Every year, in our post-program surveys, we ask our students for feedback on things they wish they had known about a specific location prior to going there to study. In this blog post we compiled answers to this question from our graduate students who experienced life in Asia as part of one of our programs. We hope that this information will help other students in the future!
“Bring vitamins. Learn even more of the language. Reach out to friends or people you may know that are going. Pack light.”
“Smog can be bad. Be open to wearing a mask”
“Having a good understanding of PowerPoint and solid presentation skills can be very handy if you are doing a practicum.”
“Chinese rarely ever have napkins at restaurants…or you pay separately.”
“I didn’t really know what to expect going to China, but I had a great time. I would advise future students to really take advantage of sightseeing the first couple of days (or coming earlier to staying later) because once the project starts we were very busy!”
Hong Kong, China:
“I knew that Hong Kong is a good tourist destination but my knowledge about it having such a huge impact on every business around the globe was limited. Now I know that Hong Kong is one of the main links between the eastern and western parts of the world.”
“In order to buy an Octopus card at the airport, you need to have Hong Kong Dollars. I should have gone to an ATM before purchasing a train ticket from the airport so that I could have bought an Octopus card at the airport.”
“Do some research to figure out good places to eat before going. Also figure out where to exchange money and where not to exchange money.”
“Research: general tips on adjusting to a new time zone/avoiding jet lag. Research places to eat before going out. Most of us weren’t using smartphones while there and weren’t able to look up places to eat on the fly; also we couldn’t understand Chinese names of places when walking by. After a few days of learning the lay of the land this got a lot easier, but at first it was a little tough to find places to eat nearby that weren’t really overpriced tourist restaurants.”
“Learn some basic useful words/phrases in Cantonese. They are easy to look up, and I bought a Cantonese dictionary; but it would be helpful for everyone to have a basic cheat sheet.”
“The importance of having medicine to keep from getting sick!”
What about you? Have you studied abroad? Do you have any other suggestions for people who are going abroad this Intersession? Post your comments below.