During my semester in Shanghai, I was able to explore the culture, language, food, and art of the city. IES really contributed to my cultural immersion by providing language partners from Chinese universities that wanted to better their English, just like I wanted to better my Chinese. It was also a great immersion experience because I elected to live in a homestay with a Chinese family. My host family only spoke Chinese and we got along very well and I still keep in contact with them now! In addition to the other types of immersion, IES scheduled multiple day trips to various cities in China as well as a week long trip to Taiwan at the end of the semester. The academics were different than I was used to at my home institution (50 minute classes compared to 3-hour long lectures), but I was able to adjust without issue. Overall, it was a well organized program with high-quality program advisors and staff. I'll be back soon!