Alumni Spotlight: Krystle Thai

Krystle studied abroad at Fudan University in Shanghai, China for the Fall 2012 semester during her Sophomore year at Drake University in Des Moines, IA. She is originally from Arcadia, CA. Don't ask why she left sunshine and beaches for corn fields!

TEAN China students in Shanghai

Why did you decide to study abroad with TEAN?

Krystle: When I was looking to study abroad in China, I knew I wanted to study in Shanghai because that is an economically powerful city. I also knew that I wanted to study at a prestigious school and Fudan University is definitely the most prestigious in Shanghai. TEAN offered a great program to this school, the price was right, an excursion to the Inner Mongolian desert sounded awesome, and their TEAN’s pamphlets were appealing and informative. I was sold.

What made this experience unique and special?

Krystle: I am so thankful to discover that TEAN enrolled students directly into the foreign university giving us the opportunity to choose from the full school course list rather than sent American teachers over and gave students a very limited class list to choose from. From there, I was able to take a pharmacology class and was applied and connected to various opportunities to learn more about the healthcare in China. It was definitely an amazing experience. I also met the most amazing people, both international and local and feel that my life skills in general have sharpened through my semester abroad.

TEAN student's photo of Shanghai

What is one piece of advice you'd give future TEAN-Shanghai students?

Krystle: Dear Future TEAN-Shanghai students,
GET READY FOR AN ADVENTURE! Take advantage of the full course list offered to you and don’t hold back. Learn everything you want to learn and keep an open mind. TRAVEL around Asia. This is your chance to explore Asia without breaking the bank. Plan your trips early! Don’t save them all till the end. If you do that, you’ll never get the chance to go anywhere. Lastly, enjoy SHANGHAI. Shanghai is a wonderful city full of awesome nooks and crannies. Interact with the locals, you’ll be fluent in Chinese in no time. Have fun!

Tell us about any interesting cultural tidbits you noticed about your country.

Krystle: I cannot express enough how important it is to keep an open mind during your time abroad. Don’t be that closed minded foreigner who hates the world. China is definitely a country full of culture. There is tons of food that are all very flavorful and unique. A lot of Chinese cultures may seem rude to us like spitting on the ground, eating meat from bones, and simply pushing when trying to get by. Remember that things we do might seem very rude to them as well. There’s just a difference in culture.