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In the last century Shanghai has experienced exponential growth from its origins as a colonial trading hub to a bustling international metropolis and global financial center. Our Shanghai: 21st Century City program examines this process of rapid urbanization, China’s encounter with the world, energy and water issues, and green technology initiatives in this dynamic Asian megalopolis.
Students may enroll for a semester, summer, or academic year, or a combination of a semester and summer term. Students are encouraged to consider spending their second term in China in a different Alliance program to deepen their knowledge of China's regional diversity.
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For a total of 15 credits in fall and spring terms students take the following curriculum:
For a total of 9 credits in the summer term students take the following curriculum:
Classes are offered exclusively for Alliance students. Chinese language course placement is contingent upon the results of a placement exam conducted after student arrival in China. Language classes have a maximum of 8 students per class and are taught by language faculty selected and trained by the Alliance. Area studies courses are taught by faculty from various universities in Shanghai.
*Although no prior study of Chinese is required for summer students who wish to pursue an internship, students’ Chinese language proficiency may affect their internship placements. The internship field in China’s large cities is highly competitive and the number of available placements is limited.
Shanghai offers students an unparalleled opportunity to experience China in a city undergoing economic rebirth and revitalization. Shanghai is the place to be to witness the economic and socio-cultural transformations of modern China (as well as to observe the disparities that remain). Shanghai has traditionally been one of the most important financial and business centers of Asia, and is becoming known as "the Wall Street of the East". After the Second World War and the establishment of the People's Republic of China, foreign investment was discouraged. Today, however, Shanghai is again a multinational hub of finance and business and one of the world's major financial centers.
Check out this interactive map of the Alliance's resources across Shanghai:
View Alliance On Location: Shanghai in a larger map.
Shanghai is a remarkable phenomenon in the evolution of global metropolises today. There is no place like this once sleepy fishing town which has become the largest city in China and the country's most important commercial, financial, and industrial center. One must experience Shanghai to begin to comprehend this diverse and constantly changing nation. Pudong (in eastern Shanghai) was the site of the 2010 World Expo. The entire city is still buzzing with excitement about welcoming 73 million domestic and international visitors.
The campus neighbourhood, located directly within the center of Shanghai’s university district, is lined with numerous small shops and restaurants to serve the transient student population. Within two blocks of student housing, you can find many small shops and cafes as well as the cuisines of Xinjiang, Hunan, Sichuan, Korea, Japan, Mexico, the U.S.A., and more.
Just a short distance from campus is Wujiaochang (五角场), a long-standing commercial node that has undergone a dramatic makeover in recent years. Today you will find two large shopping malls with scores of shops and restaurants of all kinds, including electronics, books, clothing, a movie theater, KTV, numerous bakeries, Starbucks, Wal-Mart, Watson’s, and a Shanghai No. 1 Food Mart. You’ll also find H&M, Haagen Daz, and Sephora all in a row, as well as The Bank of China, ICBC, and ATM machines for China Construction Bank, Merchants Bank, and others. While lacking in student hangouts and cultural activities this neighborhood is not, at Wujiaochang students can easily catch metro line 10 downtown to experience the rest of what this exciting metropolis has to offer.
The Shanghai University of Finance and Economics (上海财经大学), founded in 1917, is a multi-dimensional university with a core focus on applied economics and management and offering majors in law, philosophy, as well as humanities. SUFE, home to 24,000 students on two campuses, is administered by the Chinese Ministry of Education and has recently been selected as one of the "21st Century's Key Universities in China." It is the number one ranked finance and economics university in China.
This 15-credit program offers 9 class hours per week of Chinese language as well as the opportunity to take various courses in English that examine modern Shanghai’s rapid urbanization, China’s encounter with the World, energy and water issues, and green technology initiatives in this dynamic Asian megacity.
SOCI260 Chinese Society in the 21st Century (required, 3 class hours/week, 3 credits)
This course examines the transformation in Chinese society since the founding of the People's Republic of China, with emphasis on the changes brought about in the wake of the economic reforms of the 1980s and 1990s. Topics include the urban and rural social transformation introduced by the reforms, the changing relationship between individual and society, the urban/rural divide, population control and the one child policy. Students explore the social consequences of China's rapid integration into the global economy. All students complete a Capstone Research Project as part of this course.
