Fears about the food, learning the language and public transportation - to name a few - stop most students from pursuing a study abroad program in Shanghai from the get go. Don't let these same fears stop you!
Alumni Ambassador Kendall Brice recently participated in our summer Intensive Chinese Language & International Business program in Shanghai, and felt so inspired by his time there that he created a video about his experience.
Like many of our students, Kendall had the same concerns about living and studying in China. Watch in this video (or read in the transcribed script below) how those fears were trumped by all of the amazing opportunities that Shanghai has to offer students.
Fears & Concerns
When choosing to study abroad in China, one of my biggest concerns was whether or not I could overcome the language barrier. Chinese, or Mandarin, is so different from the English language that it can seem very intimidating to learn. Having no prior experience in Chinese language, I was very nervous about not being able to communicate properly while doing daily activities and having that hinder my study abroad experience.
Another concern of mine was being able to feel at home and comfortable as a foreigner of a different ethnicity while being in a new, strange environment.
The Real Experience
Fortunately, most of my fears were put to rest when I realized how welcoming and kind the local people are. From the moment I moved into my dorm, I felt right at home.
Most of the people are patient and don't criticize you for not knowing the language. This made learning the language a pleasant experience. Additionally, it's a fun challenge to try to use the limited speaking skills of yourself and of your peers to try to solve simple miscommunication problems. It provides the funny and awkward moments that make study abroad a memorable experience.
Shanghai is one of the most fascinating places I have ever visited. It has the perfect contrast of fast-paced chaos and relaxing calmness. One moment, you could be dodging cars on your way to the market, and the next moment, relaxing in a beautiful park.
And the local cuisine is a unique experience all in itself. I tried so many different new types of food such as bullfrog, octopus, eel, jellyfish. Sometimes I didn't know what I was eating, but it sure did taste good.
CEA Program - Shanghai
The CEA Shanghai program offered great support and many perks. On-campus housing is only a ten-minute walk to class and only a five-minute bus ride from the nearest metro station for easy travel access.
The classes provide engaging lessons in and outside of the classroom. The staff is always there to help with any problems that may arise.
So I would encourage every student to study abroad in China because it's a decision that you definitely won't regret.
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