CET Beijing Spring 2019 & Fall 2019: An Experience That I Never Wanted To End.

Academics: 8
Support: 9
Fun: 9
Housing: 9
Safety: 10

This program gives you many opportunities to learn Chinese which makes it a great Chinese program, you just have to take the leap. Nobody is going to force you. Each Semester at CET is different for example in the Fall semester the environment wasn’t as immersive as the Spring. There was too many students that quit the language pledge within the first weeks which made it hard for the students who wanted to make friends but couldn’t because the temptation to speak English was there all the time except for when class was in session. As I was at CET for spring 2019 and then Fall 2019 I had the opportunity to hear serval reasons why the Language Pledge was Impossible, but it's NOT impossible. In the past, I read reviews that said "stick to the language pledge" which I 100% agree with, but it sounds hard especially when you get into the 3rd weekend. Just Don't make an excuse for yourself as to why you can't do the Pledge. Don't tell yourself: I’ll start tomorrow, it's impossible, my Chinese level is too low, I’ll never make friends/connections, everyone else does it. Every day you will have challenges it's not easy but very possible to achieve with the help the all the CET staff and roommates. CET has a great structure, for example, Sunday to Thursday there are office hours, RD makes me feel secure, almost all teachers are friendly and ready to answer all the Chinese questions you have. The only things CET lacks is more training with the Chinese roommates help the CET Students with the culture shock. I feel like there needs to be not just a separate meeting about diversity/culture shock but also a joint meeting. I had been to China before my first semester at CET so the culture shock wasn’t a huge deal. But it is for most students. For example, I heard students say my roommate: leaves water on the floor, wash all her clothes in the sink, chews with her mouth open. Which are all normal parts of lifestyle in China. The 2nd problem is not really pushing the language pledge. Too many students start to get tricky if they notice that staff members are being too nice and not catching them when they speak English, which can ruin the experience. This program was challenging but rewarding. Starting at the beginner class was challenging. I wasn’t able to say anything except “I like …, I think…” for a while. I lost my personality at the beginning but gained much more than my personality at the end. I learn about north versus southern Chinese culture and language, where the locals eat, how to make jokes, have the confidence to ask questions/join clubs, meet new friends outside of CET, dream in Chinese, to be able to travel using Chinese, this list could go on forever. If I had the chance after graduating from University I would pick CET to study Chinese again.

Would you recommend this program?
Yes, I would
Year Completed