Undergraduate Program


International Study
Comments from Haas Students - EAP Programs


The views expressed here are original, unedited student comments. These views do not necessarily reflect the position of the Haas Undergraduate Program and/or UC Berkeley.


EAP Australia - New South Wales


General comments
My study abroad program has been great. In the first session, I took four very interesting and exciting courses in International Business, Economics and Marketing. I am currently studying under the Faculty of Commerce and Economics and am beginning my second session here at the
University of New South Wales.


What to bring
If you are planning to study in Sydney when it is summer here (December, January, February), then you should take summer clothes, a sun hat, suntan lotion and a pair of sunglasses. If you are planning to study during the Session 2 or winter/spring semester in Sydney, then you should bring
with you warm clothes and a raincoat. In the winter, it rains very often and gets cold and windy especially in the evenings.


What not to bring
Do not need to bring lots of clothes with you because with the current exchange rate, you can purchase things at
relatively lower prices here than back home. Don't bring notebooks or any college supplies because you can purchase them here as well.


Where to eat
I like the Sushi Train at Bondi Junction, Sydney, cafes at Bondi Beach and Maurice's in Mosman (this is a French restaurant which is very good but that's not very far from Sydney). There is also a great yum-cha restaurant
in Hurstville.


Places to visit
In Sydney, you should definitely visit or do the following:
Darling Harbour
Opera House
Botanical Gardens
Take a tour of the harbour (Matilda tour is very educational and fun)
Fox Studios
Chinatown
Paddy's Market
Central Business District and shopping centre there
Queen Victoria's Building
Centrapoint Tower
Climb the Harbour Bridge

You can visit lots of interesting places if you venture outside of Sydney which you can do either on your own, through STA or with a number of student run travel programs at the university. I recommend visiting the Blue Mountains, Canberra, Gold Coast and Noosa.


Culture shock
The Australian people are very friendly and are eager to help anyone who is new to Australia. What you have to be careful of is not to mistake their relaxed attitude and easy-going-ness for a lack of seriousness and commitment to achieving their goals. They are very hardworking and
the students at the university are very serious about studying. They may not talk about how much they are studying but this does not mean that they are not .


How to meet "locals" You can meet local students by joining different clubs at the university, through your classes or by going to such popular places as Bondi Beach or Coogee Beach on weeknights and weekends.


Language skills Although English is the official language in Australia, there are many words that have a different meaning here. In addition, there are many colloquial words that local people use such as "mate", "cheers", and
"ta". Although you may not understand their use in the beginning, once you become familiar with the Australian culture, you will learn the use of these words, their meaning and even begin to use them yourself, mate :)


Really interesting courses
At the University of New South Wales, I recommend taking the following
courses which are very interesting and great:
1) International Business Strategy
2) Managing Across Cultures
3) International and Global Marketing
4) Game Theory and Business Strategy
5) Economies of East Asia


Housing suggestions
There are a number of offices on campus of UNSW that help students find housing. Students also advertise on bulletin boards and you can find ads for sharing of apartments at almost all Internet cafes around the city. The real estate agencies also advertise apartments for let in their
windows but those are typically more expensive than the ones you can find advertised by students. The university also has a number of residential colleges, but you have to apply early to make sure that you get a room
to live there.

EAP Chile
Spring 2004


What to bring:
Bring things like your favorite peanut butter and any electronic thing you own, they are very expensive here. I lived with a family, and the kids loved my Xbox and the Fifa Futbol game we played daily. Bring a CD burner cuz you'll
want the CDs they listen to. Where ever you travel in SA, bring toilet paper and dont expect that they will ever offer it where you stay. you can buy it here, but just beware. Mt. Dew they dont have one ounce of it in this country. i had
to have my mom and dad smuggle me some in from the states.


What not to bring
Just leave most of your clothes at home..we americans overpack and i def brought too many clothes. plus you end up buying things there.


Where to eat
first, they all tell you not to eat at McDonalds in your host country. BS! it is a way of life in Chile, a first or second date is getting serious when you go to Micky D's. ASK THE LOCALS! they will seriously give you the best insite
on where and what to eat. Try Ceviche...its awesome


Places to visit
Use STA travel, and go to a place before your trip begins and after it ends, the flights usually stop in 4 places on the way there, so you can take advantage of extended layovers and do what i did like go to Machu Picchu, Costa Rica, and the like. DO NOT USE THE GROUP FLIGHT OFFERED BY EAP...its a ripoff, anyway, visit Florianopolis in Brazil, go to Iguaza, and RIO for
Carnival!


Culture shock
If you're asian or blonde you stand out like a sore thumb in south america, they will bow to you or sing asian sounding tunes to you. but pretty much its no big deal adjusting...coming from Cal we are all open minded ppl


Reverse culture shock
I know i have missed a lot in the states for only 6 months


Language skills
You will get better, but practice more than you think before you go...watch TV in other languages before you go, read online news in the host country and books before. also know about the US current events, most ppl kow more about the USA than the typical northamerican


Really interesting courses
Take courses about that country i took chilean econ and problems with latin american econ as well as a history culture and society class and a LA film class.,..its nice knowing the culture and history about the plaza de armas in
chile when you can walk over to it after class and see what you learned about

Housing suggestions
live with students and kids, dont live with older ppl and dont live with gingos...when you go out...go with locals and dont be afraid to mix some interaction with locals they will warm up to you....have a standard set of questions memorized for ppl and just be a good listener...have a few beers, it
helps break the ice.


EAP - CHINA - Beijing Normal University
Spring 2008 Business and Economics Program
What to bring:
For the most part you can buy anything that you would want in China (there’s a Walmart very close by and they sell many American products, including toiletries). The only thing I found they do not sell in China is deodorant, so I highly recommend bringing enough to last the semester. Also, depending on your study preferences you may want to bring flash cards. Again they are very difficult to find in China, and I found having flash cards especially useful for studying characters in my Chinese language class.

What not to bring:
There is no need to bring most things. You can buy plenty of clothes in China at cheap prices, and any everyday supplies you will need. I made the mistake of overpacking because I was worried I would not be able to buy anything in China.

Where to eat:
There are a number of good places to eat around campus, which you are likely to discover fairly quickly. Across the street from the dorms on Wudong Road are a few cheap and tasty restaurants. Make sure to also try the Korean alleyway around the corner from the dorms. Just south of main campus is a pedestrian street, which also offers a lot of options. Street food is available outside the dorms from 9PM, and was probably one of my favorite things in China.

Places to visit:
There are actually not too many tourist-sites in Shanghai, so it is important to try and visit surrounding cities as well. I traveled to and highly enjoyed HuangShan (Yellow Mountain), Suzhou, Hangzhou, Hainan Island (during the labor day weekend this is a great Spring Break trip), Beijing, Three Gorges Dam, Guilin/Yangshou, etc. There are many places to see!

Culture shock:
I think my biggest culture shock was with the sanitation and lack of manners. Always carry tissue/toilet paper – most toilets will not have them. Toilets will smell, and be absolutely disgusting at times. People will push, and mostly likely never wait in line for anything at all.

Reverse culture shock:
I am still in China, so I have not experienced reverse culture shock! How to meet "locals": Make sure to have a language partner. Many Chinese are very willing to become your friend so try talking to people, or joining some clubs. Language skills: I came to China with absolutely no language skills whatsoever. I took the three-hours a week Chinese class, and by the end of the semester knew enough basic Chinese to make my way around the city.

Really interesting courses:
I really recommend taking Chinese if you don’t have any prior knowledge so that you can learn to get around. You really do not get a feel for the country if you force yourself into a bubble.

Housing suggestions:
I highly recommend living in the foreign student dorms – most everyone lives in the dorms from the program, and you will make many friends. This will help you adjust to any culture shock and give you people to travel with as well.

Other comments:
I really enjoyed the program. While it was not very difficult compared to the classes we have at Berkeley, I think the cultural aspects of the program were very valuable. I learned a great deal and enjoyed my time in China so much so that I am still here – I plan on studying Chinese for a semester in Beijing.


General
China was an awesome experience. My advice is to seriously think about staying for a year, because most of the people that came for 6 months wanted to extend, but because of academic headaches, they didn't. Before you even come, think about extending as a possibility, and arrange your schedule accordingly. And turn in that pre-approval form. Not only that, Beida is a much better campus to stay on. You would have the option to go there if you stayed for a year, whereas you're stuck on Beishida, which is like a Chinese junior college if you stay for six months.


What to bring
LOTS of anti-itch, mosquito repellent, anti-bacterial, q-tips, good sneakers (cant find good shoes out here).


Culture shock
I didn't experience any culture shock, but some people did. Don't expect anything and you will be pleasantly surprised. Everyone says this, but READ UP ON CHINA BEFORE YOU COME. I'm talking about books, magazines, anything, dealing with history, societal and cultural issues, the WTO, whatever you can get your hands on.


Housing suggestions
Think about living off campus. I did, and it was awesome as well. If you are staying for a year, I would consider dorming the first semester and maybe looking for an apartment second semester. You can get a nice place for cheap.


How to meet "locals"
It's easy to just hang out with EAP people. In China you have to make a conscious effort to go out there and meet Chinese friends. But watch out, some just want to befriend you so you can help them in some way.


Places to visit
Places to see--Jiuzaigou--it's heaven on earth. THE most beautiful place ever. Its in southwest china, well, more central china, in Chengdu. Waterfalls, crayola blue rivers and lakes, paths that take you through (practically) a rainforest. Awesome. Yangshuo, next to Guilin, is also really beautiful.


Where to eat
Oh about eating--don't listen to what people have to say about the food being dirty. The food on the streets is the best food. As long as you get your shots,what are you worried about? If you don't try the food while you're travelling, you're missing out on a large part of the experience.

EAP China, Fudan University, Shanghai

Spring 2008
What to bring
Here is a list of things you should bring when study abroad in China: - ATM cards, credit cards - Health documentation - Lonely Planter guidebooks and maps - Digital Camera - Pocket Knife - Small flashlights - Lots of gum and mints - A good umbrella (small ones) - External drive (recommend to bring 300-500 GB) - Zip lock bags - Sun block - Insect repellent - Toothbrush and tooth pastes - Shampoos - Nail clippers - Contacts and solutions - Sunglasses - Ear plugs - Flip-flops - Duct Tapes Medicines: - Antibiotics - Bandages & Band-aids - Cold & flu tablets - Multi-vitamins - Cough Syrups - Rehydration Mixture - Throat lozenges - Antifungal cream - Mosquitoes repellent - Fish-oil tablets

What not to bring:
- Traveler’s checks - A pair of walking shoes should be enough, don’t bring too many! The more you bring, the more you have to carry them back. - Do not bring suits or tuxedo. You can get a good one there for < US$100 - Do not bring any books or movies. They have everything you want in China at very affordable prices.

Where to eat
I like to go to Wanda Plaza to get food. This mall has a variety of choices for foods and restaurants, those include: Italian, Burger King, KFC, Chinese (Timsum), and many more. The price is not too expensive relative to the price in the States, around 25-30 RMB on average (with very good food and service). Try out everything!!! I haven’t been to a restaurant in China in which I don’t like. Street foods are also very authentic, definitely give it a try!

Places to visit
I have greatly encouraged students to travel outside of Shanghai city. Shanghai alone does not represent every characteristics of China. First, go somewhere near the city. For example: take a train (ticket around 100-200 RMB per trip) to Hanzhou, Suzhou, Nanjing (great place to learn about China history during WW2). Later on in the semester when you got some traveling experience, go somewhere further, such as Beijing, Guilin (Beautiful scenery!!!), Yunnan, Hainan (China’s Hawaii). Definitely check out lonely planet before you visit these places. It gives you good backgrounds about the places you’ll visit. By the way, report to UC house whenever you go on long distance trips. This will help them know where you are, and in case of emergency, they can quickly get you out of trouble!

Culture shock
It is hard to believe, but I’m adapting to the Chinese culture pretty well. Perhaps it is because I am ethnically Chinese and I’ve exposed to the Chinese culture all my life; therefore, I had no problem with culture shock when I came to China. Or it is because I immigrated to the U.S. when I was 13; thus, when I came to China, I can quickly adapt to this new environment. The only obstacle that I had was language barrier. However, the people in my program are really nice. We always looked out and helped each other whenever someone was in need.

Reverse culture shock
The day after I came back from China, my summer school started. Fortunately, I had no trouble at adapting back to the Berkeley environment or culture. In fact, I was very enthusiastic, motivated, and recharged from all the fun that I had in China. Moreover, I came back with a mentality that I needed to get back on my track; hence, I studied really hard and made some good progresses (completed 9 units of classes in Section D).

How to meet "locals"
One way to meet “locals” is to participate in activities/events that organize by on-campus organizations/student clubs. That was the only thing that I regretted about, not actively participating in an on-campus activity. From my experience, local students love foreign students to get involved in their organizations. Hence, I am greatly encouraged future EAP students to do so. Through participating in on-campus organizations, students will have opportunities to exchange their cultural differences, language skills, and personal experiences.

Really interesting courses
The class that I learned the most from is called “China’s Economic Reforms and Their Social and Political Implications.” This course was taught by Professor Zhou. He is a great professor! Each class is about 6 hours a day for once a week, but I never get bored from attending his lectures. This class is so unique in that it was very informative (interesting facts about China’s society, culture, political structure and its people). It covers almost all issues about China. Not only is this class informative, but Professor Zhou also provided great perspectives about China and the U.S. He’s an analytic person; therefore, some of his views are very insightful. He calls himself an “interfacer” between the U.S. and China; thus, he made many interesting comparison between China and the U.S.

Other comments Tips for transportation:
Subway should be very easy, just look at the map and signs, and then you should know how to get around. For taxi, sometimes you have a feeling that the driver might take you to the long road, or being cheated, don’t worry! Not all taxi drivers are bad. Just ask him/her how much longer will it take to get to the place you want to go, or maybe ask for the estimated price before sit in the taxi. I suggest that you ask the taxi driver if he/she knows how to get to your destination first, if he looks confused, don’t ride on that taxi. Take another one. One more thing, it’s good to ride with your friends of 3 or 4 people because it’s cheaper in term of cost, and it’s even better if your friend can speak Chinese! Also, get a bike while you’re there!!! It’s incredibly cheap! If you buy a second hand bicycle, it costs only 70-100 RMB (That’s 15 US dollar! Where can you find that deal in the States???) It saves you time, traveling fares (for distance that close to campus, such as Wanda Plaza), and you can also get more sleep if you don’t have to walk class early in the morning!!! Street foods are fine, don’t worry about getting diarrhea, nobody in the program that I know get sick from eating street food. The street vendors often come at 10pm and leave at around 1:30 a.m.


General comments about study abroad and your particular program

Studying in Shanghai is perhaps the best area to study in E. Asia for a business major given the city's rapid change toward becoming a true international city. Studying abroad is truly one of the most, if not the most rewarding college experience. This will especially be the case for those that have not experienced living in a foreign country and away from family. This provided me priceless opportunities to explore the Chinese way of thinking of the world and its place in the world. Enlightenment, both intellectual & cultural, challenge, adventure, and new life desires encompass my EAP experience.


The JPIS program is still new (and thus still has room for improvement). Dealing with the challenges of the core courses and learning Chinese, from scratch, proved to be challenging. It is really important that the courses are basically history and literature courses. Would I recommend this program for Haas majors? Depends. Basically this program is useful for those who know very little about China's past and those that enjoy reading (you are going to be given several thousand pages of reading over the semester, I estimate 5000+).


What to bring
Good walking/running/hiking shoes
A printer if you tend to print out a lot of stuff
Flash drive
Laptop
Good cotton socks, they suck in china but cheap!
Thermo pants because it gets cold in December
High quality bath towels


What not to bring
Too many shirts, can buy them here
Cookware, you can buy them and unlikely to cook
Writing utensils


Where to eat
The school cafeteria is surprising good
Chinese street food at the front gate


Places to visit
Beijing
Hanzhou
Zi'an
Local water villages
Dalian
Sichuan
Lhasa
Kumming
Nanjing for shopping


Take a random bus and get out somewhere that's appealing, almost impossible to get lost in shanghai because of taxis - the city is big and has many niches to explore and appreciate. Shanghai is a world in of itself. Don't pick up girls in windows (Nanjing rd) - someone in the program is deeply regretting that.


Culture shock
There is a real disconnect between what you read in periodicals and what you see. My family came from southern Vietnam so the dirtiness is not a big deal to me.


Reverse culture shock
Going to find out. I think it will be not being able to everything I want at whim (going to bars at 2am, 90 massages for 10 bucks). Revert back to normal life



How to meet "locals"
Find out what classes are taught in English go to them, introduce yourself to people. Coming from Berkeley helps a lot. Join a student organization. Set up some social sharing student life in America, many are interested in studying in America. Ask the foreign student office for contact information on students wanting to study in UC; they are most eager to talk. Try and talk to normal everyday people in Chinese no matter how bad it is. People are more willing to start conversations compared to America.



Language skills
Spend 20 min at least a day practicing the writing. Talk to Chinese people as much as you can in Chinese. Make Chinese friends, many Fudan students know English. Bother the receptionist in the dorm, they don't mind and sometimes enjoy teaching pronunciation.


Really interesting courses
Debating Globalization, the course combine a lot of histories together, cross-examinations, only had 3 classes –
I liked economic development but many didn't.


Housing suggestions
Single room - nobody likes there roommate, the dorm allows better opportunity to meet others, especially non UC people. Try to balance your social network amongst Chinese, international, and UC. NETWORKING!
Learn some Korean and Japanese to start conversations with them since there are so many. They are more difficult to break ice with.


Other comments
Value your time in china, enjoy and absorb it but value your time Don't waste it on things you can do in the states.


EAP China, Peking University, Beijing



General comments about study abroad and your particular program


In today’s globalized world, it is important for students to get out of their comfort zone and explore what other cultures have to offer. I believe that is what studying abroad accomplishes. Studying abroad allows you to be in an environment where you are constantly learning new things, whether that is a country’s culture, or its unique language. I truly believe that studying abroad is one of the most memorable and educational experiences in college.


What to bring

For the China year program, I recommend bringing a laptop computer, an electronic dictionary, mosquito repellent, diarrhea medicine, vitamins, lonely planet, and an open mind.

What not to bring


Do not bring too many winter clothing to China because there are plenty of cheap winter jackets that can be purchased here.

Where to eat


Tons of places! I recommend looking into lonely planet China and making a list of restaurants that you would like to go to. During weekdays, campus canteens are usually the most convenient, most healthy, and also the cheapest way to go.


Places to visit


Aside from the usual spots like Tiananmen Square, Great Wall, etc., I recommend planning and taking weekend trips to other provinces. The destination would depend on whether the person is into history (Xi’an, Nanjing, etc.), or if that person is more into more modern entertainment (Qingdao, Shanghai, Hong Kong). Personally, I enjoyed both historical sites that had tombs of historical Chinese emperors. One that I would recommend is Qing Tombs near Beijings. Eastern Qing Tombs had very nice underground palaces that you can walk through, while Western Qing Tombs was worth it for the echo wall. I also enjoyed scenic places like the five great mountains in China.


Culture shock


I can’t really say I had any sort of culture shock because I am of Chinese origin and the culture was very similar to what I was used to at home with my parents and sisters. Although one thing that I remembered very clearly about Beijing was the large amount of people that take the bus in the mornings. It was the first day of class, and a couple friends of mine decided to go somewhere for an early breakfast. I did not expect the large amount of people that would be on the bus that morning. Imagine a bus full of people under 90+ degree temperature. So it is important to keep an open mind and experience the culture. E.g. Don’t ask “why?”. Ask “why not?”

How to meet "locals"

There are a large number of students at Peking University who love to meet English speaking students. Look out for language exchange programs throughout the campus. There are a lot of people in the business major at PKU that would be more than willing to be your language partner. If you can’t find any programs, then write your own bulletin. Also, there is a club at the business school/major there called the UCBA, which is a mix of students from the US and China. That’s a great way to meet the locals.


Language skills


I think the best way to learn a language is to be in an environment where you are forced to speak it everyday. Personally, a friend and I made a pact to only speak mandarin when we first arrived here, and I believe that really helped. I also believe that living on campus helps a lot because then you are closer to the events that are happening on campus. A lot of people choose to live off-campus with other EAPers, but that is not so good if you want to learn the language since everybody speaks English.


Really interesting courses


The best course that I took at PKU was Consumer Behavior’s with Professor Peng. Personally, it was very refreshing to take a course that was NOT accounting. Plus, the textbook that the course uses is very interesting, and the lectures are pretty interesting as well.


Housing suggestions


I highly recommend living on campus so that you can be in an environment where you are forced to speak Chinese. Living off campus may be cheaper, but it is a little inconvenient when there are school events at night, and also living with other English speaking classmates and friends hinders your foreign language development.


Other comments


Do not spend too much time on the internet while you’re abroad! Go experience the culture outside your room! I do not use AIM while I’m here.
(Spring 2007)



What to bring

"Stuff that you may want to leave behind when you leave. Shoes for all weather. Toiletry products that you're especially particular about (esp. particular brand names). Beijing has many products, but not all (e.g. Infusium shampoo and conditioner). Other items to consider: dental floss, deodorant, hair products, facial cream, tampons. Bug Spray with Deet (Cutters or Off) and anti-itch cream (lots of mosquitos). Medicine (Tylenol, cold medication, anti-diarrhea, Cipro!!!, cough syrup). Camera, calculator, Discman or Walkman (can buy speakers here for your room) Empty "Case Logic" CD cases. You will buy many CDs here!!! A few pens, pencils and lead for mechanical pencils (they have stuff here too). Padded envelopes (to send things home--they only have cardboard boxes available at the post office). Empty Ziploc bags--you can buy them here too when you run out, but they're so light-weight, might as well bring a few to start out with. Flashlight (Maglite), duct tape, fold-up knife. Snacks (like Cliff bars, instant oatmeal, favorite tea bags, hot cocoa, gummy candies). Wet naps, small kleenex packs. Bath & Body anti-bacterial gel (in many yummy scents!)--often, you'll find bathrooms with no toilet paper and nowhere to wash your hands. The gel is great because you don't need water and it dries instantly. Medicine, toiletries (your favorite brand of soap, shampoo, etc. They have Renu, Pantene, and Herbal Essence, etc. but it's more helpful to have your own, and it may be more cost effective). Your favorite snacks (just in case you have a really bad craving for something--they have Oreos and Chips Ahoy, Lorna Doones, and Ritz readily available). Static Guard, deodorant, good lotions, small gifts, Really American stuff, a discman of sorts (you can get CD's really, really cheap here), and not too much clothing. You can buy practically everything you need in Beijing. It has become very metropolitan, and there are many ex-pat communities and foreign stores (or at least Western-style) that sell almost all items. But, it's a good idea to bring some items to start with (since it'll take a little while to figure out the city and where to buy stuff). There is a PriceSmart here (owned by Price-Costco) and they sell lots of American products. Also, there are stores in hotels (like in the Holiday Inn Lido) that sell lots of stuff. As for a computer, there's e-mail on campus for very low fees, but most computers run on Chinese windows, and if you have a laptop, it may come in handy. Some people here really use them, some notebooks just collect dust. But be ready to get random knocks on your door by fellow EAPers asking to borrow your equipment at the most inopportune times. Also, if you have a CD-Rom, it's fun to watch VCDs with. There's something called Price Smart here, which is like a Chinese version of Price Club-Costco. They sell almost the same things at almost the same prices--which is expensive for China. Products made in China are really cheap, though." (1997-1998)


What not to bring


"White clothes that you want to keep white. Shoes that you don't want to get very dusty/dirty. Down jacket (you can buy that here). Sweaters, lots of clothes, etc. (you can buy them all here, cheap!). Excess materials (you'll have lots of new stuff to bring home with you). Lots of clothes (at Silk Alley, you can find lots of things that Americans would wear, mostly fake, some real, and you'll realize that you're overpaying when you buy any article of clothing in the U.S., and a lot of it's cool, too)." (1997-1998)


Where to eat


"Student dining hall on campus. But they charge 15% more for the tickets for foreigners, so ask a Chinese friend to buy them for you. Their dining hall is cheaper and better than the foreign student one (so I refuse to eat there). Many cheap restaurants in and around campus, including a really good dumpling place. In the summer, don't eat at the food stalls (particularly the ones selling beef kabobs)--the meat sits out in the sun all day. Ganjiakou---a neighborhood specializing in Muslim food (lamb, bread, spicy stuff...yum!). Many foreign restaurants, including: Pizza Hut, KFC, McDonald's, Friday's, Hard Rock, Dunkin Donuts, Kenny Rogers Ribs, Italian places, Indian restaurants, German restaurants...basically everything but good Mexican food. Food is everywhere. The local cafeteria is dirt cheap, quick, and crowded. My friend has found a cement block in her bowl, and hairs are prevalent. You get used to them, so don't worry. Buy your own cooking pot. You can cook in the dorms, and some people do. The most popular dish is probably spaghetti which you can buy here (at Price Smart). Around Tsinghua (for ILP), there are a lot of restaurants--we call them grease pits on campus. At Beida, we're near Haidian, which has itty bitty restaurants and street stalls. You can probably stuff yourself for under a dollar US. And when you get desperate for anything but Chinese food, you can go
downtown or to Pizza Hut, Henry J. Beans, Hard Rock, Indian food, Mexican food, there's also Spaghetti's and Chili's. It's never as good as home. But close enough." (1997-1998)


Places to visit


"Everything! Travel as much as possible and use your weekends wisely. Traveling is cheap here and is a great opportunity to explore China, practice your Chinese (people on the trains always start conversations with you), and get away from the "foreign community" in the university. I especially liked Harbin, Shanghai, Xi'an, Hainan Island, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Huangshan (mountain), Yunnan, Datong (really amazing place, though the smoggiest city in China). Also, if you have any opportunities to go to small villages, GO! The farmland makes up most of China, yet we rarely get to see it. I have not been yet, but I hear that Tibet (southwest) and Xinjiang (northwest) are great places to go! See everything. Go everywhere you can. Take as many trips to as many places as possible." (1997-1998)


