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Alliance for Global Education Programs

China

The Alliance in Shanghai: International Business in China

Offering electives and internships focused on international business, this Alliance for Global Education program provides students with unparalleled opportunities to explore...

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China

The Alliance in Beijing: Popular Culture and Social Change

Beijing is both the cultural and political center of China, making it an ideal location to explore contemporary issues of popular culture and social change. This Alliance...

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China

The Alliance in Shanghai: 21st Century City

Alliance for Global Education's 21st Century City program examines the process of rapid urbanization, China's interface with the West, energy and water issues, and green

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China

The Alliance in Beijing: Intensive Chinese Language

Beijing, capital of China, is the birthplace of the modern-day Mandarin Chinese language. For students whose primary goal is Chinese language acquisition, this Alliance for...

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China

The Alliance in Beijing: Summer in Beijing

Spend the summer in Beijing, a cultural hub and capital of the world's most populous country. The Summer in Beijing program allows students to benefit from this cosmopolitan...

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China

The Alliance in Shanghai: Intensive Chinese Language

This Alliance for Global Education program is ideal for students whose primary goal is Chinese language acquisition. This consists of full-immersion language instruction

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China

The Alliance in Shanghai: Summer in Shanghai

Spend the summer in Shanghai. The Summer in Shanghai program allows students to benefit from this cosmopolitan city's many resources over the course of eight weeks. Students...

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Alliance for Global Education Reviews

Overall Rating

10 / 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

Shanghai with Alliance is a great idea!

The International Business program in Shanghai was a balanced combination of all the things I personally was looking for before going abroad. I needed academic rigor as well as cultural immersion which I both found with the Alliance program in Shanghai. As an Economics major, I wanted to make sure that I could actually take Econ related classes that I can credit for and that will contribute positively to my academic career. The housing was perfect as it was so close to the University. The apartment was great and spacious with 3 bedrooms, a common area, a bathroom and a Kitchen. We were assigned Chinese roommates which was great because that way, even during the days where I had a lot of work and was constantly surrounded by people from my program, I would still practice my Chinese and chat with my roommate either in the morning or before going to be. That was very helpful as I got to meet some of her friends and learned so much about their lifestyles. The location of the university and the apartment was great too, close to a wide range of food places, not too expensive. It also provided many opportunities for cultural immersion and language practice.
In general, Shanghai is an amazing city with boundless opportunities for learning and discovering new things. I absolutely loved my time there with Alliance!

Program: The Alliance in Shanghai: International Business in China

Overall Rating

10 / 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    9

A Well-Fueled, Tested, Modernized Machine

My semester abroad with Alliance in Shanghai is best described as an irreplaceable experience! The Alliance professors, staff members, international students and Chinese students whom I saw on a regular basis made my semester abroad successful, endearing, memorable and irreplaceable. The connections I've made with other students, my Chinese roommate and language partners are long-lasting and sincere; relations that were often nurtured by Alliance's orientation, trips and general program organization. I learned a great deal from spending time with so many students who have different backgrounds and come from different parts of the US, if not the world. I particularly liked how the three Shanghai programs (Intensive Language, 21st Century and International Business) had specialized trips depending on their focus but still felt very interconnected with one another.

I will forever remember the Alliance staff, as well. They skillfully added the spices and herbs to make the semester a memorable and smooth-sailing journey; this included things like leading large and small group trips to a variety of places/businesses, organizing cultural workshop nights, arranging educational speakers, taking you to the hospital, helping you deal with internships, giving you directions, taking tons of photos for you and taking time to sit down and help plan independent travel (and find great discounts!). I could always contact any of them at any time to ask any question I needed answered, and they would always be able to help me very quickly. I always felt like they were wholly invested in us and taking care of our needs; an absolute treasure in any study abroad program, especially if you are not very proficient at the host language! Our professors were quick-witted, patient albeit (understandably) demanding and brilliant in their field of studies. We came to know one another well and would joke in class pretty regularly; especially our Chinese language professors. They were an absolute joy to spend time with and get to know; some of my favorite 'snapshot' moments include my Alliance staff members and professors. And I still talk to some of them even now! All in all, Alliance in Shanghai is a well-fueled, tested and modernized machine that leaves the student well-equipped and well-supported to have a healthy, successful and exciting semester. I can find no faults!

I absolutely loved my experience in Shanghai and I always encourage anyone and everyone to study abroad through Alliance-especially in Shanghai-if they are interested in Asia. Because of its intense variety, Shanghai itself is the perfect study abroad location for any student, especially those interested in business or urban studies. China-Shanghai in particular-has a powerful role in the future and is already highly regarded worldwide. Also, it is perfectly located for traveling to other parts of China and throughout Asia when the opportunity arises and is filled to the brim with endless culture and language-practice opportunities (if you know where to look). There are times when I miss it dearly, and I hope to return one day. So embrace the challenge and get ready to catch what all it'll throw at you. Just don't forget to make mental-or physical-notes along the way or else you'll forget the details!

Program: The Alliance in Shanghai: International Business in China

Overall Rating

9 / 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    6

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

Literally, the Best Four Months but....

First, let me start by saying that my four months in Beijing were arguably be the best months I’ve ever had. The Alliance obviously had a great part in that, but there were some things that could have been better.

My biggest class consisted of seven students. It was a class setting that I had never really encountered before but one that I was overjoyed to find out I thrived in. The small seminar style made me more comfortable and willing to make valuable class contributions. The smaller class size also made me feel that the professors could devote more to the particular needs of each student.
I’d also like to highlight the required class, Contemporary Social Change in China, particularly because of the amazing professor. It was taught by Professor David Groth who has impressive credentials. It class was always just so enjoyable that I looked forward to it every week. My favorite thing about him is that he engaged with us students on a deeper level and incorporated parts of us into the lesson. For example, I was born in Colombia. When we were doing a unit on women’s issues in China, we talked about prominent female figures in Chinese society. Professor Groth then took this opportunity to compare these women with other important women in my home country. I was extremely appreciative of everything he did.
I do have one complaint about the classes. As a Political Science/Sociology major with an International Studies minor, I took the required class and Chinese Foreign Policy. I then had to choose another elective and I could either take Chinese music or Chinese film. I have no musical inclinations or even that much of an interest of music so I chose film. However, I had absolutely no interest in the subject matter and honestly didn’t not enjoy it at all. In fact, kinda dreaded going every week. I’m also highly skeptical that the music class would have been any better for me. I just wished there would have been other options.
Also, the Chinese class was legit. Absolutely hated waking up for it every day at 9am but I still can’t believe how much Chinese I learned. I had never studied the language before coming and now after completing the program, I can generally express myself in normal everyday situations. I practiced on my other Chinese friends here in the US and they couldn’t believe it either.

The program is hosted at Beijing Language and Culture University and there literally could not be a better location. You live in an international student dorm so you get to meet a lot of other people your age from around the world. The dorms, while not as great as mine in the US (haha), still have everything you need and are very comfortable. They’re also much better than what the Chinese students have. Although, you have to pay for the gym separately and but they’re terrible facilities. The university is also two blocks from this place called Wudaokou which has everything you want from anything. There’s a shopping mall, tons of different restaurants, low-key and even high-key bars, and a bunch of clubs. Also, the train station is right there if you need it for anything. I loved Wudaokou so much, I wish I could have taken it back with me.

One of the best parts about the program were the excursions and traveling. The program took us to all the important things like the Great Wall, Summer Palace, and Temple of Heaven. But one of my favorite weeks was when we went to Qinghai in Western rural China. We got to meet a more diverse part of the Chinese population and got exposed to a lot of Tibetan culture. I rode horses and yaks, laid on my back to see a ridiculous amount of stars at night, and woke up early to climb an actual mountain to see the sunset. It really was such an amazing few days.
The program also gives you an independent travel week. I went with some friends to Shanghai and a travel beach spot called Sanya in Hainan province. We had some difficulties with us being a group of foreigners running around China alone but we had a lot of fun and could always called of program director if we needed help. The staff in Beijing always made themselves more than available if needed anything.

However, there were some things that the program could do better with. In the weeks prior to my arrival, the office headquarters in the US felt somewhat disorganized. I later learned that other people had a lot of issues with that. Also, I had a friend who was going to continue being in Beijing with Alliance for another semester. However, apparently not enough people enrolled and they had to completely cancel it. I guess that’s not the program’s fault, but my friend had to completely change her plan.

Overall, I would definitely recommend the program. I really did have such an amazing time. I’m glad the Alliance gave me the opportunity to study in this major world city and do all the things I was able to do.

Program: The Alliance in Beijing: Popular Culture and Social Change

Overall Rating

9 / 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    6

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    7

A Great Abroad Experience

The Alliance is genuinely interested in the personal, professional, and academic development of their students. The program will academically challenge you because it wants students to gain the most out of their time in the city and campus. Volunteering and interning is also a possibility and the program director and assistants are extremely dedicated to helping students find their perfect fit! And the program plans numerous cultural activities that will keep you busy in all sorts of great ways!

Program: The Alliance in Beijing: Popular Culture and Social Change

Overall Rating

9 / 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

A Rundown of my Shanghai Experience

I am happy to have chosen The Alliance in Shanghai: International Business in China as my study abroad program. I learned to travel independently in China, so being there was definitely worthwhile. The experience is encouraging to know because it will help me on my future travels in and out of China.

Academics: My Chinese language class was very intensive. I found Chinese 400 and China: An Economic Giant to be my two most enjoyable courses out of all of the ones I took that semester.

Administration: They were very informative and provided assistance when we had questions. The orientation session helped prepare of what was expected from us throughout the semester.

Housing: We were all assigned to a furnished apartment that had a living room, kitchen, dining room, and bathroom. I was provided with my own bedroom. Heater/AC, hot water, and water machine were available to use when needed. We were each assigned two roommates, one from the program and another who is a native Chinese. We were encouraged to practice speaking Chinese with our Chinese roommate.

Food: The program doesn't provide you a meal plan but the food that can be bought around there are always super affordable and delicious!

Cultural Experience: I felt fully immersed into the local culture. I communicated with locals on a day-to-day basis in Mandarin. I was able to get around in Shanghai by myself.

Health Care: I, personally, did not have any serious health issues, but my friends who had them were able to gain access to the local health care system easily.

Safety: I felt very safe. There were no problems when I was in China.

Program: The Alliance in Shanghai: International Business in China

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