All elective courses are taught in English and meet for three class hours per week. Class lectures, readings, and discussions are complimented with relevant fieldwork and site visits. Students must enroll in two courses from the following list.
Those elective courses listed in italics will be offered for Alliance students beginning in the Spring 2014 semester.
HIST310 Pearl of the Orient: Shanghai’s Colonial History (3 class hours/week, 3 credits)
Already known as an important location for shipping and trade, Shanghai became an international hub following its designation as a treaty port in 1842. This course focuses on how global flows of people, money, goods and ideas have formed and transformed the city since its colonial opening, during the Maoist period, and into the current post-Reform era of marketization. In addition, discussions address how foreign colonial era ideas interacted with Chinese concepts and values as well as laid the foundations for the Republican and Communist political ideologies which are being transformed today once again.
SOCI265 Contemporary Urban Culture (3 class hours/week, 3 credits)
The residents of Shanghai are proud of being exemplars of China’s rapidly urbanizing population and many outsiders are drawn by Shanghai’s cosmopolitan big city chic. Yet not all of the city’s residents or visitors have access to its fast-paced urban lifestyle. Class modules include: Shanghai’s internationalized pop culture; the high cost of living; mobility, loneliness, and associative life; the idea of becoming elite; and business and pleasure. Utilizing the theoretical and methodological approaches introduced in class materials and discussions, students investigate one topic through interviews, observation and/or other primary sources.
POLS350 Contemporary Chinese Politics: State, Party, People (3 class hours/week, 3 credits)
This course examines the current political leadership of China, urban and rural relations, nationalism and foreign policy, mass participation, the emergence of the rule of law, and state and society issues.
ECON370 Opening and Reform: China's Economic Development since 1978 (3 class hours/week, 3 credits)
In the last twenty-five years, China has been the fastest growing economy in the world. In this course, students will explore the historical stages and effectiveness of the economic policies that have shaped China's emergence as a major player in the global economy. Students will examine the challenges posed by economic development and the prospects for China's economic future.
IAFF340 Sino-U.S. Relations: Superpower and Realignment (3 class hours/week, 3 credits)
The U.S.-China relationship is one of the most important bilateral relationships in the world. This course examines their intricate relationship, focusing on the period after 1949, when the People's Republic of China was proclaimed. What roles have trade and human rights played in the relationship? How have recent incidents, such as the American bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade in 1999 and the 9/11 terrorist attacks, influenced the strategic Beijing-Washington relationship? What lies in the future, as China rises?
URBN390 Urban Planning (3 class hours/week, 3 credits)
Shanghai’s urban planning department continues to encounter the stresses and opportunities of a rapidly urbanizing country – even as urban planning has changed from being a Maoist era provider of social goods to a supporter of China’s expansion through the new real estate market. Students investigate various stakeholders’ positions and make both design and policy suggestions when assessing issues such as: pursuing or pinpointing designs, landmark architecture, the Bund silhouette as part of Shanghai’s brand, the effects of Shanghai’s increasing and diversifying population, rising housing costs and its relationship with domicide and gentrification, and urban sprawl.
ARCH392 Architecture and Design: China’s Encounter with the World (3 class hours/week, 3 credits)
Shanghai’s unparalled history of melding Chinese and international architecture begins with its birth as a site of colonial encounter. An exploration of the architecture and city planning of the concession period is followed by consideration of the Mao-era vision of the industrial socialist city and the repurposing of architectural heritage. The course concludes by considering the impact of the marketizing reform era as well as Shanghai’s newest internationally designed landmark buildings and its branding as a ‘green’ city. Students argue policy and design aspects of the sites concerned and consider whether Shanghai’s melded approach to international architectural encounter will enable it to escape its possible 'generic' future.
ENVI 385 Energy, Water, and Green Technology (3 class hours/week, 3 credits)
As one of the world’s largest and fastest growing cities, intricately connected to global flows of commodities and people, Shanghai represents an enormous environmental challenge regionally, nationally, and globally. With a rapidly growing population, rising lifestyle expectations, and continuing industrial production, urban China’s usage of water and energy resources is a key question for those concerned with a sustainable future. This course localizes these issues by investigating Shanghai as a case study, and students practice methods used by researchers and policy makers to address largest questions on urban environmental issues in China.
