TEAN Fudan: Something for Everyone Past Review

By (History and Asian Studies, Marietta College) - abroad from 09/01/2012 to 12/17/2012 with

The Education Abroad Network ( TEAN ): Shanghai - Fudan University

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained a new perspective on my personal and professional lives. The semester before this was the worst I had ever had, but my time in China was the best. It was the most worthwhile thing I've done in a very long time.

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.

The classes at Fudan University were excellent, granting me the Chinese perspective on subjects I had already studied, as well as information on brand-new topics.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Ramona was wonderfully helpful with any concerns I had.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

TEAN's apartments are outstanding--definitely worth the money, especially when compared to the alternative.

* Food:

It's China--food is probably the most important single aspect of day-to-day culture. Of course it was great!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Thanks to our Chinese roommates, we were able to meet a LOT of local students and became fairly well-known to the shopkeepers in the area.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did not have any health issues, but my roommate found going to the hospital quite easy, thanks to our Chinese roommate provided by TEAN.

* Safety:

Shanghai has one of the lowest violent crime rates in China. That said, keep one eye on your wallet and the other on the traffic, but for a big city you'd be hard-pressed to find a safer place, particularly in the neighborhood around Fudan.

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

Finances

* 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? It is incredibly easy to live on $50/week in Shanghai--that's $5/day for meals, and $15 per week for expenses such as a nice dinner with a date, drinks, or household expenses. That said, you get a lot more for about $75/week, so I would budget that if you want to have a really nice time.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Learn enough Chinese to where you can avoid the restaurants on University Avenue--a couple of people in my group were kind of foolish in that regard. If you go one street over, there's a Uighur place near Fudan that has every major food food group covered for less than $3 for a huge dish of whatever. And go to the sushi place near KFC--roughly the same price, and it's REALLY good. Western food....you'll pay for it.

Language

* 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

Our program encouraged the use of Chinese through a language pledge system in our apartments, and through the included Chinese language class.

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? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? I had finished the equivalent of 2 semesters of Chinese.
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? Talk to your roommate, and go to the fake markets. It's a more specialized vocabulary there--bargaining and so on--but it drastically increases your confidence and response time. Also, don't eat where the staff speaks English!

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

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

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • 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?
  • TEAN's support on the ground was amazing, as was the location at Fudan.
  • I loved the food!
  • The ability to interact with students from many different cultures was fascinating.
* What could be improved?
  • Very little, if anything. Maybe someone should see about putting a street food cart a bit closer to the TEAN apartments--preferably one of those ones with the sandwiches.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had known that the people I would meet abroad would affect my life in such a drastically positive fashion. If I had known that, I would have looked forward to it even more.

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Pre-Qin Confucianism and Legalism

Course Department: Philosophy
Instructor: Bai Tongdong
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This class was excellent--it is a combined undergrad/graduate class, and the discussion surrounding a vital element of Chinese culture was superb.
Credit Transfer Issues: