I now consider Shanghai my home and will be returning as soon as I graduate! Past Review

By (French Language, Chinese Language, University of the Pacific) - abroad from 01/07/2013 to 05/10/2013 with

USAC China: Shanghai - Chinese Language and International Business

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned how life works in one of the largest and busiest cities in the entire world.

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.

The Chinese class was long which made it seem hard but I feel like I could have been given a little more work and been able to finish it without a problem.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

One of the most helpful and genuine people I have ever met. She will do literally anything for you to make sure that you are happy and having a good time in Shanghai.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

At first it doesn't seem that great. But then you realize that you are IN CHINA and you see the facilities that the actual Chinese students are living in and then you realize that the international dorms are pretty nice. If you've got a little extra money to spare I would definitely recommend living in the single dorms because the doubles are a little gross.

* Food:

The food is what you make it in Shanghai. If you are adventurous and willing to try new things, you will eventually find something that you like. There is not really a student cafeteria but there are tons of little restaurants near the campus where we would eat every day.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Once again something that you have to be willing to do yourself. I didn't really have any Chinese friends besides my conversation teacher and a few people that I met at the end of the year but this is my fault because I wasn't very invested in going out and making friends.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

If you were sick the program director would simply leave work and walk with you to the hospital, which is right down the street, and wait with you all day if necessary to get fixed up. Hospital was very modern and ran very smoothly, much better than an American healthcare facility. Very cheap too.

* Safety:

You can walk around Shanghai ANYTIME of the day or night in ANY area and feel 100% completely safe. Shanghai is where I feel safest in the entire world.

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)

Just depends how much money and how well you want to live. If you want to cook most of your meals and not really go out on the weekends you can easily survive on $100 a week. I spent around $200 a week and ate most of my meals out save 3 or 4 and went out every Friday and Saturday night.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $200


* 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

Most people, especially in the service industry, in Shanghai don't speak English. So we had to use it quite often which was helpful.

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? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Intermediate 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? Get a language partner!

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?
  • Advanced Chinese instructor
  • Chinese Culture and Society Instructor
  • Program Director
* What could be improved?
  • start conversation class earlier in the semester
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew that Chinese conversation did not start until half way through the semester or else I would have been more enthusiastic about finding a language partner

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!