Chinese Language (required, 9 class hours/week, 6 credits)
No prior language study is required for admission to this track. Upon taking a placement exam after arrival, students will be placed into the appropriate language level. All courses emphasize listening, speaking, reading and writing. The Alliance programs teach Simplified Chinese Characters, standardized Chinese characters officially used in Mainland China. Click here to view a full listing of textbooks by Alliance program and course.
This 9-credit program invites students to explore modern China through an English-taught area studies course plus delve deeply into the study of Chinese language or gain experience in the Chinese workplace through a full-time intership.
SOCI260 Chinese Society in the 21st Century (6 class hours/week, 3 credits)
This course examines the transformation in Chinese society since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949 with emphasis on the changes brought about in the wake of the economic reforms of the 1980s and 1990s. Topics include the developments in urban and rural social transformation introduced by the reforms, the changing relationship between the individual and society, the urban/rural divide, and population control and the one child policy. Students explore the social consequences of China's rapid integration into the global economy.
Chinese Language (required, 15 class hours/week, 6 credits)
No prior language study is required for admission to this track. Upon taking a placement exam after arrival, students will be placed into the appropriate language level. All courses emphasize listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The Alliance programs teach Simplified Chinese Characters, which are standardized Chinese characters officially used in mainland China. Click here to view a full listing of textbooks and lessons by Alliance program and course.
INTS380 Internship (30+ hours/week, 6 credits)
Interns are placed in Chinese, joint-venture, or foreign-owned companies, research and government organizations, NGOs, or media and art studios. Interns work full-time at the internship site and complete a research project that includes a 3-5,000 word paper and oral presentation. Internships are supervised by faculty advisor who meets regularly with each student both in groups and individually. Although no prior study of Chinese is required, students’ Chinese language proficiency may affect their internship placements.
Dr. Zhu Jianfeng, SOCI 260: Chinese Society in the 21st Century
Dr. Keng Shu, ECON 370: Opening and Reform: China's Economic Development since 1978
Dr. Ni Shixiong, IAFF 340: Sino-U.S. Relations: Superpower and Realignment
Dr. Derek Tai-Wei Liu, POLS 350: Contemporary Chinese Politics: State, Party, People
One important and distinctive component of the Alliance's semester-long programs in China is the Capstone Academic Research Project. Capstone projects challenge students to engage with Chinese people and deepen their own understanding of one aspect of Chinese policy, society, culture, or business practice.
The Capstone Project is a research project that makes use of more than academic readings and published research. While these are important components of research and should be included in the project, the Capstone is meant to help students take advantage of their setting. Students use resources they would not have access to at their home universities. Students also incorporate interviews, participant observation, and other methods to create a final paper and presentation. Many students develop their Capstone as part of a senior thesis or broader future research project.
The Capstone Project is a graded component of the required core course taught in English, Chinese Society in the 21st Century, and comprises 40% of that course's grade. Graded project work includes a project abstract with a problem statement and research methodology outline, a PowerPoint presentation, and a final paper.
Summer core courses do not include a Capstone component.
"Since 1949 Christianity has become increasingly common in China; its recent growth far exceeds that of any other religion. The energy behind Chinese Christianity, in particular “underground” Christianity, slowly but surely amassing throughout college campuses and house churches, is impossible to ignore. As a response to such overwhelming social movement, my Capstone, through original and secondary research, tries to identify the reasons behind the staggering growth of Christianity throughout China on an individual and national scale. Writing my Capstone was a great experience and allowed me to learn a lot more about a topic that I was very interested in. A definite highlight for me in the research process was joining a "house church," an unregistered makeshift church that is technically illegal but growing in popularity. I got to see first hand how why these churches are becoming so popular! After a full day of practicing for their upcoming Christmas concert (which included a lot of singing and dancing), I unexpectedly found some very good friends! It was the most fun research I have ever conducted."
A study abroad experience is first and foremost an academic experience, and the Alliance for Global Education takes the process of credit and grade conversion seriously.
The Alliance provides information on credit transfer and conversion at the time that a student chooses courses. Credit appears on transcripts issued by Arcadia University at the completion of a student's term of study abroad. Credit is issued in U.S. semester hours, ensuring that students continue to make progress toward their degrees and verifying the full-time academic load a student carries while abroad.
