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For students whose primary goal is Chinese language acquisition, the Alliance offers intensive language instruction in China’s most cosmopolitan city. With a language pledge that requires students to speak only Chinese, plus 20 hours of language instruction per week, students make rapid gains in their language skills—and put them to immediate use while exploring one of China’s most vibrant urban centers.
As a prerequisite for this program, students must have completed two semesters of prior Chinese language study. Students may enroll for a fall or spring semester. Students are encouraged to consider spending their second term in China in a different Alliance program to deepen their knowledge of China's regional diversity.
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For a total of 15-18 credits per semester students take the following curriculum:
Classes are offered exclusively for Alliance students. Chinese language course placement is contingent upon the results of a placement exam conducted after student arrival in China. Language classes have a maximum of 8 students per class and are taught by language faculty selected and trained by the Alliance.
Shanghai offers students an unparalleled opportunity to experience China in a city undergoing economic rebirth and revitalization. Shanghai is the place to be to witness the economic and socio-cultural transformations of modern China (as well as to observe the disparities that remain). Shanghai has traditionally been one of the most important financial and business centers of Asia, and is becoming known as "the Wall Street of the East". After the Second World War and the establishment of the People's Republic of China, foreign investment was discouraged. Today, however, Shanghai is again a multinational hub of finance and business and one of the world's major financial centers.
Check out this interactive map of the Alliance's resources across Shanghai:
View Alliance On Location: Shanghai in a larger map.
Shanghai is a remarkable phenomenon in the evolution of global metropolises today. There is no place like this once sleepy fishing town which has become the largest city in China and the country's most important commercial, financial, and industrial center. One must experience Shanghai to begin to comprehend this diverse and constantly changing nation. Pudong (in eastern Shanghai) was the site of the 2010 World Expo. The entire city is still buzzing with excitement about welcoming 73 million domestic and international visitors.
The Shanghai programs are located just outside of Shanghai University of Finance and Economics’ (SUFE) main campus within the center of Shanghai’s university district. The neighborhood is lined with numerous small shops and restaurants to serve the transient student population. Within two blocks of student housing, you can find many small shops and cafes as well as the cuisines of Xinjiang, Hunan, Sichuan, Korea, Japan, Mexico, the U.S.A., and more. Several parks and recreational facilities located on campus just blocks from students’ dorms serve as great places for Chinese and international students alike to study, relax, or play frisbee.
Just a short distance from campus is Wujiaochang (五角场), a long-standing commercial node that has undergone a dramatic makeover in recent years. Today you will find two large shopping malls with scores of shops and restaurants of all kinds, including electronics, books, clothing, a movie theater, KTV, numerous bakeries, Starbucks, Wal-Mart, Watson’s, and a Shanghai No. 1 Food Mart. You’ll also find H&M, Haagen Daz, and Sephora all in a row, as well as The Bank of China, ICBC, and ATM machines for China Construction Bank, Merchants Bank, and others. You can explore beyond this area’s student hangouts and cultural activities by easily catching metro line 10 downtown at Wujiaochang to experience the rest of what this exciting metropolis has to offer.
The Shanghai University of Finance and Economics (上海财经大学), founded in 1917, is a multi-dimensional university with a core focus on applied economics and management and offering majors in law, philosophy, as well as humanities. SUFE, home to 24,000 students on two campuses, is administered by the Chinese Ministry of Education and has recently been selected as one of the "21st Century's Key Universities in China." It is the number one ranked finance and economics university in China.
The Intensive Chinese Language program offers coursework for students who wish to focus on improving their Chinese language skills. As a prerequisite for this program, students must have completed two (2) semesters of prior Chinese language study.
Students may also opt to take one of the additional area studies course taught in English on offer during their term abroad. Note that the core course, Chinese Society in the 21st Century, entails the completion of a capstone research project.
“I am enjoying it incredibly. I am absolutely enamored with each and every professor – they are all dedicated, personable, and genuinely want to help us improve our Chinese. At least as far as the Intensive professors go, I'm not sure I've ever been in a situation where each professor was so incredibly great. I have nothing but good things to say about them.” – Augustine Hosch, University of the South
Elective offerings are subject to enrollment and faculty availability. Students should secure home institution approval for both primary and secondary course preferences. Though the Alliance makes every effort to offer the courses listed each semester, we cannot guarantee them, and strongly recommend that students have backup academic plans in place should their first choice not be offered.
Chinese Language (20 hours/week, 15 credits)
Upon taking a placement exam after arrival, students will be placed into the appropriate language level. Courses emphasize listening, reading, speaking, and writing. Alliance programs teach Simplified Chinese Characters, which are standardized Chinese characters officially used in mainland China. Click here to view a full listing of textbooks by Alliance program and course.
Language classes taught by full-time language faculty selected and trained by the Alliance.
Area studies courses are taught by faculty from various universities in Shanghai. See the 21st Century City program’s faculty page to review area studies course faculty information.
Credits, Grades, and Transcripts
A study abroad experience is first and foremost an academic experience. All Alliance for Global Education courses have undergone a faculty review and approval process, and are transcripted by an accredited U.S. university. For all Alliance programs through Spring 2014, transcripts are issued by Arcadia University. For Summer 2014 programs and beyond, transcripts are issued by Butler University.
While in most cases students who have received approval from their home institution to study on an Alliance program can be assured of credits transferring, it is a student’s responsibility to work with their study abroad or academic advisor and home school faculty or academic departments to ensure credit transfer for specific courses.
Credits and Accreditation
Credits granted for Alliance courses are identified in course listings on the Curriculum page for each program, and appear on the official transcript issued at the completion of a student's term. Credit is issued in U.S. semester hours, ensuring that students continue to make progress toward their degrees and verifying the full-time course load they completed while abroad.
All Alliance courses have been reviewed and approved by Butler or Arcadia University’s Undergraduate Academic Programs Committee. Arcadia University is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. Butler University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Programs approved by the Butler University College of Business—which include the Alliance’s International Business Program in Shanghai—are accredited by AACSB International, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
Students receive a letter grade on a scale from A to F for every course they take while enrolled on an Alliance program. Withdrawals (W) may be granted due to exceptional circumstances. Although policies at students' home institutions may differ, the Alliance does not permit students to take courses on a credit/no credit or pass/fail basis. Student grades are determined by criteria set forth in course syllabi.
The grading scale used in determining letter grades for Alliance courses is as follows:
At the conclusion of a program, an official transcript is sent to the participant's home school, with an unofficial copy forwarded to the participant.
Because timelines for final evaluation may vary due to respective program calendars or administrative structures of partner universities abroad, transcripts may take longer to issue than they do at U.S. institutions. While the timeline varies by program, a general timeline for issuing transcripts is:
· Fall programs - transcript issued in late February
· Spring and Summer programs - transcript issued in late September
Transcripts are not released for students with an outstanding balance of program fees or other charge incurred while on the program. Students enrolling in consecutive terms with the Alliance do not receive their first term transcript until their second term fees are paid in full.
Participants in Alliance programs beginning Summer 2014 can request additional transcripts of their transcripts online at any time from Butler University's online transcript ordering service provided by the National Student Clearinghouse, a nonprofit organization serving the higher education community.
If you have a question about the transcripting process or timeline, please feel free to contact your Student Services Manager.
The Alliance orientation is mandatory. You should make your travel plans accordingly. More details can be found in the Accepted Students: Travel Arrangements section.
Given the program’s busy academic schedule, weekly local activities and excursions, and field study trips, the Alliance strongly discourages students from hosting visitors until the end of the semester. Please encourage family and/or friends to visit after the program has ended.
* Organized trip dates are subject to change at any time.
|Fall 2014 Program||$ 14,690|
|Spring 2015 Program||$ 14,750|
The program cost includes tuition and fees, pre-departure materials, guidance with applying for a visa, orientation, housing, weekly activities, all textbooks, the services of a full-time Resident Director, medical and evacuation insurance, and a one-week field study trip.
The program price does not include airfare to China, meals, passport and visa fees, independent travel, and other items not mentioned as included.
The Alliance encourages students to enroll for more than one term and to consider studying with more than one Alliance program. Students who continue into a second term with the Alliance receive a $500 discount on the program fee for the second term. All combinations (two semesters, semester plus summer, two semesters plus summer) are possible.
For the first half of the semester students are housed with roommates in Tonghe International Apartments, across the street from the north gate of the university and a 10-15 minute walk from Alliance classrooms.
The apartments include a bathroom, kitchen, and furnished bedrooms with desk, desk lamp, closet space, and a remote control heating/air-conditioning unit. The bedrooms also include sheets, pillows, and a comforter. Towels are not provided. The furnished common areas include a TV, filtered water dispenser, refrigerator, stove-top gas burners or a hotplate in the kitchen, and a balcony. Some apartments also have a small washing machine. Filtered water is replenished at student expense (12 RMB/$1.80 per tank) with the help of the Tonghe front desk staff. No kitchen utensils or other supplies are provided. During orientation all students are required to pay a 500 RMB (approximately $74 US dollars) housing deposit. If there is no damage to the room at the end of the program, this deposit will be refunded in full.
Students spend the second half of the semester with their Chinese host family.
All students in the Intensive Chinese Language program are required to live with a host family for the second half of the semester.
In homestays students gain an in-depth understanding of Chinese family dynamics and traditions through sharing meals and participating in other family activities.
Homestays provide students with an excellent opportunity to develop a more intimate understanding of Chinese culture and language through discussing and witnessing topics on Chinese culture, tradition and social life raised in the classroom with locals working and living in Beijing up close. Moreover, during their homestays students find countless opportunities to improve their Chinese language skills.
Certain meals are provided by students’ host families. See the Food and Meals section for more information on which meals are included in the program fee.
While living in the Tonghe International Student Dorms, students are responsible for providing their own meals. Many students eat in the new cafeteria on campus. Meals are inexpensive (about $1-3 per meal). Many students also eat in local restaurants, especially those on the street adjacent to the campus. Students should budget $10 per day for meals, which will allow them to eat some meals off campus at local restaurants if desired.
Midway through the semester, once students move into their homestay, breakfast and dinner are provided by the Chinese host family, while students are responsible for their own lunches throughout the week. Host families provide all three meals on the weekends unless students attend organized excursions or choose not to dine with the family due to other plans.
Vegetarians will find that good food is available in China. Most restaurants serve lots of vegetables, tofu dishes, and staples such as rice, noodles, or dumplings. Note that some restaurants may use animal fat in preparing dishes.
The Alliance arranges extra-curricular classes which may include Chinese painting, calligraphy, cooking, taiji or other martial arts, pottery, seal carving, or paper cutting. These classes offer a wonderful opportunity to learn more about traditional Chinese culture.
Throughout the semester, students are invited to take part in a full schedule of excursions, events, and lectures - all designed to enhance their understanding of China and the historical and modern influences that impact its culture and people. Students explore the famous Yuyuan Park, the historic Bund along the Huangpu River, and the former French concession. Field visits may include cultural performances, museum visits, special lectures, visits to artists' studios, architectural walking tours, and many opportunities to meet locals, including students from other campuses. Below is a sampling of activities from previous semesters. Specific activities for future terms are subject to change.
The Chinese Lantern Festival marks the end of Spring Festival (Chinese New Year). People usually celebrate with colorful lanterns, glutinous rice dumplings (tang yuan) and riddles.
The story is adapted from a famous classical Chinese novel and is an example of how the spiritual world often plays a role in the lives of the Chinese.
The art center exhibits selected propaganda posters displayed across China from 1949 to 1979. Founder and owner Mr. Yang Peiming hosts the tour of the facilities and provides an introduction to his poster collection.
Students learn about Shanghai’s history and development and its ambitious plans for the future.
A site visit to the largest iron and steel conglomerate in China. Baosteel is the sixth-largest steel producer in the world with revenues of $21.5 billion.
This type of opera has a history of about 800 years and was derived from a kind of story-singing. At first, it was performed with a small drum and hardwood clappers for rhythm and later, choral and orchestral accompaniment was added.
The excursion is led by the Fudan instructors of the "Issues in Contemporary Society and Culture" and "Contemporary Chinese Politics" courses. Students are encouraged to consider questions about tradition, modernization, and history and to pay attention to the ironies of their setting. Students are also asked to situate "Chinese culture" into a historical context of encountering the west.
Shao Jing, author of a very powerful academic article on the politics of HIV / AIDS and the value of bodies under a neoliberal regime, speaks to the Society and Culture class. Shao Jing completed his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago and is now a professor at Nanjing University. Simon Tang, Office Director of the Chi Heng Foundation, also speaks on the work of the Foundation with children affected by AIDS in China.
“My Shanghai” is an exhibit showcasing photographs taken by sixth grade students from Jin Hu Primary School.
Acrobatics is a pearl in the treasure house of the traditional Chinese performing arts and has existed in China for more than two thousand years.
A contemporary drama directed by Wei Wu about recent university graduates seeking jobs.
Students visit classrooms in small groups and communicate with migrant students in Chinese to understand their experiences.
Students are divided into four groups to compete in singing Chinese songs.
Participants of this activity get a detailed picture of how an environmental NGO works in Shanghai. Some students have even begun volunteering for Roots and Shoots programs.
Each semester, students participate in a Chinese cooking contest organized by the Chinese language teachers. The teachers take their groups shopping and then each group prepares their favorite dishes.
Students go from room to room, where they learn calligraphy, the Chinese equivalent of the game Mafia, Chinese chess, basic phrases in Shanghai dialect and other cultural activities.
The Alliance organizes a one-week field study trip for students during the fall and spring semesters. Destinations may vary but usually include Yunnan or Qinghai province. Through exposure to China’s social, economic, and geographic diversity, as well as regional and ethnic inflections to the Chinese language that has been a focus of their studies, students gain a richly textured sense of the many realities that exist within China.
Yunnan province in southwestern China offers China's most diverse ethnic minority population, stunning scenery, and a rich history. Students gain deep insight into Yunnan's local culture and artistic heritage. They have the opportunity to experience urban life in Kunming, visit small Yi and Miao minority villages, and hike in the gorgeous, mountainous areas of this province. Participants of the trip may also explore the great natural beauty of the Stone Forest, the rain forest of Xishuangbanna, or participate in an extensive encounter with the Bai minority culture in the ancient town of Dali.
Located on the Tibetan Plateau, Qinghai is considered one of the most beautiful regions in China. Students may visit Ta'er Monastery, one of the six most famous Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in the world, travel to Qinghai Lake, the largest salt water lake in China and one of China’s best bird watching sites, or explore the ancient tombs of Liuwan. Students behold the breathtaking scenery, witness the contrast in development in the region versus the coast, and gain a deeper understanding of Qinghai’s minority nationalities.
How do Alliance program graduates look back on their experience studying in Asia? What advice can they offer on making the most of your time abroad? Contact these students to ask your questions!
Hey Guys! My name Iram Cesani. I am a current senior here at the University of Tampa. I major in Advertising & Public Relations with a minor in Marketing. I traveled abroad to Shanghai, China last semester (Spring 2014) with the 21st Century...read more
Hey Guys! My name Iram Cesani. I am a current senior here at the University of Tampa. I major in Advertising & Public Relations with a minor in Marketing. I traveled abroad to Shanghai, China last semester (Spring 2014) with the 21st Century Program and wouldn't have traded that experience for the world. Guaranteed one of the best experiences of my life and my college experience to date. I want to show students that going abroad not only engages you educationally, but also gives you life long lessons, friendships from all corners of the world and the ability to access knowledge, from a global perspective. hide
My name is Katreena Alyssa Casallo. I am from Chicago, Illinois and I am currently a senior at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. I am majoring in Global studies focusing on international business and political science. I was born in the...read more
My name is Katreena Alyssa Casallo. I am from Chicago, Illinois and I am currently a senior at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. I am majoring in Global studies focusing on international business and political science. I was born in the Philippines and have migrated to the States about 10 years ago. I have studied abroad each year of my undergrad, last year being with the Alliance Program in Shanghai 21st century. I am an avid traveler, adventure junkie, cultural and historical buff. I love immersing myself into the known and getting lost to finding myself again. hide
Whats up yall, my name is Danny and I am currently a junior at Trinity University in San Antonio, TX. I just spend Fall 2013 in Shanghai, China participating in the 21st Century City program. My major is political science and religion. Upon looking at...read more
Whats up yall, my name is Danny and I am currently a junior at Trinity University in San Antonio, TX. I just spend Fall 2013 in Shanghai, China participating in the 21st Century City program. My major is political science and religion. Upon looking at all of your own individual posts I feel privileged to be part of such an interesting and intelligent group. I can't wait to represent alliance and encourage more students to travel to China or India in order to expand their horizon! hide
Hey everyone! My name is Lauren, and I'm currently a senior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. My major is global studies with a focus on Chinese and teaching English as a second language. I studied abroad last fall 2013 in Shanghai...read more
Hey everyone! My name is Lauren, and I'm currently a senior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. My major is global studies with a focus on Chinese and teaching English as a second language. I studied abroad last fall 2013 in Shanghai, China with the 21st Century City program. I had an amazing time and can't wait to share my experiences with Alliance at my home university! hide
Hello. My name is Mark and I'm a junior at Texas Tech University. I studied abroad in Spring 2013 in Shanghai, and it was the best semester of my life. During this trip, I learned so much. It opened my eyes to the new perspective of the world we...read more
Hello. My name is Mark and I'm a junior at Texas Tech University. I studied abroad in Spring 2013 in Shanghai, and it was the best semester of my life. During this trip, I learned so much. It opened my eyes to the new perspective of the world we live in. Also, I got to live in the most exciting city in the world, which has a lot to offer. Nevertheless, I experienced the Chinese culture which was phenomenal. I'm excited to represent this program and tell people my experiences and encourage them to go study abroad. It was one of the lifetime experience. hide
Hey, my name is Connor Clinton and I am currently a junior at Colgate University in Hamilton NY. I had an amazing experience studying abroad with Alliance and want to help my fellow students find ways to go abroad themselves. Cant wait to get started...read more
Hey, my name is Connor Clinton and I am currently a junior at Colgate University in Hamilton NY. I had an amazing experience studying abroad with Alliance and want to help my fellow students find ways to go abroad themselves. Cant wait to get started!! hide
你们好! Hey everyone! My name is Amy, and I am currently a Junior at Wheaton College (MA). I am majoring in Psychology and minoring in General Education. I studied in Shanghai, China last Fall Semester of 2013 at the Intensive Chinese Language Program....read more
你们好! Hey everyone! My name is Amy, and I am currently a Junior at Wheaton College (MA). I am majoring in Psychology and minoring in General Education. I studied in Shanghai, China last Fall Semester of 2013 at the Intensive Chinese Language Program. Shanghai was the best choice I made, I had such an amazing, unforgettable trip! I am very happy to be an Ambassador and looking forward to sharing and helping those who are interested in this program! hide
My name is Nayaris Pena I am a senior at Mount Holyoke College studying Economics and Global Business. I enjoy working out and reading, but I must say I have a super soft spot for giving back to the community. I believe in giving back and helping...read more