Culture shock


"My first impressions of China were quite negative because it was extremely hot, humid, smoggy and dirty. Don't let the summer atmosphere stop you from discovering all the great things Beijing has to offer. Don't stay locked up in your air-conditioned dorm. Just buy lots of popsicles! Also, don't worry if you don't improve very much during the summer ILP program or don't make many Chinese friends. The time at Qinghua Univ. is a good time just to get adjusted to the city and the environment. Once you get to Beida, you'll have many more opportunities. Qinghua feels sort of isolating, but don't worry, it gets better! Just try to get out there and meet people. It happens, you may not know it. Just
hang in there. It gets really, really cool, once you get used to the way things work here." (1997-1998)


Reverse culture shock


How to meet "locals"


"Just start conversations with them. This is a bit intimidating at first when your language skills are still rocky, but they are fascinated by foreigners. Often they are too intimidated to approach you (especially if you are not Asian looking, i.e. White) but if you start the conversation, they'll be happy to talk. Good places to make friends: Peking University's dining halls...sit across from someone (go alone, not with another foreigner) and start a conversation, email place on campus, if your language skills are good enough to enter a dept., you'll meet lots of people, a club called "interchange" that an EAPer from Haas started this year with the Business students at Peking Univ., travel on the trains, Peking Univ. has dances every weekend (Fri, Sat., Sun) from about 7-10, separate yourself from foreigners, seek out a job/internship. I met most of my friends through my classes. I somehow managed to join the student union for my department. And we started a club for foreigners to meet local students. It's really fun. All it takes is one or two really good friends to help you out. If you take local classes, it's best to have somebody you know to help you out when you can't figure out how to write that character (that happens a lot). Language partners are good, but be careful because they may become a bit overbearing (from other APers' experiences). The best thing to do is to put aside prejudices and accept people for who they are." (1997-1998)


Language skills


"Best ways to improve are to meet Chinese friends, opt for a Japanese or Korean roommate, meet with the tutor that EAP provides for you, watch TV or Chinese movies, go out on the streets and shop, talk to vendors, travel, study for your classes and attend them. Hang in there. Eventually, you will be able to truly thrive here. For the first months there will be difficulty in every aspect of life--trying to get other people to figure out what exactly it is you want. But the cool thing about actually being here is that you are forced to try, and try hard. And once you figure it all out, it's all smooth going from then on." (1997-1998)


Really interesting courses


"There is not much option if you are in the "Hanyu Zhongxin"--Chinese center for foreigners. Most people cannot enter a dept., at least not until second semester. The Hanyu Zhongxin assigns you to classes based on the level you test into. You usually have one reading class, one oral class, and then one or two electives to pick (such as grammar, classical Chinese, modern society, writing, newspaper reading). Try to move yourself up if the class isn't challenging (often Westerners test low because their writing/reading skills are not as good as their speaking skills...usually the Koreans and Japanese students test high). The most mportant thing, I've found, is the teacher. If the teacher is boring, or doesn't give you pportunities to speak/participate, or isn't open to questions/suggestions...change classes! The EAP office can help you change. They know the Chinese bureaucratic tactics. I can't say that the classes here are all that interesting (in the management department). It's a lot of lecturing and trying to figure things out for yourself. But there it is rewarding, just because you can say that you can sit through three hours straight of class, all in Chinese." (1997-1998)


Housing suggestions


"There is also not much option here. All foreigners must live in foreign student dormitories. There are different buildings. 1,2, and 3 are joined together. They are the cheapest and most social. (Most EAPers live here.) Building 4 is like 1,2,3 but it is separate, has a curfew of 12 midnight, and the people that live there are more transient (e.g. semester-programs). Then there is building 6. More expensive (I think $10/day instead of $3), but you have your own room, bathroom, A/C and live in a hotel-like atmosphere. You really don't have a choice. EAPers are all assigned to Buildings 1,2, and 3 of Shaoyuan. It might look cold and intimidating at first, but after a while, you can call it home." (1997-1998)


Other comments


"GET AN INTERNSHIP There are many English teaching jobs available, but if you want something more worthwhile, look for research positions or internships at multinational firms. I wrote an e-mail to Compaq before I left the U.S. and it worked! I have an internship there in Human Resources. Another friend is doing research for a research company here. The American Embassy also offers some internships. China has many opportunities because, as a foreigner, you are automatically part of the "upper echelon" of society. The Chinese are very concerned with treating foreigners well and leaving a good impression. Use this opportunity wisely! You can meet many important officials, businessmen, etc. and make great connections for the future! You also have wonderful opportunities to travel because it is relatively cheap (especially if you sit on the train's hard seats!) Just don't let yourself get trapped in the foreign community. Make friends with them (because they will be life-long friendships and they are a wonderful support base), but get out and meet the locals! That's where you'll have your most valuable experiences. Personally, I think that the best thing about this country is its people. And you wouldn't know it at first glance. The only way to find out is to get out there and meet Chinese people. Chinese students are extremely intelligent. Don't underestimate them, and don't prejudge them. Be open to many things and you'll have a wonderful time." (1997-1998)


EAP France, American University of Paris

What to bring
Bring a warm jacket, comfortable traveling shoes, instant food from the states that you love, hard disk drive, and buy a cheap phone that will work in France on eBay or some sort of store. When you arrive in France, phone companies will sell you old models for 60 dollars when you could have bought it in the states for much cheaper.

What not to bring
If your toiletries weigh too much...I suggest not bringing them from the states. Paris has all the essentials with same brand names as the states. Don't bring a lot of summer clothing if you're studying in the fall because it gets cold early on in the semester. Also, you end up buying a lot of things here so pack lightly.

Where to eat
Refugees des Fondus (in Montmarte)
Cafe du Marche (near AUP on Rue Cler)
Falafel places near St. Michel
Berthillon

Places to visit
Germany
Italy
Normandy (Rouen, Mont St Michel, D-day beaches)
Giverny
Marseilles

Culture shock
The French speak in softer voices. They don't like to receive the money directly from your hand.


How to meet "locals"
Check out classes offered outside of AUP such as a language course offered at cultural centers. Go to bars or clubs. Meet French students or non UC students at AUP and be introduced to their friends.

Language skills
You don't have to know the language before you come to survive but it's nice to know a semester's worth because you only have four months to absorb the whole experience

Really interesting courses
Corporate Finance
History of Non-Mediterranean Countries after 1945

Housing suggestions
Everyone seems to be satisfied. If you don't want to be tied down to come home and eat dinner don't get a meal plan.

Other comments
Paris is a very expensive city so have some set aside funds in case of emergency or just to shop.


EAP France, University of Toulouse


What to bring
"Whatever you normally have and need at home. In France, people do not really wear shorts, and perhaps the norm is to dress a bit nicer than Berkeley casual. Besides, it is best in any case to not bring too many things, cause somehow stuff accumulates during a year and bringing it all home can be a pain." (1998-1999)


What not to bring
"Too many things." (1998-1999)


Where to eat
"Restaurants in France are expensive. Eat at home or go to the University's dining facilities which are fairly good and cheap." (1998-1999)


Places to visit
"In Toulouse, you will see it all by just walking around and getting yourself intentionally lost. Outside of Toulouse, Brittany, Carcassone, little towns in the Southwest, and all over." (1998-1999)


Culture shock
"Just be ready for a bit of a change and be willing to adapt yourself and just relax and be cool. It is not that different over there. Be open minded." (1998-1999)


Reverse culture shock
"For me, this is harder than the original culture shock" (1998-1999).


How to meet "locals"
"If meeting locals is what you want to do, avoiding spending lots of time with Americans. Big groups of people speaking English intimidates others and they'll have no desire to approach you. Be forward and take the first step to meeting people and simply introduce yourself. They will hear your accent and then off you go, you'll have something to talk about." (1998-1999)


Language skills
"Be willing to talk and make mistakes. It is very hard to speak perfectly, and making mistakes is just fine. No one will make fun of you." (1998-1999)


Really interesting courses


Housing suggestions
"Try to find a french roommate." (1998-1999)


Other comments
"Have fun!!!" (1998-1999)



EAP Germany, Georg-August
University of Gottingen


What to bring
"Your own computer and printer too, if you have a portable one" (Spring 2000)


What not to bring
"Too many clothes, any appliances, toiletries, etc. that you can buy or borrow abroad." (Spring 2000)


Where to eat
"Try everything at least once, do not stick to the stuff you can get at home, aka McDonald´s, the Mensa (Uni cafeteria) is really cheap and the food is actually rather good, food in Germany is not all fatty wurst and cheese and beer, like many people think." (Spring 2000)


Places to visit
"Small towns, don´t just stick to the touristy spots, explore the host town itself." (Spring 2000)


Culture shock
"Be prepared to be stared at, especially if you don´t look like you could be of German heritage, be prepared to move quickly getting on and off public transportation, do not allow yourself to be pushed around, customer service is not as advanced in Germany as in the US." (Spring 2000)


How to meet "locals"
"No matter how tempted you are to stick to the other Americans, do not do it, try to get to know the people you live with, check the newspapers for Veranstalungen, Lesungen, Vorträge, or any interesting cultural / informational events that are going on and go to them (I got to know lots of cool people at this poetry reading that takes place every Sunday at a cafe and I´ve read some of my work both in English and in German (translated), post up advertisements for Language partners (there will always be people interested in improving their English)." (Spring 2000)


Language skills

"Listen to the radio for news in the morning, read the newspaper while you eat breakfast, meet the people." (Spring 2000)


Really interesting courses
"Any comparative econ courses... it´s always interesting to observe the German perspective on America." (Spring 2000)


Housing suggestions
"Student housing in Göttingen and Germany in general is really worth it (i.e. you don´t get ripped off like you do in Berkeley)." (Spring 2000)


S02 EAP - Germany, Bayreuth


I absolutely loved germany and the little town of
bayreuth. however, a lot of people in the program
didnt like the city because it was so small and had no
night life. Not being much of a partyer myself, i
thought the town fit my needs perfectly. the program
however, was disappointing. i was excited about each
of the classes that I enrolled in, but now looking
back, only one of them was interesting. the program
was completeley revamped last year and we were the
guinea pig project that went awry. nobody really
learned anything from the Intensive Language Program
either. However, we have given eap a lot of
suggestions, so hopefully the program will be better
next year. nontheless, i would still recommend this
program to anyone because of the experienced you get.

What to bring bring music because it is painful going through a semester without song. a laptop is also amazingling
helpful, but not essential since you have email and
internet access in the dorms and at school. however,
they only have word at the school, which is kind of
far away from the dorms. bring a bike lock because
bikes can be bought from the school here and they are
amazingly convenient and useful. bring clothes to
handle both hot and cold. we went from below freezing
temperatures to nearly a hundred degrees with massive
humidity in very short amounts of time, but in general
the weather is nice. unlike what eap says, you do not
need to bring gifts. there is nobody you can give it
to. also, bring food from home since you get tired of
german food fast. things like snacks and things to
nibble on and special ingredients to make ethnic
foods. if you have electrical devices, you also need
converters. everything else is in the eap guidebook.


What not to bring if you are pushed for space, then the first thing you can drop would be the daily essentials and cheap
things. you can buy most cheap things in germany,
like tooth brushes (which are even better than
american ones) or floss or mats or towels. however,
they do not really have a wide selection of deoderant,
so you might want to bring that.

Where to eat there is a pizza joint next to the Stadthalle, but I never ate there. everybody says it is really good. i
go to wiener wald when im hungy and its late because
that is the only place open (along with mcdonalds).
for traditional german food, try some of the
restaurants with the outdoor tables in the Marktplatz.
those are more expensive, but a good meal
nonetheless. enchilada next to the movie theater has
"mexican" food but its expensive and not authentic.
happy hour cocktails are good and cheap though.

Places to visit neues schloss, hermitage, go to an opera house. Outside of bayreuth, nuernberg is still my favorite
german city, along with munich.

Culture shock
recycle everything. be prepared to defend american
political policies.
Reverse culture shock
life of pace is different

How to meet "locals"
there is a program called BISS and they arrange for
you to meet people to practiced german with or to hang
out with. i also joined a christian fellowship called
SPD which i thought was nice. otherwise, just put on
a smile and talk to people when you can. germans are
very friendly.

Language skills
if you dont speak german well, dont worry. by the
time i got there, i had forgotten all my german, but
that is pretty much what they expect so they are ver
patient.

Really interesting courses:
you dont really have liberty to choose courses. i
would recommend that you avoid any classes by
jaquier-muller, since he is a pretty bad guy.
Housing suggestions
this is not a variable. it is all fixed.

EAP Hong Kong University (HKU)

Spring 2008
General comments about study abroad and your particular program
I loved my study abroad experience – although the academics were rather rigorous at HKU, I enjoyed every moment of my time in Hong Kong. I was able to meet not only local students, but foreign exchange students from all over the world and to build lasting friendships with them. Studying abroad really gives you an opportunity to learn more about yourself and about others, which I think is the main takeaway from the entire experience.

What to bring
I would say clothes are the most important; make sure to bring enough to cover all seasons, since the weather can change drastically during your semester there. Bring about 2 weeks worth of clothes, since you can buy anything else you need in Hong Kong (as it is very metropolitan). If there are particular medications/lotions/items that you really like, make sure to bring those as well, since Hong Kong might not always have your specific brand. Bring a laptop (though they do have computing centers on campus) and a cell phone that can be unlocked and used abroad (since you probably don’t want to buy one there). Overall though, just pack as if you were going on a 2-3 week vacation, and you needed clothes for all seasonal occasions. And remember, the less you pack, the more you get to bring back from your trips.

