there were some things I wasn't particularly fond of, but overall most things I tried, I fell in love with. Even the food in the university's dining hall was great and super cheap all around.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Unlike some of my peers, I made it my business to meet students and others from different cultural, ethnic and racial backgrounds. I found that I integrated into Chinese culture rather fast and rather easily. I was adamant about using my Chinese language skills to get around and chat to people rather than relying in English, in which you could only speak to other foreigners.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I went to the doctor three or so times while I was in China (nothing major, just personal) and it was fairly easy. I called ahead of time, (sometimes the day before) to make an appointment at a specific hospital recommended by TBC, then I called our insurance company so that they could cover the medical bill. Then I would go to my appt, get checked up and be on my way. All I ever needed to bring with me was a my passport.

* Safety:

My 10 months in China was the safest I ever felt in all my life. I felt more safe in China than I do in America. There are very few major crimes.

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)

Coming from America, the exchange rate definitely worked well in my favor. I was spending about $2-3 per meal, so very little. Some western restaurants were more expensive, charging typical western prices but if I ate at a Chinese place the food was relatively cheap. Also its pretty cheap to shop, I looked for places with sales and you can even barter down the price in some places. Of course if you are traveling and shopping every weekend you will spend way more.

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? SCHOLARSHIPS!!!!


* 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? Beginner
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Intermediate Chinese I & II
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? USE IT! can't learn it if you don't use it! Utilize your tutors!

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Host Family
* 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?
  • Integration with other international students in the dorm
  • TBC sponsored trips on thee weekends
  • 2 week excursion every semester
* What could be improved?
  • Choice in faculty
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? How much I would buy so that i didn't overpack!

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 Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.