My name is Nayaris Pena I am a senior at Mount Holyoke College studying Economics and Global Business. I enjoy working out and reading, but I must say I have a super soft spot for giving back to the community. I believe in giving back and helping others move forward. I am grateful that I have the opportunity to speak with students in my community about my experience in college, because just like them nothing was ever handed to me, but anything is possible with guidance and perseverance. I wish to motivate others towards their goals and aspirations. hide
Hello Alliance! My name is Gregory Pallay and I am now a senior in my fourth year of University at Franklin & Marshall College. My major is in Business, with a concentration in Marketing and International Business, with a minor in Chinese language...read more
Hello Alliance! My name is Gregory Pallay and I am now a senior in my fourth year of University at Franklin & Marshall College. My major is in Business, with a concentration in Marketing and International Business, with a minor in Chinese language. I studied abroad from February 2014 to August of that same year. hide
Hi! My name is Ashley Kareken and I will be a senior at Mount Holyoke College this fall. I’m an Economics major and a Chinese minor. I’m pretty advanced in my study of Chinese but I love studying languages. I’ve also studied Spanish,...read more
Hi! My name is Ashley Kareken and I will be a senior at Mount Holyoke College this fall. I’m an Economics major and a Chinese minor. I’m pretty advanced in my study of Chinese but I love studying languages. I’ve also studied Spanish, French, Korean and a little Persian. I’m not sure what I’ll do what after I graduate, maybe work for a few years and get an MBA or maybe I will teach English in China or Korea. Traveling to China was my first time abroad but I would love to travel all around the world. I think it’s just a matter of time! hide
你们好！My name is Fiza Hussain, I am a senior at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts, majoring in Economics and Global Business. I studied abroad with the Alliance in Shanghai, China in the International Business program at the...read more
你们好！My name is Fiza Hussain, I am a senior at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts, majoring in Economics and Global Business. I studied abroad with the Alliance in Shanghai, China in the International Business program at the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics during the Spring 2014 semester. I am extremely excited to have the opportunity to share my experiences abroad in Asia with incoming students of the Alliance. The memories I made with friends who in a very short time became family, will be with me for life and continue to shape me as a person from here on. I believe that studying abroad was the best decision I have ever made since coming to Mount Holyoke and I want to be able to help others say the same thing about their experiences. China is a beautiful country located in an even more amazing continent, the people, the food, the language, it is all an experience that takes learning outside of the classroom to a new level. hide
Hey! I'm Brittany. I am a senior at North Central College in Illinois. And I graduate in June! (: My major is international business with a minor in marketing. I studied abroad this past fall in China. I studied at Shanghai University of Finance...read more
Hey! I'm Brittany. I am a senior at North Central College in Illinois. And I graduate in June! (: My major is international business with a minor in marketing. I studied abroad this past fall in China. I studied at Shanghai University of Finance and Economics and it was awesome! Looking forward to working with everyone!! hide
Hey! My name is Justina Rosado and I'm a junior at Meredith College in NC. I'm a business administration major with a double minor in international business and dance studies. I studied in Shanghai, China during fall semester of 2013 and now I...read more
Hey! My name is Justina Rosado and I'm a junior at Meredith College in NC. I'm a business administration major with a double minor in international business and dance studies. I studied in Shanghai, China during fall semester of 2013 and now I think everyone should study abroad! It was so incredible to experience all of the cultural differences on the other side of the world. I want to help other students understand what it means to be a global citizen and become ambassadors for international communication. hide
Hey! My name is Nicole Chen, and I am currently a junior at Bentley University. I double major in Managerial Economics with a concentration in Entrepreneurship and Media Arts in Society. My minor is Chinese. During the Fall 2013 semester I studied...read more
Hey! My name is Nicole Chen, and I am currently a junior at Bentley University. I double major in Managerial Economics with a concentration in Entrepreneurship and Media Arts in Society. My minor is Chinese. During the Fall 2013 semester I studied abroad in Shanghai with the Alliance for Global Education Program and had an amazing time. Looking forward to representing Alliance with you guys! hide
Hey everybody, my name is Connor Bourff, and I'm a junior at Boston College. I'm a political science major and I attended the fall 2013 International Business program in Shanghai. I can't wait to work with everyone to encourage others to...read more
