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An Excellent Option For Anyone Learning Chinese
Submitted by Andrew - University of Texas at Austin | August 18, 2017
The staff have been running this program for years, and their experience allows for a smooth transition into the country no matter what your situation. This is especially important if you don't have a lot of experience abroad, because the change of location can be jarring at first if you don't have a good support network. In addition to the staff, many of the local ambassadors have been participating for multiple semesters because of how much they enjoy the program, so you'll have local guides and friends who can answer many common questions and will help you begin your Taiwan adventure.
The Chinese language classes are held by National Chengchi University's Chinese Language Center, while elective courses are taught by CIEE faculty. My Chinese class was tough (5 days a week, 3 hours a day from 8am!) but I definitely improved during my time there. The elective class I took was Conversational Taiwanese and Taiwanese Culture. The professor was extremely passionate about the subject and made the learning as active as possible. Outside of class we would think of words we wanted to learn and write down things we heard people saying, and would bring them back to class to discuss and translate.
I lucked out with the group of students I had, as we all got along very well. There was always something to do with ambassadors and students, so there were very few dull moments.
If you choose the program, be prepared to do some walking though, the dorms are on the side of the mountain behind campus, and all the best food is down the mountain. My homie, the noodle master, in the basement of Dorm 9 makes great food, but sometimes it's good to switch things up a bit.
Perfect Times in Tokyo
Submitted by Jason Belanger - Hofstra University | August 16, 2017
I had such a wonderful experience with CIEE in Tokyo. Honestly, I didn't have a single issue from the start of the process to the finish - while the application process was quite long and at times confusing, I had help and explanations every step of the way, and was never left without my questions answered. Once I was accepted, CIEE had a steady stream of info coming my way, and they laid out everything clearly with an online pre-departure orientation and lots of printed materials.
Once I arrived at the program, I was very impressed with how organized and high-quality everything was. All of our accommodations were top-notch and travel all went very smoothly. We had 2 days of traveling around before arriving in Tokyo (including stops at an onsen resort and Nikko Edo Wonderland) and once we arrived, we had a few days of more orientations and guiding activities before the academic portion started.
Overall, I couldn't have asked for a better trip. The CIEE Tokyo team is filled with such wonderful people, and they were always there to answer my questions and help me out whenever I needed it. I met friend I hope to stay with for life and had an experience like no other in Japan. I can't recommend this program enough!!
Very comprehensive and useful course
Submitted by Rositsa Vitanova - Gorham | August 15, 2017
This course was great – it combined language understanding, basic grammar, cultural awareness, classroom organization, lesson planning, etc. It was interesting to dive into theory but also combine it with a practical application and useful tips and tricks for the classroom. The live tutorials once a week have been extremely helpful – hearing from the other students in my group has brought up different points of view and the tutor was amazing and extremely helpful. This was definitely a downside for some other online courses I have done, not having live communication and feedback – and I really appreciated it in this CIEE course.
The material is organized nicely into modules, which allows you to go at your own pace. At the same time, there are hard deadlines that keep you on track each week. After each module CIEE provides a very extensive list of articles, videos, blogs and other useful resources – I found it very helpful to save all the links to my Favorites so I can have access to them for ideas during assignments. There are many EFL materials on the internet so it was great to be pointed to legitimate sources.
I did not use CIEE’s job placement services but a lot of the resources and exercises in the course are dedicated to creating your teacher resume, attending an interview, finding a practicum (which is a required part of the certification), etc. So even though I have postponed this particular job hunt, for now, I feel confident that I am well prepared for it, once I need to do it.
Overall, I am really happy I did this course, it was a lot of work but it was worth it. I feel confident that now I have the skills and the mindset to be a successful EFL teacher.
Submitted by Victoria Alvarez - Lynn University | June 28, 2017
My experience with the CIEE Global Institute Rome Open Campus was nothing short of amazing. Not only did CIEE prepare me well and thoroughly before my departure, but upon arrival I was greeted at the airport and transported to orientation in an extremely organized manner. My four months in the program were filled with cultural experiences that allowed me to dive into Italian culture while also taking classes that taught me more about Italy and the world I live in. The classes were educational, fun and very hands-on. The staff in Rome is not only extremely helpful, but kind and overall fun to be around. At one point, while I was having health issues, the CIEE staff worked with me and stood by me every step of the way, making sure I had access to the proper doctors and healthcare that I needed. I never felt alone, confused or short-handed, instead they helped to make sure I was given the attention I needed. All in all, The Global Institute felt like a home away from home. This experience allowed me to step out of my comfort zone and make lifelong friends and taught me more about myself as an individual than I ever thought possible.
Submitted by Melisa - University of Minnesota | June 19, 2017
I went through the program living in the present and enjoyed feeling consistently productive and adventurous almost everyday. I did more fun and exciting things this semester than I have ever done back home or even in my entire life, in some cases. I chose this program because I wanted to be out in the field and from what I read online, it seemed like it was well worth it. Well, it resulted in being a learning experience I could not have ever imagined. The things we got to do during the two two-week field trips were jam packed with activities while traveling around the country. You get to do things that can only be done with close connections, that the uniqueness of those experiences makes you greatly appreciate the program (a bit vague here, but trust me surprises are well worth it!). The bonds you make with your peers and professors/TAs were very strong and comforting. I am pleased with all the wildlife I got to see and waking up next to a cloud forest wasn't too shabby! The country is truly beautiful and Monteverde feels like a second home. I think the program does a good job in incorporating many cool experiences as it has had many years with the same program coordinator to build a study abroad program that is one of a kind.