All Alliance courses have been reviewed and approved by Arcadia University’s Undergraduate Academic Programs Committee. Arcadia University is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. Any grades that appear on an Arcadia transcript must meet Middle States' standards.
Students receive a letter grade on a scale from A to F for every course they take while enrolled on an Alliance program. Although policies at students' individual home institutions may differ, the Alliance does not permit students to take courses on a credit/no credit basis. Student grades are determined by criteria set forth in course syllabi. As noted above, all Alliance courses are reviewed and approved by Arcadia University’s Undergraduate Academic Programs Committee. Arcadia University is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.
At the conclusion of a program, the College of Global Studies at Arcadia University sends an official Arcadia University transcript to a participant's home school and an unofficial copy to the participant.
Because universities abroad have different administrative structures, transcripts may take longer to issue than they do at U.S. institutions. While the timeline varies by program, a general timeline for issuing transcripts is:
If you have a question about the process, please feel free to contact your program manager responsible.
Please note: Transcripts are not released for students with an outstanding balance due to program fees. Students enrolling in consecutive terms with the Alliance do not receive their first term transcript until their second term fees are paid in full.
The Alliance Orientation is MANDATORY. You should make your travel plans accordingly. More details can be found in the Accepted Students: Travel Arrangements section.
Given the program’s busy academic schedule, weekly local activities and excursions, and field study trips, the Alliance STRONGLY DISCOURAGES students from hosting visitors until the end of the semester. Please encourage family and/or friends to visit AFTER the program has ended.
|Spring 2014 Program||$ 14,690|
|Summer 2014 Program||$ 7,100|
|Fall 2014 Program||$ 14,690|
The program cost includes tuition and fees, pre-departure materials, guidance with applying for a visa, orientation, housing, weekly activities, all textbooks, the services of a full-time Resident Director, medical and evacuation insurance, a one-week Field Study Trip and a weekend Field Study Trip in the fall and spring semester, and a five-day Field Study Trip in the summer term.
The program price does not include airfare to China, meals, passport and visa fees, independent travel, and other items not mentioned as included.
The opportunity to engage in Chinese language and studies in the spring, and pursue an internship during the summer term is invaluable. Because the Alliance recognizes the significance of building a strong foundation in the spring to pursue meaningful fieldwork in the summer, all students who opt to complement a spring semester with the Alliance by pursuing a full-time summer internship will receive an $800 discount, in place of the standard $500 continuer discount.
The Alliance encourages students to enroll for more than one term and to consider studying with more than one Alliance program. Students who continue into a second term with the Alliance receive a $500 discount on the program fee for the second term. All combinations (two semesters, semester plus summer, two semesters plus summer) are possible.
Students are housed in Tonghe International Apartments across the street from the north gate of the university and a 10-15 minute walk from Alliance classrooms. The two bedroom apartments are shared by one Alliance student and one local university student, while three bedroom apartments are shared by two Alliance students and one local university student. The apartments include a bathroom, kitchen, and a furnished bedroom with desk, desk lamp, closet space, and a remote control heating/air-conditioning unit. The bedrooms also include sheets, pillows, and a comforter. Towels are not provided. The furnished common areas include a TV, filtered water dispenser, refrigerator, and stove-top gas burners or a hotplate in the kitchen. Some apartments also have a small washing machine. Filtered water is replenished at student expense (12 RMB/$1.80 per tank) with the help of the Tonghe front desk staff. Please note that no kitchen utensils or other supplies are provided. During orientation all students are required to pay a 500 RMB (approximately $74 US dollars) housing deposit. If there is no damage to the room at the end of the program, this deposit will be refunded in full.
A distinct feature of the 21st Centruy City program is the opportunity to share an apartment with a Chinese unversity student. Each apartment will house one or two Alliance students in single rooms and one Chinese student, also in a single room. This offers the opportunity for Alliance students to get to know Chinese students on campus quickly and to engage in language and cultural exchange with their new friends. Chinese roommates are invited to attend many of the organized activities. Former Alliance students consistently rate this experience as one of their favorite program features.
Meals are not included in the Alliance program fee. Students should budget approximately $10 per day for meals. Students may cook in their apartment kitchen or may take their meals at one of the cafeterias on campus. There are also numerous casual restaurants nearby.