Hey everybody, my name is Connor Bourff, and I'm a junior at Boston College. I'm a political science major and I attended the fall 2013 International Business program in Shanghai. I can't wait to work with everyone to encourage others to explore studying in China! hide
Hey everyone! I'm Katie and I'm a senior, International Business major at Marietta College in Ohio. In the Spring of 2013, I went to Shanghai for the International Business program through Alliance. Studying abroad in China was an amazing and...read more
Hey everyone! I'm Katie and I'm a senior, International Business major at Marietta College in Ohio. In the Spring of 2013, I went to Shanghai for the International Business program through Alliance. Studying abroad in China was an amazing and unforgettable experience. I was able to travel quite extensively both in and out of China during my four months abroad. I am happy to answer any questions that you may have about China or even studying abroad in general. hide
Hello everyone! Quick stats: Name: Allyson Chew; Class: 2013; Experience: AWESOME! I really enjoyed the program and exploring Shanghai and China. I would love to go back to work after graduation, and am stoked to be an Alumni...read more
Hello everyone! Quick stats: Name: Allyson Chew; Class: 2013; Experience: AWESOME! I really enjoyed the program and exploring Shanghai and China. I would love to go back to work after graduation, and am stoked to be an Alumni Ambassador so I can share my enthusiasm for the program and country. I'm from San Francisco but am loving the East Coast. I am deeply involved in campus life through various organizations (Women for Business, Model United Nations, Habitat for Humanity) and write for Uloop, a national marketplace and blog for college students. hide
My name is Charles Tiu from Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts. As you can tell from my last name, I’m not American. In fact, I’m a Chinese that spent most of his life growing up in Hong Kong, China. Yet I chose to study abroad in...read more
My name is Charles Tiu from Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts. As you can tell from my last name, I’m not American. In fact, I’m a Chinese that spent most of his life growing up in Hong Kong, China. Yet I chose to study abroad in Shanghai in the Spring term of 2010. There are numerous reasons why I chose to study abroad:
It gave me the opportunity to learn about the culture of a different area, the so-called “Dragon Head” of China’s biggest business district; I was able to sharpen my skills in a universal language 1 in 5 people use in this world; it broadened my understanding of the different values, perspectives, ideas and beliefs that different people hold in terms of marketing, management, and most importantly, “guan xi” – networking; all in all, it trained me to become a leader that understood how the Western and Eastern worlds worked individually and cooperatively.
My most memorable moment in Shanghai was during an internship. In the beginning, my Mandarin was rusty, I had no idea what was going on, and was told to direct a small group of international students from America, Spain, and China to handle several tasks. It was awfully difficult to coordinate everything and the whole thing was a mess! But after a few months of grueling training and living with each other – exposing yourself to everything new and uncomfortable to what you’re used to – you gain a valuable and critical understanding of the dynamics and rhythms of the different cultures. Now, handling a large diverse group of people has been a lot easier, a lot clearer, and all this is thanks to the opportunity I had with the Alliance Program. hide
Back in the summer of 2010 I was preparing to study abroad in Shanghai, China. I was overly excited. Before coming to China I spent a good year studying Chinese on my own and had spent countless hours examining and studying Chinese culture. I knew that...read more
Back in the summer of 2010 I was preparing to study abroad in Shanghai, China. I was overly excited. Before coming to China I spent a good year studying Chinese on my own and had spent countless hours examining and studying Chinese culture. I knew that China would be a fascinating place and that I would enjoy my study abroad. Half way through my fall semester at the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics I knew that my time in China would not have been enough; I fell in love with China, I couldn’t leave. I then decided to attend the Alliance’s spring program at Fudan University, Shanghai. I then once again was not satisfied. I attended the Alliance’s summer program at Beijing Language and Culture University; during that time I stayed with a Chinese host family and also interned with a Chinese Magazine. Coming back home was bitter sweet; I was happy to be home, but sad to be leaving China. My experiences in China are priceless; I met many great people, I visited amazing places that most people will never see, I attained a great understanding of Chinese Culture, and most importantly, I significantly improved my Chinese skills. Now my Chinese is very good; it may take years to attain fluency but I know that if I build on my current skills fluency is imminent. China has become my second home and I hope to live and work there right after graduation! hide
Read what these students have to say about study abroad with the Alliance in Asia!
Visit the Accepted Students section