Cheers to an unforgettable semester abroad Past Review

By (Pre-Pharmacy, Drake University) - abroad from 09/01/2012 to 12/21/2012 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
EVERYTHING. I gained a better understanding of the Chinese culture and language, experience from hospital internships, everlasting friendships, and so much more.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I could definitely be a critic and say that the Chinese education system is just so different from the American system that it sucks. Fortunately, my time there wasn't spent on comparing every aspect to American culture. Rather, I was able to better understand the different expectations classes in China expected and change my way of studying to meet those expectations.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

They were reachable, but some things they just could not accomplish for the students.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I really enjoyed the concept of living in Shanghai with local people and my Chinese roommate really helped the transition. The apartment was big and in a nice location. What I was not too happy with was there were a number of problems with the apartment itself.

* Food:

You have to be careful with food in China. Because there are no strict food safety regulations, there are a lot of things that are not clean and can get you sick. Ensuring clean food would mean spending quite a bit of money. Fortunately, Fudan's cafeteria had a wide variety of choices, was cheap, and guaranteed clean. Other than that, food in China is so flavorful! I didn't get bored of it. It definitely was a lot better than food at my home university.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

It was really fun being able to talk and interact with local people. The only problem was the language barrier, but once that was out of the way, it was good. Students have to keep an open mind to fully appreciate their experience.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

The only encounters I had with healthcare system in China were 1) interning at various hospitals and 2) getting a physical exam to run the half marathon. Getting the physical exam was easy and quick. I just had to pay a small fee.

* Safety:

For the most part, I feel a lot safer in China than I do in the US in terms of walking on the streets at night or exploring the city. Traffic and food safety, however, is a different story.

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)

Cost of food is much less if you don't eat fancy things all day, every day.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Maybe around $30 a week.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Learn to cook some food and shop with the locals!


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
* 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?
  • Full Fudan course list
  • Inner Mognolia Excursion
  • Beijing Orientation
* What could be improved?
  • Some of the apartment conditions
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had better prepared myself with American medications such has Benadryl or Tylenol.

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 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.