A New Experience: KUNMING! Past Review

By (Psychology, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities) for

Yunnan University: Kunming - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
As this was my first time abroad, the IES program gave me more opportunities that I thought I would never get to experience. It was absolutely worth-while to make IES ABROAD KUNMING my first experience abroad.

Personal Information

If you took classes at multiple universities, list those universities here: Yunnan University
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.

This course requires you to learn Chinese-Mandarin with Chinese teachers for 3-4 hours 4 times a week. Depending on your level Chinese you will be put in different levels and I must warn you that some Chinese teachers might not know too much English for the higher level Chinese students. You will learn about 40 new words everyday and should expect a quiz the next day for the new words you've learnt. The teaching methods for the main course (Asian Development) will be taught in English and is mostly discussion based. Participation is key!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

It was everything I expected and more! The students for this particular program were the first of it's students and so there were many things that were rearranged because of the time we had. There were many things planned and they were all good activities to do, but it was the time for all of it was not enough. There was not enough time for us students to explore on our own or do all the class activities that were planned. The faculty leader knew Chinese enough to translate to his knowledge and was very knowledgeable about the host country, but as much as he knew about the country, there was always more room for our faculty leader to learn with us. The program size was perfect. A program with 14 students with an RA and the faculty leader.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The hotel we stayed in was a lot more than I expected. Everything was provided: a bathroom; a living room with a couch, table, desk, and television; a bedroom with two beds, desk, and a wardrobe; a small kitchen that included counters, a sink, and cupboards. Since it is a hotel there is room service and cleaning service that will mop your floors, make you bed, and clean your bathroom. The hotel was in a great location where everything is convenient walk. The walk to the class is about a 10-15 minute walk depending on how fast you walk.

* Food:

Try new things and new restaurant and you are bound to find that many of the food there is not as bad as it looks. Everything I ate was delicious!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Kunming has many exciting things to try such as KTV or Karaoke, biking, or walking around the lake. We went to the border of China, Vietnam, and Laos for our field study and were arranged to have talks with organizations such as ASEAN, US Embassy, and many more related to our program. This helped us understand the culture of each countries and the different views of every country about the economic situations and/or thoughts of how they viewed their neighboring countries.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I was sick once with a cold near the beginning of the program but that was quickly solved with the help of both the faculty leader and the Residential Assistant.

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)


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

I practiced the language with the common people in Kunming and in class because the people's English in Kunming is not as popularly used.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Hotel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Keep your mind open and try new things.