Francesca Dorsainville - 2014 Program Participant

Tiananmen Square in Beijing

At Tiananmen Square during TEAN’s excursion to Beijing

What made you choose China for your study abroad experience? 

Apart from a childhood dream of climbing the Great Wall, I wanted to experience living in a culture that was completely different from what I am familiar with. Shanghai has a unique personality; it is a hybrid of Eastern and Western social traditions and businesses practices. As a business major, it was great to live and learn about China’s thriving commercial hub. Shanghai is constantly changing and I hope to go back and visit soon! 

Why did you select The Education Abroad Network over other study abroad organizations? 

I knew I wanted to study in China and I heard The Education Abroad Network was the best program to go with for study abroad programs in Asia. After my experience, I can honestly say the Education Abroad Network lives up to its name. 

What were your housing arrangements like in Shanghai?

I lived in an off-campus apartment arranged by The Education Abroad Network. The location was perfect and convenient. It was located five minutes away from Fudan University, but it was still in the midst of restaurants, coffee shops, bars, and a gym. To add, the metro station was nearby and close to shopping malls, a movie theatre, and more restaurants! 

Camel riding in Mongolia

Riding camels in Mongolia with TEAN!

What was the most memorable experience you had while studying abroad in China? 

My most memorable experiences were the little adventures I would set aside to pursue. I always carried a map of the metro in my purse and I would randomly pick places to go to and explore. I found many hidden gems this way, and it really helped improve my confidence in approaching and speaking Mandarin with locals. I especially enjoyed using what I learned in my Chinese class to decipher signs and find my way around.

What advice would you give to other Kean University students interested in studying abroad in China?

A semester is not enough to experience everything Shanghai has to offer, so try to experience as much as possible. Once you settle into a routine, it can be hard to step out of and the entire experience might become stagnant. My advice is to not be afraid to change routines once in a while. To add, Shanghai has an amazing art scene. DO check out the museums, art galleries, and KTV!

Visiting the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum in China

Francesca on a day trip to the Shanghai Science and Technology museum

What are the top reasons you want to return to China someday?

I often speak about my experience in Shanghai, but I would love to show my family and friends what I have experienced. I would also love to return to a bustling metropolitan city that is constantly changing as you are reading this!

Would you recommend your Education Abroad Network program to other aspiring study abroad students? 

Yes, I would definitely recommend the Education Abroad Network to others:

  • I received prompt help whenever I needed
  • It wasn’t as difficult as I expected when I had to register for classes
  • My housing arrangement was superb
  • I felt completely safe with TEAN

If you could study abroad again, where would you go?

I would love the opportunity to study abroad again in Shanghai. I had a fantastic time!