Vegetarians will find that good food is available in China. Most restaurants serve lots of vegetables, tofu dishes, and staples such as rice, noodles, or dumplings. Note that some restaurants may use animal fat in preparing dishes.
Throughout the term, students are invited to take part in a full schedule of excursions, events and lectures designed to enhance their understanding of China and the historical and modern influences that impact its culture and people.
The Alliance arranges extra-curricular classes which may include Chinese painting, calligraphy, cooking, taiji or other martial arts, pottery, seal carving, or paper cutting. These classes offer a wonderful opportunity to learn more about traditional Chinese culture.
Shanghai program students will visit the famous sites of Shanghai including Yuyuan Park, the historic Bund along the Huangpu River, and the former French concession. Activities may include cultural performances, museum visits, special lectures, visits to artists' studios, architectural walking tours, and many opportunities to meet locals, including students from other campuses. Below is a sampling of activities from previous semesters. Specific activities for future terms are subject to change:
The Chinese Lantern Festival marks the end of Spring Festival (Chinese New Year). Students celebrated in the traditional Chinese fashion with colorful lanterns, dumplings (tang yuan) and riddles.
The art center exhibits selected propaganda posters displayed across China from 1949 to 1979. Students were given a tour of the facilities and poster collection by founder and owner Mr. Yang Peiming. For more information on the Propaganda Poster Art Centre, please visit http://www.shanghaipropagandaart.com/.
To grasp Shanghai’s history and development, as well as its ambitious plans for the future, students visit the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center.
Students were treated to a special performance of Yueju, a type of opera with a history of about 800 years and derived from a kind of story-singing. At first, it was performed with a small drum and hardwood clappers for rhythm, and choral and orchestral accompaniment was later added.
The excursion to Xintiandi and the Chinese Communist Party Museum was led by the instructors of the "Issues in Contemporary Society and Culture" and "Contemporary Chinese Politics" courses. Students were encouraged to consider questions about tradition, modernization, and history and to pay attention to the ironies of their setting. Students are also asked to situate "Chinese culture" into a historical context of encountering the west.
Shao Jing, author of a very powerful academic article on the politics of HIV / AIDS and the value of bodies under a neoliberal regime, spoke to the Society and Culture class on World Aids Day. Shao Jing completed his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago and is now a professor at Nanjing University. Simon Tang, Office Director of the Chi Heng Foundation, also spoke about the Foundation’s work with children affected by AIDS in China.
Students viewed “My Shanghai,” an exhibit showcasing photographs taken by sixth grade students from Jin Hu Primary School.
During orientation, students have the opportunity to see the breathtaking stunts of an acrobatics show, a form of performing arts that has existed in China for more than two thousand years.
Students visited classrooms in small groups and communicate with migrant students in Chinese to understand their experiences in Shanghai--- and to teach them some basic English words.
Participants of this activity got a detailed picture of how an environmental NGO works in Shanghai. Student interested in environmental studies may have the opportunity to volunteer for Roots and Shoots programs.
The Alliance organizes a one-week field study trip for students during the fall and spring semesters and a five-day field study trip during the summer term. Destinations may vary but usually include Yunnan or Qinghai province. Through exposure to China’s social, economic, and geographic diversity, as well as regional and ethnic inflections to the Chinese language that has been a focus of their studies, students gain a richly textured sense of the many realities that exist within China.
Yunnan province in southwestern China offers China's most diverse ethnic minority population, stunning scenery, and a rich history. Students gain deep insight into Yunnan's local culture and artistic heritage. They have the opportunity to experience urban life in Kunming, visit small Yi and Miao minority villages, and hike in the gorgeous, mountainous areas of this province. Participants of the trip may also explore the great natural beauty of the Stone Forest, the rain forest of Xishuangbanna, or participate in an extensive encounter with the Bai minority culture in the ancient town of Dali.
Located on the Tibetan Plateau, Qinghai is considered one of the most beautiful regions in China. Students may visit Ta'er Monastery, one of the six most famous Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in the world, travel to Qinghai Lake, the largest salt water lake in China and one of China’s best bird watching sites, or explore the ancient tombs of Liuwan. Students behold the breathtaking scenery, witness the contrast in development in the region versus the coast, and gain a deeper understanding of Qinghai’s minority nationalities.
