Alliance for Global Education Participant Reviews

Overall Rating

10 / 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

ArtJerusalem with IFSA-Butler and the alliances or career global education

I LOVED my experience abroad. I did a specialty program through my provider that allowed me to take art classes at Bezalel Academy of Art and Design and also classes at the Rothberg international school of Hebrew University. As a double major in art and anthropology, the ability to take classes at two universities was incredibly valuable in making study abroad fit into my 4 years at college.

In addition to broad ranging academic offerings, the IFSA/Global Alliance program also offered tons of extracurriculars and outings that gave me the chance to explore Israel and learn about the wide range of cultural diversity it offers. We visited an Ethiopian community outside of Jerusalem, a camel farm in the Negev, Baha’i temples in the north, and so much more!

Our program staff was also amazing, including our on-site program coordinator, who we affectionately referred to as “Mom.” I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to study in Israel, and for the friends and memories I will treasure for a lifetime.

Program: IFSA: Diversity and Coexistance

Overall Rating

10 / 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Learning to go with the flow

Last summer, I couldn't imagine that my first experience abroad was going to the opposite of the side in India. And I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Manipal this Fall. First, our program director (Smriti) was my and other students main go-to person. She was always up to talk about things when we needed to and was very supportive. In terms of public health immersion, our out-of-the-classroom public health visits to local government and nonprofit organizations was deeply informative and eye opening. Also, our professors had public health experience and were more than willing to share them. I left with a new perspective on India's public health system and efforts!

On a personal note, I had a wonderful roommate and made some great friends that I still talk to! Also, I really felt as though I gained confidence and fulfilment while there because of the directed research project and volunteering within the community! I can't express enough how Manipal challenged on a personal level and allowed me to grow.

Program: IFSA: Global and Public Health

Overall Rating

10 / 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    6

  • Community

    8

Cultural immersion in Varanasi

My semester in Varanasi was the best, most challenging and amazing four months of my life!! I cannot stress enough how much I enjoyed this program and how much it taught me. The program itself had both positive and a few negative aspects to it. The only criticisms that I have are the academic structure of the program could have been better. In class experience was a little unorganized in some classes, but we had some logistical issues because a teacher had to leave in the beginning of the semester. Outside of the classroom immersion was the best part of the program. There is so much to see in the city and it's so complex so you'll never be bored. The program staff, Lara and Rahul, are so knowledgeable and helpful. They know everything there is to know about Varanasi and help out in every way possible. My host family was also amazing, they became my second family. I still talk to them every week and I'm actually going back to Varanasi this summer and staying with them again.
Varanasi is unlike any other experience abroad. It is not easy, it is challenging, but it is beautiful and amazing and well worth the struggle. I would recommend this experience to anyone looking to put themselves out of their comfort zone and experience one of the most beautiful places on this earth.

Program: IFSA; The City, the River, the Sacred

Overall Rating

10 / 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    10

Get yourself hooked on China, world travel, and new experiences!

I am so glad that I chose to study abroad in Shanghai China fall term of my junior year. As an International Business and Chinese double major, Alliance's International Business program was a perfect fit for me! I got to strengthen my Chinese speaking, writing, and reading skills. My favorite times learning Chinese were during "Chinese Table/中文桌子“。 "Chinese Table" was a weekly event where Alliance provided our Chinese class with a small stipend so we could go out to eat local Chinese food with our teacher and classmates. The only requirement was that we had to speak in Chinese! I loved going to new restaurants and trying new food dishes while bonding with my teacher and classmates. The academic classes were also great. I particularly enjoyed our final capstone project where we got to collect data and research a subject of our choice. My paper was done from a marketing perspective on Chinese student opinions of the Iphone 7.

As part of the International Business program I also chose to do an Internship. I highly recommend doing so! I interned at a small digital marketing firm, but you can be placed in a variety of different business areas to suit your personal interests. Having an internship on top of classes had me exploring the city on my own and taking the subway to and from my internship every week.

I shared a large apartment with my classmate and a Chinese roommate. Our Chinese roommate definitely went above and beyond to welcome us to Shanghai. We ended up being great friends, and we were even invited to her parents house for lunch! We even took a weekend trip to Seoul, South Korea together!

I definitely recommend saving up your money as you will probably catch the travel bug like I did! In my 4 months in Shanghai I took several other international weekend trips and trips to other cities throughout China. However, what I enjoy about the Alliance program is their integrated week study trips. For example, the International Business program took a week-long trip to Hong Kong, Macau, and several other Chinese cities! These trips are led by Alliance staff and is a great bonding experience with your Alliance classmates.

I highly recommend this program to anyone interested in International Business or to anyone studying or would like to begin studying Chinese!

