Going Global in Shanghai Past Review

By (International Marketing., University of Nevada - Reno) - abroad from 01/18/2010 to 12/17/2010 with

USAC China: Shanghai - Chinese Language and International Business

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It made me learn that I want to go back and live and work in Shanghai. The world is huge, but somehow it's also exceptionally small. It's helped me understand how I want to gear my life and what I want to accomplish. I love Shanghai and sincerely miss it every single day.

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.

While in Shanghai, I primarily took language courses. Being 2 semesters of content in one, they were relatively intensive. The benefit to them being that rigorous was that you could apply what you learned in class and through studying, right outside your door. Other classes were comprable to 200 and 300 level courses at my home university.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I wish I could give this 10 stars, but 5 will just have to do. I loved the on-site staff. They were very helpful and always there to provide suggestions. They knew everyone's name even before we got off the airplane and treated us as though we were never going to leave.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

While in Shanghai, I lived in the international student dorms on campus and loved them. I met so many amazing people from all over the world. The fact that my classes were a five minute walk away didn't hurt either!

* Food:

Food is awesome, of course. Shanghai offers so many affordable and delicious options when it comes to eating. On field trips and tours, the staff also took into consideration different tastes of the students.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I don't think that you can go on any program and have them hand you a group of friends from that specific country. However, the location and setting of the program made it easy to make local friends.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I never had any specific issues but at the time, there were a couple of incidents with other students. The staff quickly helped them no matter the time and took them to the appropriate location. I believe that the medical insurance covered all costs in reinbursments after you paid upfront. The healthcare industry is completely different from Western countries, so you can't expect it to be the same, it just makes it all a part of the experience.

* Safety:

I have never felt more comfortable and safe in a city- especially an urban city. Locals are kind and welcoming, the occasional scare, but nothing that would ever make you feel unsafe.

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)

If you are on a tight budget, it is very easy to get by. I however enjoyed going out and doing things which lead to higher expenses. Overall, Shanghai is a very affordable city to live in.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $80
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Save prior to going- you'll want to explore and spend upon arrival.


* 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

My teachers were very effective and good at understanding what our comprehension level was so no one got left behind.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
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? No language experience
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? Have discipline and study the language when you are there. Go out and USE it with locals because they are more than willing to help you learn.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • 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?
  • The city
  • The staff
  • Other students abroad with me
* What could be improved?
  • Number of courses available outside of language
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had known to pack lightly. I brought way too much stuff and ended bringing even more stuff home with me. I also recommend bringing a couple of boxes of comfort food with you. What's better than a box of mac n' cheese when you feel homesick?

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.