The location of the five-day summer field study trip varies each year. In the past, summer Shanghai students have visited the historical and cultural sites of Beijing. Due to the full-time professional commitment and shortened term, summer students enrolled in an internship will not participate in the extended trip.
How do Alliance program graduates look back on their experience studying in Asia? What advice can they offer on making the most of your time abroad? Contact these students to ask your questions!
hideNow I am back at GWU for my final year here, during which I really hope to help promote Alliance, as studying with the program was such a spectacular experience for me.
hideWhile ajoring in international relations and
Hey everyone! Although my major is marketing, I have a huge interest in both Chinese language and culture. This stemmed from taking international business courses that continually stressed the importance of the Chinese economy in the future...read more
Hey everyone! Although my major is marketing, I have a huge interest in both Chinese language and culture. This stemmed from taking international business courses that continually stressed the importance of the Chinese economy in the future. Last summer I studied abroad in Shanghai and it was one of the best experiences of my life. Not only did my language skills increase exponentially, but I gained a unique perspective that I'll carry with me the rest of my life. It left such an impression on me that I went back this summer for a marketing internship with my university! hide
Ni Hao! My name is Lexi McIsaac and I am currently a junior at Bryant University majoring in Accounting and concentrating in Chinese Language. Honestly before college, the extent of my knowledge about Chinese culture was chopsticks. Now I have traveled...read more
Ni Hao! My name is Lexi McIsaac and I am currently a junior at Bryant University majoring in Accounting and concentrating in Chinese Language. Honestly before college, the extent of my knowledge about Chinese culture was chopsticks. Now I have traveled to more than a dozen cities all across China- more than I have been to in the US.
Before going to China, my parents’ biggest concern was that I would stand out too much. I am blonde and blue eyed and did get quite the attention in China. During my first weeks, I felt almost like a celebrity having people stare, point, and even ask me to take pictures. But by the end of the program I barely noticed it and felt it was a great conversation starter to practice Chinese.
Another great memory of living in Shanghai was the convenience store owner by our apartment. I must have frequented it at least 3 times a day. The man was so friendly, always smiling and saying hello. By the end of the semester he was asking about my day and even coyly practicing English words when I bought things.
Studying abroad in Shanghai was both the best and most challenging experience I have ever had. I learned so much about Chinese culture, met so many great people, and even learned a lot about myself. I was given the opportunity to accomplish a capstone paper on expatriate tax in China which not only made me more interested in business opportunities in China, but proved to myself I was capable of some pretty intellectual research.
I would love to speak to anyone who has any questions about my experiences, travels, or just some advice on the program. hide
Hey, my name is Danny Gleason (葛丹宁) and I am currently a junior at Boston College pursuing a Theology major, Chinese minor, and a pre-med concentration. For the first two years of college, I had come to terms with the fact that I was going through with...read more
Hey, my name is Danny Gleason (葛丹宁) and I am currently a junior at Boston College pursuing a Theology major, Chinese minor, and a pre-med concentration. For the first two years of college, I had come to terms with the fact that I was going through with my Chinese minor as an excuse to “go abroad.” It was my ticket to live in a different country, learn about the culture, experience the people and come back a newer, wiser, worldlier person. Now, after 4 months of living in Shanghai and going to school at Fudan University, I can say with every fiber of my being that my semester in China was everything I imagined and more. I will go out on a limb here and say that besides maybe infancy, my time living in Shanghai represents the period of life when I have changed the most… for the better. Though at times it is hard to express the momentousness of my life-changing experience to others, it is something that I can assure you goes way beyond language acquisition. Please do not hesitate to email me if you have any questions, comments, or concerns about China or study abroad in general! My newfound passion for China and studying abroad makes it so that you will actually be doing me a favor if you email me. I am so confident that if you challenge yourself and take the leap to China for a few months, you will never regret it! 再见！ hide
Hi my name is Andrew Ameter and I'm a junior at Ohio State University. Although my major is marketing, I have a huge interest in both Chinese language and culture. This stemmed from taking international business courses that continually...read more
Hi my name is Andrew Ameter and I'm a junior at Ohio State University. Although my major is marketing, I have a huge interest in both Chinese language and culture. This stemmed from taking international business courses that continually stressed the importance of the Chinese economy in the future. Last summer I studied abroad in Shanghai and it was one of the best experiences of my life. Not only did my language skills increase exponentially, but I gained a unique perspective that I'll carry with me the rest of my life. Now that I'm back in Columbus, Ohio, I miss all the people and experiences I encountered, but I know I have a whole lifetime ahead of me to continue expanding my boundaries. hide
Hey! My name is Gian Gozum, and I took part in the Contemporary Chinese Society and Language Program in the spring of 2011. I am a senior majoring in Asian Studies and International Trade and Economics. I took about five semesters of Mandarin Chinese...read more
Hey! My name is Gian Gozum, and I took part in the Contemporary Chinese Society and Language Program in the spring of 2011. I am a senior majoring in Asian Studies and International Trade and Economics. I took about five semesters of Mandarin Chinese before going to Shanghai. Within just two weeks of living in China, I could already tell that my Chinese had improved. I got used to thinking, listening, and speaking in Chinese. Several moments in my semester confirmed that I had improved. One was during a conversation with a taxi driver. He was taking me all the way to the other end of town, and in that drive we discussed my Filipino heritage, the Chinese populations in the Philippines, the origins of his parents, and last but not least, the NBA Playoffs!