What not to bring
You don’t really need to bring any office supplies (notebooks, pens, etc) because you can find them everywhere in Hong Kong. Also, unless you already have a universal converter or one made for Hong Kong, you don’t need to get one here – you can buy them in Hong Kong for $1-$2 each off the streets.

Where to eat
When I was on campus, I usually got food at the various cafeterias (meals are pretty cheap, for about $3-$4 each). At night I would go out with friends to Kennedy town (right next to HKU) to get dinner, since they have a variety of restaurants in the area. I also liked going to Central/Lan Kwai Fong and Causeway Bay for food – there’s a great selection there.

Places to visit
In order to travel more, a lot of students would try to not schedule classes on Mondays or Fridays (to have 3 or 4-day weekends). During the first half of my semester at HKU, there was a lot of free time, so try to schedule some of your trips then. Throughout the semester, I was able to visit Thailand, Cambodia, Taiwan, Shenzhen, and Beijing. I would definitely suggest China since there’s just so much to see; countries like Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Singapore were also popular choices with exchange students since they were close by. Japan and Korea would be good choices as well.

Culture shock
Maybe because Hong Kong is such a “busy” country and culture, I found the people to be a bit more blunt/direct than usual. But for me, there weren’t major culture shocks – just think of Hong Kong as sort of similar to New York.

Reverse culture shock
I did not really encounter any reverse culture shocks, except when I returned to the US. I had to get out of the “busy” country mode and remind myself not to be as pushy or direct as I had been in Hong Kong.

How to meet "locals"
You definitely get to meet locals on campus – you’re in classes with them, and if you join any clubs you can interact with them as well. Really get to know the locals on your dorm floor, since they’re really open to getting to know the exchange students better. Also, you will often be grouped with locals for course projects, so you’ll get to know them better then as well. HKU also gives you the option to get a student “buddy” to show you around, so make sure to sign up for one since a good buddy really adds to your experience abroad!

Language skills
I got around fine using English, since most people in Hong Kong speak English fluently (due to Britain’s occupation many years ago). Mandarin works as well, but if you want to learn Cantonese, HKU offers courses for exchange students so you can opt to take those.

Really interesting courses
I heard the law courses were very intense but interesting, and many people enjoyed the Cantonese courses (since they got to learn the language while meeting other exchange students).

Housing suggestions
Try to live in dormitories (they call them halls at HKU) closer to campus. I lived in Lady Ho Tung hall (all-girl’s dorm) in Jockey Village 1 (about 7-8 minutes walk from campus). All dorms have desks, chairs, beds and mattresses, a desk light, and plenty of cupboards/drawers. I needed to buy bedding, a trashcan, a pad for the chair (since the chairs were hard), and some other essentials. The items were easy to find – I went to the IKEA in Causeway Bay to get my stuff. The most popular halls were Lady Ho Tung, Starr Hall, and the two halls located on campus. Other comments If you plan on going to China, make sure to get your visa first in the USA! You can get multi-entry visas here, whereas it’s much more difficult to get them when you’re in Hong Kong. Also for traveling, people in Hong Kong usually book trips through travel agencies, which is a little different from back home. There are many agencies located in the same building in places like Causeway Bay and Mongkok so it’s good to go there since you can compare prices. For places like Thailand/Malaysia/Cambodia, it was cheaper and easier for us to use budget airlines like AirAsia and book hostels separately. The only downside is most budget airlines fly out of Macau, so it adds on traveling time and the ferry fee (about 350 HKD round trip). Other budget airlines include Jetstar and Tiger Airways. However, if you’re going to China, I’d suggest booking a trip with China Travel Service (the main agency that does trips to China), since the ticket + hotel package comes in handy. When getting around Hong Kong, try to get a Lonely Planet Guide or make sure someone you know has one for Hong Kong; they come in handy! Also, the registration system at HKU is a bit different and more difficult to deal with; however, just realize that all other exchange students are having the same issues and as long as you are persistent, the professors will try to accommodate you

General comments about study abroad and your particular program
The overall experience that I had at HKU was superb. In my opinion, I was able to have both a strong cultural and academic experience. Unlike other countries that are much bigger than Hong Kong, I felt that in one semester I was able to truly get a feel of the country-it's educational and political systems, its people, and to a certain extent, their way of life. I would highly recommend everyone to choose Hong Kong as their destination for studying abroad.


What to bring
To be honest, pack light because you will do a lot of shopping in Hong Kong. Almost anything imaginable can be bought within a 15 minute bus ride. With that said, I would recommend students to bring two things: an open mind and comfortable walking shoes.


What not to bring


The only thing I would warn future students of is to not bring too much clothes. Pack lightly at first, and as the weather in Hong Kong changes, buy a sweater or a thin jacket. When I arrived for the fall semester, I didn't use a jacket until October.


Where to eat


There are so many great restaurants throughout Hong Kong. My favorite places were in Mong Kok and Causeway Bay. Also, don't forget to go out and get late night snacks often.


Places to visit


Make sure you visit all of the big Hong Kong attractions-Ocean Park, Lantau Island, the Big Buddha, Lan Gwai Fong, and Victoria's Peak. I didn't go to Disneyland, but nearly everyone has told me to stay away.


Culture shock


Growing up in an Asian household and an Asian community, I really didn't feel a culture shock in Hong Kong. At first, it was weird because I felt as though I was in my hometown. However, the most shocking things would have to be the uncleanliness of the restrooms and the oiliness of the food.


Reverse culture shock


I haven't returned home yet. I would expect that the cost of everyday items such as food would be quite shocking as I am now used to eating a decent meal for $2 USD.


How to meet "locals"


EAP at HKU is great because all international students are put in the dorms with locals. There are many hall activities and outings, so the onus is really up to the international student to make an effort to go and branch out. Locals in general are very friendly and love to have fun.


Language skills


Simply knowing English is enough to get by in Hong Kong. All the locals know English to a certain extent and communication as a whole is a breeze.


Really interesting courses


Interestingly enough, the most interesting courses that I took at HKU were not in the Faculty of Business. They were: Beauty and Fashion and Cantonese 1. Beauty and Fashion was a great class because of the guest speakers and the different perspectives towards beauty that I gained from it. Cantonese, on the other hand, was great because it taught me useful phrases to use throughout Hong Kong. However, if you are looking for a business class with a great professor, I would highly recommend Professor Derek Man.


Housing suggestions


I would recommend living at either Simon KY Lee Hall or Starr Hall. Both of them are extremely close to campus and are the newest of the dorms.


Other comments


Another aspect that made studying abroad in Hong Kong great was the ability to travel. Hong Kong is often dubbed as the "hub" of Asia. My friends and I were able to travel to Thailand, Japan, Macau, Shanghai, Beijing, the Philippines, Taiwan, South Korea, and Singapore all in one semester!

(Fall 2007)



What to bring: For HK during the Fall, September and most of October is pretty hot so bring shorts, and t-shirts for hot weather but Late October to the time you leave, it gets cold. The coldest is around 40 something degrees. But yes, bring clothes, your electronics (computers, camera, mouse, etc),


What not to bring: Sundries, toiletries, blankets, school materials, food, which you can get at a grocery store. They even have an IKEA at Causeway Bay.


Where to eat: Anywhere! Everything is pretty cheap and pretty good. But avoid some of the street vendors that sell curry fishballs.


Places to visit: The Peak, Mongkok Ladies market, Tsim Sha Tsui Avenue of Stars, Lan Kwai Fong, Anywhere in SE Asia especially Thailand!


Culture shock: depends if you know the language or if you have been here before..but locals are pretty blunt and speak their mind about things. Also, some are very touchy and like to get close, for example when talking or walking.


Reverse culture shock: PRICES! Everything is so much more expensive back home!


How to meet "locals": Just be nice, be open minded, and talk!


Language skills: most people speak English, but knowing Chinese is beneficial.


Really interesting courses: Language courses, Int’l Marketing, Business Applications, but AVOID Archaeology (GEOG2060).


Housing suggestions: Highly Recommend STARR HALL. 30% int’l students, second newest dorm, great service! Close to campus!


Other comments: HK RULES! (Fall 2005)



EAP Hong Kong HKUST

Spring 2006 EAP Hong Kong HKUST


What to bring: Just bring an open mind and be prepared to experience different opinions. Being a very international and developed city, Hong Kong does not impose much difficulty in terms of living needs. However, be ready to deal with Chinese cultures and perspectives if you are not already accustomed to it. Also, if you plan to go to China (since it's so close, and you will most likely go more than just once), get your multiple entry visa in the States asap! Once you get to HK it is very difficult (if even possible) and expensive to get.


What not to bring: You don't really need to bring many things like toiletries or bed sheets since you can just get them in Hong Kong inexpensively. At the same time, if you are coming during spring don't bring too many warm clothes since that will just make it difficult for you to carry it home later. You will also most likely bring many things you've bought throughout the semester home, be prepared to take a lot of stuff home by taking less in the beginning.


Where to eat: There are plenty of restaurants in Hong Kong. If it's Chinese food that you want, I suggest going to Shenzhen (where food is very cheap and very good), or any local restaurant in Kowloon.


Places to visit: Use HK as your home base and visit some of the places around Asia that you'd like to explore. If you like nature and beautiful scenic places, then check out China (Guilin, Hangzhou, Beijing of course), South-East Asia (Cambodia, Philipines, Vietnam, Thailand). Be aware that these places are generally less developed and there will be people out to make your money by charging you the insanely high "tourist taxes." You can usually bargain for anything in these places too. If you like urban cities, try going to Taipei, Singapore, Tokyo, or Shanghai. These places have less to "see," but are a lot of fun and interesting to check out other cultures. Also, it's nice to look at these areas from an economic perspective and think about how they have developed differently from the States' cities.


Culture shock: Expect it.


Reverse culture shock: You will realize that many things you took for granted in the States will mean a lot more to you afterwards. I know this sounds general, but it's no joke.


How to meet "locals": It's best if you can speak the language. But if not that, then have an open mind about learning their language as well as meeting them halfway when it comes dealing with differences.


Language skills
Mandarin (Putonghua) is probably the most useful second language to pick up, but generally you can get by nicely with just using English. I would say it's best to learn as many as you can since it will make your experience that much better. If you want to meet locals in Hong Kong, try to pick up Cantonese.


Really interesting courses: Most of the "tougher" courses are good. These are generally the accounting or finance courses, which are considered the cream of the crop courses at HKUST. At the same time they are often taught by the best faculty in the world, as HKUST has a reputation for paying higher professor salaries to attract top talent. Beware that they are hard and do require a lot of work. I found these courses to be quite challenging. At the same time, they do not use the same curves as in UCB. Usually the average grade is C+/B-, and everyone that takes the course is out to get an A so it can get very difficult to get a good grade.


Housing suggestions: Get the UG halls. PG halls are really small and have bunk beds. Also, be ready to deal with local students who stay up late and make a lot of noise late at night. Wear earplugs if you need.


Other comments: All in all, I would say this was definitely one of the best semesters in my college career. I had a lot of fun experiencing something different. While most exchange kids treated this as a "party" semester, I chose to make this as close as I could to as if I were a true student here. This way I could get a feel for what it's really like in HK if I were to live here. I chose to hang out more with local HK students, as well as challenge myself by taking the tough courses here.



EAP Hong Kong HKUST


If you plan to shop, don't bring a lot. One week worth of clothes is enough. Bring your laptop and backup discs, camera and accessories (but you can get it here too). You can also bring chocolate and candy because its more expensive here. You may also want to bring a souvenir for new friends you make here. You don't really need sheets or towels because you can easily buy them here. Don't bring anything too valuable that you don't want to risk losing or damaging. Don't bring too many pairs of shoes, except maybe flip flops because they don't have as many styles here.

Eat everywhere! If possible, ask locals where good places to go. Or even better, ask them to show you and make a new friend. Avoid expensive places because they're usually not worth it. The best places are small and not the cleanest, but are usually full of local customers.


International business was a really good course and not too difficult. It is a good class to meet other international students and learn about their perspectives. Asian Financial Institutions was not so enjoyable for other students, but I liked it because I felt like I learned a lot by just listening to the lectures, even though they may be somewhat repetitive. Human rights in China is similar. Some find it boring but it is still an inspiring course.


You should ask to be placed in Starr Hall because it is the best place for international students. It is also the newest and has very nice facilities. Lady Ho Tung Hall is good too, even though it is an all girl's hall. I lived in Swire Hall and I enjoyed it too. It's very close to my classes, but I always had to walk to Starr to meet others.

What to bring - About 1 weeks worth of clothing


Where to eat - I think everything is safe to eat but hong kong is a good place to be more adventurous and try local cuising, try eating where locals
eat!


