A Thrilling Ride in Shanghai! March 21, 2018

By (Simmons College) - abroad from 09/05/2017 to 12/22/2017 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
The experience is so worthwhile, especially as a Marketing major because it broadened my horizons on international marketing and advertising. I became more independent and confident from studying abroad. I learned so much more Chinese in China than I would have at my home university!

Review Photos

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

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The lectures at Fudan University were very different from the lectures at my home university, Simmons College. Each class had approximately 40 students with the students from different international backgrounds so the class discussions were always intriguing and exciting! The professors were most of the time available to meet with students separately if we did not understand the class materials. All of my four classes were lecture-based.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I was very nervous and worried at first coming to Shanghai all alone, but as soon as I arrived at the airport, Lily and Medusa from TEAN were waiting for me and all the other study abroad students so I felt very relieved. Medusa took us to the best places during our Orientation Week. My favorite place was Tianzifang! I took tons of pictures! If I had trouble with anything, I communicated with Medusa via Wechat and she responded immediately.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Living in the apartments felt like a dream. I did not expect to be living in such a nice apartment during my time in Shanghai. The bedrooms were quite spacious so my roommate and I were not too close together. The apartment itself was quite large so my three other roommates and I had enough space to walk around without feeling claustrophobic.

* Food:

I was not too pleased with the Chinese food especially because I could not ask people what was in the food nor order the food that I wanted without assistance. Instead, I went grocery shopping at Walmart and made my own dishes.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Shanghai is very international, especially DaXueLu with all the international restaurants and cafes, so I did not feel too integrated with the local culture. However, when I took the metro outside of WuJiaoChang and went to YuYuan, I felt connected to the culture. All the shops and street food enabled me to relate to the Chinese culture. When I went on the TEAN trips to Beijing and Chengdu, the two cities were very different from Shanghai, so it was nice to escape and see other parts of China. While I was at those two cities, I felt more integrated with the local culture rather than being in Shanghai.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did not have any experiences with healthcare and I did not need any vaccines for the program.

* Safety:

I felt safer walking alone at night in Shanghai than walking alone in Boston. I had a night class on Wednesday that ended at 9 PM and I did not feel scared at all walking alone from campus to my apartment. The streets are busy with cars and the shops are still open. When I came home late at night from the metro, I did not worry at all. The street lights were on and there were still many people out on the streets.

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

TEAN allowed me to have a smooth time in China - they notified if I was missing any documents or missed any deadlines. I had the best semester ever in China and I reminisce the amazing times and friends I have met while I was there.

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)

Everything in Shanghai was super cheap, especially the street food and grocery shopping. Although the restaurants and cafes on DaXueLu were a little expensive, the street food was delicious and very affordable. I sometimes ate the street food, but usually went grocery shopping, which was reasonable.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $50
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? If participants plan on grocery shopping, I would recommend them to buy a week's worth of food so in case they want to eat out, they do not waste their groceries.

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

I could not survive Shanghai without speaking the language. Although some of the locals knew a little bit of English, I could not survive Shanghai without the language. The Chinese class was held Monday through Thursday for 50 minutes and the classes were extremely helpful. Since my class consisted of two students, the professor really strengthened my speaking skills and the sentence structures. If I had any problems with speaking Chinese and the professor was not around, I would message Medusa and she was always available to help.

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? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Beginner 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? I knew that I wanted to study in Shanghai for a semester so I enrolled in the Level 1 Chinese courses a year prior to studying abroad. Learning Level 1 Chinese helped me immensely because I could have minimal conversations with the locals and they were able to understand what I was saying even though my vocabulary was limited. I recommend future study abroad participants to enroll themselves in the language that is spoken at their study abroad countries prior to leaving so they can have some experience with the languages and feel comfortable speaking them.

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?
  • Housing
  • Availability of staff
  • Chinese roommates
* What could be improved?
  • Nothing!
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had an itinerary of the Orientation Week so I could see the layout of each day. I wish I knew more about the classes because when registering for classes, I only saw the class names and the times. I did not know anything about the course unless I enrolled and I only had two classes to figure out if I wanted to stay in the class. Some of the class times overlapped with each other so during Registration Week, I could not go to the classes that I were interested in because I was in the other classes.

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.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Business Research Methods

Course Department: Business
Instructor: Byron Murphy
Instruction Language: English
Comments: The professor was very knowledgeable about the course; he always came prepared to each class with a different topic and several real life examples so we could understand the materials. I found myself participating in class more often than I usually would at my home institution and speaking about my professional and academic experiences.
Credit Transfer Issues: Nope! I had no issues transferring the credit!