Travelling throughout China was such an amazing experience. Each province was like visiting a different country because of the regional dialects and accents, which make communication even more interesting! The Alliance trip to Yunnan province was phenomenal, where we learned much about the ethnic minorities. During my independent travel, I went to the mountainous Sichuan province with some friends, and we learned a lot about Tibetan culture and ate a lot of spicy food!
My trip to Shanghai ranks in one of my most amazing experiences. I made wonderful friends who I am certain I will see again. I am forever thankful for my opportunity to study in Shanghai the spring of 2011. hide
Hey Everyone! My name is Eddie Gonzalez and I am currently a Senior at the Unversity of Illinois Champaign-Urbana. I'm pursuing a bachelor's in Linguistics and Teaching English as a Second Language. During the Summer of 2013, I studied abroad...read more
Hey Everyone! My name is Eddie Gonzalez and I am currently a Senior at the Unversity of Illinois Champaign-Urbana. I'm pursuing a bachelor's in Linguistics and Teaching English as a Second Language. During the Summer of 2013, I studied abroad at Fudan University in Shanghai, China in the Intensive Language program. I have to say that there is nothing like the experience of studying abroad, and I would do it again in a heartbeat if I could. The command of the Chinese Language I gained abroad through language immersion cannot be matched in day to day classes at a university. I spent two months in China, and in this short amount of time my confidence and ability in Chinese increased greatly. I can't wait to tell other students at UIUC about my experiences and am excited to help others experience what I have abroad. hide
hidemy school how important study abroad is and encourage them to increase study abroad financial aid.
你好！My name is Julie Trinh and I am currently a senior at Duquesne University. My journey with studying Mandarin began when I chose International Relations as a second major. After finishing my 100 level of study and having no plans for the following...read more
你好！My name is Julie Trinh and I am currently a senior at Duquesne University. My journey with studying Mandarin began when I chose International Relations as a second major. After finishing my 100 level of study and having no plans for the following summer, I decided that traveling abroad to China would be a great opportunity to put what knowledge I had of Mandarin to the test. Two months of going back and forth with my advisor, getting teacher recommendations and finding the funds for the trip later, I got approved to go to the intensive Chinese program at Fudan University.
After the second week of classes, I realized how intensive an intensive language program is, frequented the late night markets and decided that I didn’t care whether or not I got sick from the street food because it’s totally worth it. Within the first month in Shanghai, I had learned how to master the subway system, felt comfortable enough to chat with taxi drivers and order my meals at restaurants that did not have pictures to accompany each dish. After two months in Shanghai, I had traveled to Beijing and climbed the Great Wall, walked through the Forbidden City and got a feel of how politics influence even the street vendors. I also made great new friends from all over the world and had the time of my life, all the while learning more and more about real Chinese culture.
