Nicholas’s Experience in Shanghai

Nicholas studied in China on the CIEE: Shanghai Summer Program.

If you could give only one reason, why would you suggest other students study abroad?

If you have never been to a foreign country all by yourself, then you should definitely study abroad. Embarking on this type of journey provides you with so many opportunities for personal and professional growth. Throughout the trip, you will learn how you deal with culture shock as well as how you adapt to new foreign encounters. You will get lost, but that is all part of the experience. How you handle and view getting lost is all up to you. Studying abroad offers you many different types of experiences, for better or worse, allowing you develop.

What specific factors influenced your decision to go abroad?

Some factors that influenced my decision were my desire to obtain an international business minor and learn Chinese. I was planning on taking Chinese when I got back from my study abroad program for my business degree language requirement. Studying abroad helped me learn a little of Chinese and ultimately prepared for taking Chinese back at PSU.

What concerns/fears did you have about studying abroad, and how did you overcome them?

One concern I had was how I was going to communicate with the locals. I practically knew no Chinese so it was going to be a struggle communicating with people. The solution I found was to befriend a lot of people in your program. Even if you may not know the local language, there is bound to be someone in your program that knows at least a little bit of the local language. When I wasn’t with a friend that could speak some Chinese, I used a lot of hand motions and pointing to get around. Also, I took an intro course to Chinese which helped me learn a lot of the basics.

What was it about your program specifically that fit your personal goals over other programs?

I liked this program the best because it was a summer program.This program helped me pursue an international business minor and familiarize myself with the Chinese language. Also, I didn’t have to adjust my fall and spring schedules and I didn’t have to miss out on THON and football season.

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