Can I go back? Past Review

By (Political Science, Pace University) - abroad from 02/15/2014 to 07/07/2014 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It's hard to summarize everything I learned during the semester! Basically I discovered a new culture, met friends from around the world, discovered a lot of things about myself, traveled around China, discovered street Chinese food, took great classes that highlighted Asia as a region, quite understood cultural differences between western and asian countries etc...

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.

Fudan is the best university in Shanghai and a leading institution in the world. TEAN enrolled us at Fudan and allowed us to take any classes we wanted + a Chinese language class. I took amazing classes, all concentrated on Asian culture that really gave me an insight into Asia overall. It was not like in a US classroom as professors and students would add to the discussion sharing their personal experience in China. The classes may be a bit harder than the U.S., and the final exam is weighted more (60% generally).

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The on-site administration could not be better. On arrival you are paired with your program manager who is also kind of a local friend. If you have any issues you can call her and she comes in maximum 24h to help you.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The housing is an apartment located only a few minutes away from campus, a mall, chinese and western restaurants. It's very spacious and hearty, and you have a terrace and a rooftop to enjoy during the warm days! Besides, you have a Chinese roomie which is truly awesome because you get to live with a local which is very insighful + she/he can give you tips on where to go etc..

* Food:

The food is just amazinggggg. There are a lot of different Chinese food from all the provinces you can taste in Shanghai. It's extremely cheap (one dollar for a meal sometimes), and can be quite healthy depending on your choice!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

If you are not Asian, you will definitely get noticed, but not necessarily in a bad way. Social integration was really something that added a unique value to my experience. That was the first time of my life I learned what it meant to be seen as "the foreigner". Other than a few people staring at you in the subway or asking to take picture, social integration is quite easy. Shanghai is a very cosmopolitan city where you will meet a lot of international people/Chinese people speaking english. And if you already speak Chinese you can even make friends with true locals!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

TEAN Healthcare insurance is really awesome. It covers any service you can think about. I had a few medical problems throughout the semester and everytime the manager would come with me to the hospital and the insurance would cover all the expenses (meaning I did not have to pay a cent). You just need to contact by email the insurance beforehand describing why you took an apointment and with which kind of doctor and they will call the doctor for you.

* Safety:

China is far safer than what I expected. As a girl, it can be quite unsafe to come home late at night in big cities...not in Shanghai! Streets are extra safe, and you will never ever get street harassed or anything! Besides the apartment in in a supra safe area.

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)

It was extremely easy to live on a student's budget. Everything is inexpensive. Meals range from 1 to 5$ and transportation is 0.16 cent US$ for a ride!

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Don't buy western brands

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

The program highly encouraged you to use Chinese. We had a Chinese class twice a week, and our roommate was Chinese.

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

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
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 10+

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • TEAN highlight trips
  • The friends I made
  • The culture
* What could be improved?
  • I wanted to stay longerrrrrr
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I should have packed more clothes! I did not buy any Chinese clothes because they are very different from western ones. + Should have started traveling around Shanghai by the very beginning of the semester as time flies!

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.