Journey in the Greater Mekong Subregion Past Review

By (Cognitive Science., University of Virginia) - abroad from 08/22/2014 to 12/13/2014 with

Yunnan University: Kunming - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was definitely worthwhile, I learned a lot about Southeast Asia and its interaction with China, as well as an extensive learning of China.

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 academic content was very interesting, but some courses were not very structured which made for an excessively difficult time with them.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The administration was very professional and fun to be around as well

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Probably my most favorite aspect of the entire study abroad experience, my homestay was amazing from the beginning to its end 3 months later

* Food:

I am the biggest fan of Asian food (particularly Thai), so Yunnanese Chinese cuisine was no problem whatsoever for me

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I tended to spend time mostly with my friends from within the program and my host parents, so I didn't feel the most integrated

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

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? 100


* 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

Language was a large part of the program and was essential in putting an effort to master

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
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 Part 2
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? The homestay is almost a guaranteed method for practicing the language, and staying in dorms certainly allows students to go out in the nearby campus and practice with other students

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* 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?
  • Host Family
  • Friends on the program
  • 17 day Southeast Asia trip (Thailand and Laos)
* What could be improved?
  • Structure of some courses
  • More time for exploring Kunming and immersion
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? How difficult (sometimes excessively) some of the coursework would be

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'