UIC is the Place to Be! Past Review

By (BS in Accounting, Towson University) for

United International College( UIC): Zhuhai - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I believe this program was perfect for me, as it gave me the opportunity to interact and become friends with many students from China, Korea, France, and America, without as much of a pressure of language barriers. It has encouraged me to pursue the Chinese Language more and also focus my career on international business rather than simply domestic.

Personal Information

If you took classes at multiple universities, list those universities here: Beijing Normal University (BNU) - Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) United International College (UIC)
How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Overall my learning experience was pretty good. As I mentioned before, most of the classes I took for not too difficult, but I still learned a lot of information I did not know before, even if the assignments were not challenging. Some of the teachers grading methods were not appropriate in my opinion, but there are certain requirements built in my the educational system that are unavoidable. However, due to my interactions with Chinese students in my classes and outside, I was able to learn a lot more than what the teachers taught me.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The staff of the International Development Office at UIC was really great, and I was able to come if I had any difficulties. The school was smaller than I thought, and therefore the number of exchange and international students was smaller as well. However, I thought this was a great advantage because we were all able to meet each other and become friends. Also, it forced us to interact with the Chinese students at the university, as we were intermingled together with them constantly.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The dorms are not American standards, but they are really good by Chinese standards, from what I hear. I stayed in a dorm room with one Chinese roommate. We had our own bathroom and shower. Some things I had to get used to were being charged for utilities, mainly electricity. Also, water was not centrally heated, we had our own water heater. Bedding was bought before I got there, though the beds are different from American beds. Instead of using a mattress, they use a one or two inch pad. This was somewhat difficult to get used to sleeping on, but it was not bad once I got used to it. I was treated wonderfully by my roommate, he was very welcoming and friendly.

* Food:

I did not have an dietary restrictions, so I did not have to face problems related to that. The food quality at the Greenwood Gourmet and the restaurants close to the campus was better than that at the Canteen dining halls. However, it was still good enough to eat everyday, but just not as tasty to me.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Zhuhai seems like an amazingly safe city once you live there as long as I did. The college is located in an area surrounded by other universities, so most people around are students. When going outside of campus, the people are friendly and hard working. I did not have any fears as long as I was with at least one or two friends.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I am not sure exactly how much I spend, but usually meals could range between 8 rmb a meal up to 60 rmb (usually for dinner at a restaurant or morning tea). With this range it could be from 168 to 1,260 rmb a week. It would be possible to eat on less than $5 a day if you want to.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? One thing I did not bring with me was a winter coat, which I had to buy there. I assumed since I was going to such a southern part of China it would be warm all the time, but at night in the Winter it can get really cold. Also, there is no internal heating in the dormitories.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? None
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

Mostly I practiced the language with the other exchange students, though I did attempt to practice with my Chinese classmates. I believe the program was good, but because I had never had any experience in Chinese beforehand, it was difficult for me to feel comfortable speaking it. However, I was forced to in certain situations, or at least listen to a Chinese person and try to understand, as though all of my classmates spoke English, the local people around the college did not.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? For China is general: - You have to bring your own napkins everywhere as restaurants will not have them laying out on the table like in America. - Public restrooms have squatting toilets and sometimes contain no toilet paper or place to wash your hands, so bring Hand Sanitizer or Hand Wipes. - Ordering Chinese is food is easy, you just point. - Bring Chinese cash with you, order it ahead of time. - Get a Bank of America bank account so you can withdraw money with no fees from the China Construction Bank.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

America in the World since 1789 (1789年后美国史)

Course Department: SOC 1230
Instructor: Dr. Victor J Rodriguez
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This course was very interesting, as I was learning about the history of my own country, America, in China. As a result, my classmates had a much different knowledge of America, and a very different opinion of its history. Though the class was originally to focus on "Transnational" American History, it was changed to simply cover American History in general, though it did focus on the lasting impact of American Imperialism around the world, along with other world impacts of America's creation up until the end of the cold war. My professor was excellent. He was a professor at UCLA before coming to UIC and has a lot of knowledge about American history, not only concerning the U.S., but also Latin America. He is originally from Panama. I thought his teaching method was good, though the Chinese students in my class struggled with the language a little bit (as they are learning English as they take English language-taught classes. Still, I believe that he adapted his lessons to fit their level of knowledge.
Credit Transfer Issues: I did have some trouble getting Towson to credit this course to me. Originally, because the subject matter was originally only focused on 1876 to present U.S. history, I had got it credited for "HIST 146: History of the United States from the mid-19th Century." However, due to the subject change, it did not fit either HIST 146 or "HIST 145: History of the United States to the mid-19th Century." Finally, I was able to contact the head of the American Studies Department at Towson, and she approved my course for "AMST 201 Introduction to American Studies." The reason I wanted this class was it fulfills general education requirement II.B.1. for the 2009 catalog year.