When can I go back?! Past Review

By (Fairfield University) - abroad from 08/15/2015 to 12/22/2015 with

The Beijing Center: Semester and Full Year Abroad

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
This was an incredible experience that I happened to stumble upon almost by accident! I learned so much about myself and the world around me. I wish I could go back in time and experience it again. I also made plenty of incredible friendships that I maintain today, not just with other Americans but with international students who I plan to visit when I can!

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The professors I had at TBC were some of the most passionate instructors I have ever had. The subjects offered were also very interesting such as Traditional Chinese Medicine, Political History of China since 1949, and China in the World Exonomy. We would go on field trips with some of the classes and would be treated to delicious meals by the professors on occasion. A really involved and hands on classroom experience.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The administration became like another family to us. They became our friends and support system on our journey. They wouldn't simply help us with logistical information for travel and school related stuff, but would recommend restaurants and other areas to explore.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My only regret is not choosing the Chinese roommate option. This would have been a great way to practice my elementary Mandarin skills. Choosing an apartment on campus means you'll be placed in a separate building from the others.

* Food:

There are so many options in the school cafeteria's to never get bored. Also the area outside campus offers so many delicious options. One of the things I miss the most.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I wish I made more of an effort on my part to integrate myself a bit more. But I have to say that from where I started off when I arrived without knowing anything, I made strides in learning about social norms and culture. What also helped was the fact that other students around me were also putting in an effort, so we would all learn from one another.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I never had any health issues, and from what I could see it was managed well for other students. There was a mix of Western medicine and Chinese Medicine used. I felt like I was almost the healthier I had ever been while abroad in China. It may have been from a healthier diet though?

* Safety:

I felt pretty safe, I was usually with others in the city, and on the occasion that I was by myself I never felt like I was in a threatening situation. In fact, one time I lost my purse with my wallet and everything was returned to me!

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

I would absolutely do this program again. I ended up doing another semester abroad in Korea afterwards. As much as I loved that program, there was something so special and intimate about my experience in China that couldn't be recreated.


* 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)

Thankfully the exchange rate worked very well in favor of the dollar. A meal could be between $1-$4. Heavier expenses were used for travel such as flights/transportation in the country.

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Don't buy a gym membership in another country, unless you practically live in a gym when you're back home, there's no point trying to start when you're abroad. You won't use it as much as you think you will, I promise.


* 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

We learned basics that we were able to implement in our daily lives right after leaving class. We also had private Chinese tutors who helped immensely.

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? None
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? Learn how to use everyday sayings for food , lavatory, directions. Also downloading an app to help with flash cards or beginner language practice may help give you a one up on other students upon starting a language course

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • 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?
  • Fellow students
  • Food
  • Courses
* What could be improved?
  • More events
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Etiquette and some everyday sayings.

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.