Places to visit - victoria peak, take a ferry ride, and inevitably all the shopping sites


Culture shock - the style is much different here but try to keep and open mind to fashion also locals may be self conscious about their english


Reverse culture shock - walking around in underwear is definitely taboo also sex life is usually not a very open topic


How to meet "locals" - dorm with locals and try to be open to asking for help wherever you are locals are very friendly


Language skills - try to spend time with locals to language exchange english and try to pick up cantonese


Housing suggestions - on campus is the only choice available in the area



University of Science and Technology (HKUST), Spring 1999

What to bring
"1)ANTI-BACTERIAL LOTION!! because the weather is so humid and there are so many people, you have a high chance of contact with germs that can easily make you sick--especially because your immune system is not prepared for any viruses in Asia.
2)US Cash--if you're traveling around Asia, it is a valuable commodity.
3)CAMERA--it makes your experience so much more memorable!
4)Any old written work that you have done at Cal--this is helpful if you are looking for a job, or applying for any types of scholarships because they may ask you for it.
5)STATEMENTS- of all sorts-bank, phone, credit card-just in case you run into problems while you're abroad, you have the phone numbers and addresses and a copy of the latest statement." (Spring 1999)

What not to bring
"1)sheets,blankets, pillow--you can easily find these things for very cheap prices." (Spring 1999)


Where to eat
"1)Fat Angelo's, a really good Italian rest that reminds you of places in Little Italy, SF--esp good when you're homesick!
2)SOHO area off of the Central exit in the MTR--take the escalator up the street, and you'll find many excellent restaurants." (Spring 1999)


Places to visit
"1) Japan (in particular, Tokyo)--AWESOME!! Lots of interesting history, Fun culture, good food, nice and friendly people, and plenty of shopping--but be prepared with lots of money!" (Spring 1999)


Culture Shock
"1)Don't be surprised if:
-people stare (they are always interested in people who speak English)
-people seem to be speaking very loudly
-people spit in public!
-salespeople in retail stores are very aggressive
-you end up very close to strangers in the MTR during rush hour, around 4-6pm" (Spring 1999)


Language skills
"Don't worry about this--most, if not everything is written in English as well." (Spring 1999)


Really interesting courses
"MGTO 223-International Management was extremely interesting--it taught me much more than I expected--i.e. intercultural communications and exchange. This class was AWESOME because it was taught by DR. GARY KATZENSTEIN--look for him, he's a really cool professor." (Spring 1999)


Housing suggestions
"Definitely live in the dorms at HKUST, it's VERY convenient, and any other location would have been a real hassle. Plus, it was worth it--the view from the school is amazingly beautiful!" (Spring 1999)


Other comments
"Get a cell phone right away! Surprisingly, and unlike the US, everyone in HK has cell phones, and the dorms don't equip their rooms with phones. So, for you to keep in contact with everyone, get a cell phone--they're not too expensive either. Be careful with travel agencies--you may run into some unreputable companies--do your research before making a commitment. Also, be careful with your wallet/purse, there are many pickpockets in HK. Have fun and enjoy every week--remember, you're on exchange, and you're there for a limited time, so take advantage of it! You will DEFINITELY miss it when you come home!!" (Spring 1999)

Bocconi University, Milan Italy


What to bring
Well if you go for the Spring semester as did I, you will arrive in early January and it will be very very cold. Most of the first two months were hovering roughly around 30 degrees more or less. Milan in the winter is cold and gloomy so bring a lot of warm clothes both to wear during the day and have to sleep in at night. There is some sort of county policy which most buildings in the Milan area fall under, limiting the number of hours that the gas can be lit to heat the building. And the Bocconi student residence which I lived in used those hours during the daytime instead of the night, so it was freezing when we slept. Rather counter intuitive since nobody was there during the day, but they refused to alter the hours of usage. I used four covers in the winter, which fortunately the university housing provided, but if you are in a private apartment you should bring something from home or buy it there.

Now that we are in summer, it is very warm and muggy. Northern Italy is humid and hot. There are a lot of mosquitoes so bring a repellant from the States if you desire or get something at a Pharmacy here. And make sure to bring really light clothes that breath well. Make sure to bring as many empty luggages as possible since by the end of your stay you will have a lot of stuff to take back home.
The computer facility at Bocconi is disastrous compared to Haas, so if at all possible bring a Laptop, if not, many other students bring them so you will be able to borrow theirs or use the computer room which has limited hours (but nonetheless provides access to the web).
Don’t forget a suit or other outfit in case you have to go out for a special occasion or a job interview.
If you have a Tri-band cell phone from the States bring it, as it works in Europe. That will avoid you having to buy one over here.

What not to bring
Don’t bring any big books or dictionaries (I made that mistake) fortunately family came to see me, so I gave them the dictionary to take home. Bring enough clothes to keep warm in the winter and cool in the summer, but don’t overstock and end up with too many clothes. A Dual-band cell phone will not work in Europe.

Where to eat
The Bocconi cafeteria is not good, the café in the basement of the main building is ok though, so you will probably want to eat out most of the time, or cook something at your dorm (some dorms have kitchens and some do not). Italy is famous for its food, but Milan does not offer too many good restaurants (other than pizzerias) that are both affordable and filling. Portions are a lot smaller so be aware when ordering. And every restaurant will have a cover charge even if it is not indicated on the menu. Some restaurants will try to cheat you especially if you don’t speak the language, so be alert and contest anything you disagree with.

Places to visit
The list is too long, but all the main tourist attractions, (e.g.: The Duomo, the Castle, Corso Buenos Aires for shopping…). You will definitely have time to travel on week-ends, and should all around Europe. Keep in mind that in Italy there are many holidays and other breaks during the semester.

Culture shock
The main issue other than the language barrier some might face, and being away from home is the high level of inefficiency that you will encounter on a daily basis. There is no synchronization within Milan, or Italy for that matter, as to knowing when certain shops will be closed during the lunch hours, or on the week-end.

Reverse culture shock
Having not yet returned I can not attest to how exactly I feel about this, but keeping in touch on a daily basis with friends and family, definitely helps a lot. The purple ‘Europa’ phone card they sell at newspaper stands offers a good rate for calls from a land line in Italy to the States. Having larger meals and returning to being around companies which offer customer service (Ferrari definitely does though) will be nice.

How to meet "locals"
Basically the main thing will be to go off on your own and not hang out with other exchange students. You will have to be the one who initiates the conversation, or offers to go for a coffee to the local student, otherwise you will never meet anybody. Make friends with people in your classes, and at the university. Be aware though that if you are a guy asking a girl, even if you have no ulterior motives, in Italy if you do not know her – it will be perceived that you are interested in her. (Note: if you are a girl, be aware that Italian guys are very aggressive in their dating techniques, and that often you will be whistled down on the street and/or followed)

Language skills
Knowing a little bit of Italian before arriving, will help a lot with your stay in Milan. Most young people will know some English, however the older generations definitely will not. Also note that in smaller towns, especially in the South, they will speak in dialects, and have a different accent.

Really interesting courses
I really enjoyed my fashion management course, with Prof.ssa. Stefania Saviolo, it is not a hard course and allows you to learn a lot about the supply chain for the Italian fashion industry, and how an industry with such short life-cycles is able to be successful. There are many very interesting electives, so speak with previous UC students who went there and obtain their surveys of which courses and Profs they took. There is also a binder that the Bocconi International Student office has which is a copy of all the surveys of former exchange students. The Bologna UC center is helpful for any issues you might encounter.

Housing suggestions
I lived in the ‘Donna Javotte’ Dorm, which is one of the Residence Halls at Bocconi University, which by the way does not have a campus. There are other dorms, some closer and some farther to the main buildings. They are quite fun to be in as you end up meeting a lot of other exchange students and Italian students. If you plan on living in the dorm though, send your application in by fax immediately the day you receive it, otherwise you will probably not get a place there to stay. Housing should not be a problem if you want a private apartment, as there are many bulletin boards on which students put ads up on.

Other comments
Remember, that you will have to be very pro-active and pursue exactly whatever it is that you want to accomplish here in Italy. Very often you will encounter people who will put a road block in your goals, but just go around them (literally) and get along with the next person. Have Fun !! – Milan once you get to know it can be lots of fun.


EAP Japan, Hitosubashi University, Tokyo


Really interesting courses
"International Business taught by Hirotaka Takeuchi is a great class that I took last semester. The Prof. is the same Prof. for my International Marketing Seminar. He got his Masters and Ph.D from Haas and later taught at Harvard for their executive program. He is a dynamic speaker who loves class participation and discussion. His lectures are never dull and you'll never find anyone sleeping through his class. In the course, students do bi-weekly Harvard case studies and there is a quiz at the beginning of every lecture. It is a time consuming class compared to the others here at Hitotsubashi but well worth it! The class is fun and you learn so much! You study Michael Porter's Diamond Framework, 5 Forces, etc. and apply them to analyze industries. Students study company strategy, competitive advantages of companies, industries, and countries, etc." (1997-1998)


EAP Japan, Yokohama
Global Securities and Development Program at Meiji Gakuin University


What to bring
"Bring traveler checks instead of ATM or cash. The nearest ATM machine is about 50 minutes away from school, (30 minutes walk plus 20 minutes train). Also, traveler checks give you a better exchange rate than cash, and they are safer." (Fall 1997)


"Toothpaste, contact lens products/personal care products, comfortable shoes!" (Spring 2000)


What not to bring
"TRAVEL LIGHT is the key phrase! In the area of clothes especially (Japanese seem to do laundry almost daily!)" (Spring 2000)


Where to eat
"Student Cafes-- tend to be much cheaper and will take less money to fill you up... Getting used to the smaller portions may also be a good idea... Eating out at other places, you can expect to always spend a good 1,000 (little less than $10), and always you end up spending more. A really great place to eat: "La Pausa" near Shinjuku JR station in Tokyo. Cheap, delicious Italian food for 1/2 the price you'll find anywhere else!" (Spring 2000)


Places to visit
"Hiroshima's MIYAJIMA ISLAND -- taking the boat ride over to the Island beats any ordinary mountain/ocean view! Hiking up the mountain is great, with clear water running through it... on the top: Monkey LAND~!" (Spring 2000)


Culture shock
"Expect to have tiny accommodations, both, space in the dorm and food from school. I ate 5 times a day." (Fall 1997)


"Cleanliness and orderliness of everything. The lack of trash cans in public places (yet, still no trash on the ground!)" (Spring 2000)


Reverse culture shock
"Loudness of Americans/Foreigners (or maybe just the foreign college crowd)" (Spring 2000)


Language skills
"All people in Japan are very friendly and are willing to help you with directions. However, they usually don't understand English. Therefore, at least learn how to ask directions in Japanese." (Fall 1997)


"Having a little language is a must; although the Japanese learn English, conversation is rare and usually they speak really speedy Japanese. Knowing phrases for public places like train stations, restaurants, stores will be very helpful." (Spring 2000)


How to meet "locals"
"Make friends with your Japanese classmates and professors. You will probably learn more from your "personal network" than from just classes." (Fall 1997)


"Sign up for Buddy programs that the school might have. If you're a foreigner and Caucasian, the Japanese students will come up to you (whether you like it or not)!" (Spring 2000)


Really interesting courses
"I've been told to expect different academic expectations here from the US colleges and it's proven to be very true. Interesting courses would really depend on your preference here... Kumamoto's class (Issues in Japanese Economics: Economic & Ecological Issues in Japan and Asia) about how agriculture/environment affects the economy turned out to be very interesting." (Spring 2000)


Housing suggestions
"Homestay has turned out to be the best decision I've made about being abroad. Living in the international student house dorm can be very "freshman yr"-like and can be comforting, but also is very limited in what you can do. Hanging out with new friends at near by karaoke/drink bars and eating out at Denny's 24 hours (yep,even in Japan~!) and staying out late is very tempting, but at my homestay is where I feel like I get most of my Japan experience. How they live, talk, eat, sleep, shower, play.... everything that is so naturally and easily shown to me are things that I would never know if I were in a dorm. Living under "parents" again can be stressful at times (like calling ahead of time if you'll miss dinner, stay out late, etc.) but all those things are understandable and necessary if you just take into consideration their way of life and culture. (B/C they shop every day for dinner on their way back from work, they need to know the portions they will need to pick up at the grocery store). But I've got some great food and it's been 3 weeks since I've been at my homestay, yet I've yet to have the same menu for dinner!" (Spring 2000)


Other comments
"Classes at Meiji Gakuin are usually less challenging than classes at Haas. However, you can learn a lot by doing end of semester research papers; especially when you are under the guidance of your professors." (Fall 1997)


"Just enjoy and free yourself from the international student crowd. I guess in that way, it would be better if you knew some more Japanese, but certain things, you just have to try out on your own. Japanese things are more expensive, and you start to think maybe a dollar is ten dollars instead of one, but don't let that stop you from trying something new (esp. new dishes!). Lastly, be open to all kinds of opinions, and be ready to accept attacks on the U.S. For the most part, the Japanese love foreigners, but on the educated level (esp. with profs.), talks may get very edgy if you're not open minded." (Spring 2000)

EAP Japan, Yokohama


Global Securities and Development Program at Meiji Gakun University


What to bring
“Comfortable clothes. While you may be abroad, remember that you will have a lot of down time so bring extra sweatshirts and pajama pants. For Japan, bring waterproof shoes that work in all types of weather. It will rain a lot. Regarding umbrellas, the dormitory has tons! So if you forget to bring your own, it shouldn’t be a problem. Also bring a duffel bag or a weekend bag. You might be taking overnight trips. If you’re planning on doing homestay, a duffel bag comes in quite handy.” (Spring 2005)


What not to bring
“Too many books or anything heavy or big. You will be returning soon and you don’t want to lose luggage space for all the new things you will buy.” (Spring 2005)