Program: IFSA: International Business in China

Overall Rating

10 / 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    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: IFSA: International Business in China

Overall Rating

10 / 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    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: IFSA: International Business in China

Overall Rating

10 / 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    9

The Real Deal Public Health Experience in India

I learned so much about myself through the inherent challenges of living in a new country, especially one like India. Pushing your boundaries and going outside your comfort zone is the most rewarding gift you can give yourself.
The classes expanded my knowledge a good bit without feeling overwhelming. Some classes were based on paper writing and others on tests.
The resident director on campus was the best lifeline. She built a great relationship with the study abroad office along with our public health professors to be our advocate on campus.
I shared a double with a current Manipal student. The rooms are spacious and the bathrooms are well cleaned by the housekeepers. A storage closet is provided to stock up on blankets, hangers, etc to reduce cost.
Meals in one of the mess halls on campus are provided in your program fees. Similar to any mess hall on your own home campus, you get tired of the food they serve but Manipal is surrounded with other restaurants and canteens.
We often rode the local bus to get to various places in Manipal and Udupi (the next closest city) which was a great opportunity to meet locals. We took the bus to a local art gallery to take art classes by a local woman and her other clients.
I had to visit the hopsital on campus two times throughout the semester; once for stomach problems and the other for ear infections. The hospital on campus is one of the best in India from what I've heard and experienced. Healthcare is very affordable compared to the US and the program fee includes insurance. Check the CDC for a list of vaccinations needed.

Program: IFSA: Global and Public Health

Overall Rating

10 / 10

  • Internship Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Work Environment

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

WO AI ZHONGGUO! 我爱中国 (I love China)

I studied abroad in Shanghai a year ago. I can't believe it has been so long! I think about my experience in China every single day because I miss it so much! It was definitely the best four months of my college life. To be honest, at first I was not sure whether to do this program or not because of how far it was from my family and friends. Also, I didn't know anyone else going on the program with me. I had taken about two years of Mandarin at Rollins College, but was not confident of my speaking/ listening skills at all. However, I (fortunately) decided to take the risk and go and it was the best decision I could have made. The program allowed me to fully immerse in a unique and amazing culture. I had a Chinese roommate from the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, whom was my pillar throughout the semester. She helped me get around, learn how to properly communicate with others (what to say/ what not to say), and became a very good friend of mine. My Mandarin skills got so much better! The small class sizes helped everyone participate and learn. The professors' interest in the students' learning was great for our overall improvement. I loved the apartment buildings in which we lived and the area around. The transportation is very easy to understand, very convenient and very cheap! Also, many people were concerned with the food, but this was not an issue at all. There is everything and anything you might need. We also had a kitchen therefore could cook our own food if necessary. I could go on and on about everything I loved about China including the courses, the university campus, the field trips, safety, health care, and the overall support from the program. I would REALLY recommend this program. It's great! If you have any interest in China, this program is for you!

Program: IFSA: International Business in China

Overall Rating

10 / 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Empower Your Future

Studying in China was the best decision of my life.

The Alliance for Global Education offered everything I wanted and more. Sure, I did my background research on the program, but I had no idea that I was in for the best semester of my college career. From independent travel and group travel, extracurricular activities, a fantastic network of teachers, program directors and students, the Alliance for Global Education did their part to make my four months in China awesome.

Living situation. I had my own bedroom and bathroom in an apartment for international students. One of my roommates was from New Orleans and the other was from Yunnan, China and studied at the same school.

The school. Shanghai University of Finance and Economics is a well respected business school throughout China and a nice ring to it when you tell people outside of China. The campus is nice and close to the apartments, cafeterias are cheap and delicious. The classes themselves varied, but overall 2 out of my 3 business professors (taught in English) were great and 1 was subpar. Chinese class was held every weekday morning by a very talented Chinese teacher. I made huge strides in my Mandarin proficiency.

Shanghai. A great stepping stone into the east. I got off the plane and thought I was in NYC. You can speak English everyday, eat western food, and watch Netflix using a VPN if you're not feeling the whole China thing. But don't do that. Live it up. Shanghai is a vast city with a rich culture and 24 million people waiting for you to make friends with.

Program: IFSA: International Business in China

Overall Rating

10 / 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    9

Adventure Time

For most of my life, I have known what was coming. Starting college, attending a family member’s wedding, going to a new restaurant, and making a new friend are all wonderful, complex occasions uniquely experienced by each individual. However, there is a general script that everyone is familiar with and we all know how each of these occasions will go, for the most part. I craved something totally new. I wanted to be in a situation where I had no idea what was going on or how to think about it. So I signed up to jump on a plane, fly to the opposite side of the world, and enjoy the vulnerability, excitement, and brain expansion that I knew would come along with it. I chose to be totally open to every experience and make the absolute most of every opportunity. I definitely got what I was looking for, but my craving for new adventures is nowhere near satisfied and I am already excited for whatever my next adventure will be!

Program: IFSA: Global and Public Health