Dumplings are Delicious Past Review

By (Central Michigan University) - abroad from 08/26/2019 to 12/13/2019 with

USAC China: Chengdu - Chinese Language and Culture

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My Chinese ability definitely improved while I was here, and I think I opened up a little more. I was pretty shy coming here, but you're forced to become friends with these people and that means opening yourself up. It was definitely a worthwhile experience.

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.

The classes are very challenging. Honestly, pretty much an easy GPA booster. The Chinese tracks can get pretty tough, but all the other classes are very easy. You can easily take 18 credits and have more than enough time for all of them. Most classes give very minimal homework.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Amazing, Amazing, Amazing directors. Wentao and Jiajing were two of the sweetest most helpful people ever. I would just off of a cliff for these two. They were hilarious and were available to talk to at all times.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The rooms do the trick. They aren't pristine, but you get a private room and private bathroom, and they are a good size. They could use some cleaning and patchwork, but I was willing to overlook those. The pros far outweigh the cons, just be prepared for a bad mattress.

* Food:

The only reason I am giving this 3 stars, is because I am the pickiest person on the planet. I don't eat vegetables and Chinese pretty much runs on vegetables. I loved a good piece of meat, but the Chinese meat can be kind of sketchy sometimes. The kungpao chicken is delicious, and Tibetan food is a must have. The food is cheap if you're going to street places. Noodles and rice restaurants outside the east gate is pretty good and very cheap. But expect to pay a bit more for a family style meal or an American style meal.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Its not possible to feel unintegrated. You're here for 4 months so you get pretty used to Chinese lifestyle. There are plenty of opportunities to make Chinese friends at English speaking clubs and even at night clubs. Make sure you go to all of the field trips and on your own trips in order to see all the country has to offer. The Chinese people are polite to foreigners and will often try to speak Chinese to you.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I personally did have any issues other than a cold. I didn't need to go to the doctor at all, but people that did, the director took them and got them some medicine for pretty cheap.

* Safety:

All the the gates of campus had security guards at all times. Whether or not they do something, well I'm not sure, but at least they are there. 2 of the gates close at night and the only open gate is far aways from the dorm. The city feels pretty safe, just act like you do at home; don't go into dark alleys or anything, and you'll feel just fine. There is always police and guards on the street patrolling. Just be cautious with traffic.

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

I have my issues with China itself, but the friends I made in the program were some of the coolest people. I was very nervous coming here, but the people were awesome. Chinese nature and scenery is gorgeous once you get out of the city, and it has some of the prettiest places I have ever seen.


* 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)

I lived off of about $70 a week. The beginning you're going to spend more money on just getting settled in; room items, metro card, meal card. However, it gets easier after a while. Make sure you set a max amount you're willing to spend and budget from there. Food is cheap if you're willing to not eat expensive meals. \

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? About 60-70usd.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Eat at the cafeteria.


* 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

Living in the city, its hard to not use the language. Even if its just quick chats with a waiter, you have to use it at some point.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Advanced
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? AP Chinese in high school which is about 4 college semesters worth.
How many hours per day did you use the language?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
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?
  • The People
  • The Language
  • The Travel
* What could be improved?
  • Room cleanliness
  • Class options
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Everyone is just as nervous as you are, so don't worry. Don't set a bad first impression, but it'll be hard to change that for the rest of the semester. Travel on your own time to places in Sichuan.

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:

Ancient Chinese History

Course Department:
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This class was very boring. Every day we would listen to her lecture about stuff that wasn't even historical events. I was expecting to learn about all the dynasties and important figures, but we spent a month talking about Confucianism. An easy class with no work other than one presentation and an essay, but very boring to sit through. The professor is very nice though.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Tibetan Culture and Society

Course Department:
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Loved this class. Our professor was the sweetest woman and loved learning all she could about our lives, while teaching us about her culture and lifestyle. Going into it, I knew nothing about Tibet, so everything was interesting to learn. She took us on two field trips, one to a Tibetan restaurant and the other to a Tibetan texts museum. Classes were enjoyable and I looked forward to going to them.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Track 3 Chinese

Course Department:
Instruction Language: Chinese
Comments: An intense learning course where our professor only speak Chinese the entire class period, but it was definitely needed so we could improve our Chinese listening. The class could move a little slow at times, but the workload was tolerable and the professor was very nice.
Credit Transfer Issues: