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IES Abroad Beijing - Contemporary Issues in China Semester Program

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

International Relations in Beijing

Spending a semester with IES in Beijing was an incredible experience. The program includes a field studies component, which was an extremely rewarding three weeks spend traveling through western China with a final destination in Tibet. From my personal experience, the faculty and professor are always readily available to meet with students privately to discuss academic interests and goals and to point to the right resources to make the semester as fulfilling as possible. The professors at IES helped me develop my senior thesis and showed me the way into some incredible resources in Beijing that I wouldn't have found on my own. Although the curriculum is not extremely challenging, students learn a lot from professors who are well experienced in China, politics, and international relations. In a way, having a relaxed curriculum is an effective method of conducting a study abroad experience, because it allows the students to spend time exploring the region they are in and seeing how theory is applied in practice on the field. Overall I am extremely happy with my experience and everything I was able to achieve in it.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Incredible Immersion Experience

IES Abroad Beijing was exactly what I was hoping for in a study abroad experience: a challenging and engaging academic program, plenty of opportunity for full cultural immersion, and more than enough time to explore both Beijing and China in general. My Chinese improved tremendously because of the excellent staff at IES and also because I was placed in a home stay that could not speak English. The home stay was the best feature of my time abroad, and I feel that I was matched perfectly with my host family. I loved the balance that the Contemporary Issues program provided in terms of rigorous Chinese study combined with courses designed to deepen our understanding of modern Chinese government, international relations, literature, environmental issues, and more.

Academics:
The academics of this program are more rigorous than the average study abroad experience, but I did not mind the workload given that all of my classes were interesting, engaging, and relevant to modern China.

Living Situation:
Both the dorms and the home stay options are superior compared to the living conditions available to the average Chinese college student.

Program Administration:
In my opinion, organization and communication were both occasionally lacking, particularly regarding pre-departure information and travel information for the mobile learning unit.