After coming home from Shanghai I was surprised to discover how much I missed it! I know that it is a cliché statement, but I believe that making the decision to study abroad in Shanghai has changed my life. I want to be able to help others have the same opportunity that I had and I hope that through the Alliance for Global Education I will be able to do just that. hide
Hi! I’m a junior studying English at Wellesley College. Before college, I knew next to nothing about Asia. It really wasn’t until I took a volunteer position in Boston’s Chinatown that I became exposed to Chinese language and culture...read more
Hi! I’m a junior studying English at Wellesley College. Before college, I knew next to nothing about Asia. It really wasn’t until I took a volunteer position in Boston’s Chinatown that I became exposed to Chinese language and culture. I began studying Mandarin and immersing myself more in the Chinatown community. I had always planned for a semester abroad studying literature in England. Alas, the Alliance programs in China sounded so fascinating, and the Asia pull just took hold of me!
Studying abroad in Shanghai was the best, most exciting and enriching experience so far in my life. Of course, there were times I missed everything American. Skyping home became a regular part of my week, and I frequented the pizza place on my street probably a little too often. But more than anything, the most interesting part about living in a once so foreign China was realizing how familiar life was to me there. I did a number of weekend trips in and around China, and every time I returned to my apartment in Shanghai, it felt like home. My four months in Shanghai flew by so quickly—too quickly! I cannot wait to get back! hide
My name is Branna Williams and I am currently a senior at Meredith College in Raleigh, North Carolina. This spring I will graduate with a double major in Political Science and Chinese Studies. In the summer of 2010, I spent eight fabulous...read more
My name is Branna Williams and I am currently a senior at Meredith College in Raleigh, North Carolina. This spring I will graduate with a double major in Political Science and Chinese Studies. In the summer of 2010, I spent eight fabulous weeks studying with the Alliance in Beijing -- by far, one of the best experiences I have ever had, hands down. Although I had only studied Chinese for a year, I found I was not alone in my ever-diminishing struggle to communicate in China. Some students in our program were nearly fluent, while others had no prior study in the language before their arrival in China. Much to my relief, I was somewhere in the middle and am certain that I learned as much Chinese in one summer as I did in studying Chinese for one year in the U.S.
Upon returning to the U.S., I began to realize what a crucial part the immersion factor plays when learning a language like Chinese. Besides that, I missed China! It did not take me long to decide that I was going to study abroad in China again in spring 2011. This time, I wanted to see what Shanghai had to offer. I was in for a semester of experiencing what it is like to not only study, but actually live a vibrant city, molded by both globalization and tradition.
In addition to greatly advancing in Chinese language proficiency last semester, I had opportunities opened to me that would not have been possible in the U.S. Chatting with your taxi driver in Chinese, hiking the Great Wall (without dozens of tourists), having a picnic with Buddhist monks atop a mountain in Xiahe, and climbing the huge mountains of Tiger Leaping Gorge in southern China are not an option while studying Chinese at your university in the U.S. Aside from these unforgettable events throughout both semesters, I also had the rare opportunity to conduct in depth research about particular areas of interest via the Capstone Projects. After completing one Capstone on the dairy industry and one on the politics of environment, I had developed contacts, laid groundwork for my senior thesis, and attained knowledge that will be an asset to me in future career endeavors. Choosing to study with Alliance was undoubtedly one of the best decisions I have made in enriching my educational and cultural experiences. hide
Back in the summer of 2010 I was preparing to study abroad in Shanghai, China. I was overly excited. Before coming to China I spent a good year studying Chinese on my own and had spent countless hours examining and studying Chinese culture. I knew that...read more
Back in the summer of 2010 I was preparing to study abroad in Shanghai, China. I was overly excited. Before coming to China I spent a good year studying Chinese on my own and had spent countless hours examining and studying Chinese culture. I knew that China would be a fascinating place and that I would enjoy my study abroad. Half way through my fall semester at the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics I knew that my time in China would not have been enough; I fell in love with China, I couldn’t leave. I then decided to attend the Alliance’s spring program at Fudan University, Shanghai. I then once again was not satisfied. I attended the Alliance’s summer program at Beijing Language and Culture University; during that time I stayed with a Chinese host family and also interned with a Chinese Magazine. Coming back home was bitter sweet; I was happy to be home, but sad to be leaving China. My experiences in China are priceless; I met many great people, I visited amazing places that most people will never see, I attained a great understanding of Chinese Culture, and most importantly, I significantly improved my Chinese skills. Now my Chinese is very good; it may take years to attain fluency but I know that if I build on my current skills fluency is imminent. China has become my second home and I hope to live and work there right after graduation! hide
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