Where to eat
“The supermarkets here have pretty good food that is relatively cheap! I’m sure the Japanese buddies will take you around to show you the good places to eat. If you like pot stickers (gyoza in Japanese), there’s a gyoza world type of place in Ikebukuro (Tokyo) that is really famous.” (Spring 2005)


Places to visit
“Besideas all the areas around Tokyo and Yokohama, please try to go to Kamakura, Enoshima, Nikko, and Hakone. And if you have time to fly to other islands, go to Hokkaido and Okinawa.” (Spring 2005)


Culture shock
“Girls wear heals to go to school. People wear long sleeve shirts all of the time because they don’t want to ‘sweat.’ People are usually polite, but if anything happens in public, people won’t get involved and try to help. There’s a lot of indirect communication that if you’re not Japanese, you might not pick up on. However, people usually do try very hard to understand you and help you.” (Spring 2005)


How to meet “locals”
“Go to school and talk to people in the departments outside of international studies/English. Also join clubs! You could also do homestay which is really awesome. I hear parents make great food, take you out on weekends to places only native Japanese people know of, and more.” (Spring 2005)


Language skills
“The high the level of Japanese you take here, the harder the class gets. However, in general, the classes here demand more than the classes at home, even if they’re teaching the same material. The teachers are really trying to be conversational so we talk a lot more in class and have oral presentations.” (Spring 2005)


EAP Japan, Tsuru University


What to bring
"Bring traveler checks instead of ATM or cash. The nearest ATM machine is about 50 minutes away from school, (30 minutes walk plus 20 minutes train). Also, traveler checks give you a better exchange rate than cash, and they are safer." (Fall 1997)


"A laptop computer if you need to go online everyday. Some Berkeley T-shirts for the friends you will make here. In terms of clothes, everything from tank tops to down-filled jacket because it's hot in summer and super cold in winter. Buy a travel guide like Lonely Planet for Tokyo, that's the place you will go
most of your weekends. Comfortable shoes cause in Japan you walk everywhere. More than one towels because you need to hang dry clothes. Bring CDs so you won't feel too homesick at first. Bring a Japanese-English dictionary, a small pocket size one is perfect. Bring medicine for colds and other common sickness." (Spring 1999)


What not to bring
"I can't really think of anything not to bring. Just don't overpack." (Spring 1999)


Where to eat
"Expect to pay $8 everytime you eat out. Even cooking yourself isn't cheap, because groceries are very expensive here. Eats lots of fruits before you leave the States, prices here are expensive. Prepare to cook a great deal since if you eat out everyday you will soon run out of money and get bored from eating the same Japanese food over and over. There are many Ramen (Noodles) restaurant and other traditional Japanese restaurants around Tsuru. I have to say this Ramen restaurant called "Yamado" is the best place to eat in Tsuru, it's kind of hard to find, so ask regular Tsuru student for directions, they should know." (Spring 1999)


Places to visit
"It's expensive to travel because train tickets costs a lot, but if your host family(everyone has one) has time, they will take you to most places that you will want to visit. Fuji Mountain is really pretty. And there is also an Amusement Park called Fujikyu Highland." (Spring 1999)


Culture shock
"Expect to have tiny accommodations, both, space in the dorm and food from school. I ate 5 times a day." (Fall 1997)


"Not much in Tsuru cause they treat you as a foreigner at the beginning. But try to be polite and say thank you all the time. Japanese students and Japanese in general are very sensitive to your comment on their English. So don't laugh at them." (Spring 1999)


Reverse culture shock
"Japanese will think you are really interesting cause you came from the U.S. But they will still use their own set of values to judge you, so be as polite as you can and try not to break their rules too often." (Spring 1999)
Language skills


"All people in Japan are very friendly and are willing to help you with directions. However, they usually don't understand English. Therefore, at least learn how to ask directions in Japanese." (Fall 1997)


"This is only a 5 months program, so try your best to make friends with local Japanese and practice speaking Japanese with them." (Spring 1999)


How to meet "locals"
"Make friends with your Japanese classmates and professors. You will probably learn more from your "personal network" than from just classes." (Fall 1997)


"Joining sports clubs is a good way to make friends. Tell your tutors to introduce you to their friends. Tsuru students are really nice." (Spring 1999)


Really interesting courses
"Torii Sensei is really cool. His class on Japanese culture is really fun. Kaneko Sensei's class is also very interesting." (Spring 1999)


Housing suggestions
"EAP students get to live in this really nice apartment close to Tsuru University. It's all furnished, really nice, nicer than my apartment in Emeryville, although a little smaller." (Spring 1999)


Other comments
"Classes at Meiji Gakuin are usually less challenging than classes at Haas. However, you can learn a lot by doing end of semester research papers; especially when you are under the guidance of your professors." (Fall 1997)



EAP Korea, Yonsei University, Seoul


What to bring
"Don't bring too much stuff-they have everything there! Especially, clothes. The style is different there anyway. Unless you want to stand out and say, "look I am a foreigner!" you shouldn't being too many clothes. Bring a computer--the computers there are not very up-to-date (printer too if possible). Bring medicine that you usually use--Tylenol, pepto bismal, because if you're sick, you have to go to a pharmacy and they give you stuff after they hear your explanation of your symptoms (so if you can't speak Korean well...it might be a problem getting your message across). Bring your camera and also bring pictures from home (because you might get homesick now and then)" (1996-1997)


"Only articles of clothing that you know that you will wear. It's a hassle to take them and to bring them back. Don't be a pack rat. Also, be sure to bring at least one outfit for formal occasions, another for active events (i.e. mountain climbing or other forms of popular exercise in Korea)" (Fall 1998)


"Contrary to what some people may tell you, Korea has everything that you need, including deodorant and (Bounce) dryer sheets. So don't bring too much stuff. If you have a laptop, you should definitely bring it, but watch out for thefts!" (Fall 1999)


Since there are four distinct seasons in Korea, I would suggest bringing a range of clothes from very light (the summertime is very humid) to very heavy (the wintertime is extremely cold). However, I would suggest not to bring too much since clothes are very cheap in Korea. I have found that all other personal items one might need is very accessible and relatively cheap in Korea. Computers are also available but they are limited so if possible, I would suggest bringing your own computer. (Fall 2001)


What not to bring
"Do not bring lots of winter clothes. You'll have to end up buying them once you're there since the ones you have will not be sufficient. Korean winter's are incredibly cold." (Fall 1998)


"Don't bring too much clothing. Many students buy a lot of clothes while they're in Korea because it's cheaper. School supplies are cheaper in Korea also, so don't bother going out to buy new notebooks before you come. You should be careful that you don't have too much stuff when you come back to the States because you WILL run into trouble at the airport. I had to pay extra to send all my luggage in the plane." (Fall 1999)


In general I would say to pack lightly since many necessities can easily be purchased and since many students tend to buy a lot of clothes in Korea, bringing too many clothes which takes up a lot of luggage space is not a good idea. (Fall 2001)


Where to eat
"At least once in Kangnam (treat yourself to someplace nice and see how the upper class in Korea live), Myung-dong noodle house (famous for Kal-kook-soo, the wontons are great as well.)" (Fall 1998)


"There are American restaurant chains everywehere, including TGIF, Outback, Bennigans, and all the pizza chains. However, I recommend you go out and try as many different Korean food places as you can. Shinchon--the town right outside campus--is a food haven. The cafeteria food isn't too bad either. There are at least five different cafeterias, and you can get a meal for as low at $1.25." (Fall 1999)


In Korea, the dormitory for international students does not have a cafeteria and there is no such thing as a student meal plan but nearly each building has a restaurant with a variety of food at relatively cheap prices (cheaper than off-campus restuarants). Many students choose also to "bedal" their food meaning have their food delivered directly to the dorm at no extra cost by the many restaurants who do deliver. (Fall 2001)


Places to visit
"Independence Hall (similar to visiting the Holocaust museums), live theaters in Dae-Hang-No, Yang-Pyun (If you know someone who has a car, it is extremely romantic get away type place in outskirts of Seoul), Korean traditional art museums and palaces. (Best to get specifics at Hotels, lots of pamphlets available.)" (Fall 1998)


"You should definitely go to Cheju Island. It's absolutely beautiful and there are many things to do, like horseback riding, scuba diving, hiking, para-sailing, etc. The best way to get around is to rent a van with a driver. The driver is virtually a tour guide who will take you wherever you wanna go, and it's not very expensive as long as you go with a group of people." (Fall 1999)


There are many nice places to visit in Korea but the most beautiful places I have found are the various temples and mountains in Korea. Many students choose to go on packaged tours which are not too expensive and will show you many famous places all in one or two days. (Fall 2001)


Culture shock
"Korea is very different and their customs, etiquette, etc., is very different too. Remember to ALWAYS give up your bus or subway set to elders. Always give and receive with your right hand (if the person is older, use both hands) You'll definitely learn things on the way. BUT don't look at their way as worse and the American way as better. Basically, my advice is to go in with an open mind, knowing that you're going to experience a lot, both good and bad. Either way, remember that you're only there for a semester/year. Even though you might not like it or might totally love it, remember that it's only a short time and try to experience all that you can. Don't compare home and Korea and long for the way things are done in America because one day, you'll be longing for the way that it was done in Korea too. So enjoy the differences." (1996-1997)


"Realize that you are going to another country, especially those who are Korean/American. Thus, life and logic, as you have known it, will be flipped inside out. Personally, I visited Korea every other year until my Jr. High years then in 88, 92, and 96, yet still, there was quite a lot of adjusting to do. Don't expect home to the "motherland" type comfort. You do not have to change nor accept the ways of Korean society, but at the very least, attempt to understand it. Otherwise, you will leave with nothing more that you came." (Fall 1998)


"Young people in Korea love to have fun. You'll see them hanging out in big groups, and they'll often be loud and many times be drunk. The concept of personal space is almost non-existent in Korea. Expect people to be in your face in crowded areas, and do not expect apologies when someone bumps into you in the streets or subway." (Fall 1999)


I did not personally experience any culture shock but I would encourage students to keep in mind that Korea is somewhat a conservative country so be careful to observe Korean customs so as not to offend any natives. (Fall 2001)


Reverse culture shock
"It's hard to adjust because everything was exciting and new when you were abroad but you will get over it and get back into the groove of things. Take a lot of pictures so you can remember your trip." (1996-1997)


"Just when you're getting the hang of Korean life and have established a group of stable friends, you'll have to return. Initially, many of us faced, what I like to call, post EAP depression. Lots of my friends who traveled, not only to Korea but other places as well, faced this. But once school gets started, you realize that Berkeley's dynamic atmosphere, it's variety of classes, and top-notch professors cannot be matched anywhere else. Life is certainly different but try not to compare apples and oranges." (Fall 1998)


"You'll realize that life in the States is a lot slower than it is in Korea. Everything in America is much more spread out, and you might miss the "compactness" and the excitment of living in Korea." (Fall 1999)


How to meet "locals"
"Don't hang out too much with the other exchange students. Of course, you have to (in order not to lose your sanity when you experience cultural differences) but definitely try to go and find a language partner. They are very willing to help you out and are very curious about America and Korean-Americans." (1996-1997)


"Take the initiative; they may look unfriendly, but are really eager to meet Korean/American friends, maybe even boy/girlfriends. Try joining on campus clubs and take a class with the regular students without receiving credit." (Fall 1998)


"The best way to meet local students is to join campus clubs (called "Dong-ah-ree" in Korean). There are clubs for sports, dance, religious groups, etc... Members of clubs generally form tight bonds, and spend a lot of time together hanging out and preparing for events. Another good way to meet locals is to join P.E. classes." (Fall 1999)


The best way I have found to meet locals is to join a "dong-a-ree" which is a school club. Yonsei University has one specifically for the purpose of giving international and local students the opportunity to meet, make friends, and learn about each others' cultures through various activities. (Fall 2001)


Language skills
"The more the better. My fluency allowed me access to opportunities such as work, volunteering, and field study." (Fall 1998)


"When you're on campus, you won't have too many problems even if you don't speak a word of Korean. International students who do speak Korean will always be around you, and many Yonsei students are also proficient in English. When you go outside of campus, it'd be wise at first to be with someone who speaks some Korean. However, once you get used to the environment, I don't think you will have too much trouble going out alone, because most Koreans speak at least some English." (Fall 1999)


There is no language requirement to study in Korea but I find it is helpful to know a little before you arrive. However, there are even students who have managed to live in Korea without speaking any Korean and not even taking Korean language courses throughout the year. (Fall 2001)


Really interesting courses
"Ask the students who work in the international office. They have the inside scoop." (Fall 1998)


"Korean International Relations with Prof. Lee Chung-min is interesting as well as intense. He is a great lecturer and an expert on what he teaches. He will also challenge you, meaning he will expect you to put in the work and give you no leniency when it comes to grading. International Law with Prof. Kim Joongi will also be an interesting class if you have any interest at all in that subject. He spends very little time lecturing, and most of the class time is used for discussion. He will encourage you to think for yourself on the issues covered in class. If you want a fun class, take Integrated Marketing Communications with Prof. Suh Chan-joo. He has a great personality and you can have a lot of fun with the term project. An important thing to keep in mind when choosing classes is that the profs in the International Division at Yonsei who also teach classes at the Graduate School of International Studies are more experienced and generally more competent in teaching students. They are also fluent in English, and their classes tend to be more challenging. Most, if not all other profs are part-time teachers who work in the private sector. They generally have less teaching experience and are often very busy with their work outside of school, which makes it difficult for them to give a lot of attention to the students." (Fall 1999)


My best academnic experience while in Korea was the school-arranged internship. Although classes are interesting as well, the internship gave me an opportunity to work with Korean natives and get to know them throughout the course of the year. This past semester, very few students took advantage of this opportunity or even bothered to apply but I have found it to be one of the best aspects of my study abroad experience. (Fall 2001)


Housing suggestions
"Living with family is not all that bad. It allows you access to Korea beyond the Yonsei campus walls, even if it is just the guardsman at the door or the supermarket lady. This also forces you to go beyond your EAP ties and English speaking tendencies. Subway commutes are not fun, but it allows you to meet the "real" people." (Fall 1998)


"Dorm facilities are pretty poor, but most people get used to it. There is a curfew, which has recently been extended to 1 am on weekdays and 3 am on weekends. I think living in the dorm in the most convient option. Many students move out to live in "Ha-sook," which are private boarding houses. You will live in a small room and be served two Korean meals per day." (Fall 1999)


I feel on-campus housing at the International House gives students the best opportunity to meet a lot of people. It is also newly renovated which makes it a nice place to live. (Fall 2001)


Other comments
"Basically, I loved it. I went one year to study in Seoul, Korea at Yonsei Univ. I knew from the beginning that I wanted to study for a year and I'm very glad that I did. But if you are not sure, I would definitely sign up for a semester and then extend it. The first month was kind of hard but after that, I didn't want to go home." (1996-1997)


"Have fun, explore, go outside of Seoul and do as much traveling as possible. As long as you keep a positive attitude, EAP in Korea will be a fun and exciting experience for you." (Fall 1999)


EAP Netherlands, Leiden University


What to bring
“Lots of money. The Euro is kicking the Dollar.” (Spring 2005)


What not to bring
“Bad attitude.” (Spring 2005)


Where to eat
“Sinai Grillroom, Annie’s” (Spring 2005)


Places to visit
“Amsterdam Museums, The Hague, Groningen.” (Spring 2005)


Culture shock
“The Dutch are different, but they are great. It takes a little while to get use to their way of life (much slower), but I actually like it better.” (Spring 2005)


Reverse culture shock
“Portion sizes are much bigger here. Actually, most things are bigger.” (Spring 2005)


How to meet “locals”
“Go up to them. They are friendly so they will talk to you. But they won’t come up to you either. They have their groups and don’t’ venture out too much.” (Spring 2005)


Language skills
“Taking Dutch language is unnecessary. Everyone speaks perfect English. Even if you try to speak Dutch, they won’t let you.” (Spring 2005)


Really interesting courses
“UN Security Council” (Spring 2005)


Housing suggestions
“SLS Wonen is a company that most students use. You will meet the most people if you use them, but their buildings and services are sub-par to say the least. It’s a trade off.”


Other comments
“Best thing I did in college. It was amazing.”

Utrecht University, Netherlands
General comments about study abroad and your particular program
I had an amazing experience abroad and now encourage everyone I know to work it into their academic plan. It IS possible and it IS worth it! Studying abroad gives you a great perspective on not only academics, but culture and lifestyle as well. The small, liberal arts environment of University College, Utrecht was nice contrast to UC Berkeley. I think living in a student dormitory with Dutch and other international students also adds to the experience.

What to bring
One of the things I would recommend bringing is medicine. When you catch a cold or the flu, it is overwhelming to try to decipher what medicine would best suit your needs, so pack some Sudafed.

What not to bring
Do not bring too many clothes. You will likely shop a lot in the Netherlands and other countries, and you want to save room in your suitcase to bring home your new purchases.

Where to eat
There is a Chinese-Indonesian restaurant very close to the UCU campus that serves a delicious rijsttafel. It is pricey, but a good option for birthdays or when friends visit. For a cheaper option, bike to Lombok for authentic Turkish food, or go to Dimitri Petit’s gyro shop next to the Dom.

Places to visit
Go down to Maastricht for Carnaval because it is one of the top places to celebrate the festival in all of Europe. It will be an experience that you will never forget. In addition to traveling within the Netherlands, take advantage of the Netherlands’ centrality in Europe and explore the rest of the continent. Be cognizant of sales on popular European airline flights.

Culture shock
Although everyone speaks English, they speak Dutch primarily. At first, you may feel uneasy that everyone is speaking an unfamiliar language, but almost everyone will speak impressively fluent English if you talk to them. Dutch people are friendly when you talk to them, but it is up to you to take the initiative.

Reverse culture shock
It was difficult for me especially since I stayed during the summer as well. Remember the fun experiences you had during your time abroad, but also remember the fun you had in California before you left. It may be hard to adjust at first, but friends and family will help you through it.

How to meet "locals"
UCU has a great on-campus environment, especially because food and drink are conveniently located no more than 100 yards from the classrooms and dormitories. Go to the campus bar to meet fellow students, but journey outside the gate to local campus bars to meet members of the community.

Language skills You do not need to speak Dutch in the Netherlands. The UC introductory course teaches you enough Dutch to get by, but everyone speaks English.

Really interesting courses
I would highly recommend the 200-level International Relations. The course often discusses American foreign policy which is interesting to study from a European viewpoint. Housing suggestions You are assigned housing. If you have a valid complaint, you can change but everything at UCU is tolerable.

Other comments
Studying abroad is a great opportunity. If you couple it with traveling at the beginning or end of your program, you will have some of the best months of your life. Be careful, you may be bit by the travel bug!

EAP Singapore, National University
of Singapore

Spring 2008

General comments about study abroad and your particular program
My study abroad program was in Singapore, at the National University of Singapore (NUS). I chose this program because NUS is known as one of the leading business schools in Asia, and Singapore a center of business. The classes are also all in English, so I could take regular classes with the local students instead of being separated out. The overall study abroad experience was really amazing and eye-opening. Academically, I learned a lot about Asia and came to realize how little I knew about the world despite all my years of education. Outside of school, I had a great time exploring Singapore and other countries in the region, meeting locals, and learning abut and adapting to their culture.

What to bring
Almost everything you need is available in Singapore, which is very modern and carries products from around the world due to its large expat population. There isn’t really anything you “must” bring, except maybe things from home you absolutely can’t live without, just in case it isn’t available or you can’t get it right away.

What not to bring
You definitely should not bring too much luggage. As I said, you can get almost anything you need in Singapore, and will most likely end up buying a lot of stuff while you’re there and traveling, so could end up with a lot of luggage on the return trip. You also don’t need to bring winter clothes, as it is always hot in Singapore.

Where to eat
Places to eat are everywhere in Singapore and pretty much everything is good if you’re open to it. One of the best places though, is hawker centres, or outdoor food courts with a lot of little stalls selling all types of (Asian) food.

Places to visit
Daisy (our EAP advisor in Singapore) takes us to most of the well-known places in Singapore during our orientation week. Other places I would recommend visiting are the zoo, botanic gardens, and outdoor reserves. There is a lot of nature close to/in the middle of the city, and a lot of it was something I had never really experienced before. There are also a lot of places to visit outside Singapore, which has a great location in the middle of Southeast Asia. I visited Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and the temples of Angkor Wat in Cambodia, both of which were amazing and I would recommend.

Culture shock
Singapore is pretty modernized and Westernized, so the culture shock wasn’t too bad. The biggest thing I struggled with was language. Although a large portion of and almost all the Singaporeans I met speak English, they have a very unique accent and some vocabulary and grammatical constructions not in American English, sometimes making it seem like they are not speaking English at all. I initially had a very hard time understanding them, but after a week or two was able to do so without much difficulty and had even picked up on some of it after a few months. |

Reverse culture shock
Since there wasn’t much culture shock to begin with, there also wasn’t much reverse culture shock. It was a bit weird hearing people, especially Asians, talking without the Singaporean accent, but that was primarily it.

How to meet "locals"
Living in the hostels (dorms) is probably the best way to meet locals. They are very involved in hostel activities, so you can meet them by joining in, or just talking to them during meals at the dining hall. You can also join clubs or just meet them in class. If you have group projects, which most of the business classes do, you’ll be forced to meet them, but otherwise they are pretty friendly, especially if you let them know you’re an exchange student, since many of them have gone on exchange themselves. Language skills You can get by fine speaking only English, since most people you’ll come in contact with also speak it. Almost all of the locals speak a second language which is usually Chinese, and some prefer it and occasionally revert to it, but will change back if you just remind them you don’t speak it.

Really interesting courses
Obviously this depends on what you’re interested in, but I found most of my classes pretty interesting. All of my classes related to Asia, so I learned a lot that I could not have at home and the material was very relevant to the new culture I was experiencing at the moment.

Housing suggestions
I feel the best place to live is the student hostels. They’re conveniently close to campus and a great way to meet locals, since they’re literally sleeping right next door. I lived at Sheares Hall, which was only a 5 minute walk to the business school, and was able to make friends with some of my neighbors who I often went to dinner and hall activities with. The only bad thing was the compulsory meal plan. It included breakfast and dinner, but the food was not very good and you received only limited portions. Other comments


Fall 1997

What to bring
"If you are going to a hot country, bring mosquito repellent."


Places to visit
"While in Singapore, the rest of southeast Asia is great to visit. It's interesting to see how developed Singapore is and how backward its neighbors are." (Fall 1997)


Reverse culture shock
"No matter how short of a time you go for, you will experience reverse culture shock. Changing from one lifestyle to another is tough.


How to meet "locals"
It was tough to meet the locals. They seemed intimidated by the exchange students. We had to be very proactive in meeting them, introducing ourselves to them all the time. It was fine in the beginning, but after a while it was just a pain. I made some good local friends from classes, but it took a lot of work." (Fall 1997)


Other comments
"You will make some of the best friends in your life while studying abroad. You will learn so much about yourself that you never knew. The EAP office at Cal and Haas are great at organizing everything so that you can still graduate on time and get credit for everything you do abroad. You never realized the world was so small. If you do not study abroad while at U.C. Berkeley you are cheating yourself out of a real college experience. When else in your life time can you just drop everything and experience a whole new lifestyle, culture, and education form? Studying Abroad is no doubt the absolute best decision I have made and experience I have had at U.C. Berkeley." (Fall 1997)


EAP Spain, Complutense, Madrid
2003-2004


1. General comments about study abroad and your particular program.
Madrid is amazing. The only other place that I would go with EAP would be Granada but only because I am a beach girl and we have no water in Madrid. However in terms of fun city life and amount of things to do, you can´t beat
the capital. I have also heard that Sevilla is wonderful but EAP doesn´t go there. I would recommend going through EAP if you are in Haas just because it makes life a lot easier knowing that your credits will transfer. Also, all of the advisors are pretty experienced and can foresee problems and give really good advice.


2. What to bring
film
batteries
sleeping bag
pictures from home
passport pictures (tons of them, you need them for everything here)
arrive with euros or a readily spendable form of cash
make photocopies of all important documents (passport, credit cards, atm card, visa) bring two copies with you and leave one at home addresses and phone numbers of people back home bring warm clothes for Madrid, it gets REALLY cold here in the winter time


3. What not to bring
your whole closet...pack as lightly as you can. Make sure that your suitcase is not overflowing because it makes it a pain for you in the airport.


4. Where to eat
expensive- La Vaca Argentina
cheap- any of the cafes on the streets, they are almost all good.
VIPs is like a TGI Friday´s but with a Spanish twist. They are every where, open late and a safe place to eat.


"El Jardín Secreto" is one of the best cafes in Madrid.


La Latina and Plaza Mayor are the best areas for tapas.


5. Places to visit
Spain is awesome. Travel as much as you can throughout Europe but if you can´t make it out of Spain, travel around this country. It has everything, including the most UNESCO sites in the world!
Salamanca
El Escorial
Segovia
Toledo
Sevilla
Granada
País Vasco
Galicia


Within Madrid see the Palace, Sol, the Prado, El Reina Sofia and the Thyssen, a bull fight, go out to the big clubs and Calle Huertas.

6. Culture shock
It happens. I have traveled a lot and so I thought that I would be used to it but it cannot be avoided. You will find that you may have to spend a lot of time defending America especially with all of the stuff that has happened recently with the war and everything. You have to make the decision of how you want to represent your country. It is really weird to encounter negative sentiment towards Americans, but also a valuable learning experience because you learn a lot about the image that America has outside of its borders and it
is shocking. Sometimes you won´t be able to convince people that America is not just an imperialistic super power and in those case you just have to accept that they think differently than you and move on. Or maybe you will
agree with them, who knows?


7. Reverse culture shock
I can´t really comment on this because I haven´t gone back yet but I would recommend not going home if you are staying for the year. It is hard to get adjusted to living so far away, if you go home in the middle of it you will have to start all over again. My parents came to visit for a week and when they left I was in a funk for a few days after because I was all alone again. I think that feeling would only be magnified if you went home and came back.


8. How to meet "locals"
Talk to people in your classes. Think about the foreigners that you see around town. It never really occurs to you to go up and talk to them and it is the same way with the Spanish people. some people say that Spaniards are cold and that it is really hard to make friends. However, my experience has been that they are really nice, but you have to make the effort because they are not going to.


9. Language skills
Don´t cheat yourself of before hand preparation, it is crucial. Read and practice speaking as much as you can and really get to know some of the history and the politics of Spain. These subjects play a big role in day to day life here and if you know something about it, you will be much better off.


10. Really interesting courses
Some of the nucleo programs are actually really good so don´t brush them off. Marcos Roca Sierra is a fantastic professor who teaches Spanish literature classes. Any of his classes are certain to be great. Try to take humanities classes if you can because they are easier than business or science classes. Save whatever electives you have for your time in Spain because you will enjoy the year much more if you your work load isn´t as stressful as it is at Cal.


11. Housing suggestions
Don´t freak out about finding housing during ILP. You get a month to look for apartments and there will be people that start finding them the first or second week they get there. This puts lots of unnecessary stress on everyone else because they think they are going to wind up homeless. In my experience the people that found houses later were the ones that ended up being happier with where they were living. Good areas to live in are:
Moncloa
Arguelles
Chamberí
Sol


12. Other comments
Most important is to be open to changes and to problems. There will be a lot of little things that will go wrong when you first get here but it is all part of the experience. Don´t get upset and say that it wouldn´t happen that way in the states because that is useless to you when you are in Spain. Instead understand and accept that you are in a different country where they do things differently and you will be ok.


Be spontaneous and do things that you never thought that you would do.


Save up so you can take that extra trip or go out one more night because you
will never get the chance to do it again.


Don´t forget that school is important here. It tends to be a little more laid back but don´t get caught in the procrastination trap because you will be really sorry in the long run.
Enjoy!!!

EAP - Sweden, Lund University
Fall 2003

General:
Study abroad was an invaluable experience and is more than worth it. The Lund University program is good for business majors as it offers business classes, but for some people it may be difficult to get them (the UC Study Center is very unpredictable about what they will or won't let you take). The Lund program is one of the largest in EAP; there were about 85 UC students this past semester (Fall 2003), about 20 from Berkeley.


What to bring:
As little as possible. Most basic necessities can be found there, and often times the hassle and cost of bringing them with you from America make it not worth it. Only bring things that can't be found there easily, such as electrical adaptors. Also try to bring a laptop computer.


Where to eat:
Usually people cook in their dorms, as eating out can be expensive and supermarkets are cheap and conveniently located. Otherwise, kebab/felafel stands can be the cheapest eating-out option.


Places to visit:
Everywhere. Within Sweden, Stockholm and the north during winter (to see things like the Northern lights and the Ice Hotel). Also Copenhagen, Denmark, is the largest city nearby. Most students also travel the rest of Europe during breaks and weekends.


Culture shock:
Sweden is definitely not as diverse as California, and the food as well. However, Swedes are some of the nicest people in the world and are very fluent in English. And everything in the country is pretty efficient and clean. It is a pretty expensive country, though.


How to meet "locals":
Hanging out with korridormates (the other students living in your "korridor" or floor). Also socializing at the nations, which are the social hubs of Lund.


Language skills:
Everyone in Sweden speaks English fluently, so getting by should be no problem. However, the students are encouraged to take a few Swedish classes, and Swedes seem to really appreciate it when you try to learn their language.


Really interesting courses:
nothing really stands out in my mind.


Housing suggestions:
The International Housing Office places you in single dorms, living among Swedish students. It's generally agreed that the best dorm complex socially is Delphi.


General comments
Do it. Do it. Do it. It is an opportunity everyone should take. You will learn a lot about yourself and about another culture. You may be hesitant to leave, but there is a reason why almost everyone who studies abroad says it was a great experience. Just do it. (Fall 2000)


What to bring
Of course bring clothes. Other than that the only other thing you might want to bring is a laptop if you can. There's ethernet in the dorms so if you bring a laptop you can go online. Other than that I wouldn't suggest bringing anything else. You can get everything that you can get in the States here. Also you will want to bring a traveling backpack if you want to travel out here or at least a small bag for weekend trips. Bring an adapter and voltage converter. You can't buy those here. (Fall 2000)


What not to bring
Do not bring too much stuff. The more you bring the more you have to take home. This includes clothes. You will be traveling and picking up souvenirs. Plus you will probably buy clothes out here anyways. (Fall 2000)


Where to eat
You will have to cook for yourself. Things close around 5 here and there are hardly any fast food places around here. You can eat anything out here. (Fall 2000)


Places to visit
Must go to Kiruna in the North of Sweden during December. You can see the Northern Lights there. Plus it's really cheap to get around Sweden. You just fly youth standby for about $20 to major cities. You should also go to London using Ryan air. You can flight for less than $20 roundtrip. (Fall 2000)


Culture shock
Though everyone speaks English here it's not as if they speak English all the time. Swedes will only speak English when they have to. If you don't learn Swedish it will be hard to really get to know other Swedish students. (Fall 2000)


How to meet "locals"
You will meet them in your dorm. Just be friendly and don't limit yourself to hanging out with other exchange or UC students. (Fall 2000)


Language skills
Try to learn some Swedish but if you don't it's no big problem. Everyone speaks English out here. (Fall 2000)


Really interesting courses
This is a big one for business students. Be aware that you will only be able to take anything Business related if you have taken at least 6 business adminstration courses. Otherwise you will have to take other classes. Stick to the Special Content courses offered to only exchange students. They are generally more interesting because they are on Swedish culture and Swedish society. If you want to really challenge yourself then try to take regular courses here. But beware they require the same amount of time as UC Berkeley classes if not more. (Fall 2000)


Housing suggestions
Live in Delphi. You get ethernet here and single rooms with your own shower and bathroom. It's great. (Fall 2000)


Other comments
The program out here is great. UC has its own study center out here and they take care of everything related to academics. You will have a lot less stress than you would at Berkeley getting into classes. Plus Sweden is a great country and Lund is a great college town with a great student life. If you want to go to a major city Copenhagen is less than an hour away by train. (Fall 200)


EAP Taiwan, National Taiwan University, Taipei


What to bring


"The weather in Taiwan is extremely humid and it rains quite often, but I recommend buying your umbrella when you arrive (they have nicer umbrellas). Also, if you like to shop, you might want to save some luggage space for all the things you will buy while abroad." (1996-1997)


Bug repellent, medicine, warm clothes for winter, it gets cold! (Fall 2000)


What not to bring


Too much luggage, really high expectations (Fall 2000) Where to eat "Taiwan has great food. Definitely try all the different food stands and the many different restaurants around campus and in the city. Some may think that the food stands may seem unsanitary (and they probably are according to US standards), but most of us really had no problems with the food. Everyone has to try the shaved ice and also the traditional breakfast places that serve Chinese pastries and soybean milk and more." (1996-1997)


At kung kuan, little restaurants next to language center just across the street, they are cheap and pretty good (Fall 2000)


Culture shock


"US students will definitely experience culture shock if they are not familiar with the culture, but I don't think that it should become a problem. Taiwan is a great place that can offer so much. Just as long as one has an open outlook and is willing to try different things and see things in different perspectives, studying abroad in Taiwan could be one of the greatest experiences in your life. The group of EAP students that went during my year abroad were very optimistic and open to everything, and everyone enjoyed their experience very much." (1996-1997)


How to meet "locals"


"Meeting local students is probably easiest if you join one or more of the hundreds of student clubs on campus. Examples include: ballroom dancing, guitar, crafts, modern or folk dance, club hopping, cocktail mixing, and many more. However, getting to know the students well may be difficult, because many of them have known each other for a long while, and they seem to clique together within their own major. However, some of us did became close friends with local students." (1996-1997)


Go to cafe's, pool halls, or anything else open at night. people who spend their nights awake tend to be pretty cool (Fall 2000)


Language skills


Been speaking chinese at home all my life but my reading and writing is not that great (Fall 2000)


Really interesting courses


"If your language skills permit, try taking at least one regular class at the National Taiwan University (or "Tai-Da" as everyone calls it), because it is the most prestigious university in Taiwan; every young student just aspires to study there so definitely take advantage of its resources and education. Try to find a course that can accommodate any language barriers, and be sure to talk to the professor first to address any concerns. I personally was able to take some business courses that fulfilled some of the requirements at Haas. Thus, studying abroad did not hinder my graduation date at all." (1996-1997)


Take classes by Tang ming tse, or prof. huang. they're both really good and funny (Fall 2000)


Housing suggestions


"Living in the dorms is really a worthwhile experience. It is very very inexpensive, and they are located in a convenient location. However, don't expect any luxuries - the phone system is horrendous (basically, you won't be having any nice long phone conversations with anyone), the tiny rooms accommodate 4 people, and each room gets a squat toilet and a shower stall." (1996-1997)


Whatever happens, do not get kicked out of your assigned room. the dorms are really lax on rules and no one is really there to enforce anything. if you move in and find that someone is already living in your assigned place, tell someone and have it fixed. i didn't and i ended up living away from any other EAP student in a room with only two roommates who never talk and a room that was extremely dirty. live in dorm #8 (for guys) do not go to dorm #7 (Fall 2000)


Other comments


" I studied abroad at the National Taiwan University my junior year, and I believe it to be the greatest year of my college experience. I learned so much and gained so much that I would recommend it to any Haas students considering this option." (1996-1997)


01-02 EAP Taiwan Nat'l Taiwan Univ

Things I wish I had known:
"Stuff" in Taiwan is not as cheap as it would seem. These things include cosmetics, toiletries, foreign magazines and books, and clothes. I suggest especially for the above-Taiwanese-average sized Americans (anything above a
size 4-6 for women, and size L for men) to bring enough clothes and shoes (nothing available above size 8 for women and probably size 10 for men) to last the year. The exception would be athletic shoes - New Balance are
especially affordable at prices from $50 and up.

Mosquitoes are man's worst enemy - bring plenty of lotion-type repellent. Buying a mosquito/fly electric swatter upon arrival would be wise. The bureaucracy at first seems senseless: from the endless EAP forms, to arriving in Taiwan and getting this and that stamped by countless
departments, to getting a resident visa. But, it is worth it! After the initial, maybe two weeks or so of tedium, the rest of the year flies smoothly. The volunteers assigned by Taida are very helpful, and you just may get an extraordinarily helpful one like I did, who helped everyone else
with their papers.

Bring plenty of books and memorabilia from home, including some favorite snacks. Many things from America are available, but in altered form (e.g., curry-flavored Pringles), so bring a short supply. I recommend popcorn and
granola bars. Costco memberships work here and they import most of their products. 24-hour fitness memberships also work, but Taida has a newly constructed gym that's much cheaper (approximately $30US/semester). A few
of us joined the Taipei Gym that's across the track (and behind the restaurant, Feng Cheng) which has a wide array of equipment and is a lot less full than the Taida one (we bargained down with group purchasing power
for about $25US/month).

Pictures are essential! You can show your new buddies what your life back home was like, and this will help you feel less lonely during the transition stage. Speaking of which, please note that the best way to call home is to buy special international phone cards, which you can use from the privacy (and cleanliness) of your dorm room. My expert friend recommends highly the "Kingtel" or xi-ling blue card, which you can get from Family Mart down the alley behind the dorm. I got very sick from the restaurant next to the
first hair salon in that alley upon arrival, as did another EAP student, so be careful where you eat. Don't try to go when the people are taking their afternoon break (2-4pm) or when they're about to close (around 9pm), or else they'll be upset and may not prepare your food as well. Laptops are extremely useful, but there are good computer labs nearby for printing, scanning, and Internet. You will have access as soon as you obtain a Taida student ID. So, if you have access to a laptop, bring it (especially if you're staying for the year), but if not, it will be ok. Bring a small tape player to listen to the Chinese audio tapes, preferably with a radio function so you can enjoy the joys of Taiwanese radio. Cell
phones will work if they're tri-band, but they're relatively cheap if you buy it here. You also buy a chip and phone number and have to load it up with minutes, which costs more than what native Taiwanese pay, but is a necessity to be reached when you're on the go.

Clubbing or "going to the disco" is big here, but remember to bring a CA ID, because a student ID won't work, and you don't want to carry your passport everywhere you go.

The rooms that we have now are the best!!! I lived in Foothill, and I can say that the rooms here are perhaps slightly better. They were just remodeled in the summer of 2001, with air conditioners! This makes us the
envy of all undergrads at Taida as the building is actually reserved for graduate students. During the fall semester, many EAP students roomed together, but now all of us have our own room. I highly recommend chipping
in for a refrigerator between a few people, because it's a great way to store vegetables, fruit, and cool your beverages. If you like Ranch dressing, bring your own as it's not readily available here. Lastly, give yourself time to adjust. If you're going to try to arrive right before the program starts, you'll miss out on some important bonding
activities. I arrived late (partly because of 9/11) in the middle of a typhoon, and it did NOT give me a great impression of Taiwan. Try to check out the weather reports before you leave. Bring many layers of clothing, because it DOES get cold towards November, but allot for spare suitcase room
as well for souvenirs and some new clothes, too.


01-02 EAP UK Glasgow, Scotland


What to bring- A lot less than you think you should. make sure to bring a backpacking backpack, crucial for traveling. Warm clothes are a must. Clothes to go out clubbing in... Brits love their pubs and clubs.


What not to bring- I brought a lot of belongings, and although I didn't need all of my clothes there wasn't really anything I DIDN'T need at all. Maybe my graphing calculator, dresses, and short skirts.


Where to eat- There are places all over Glasgow. You can't go too wrong. The student unions are good for quick cheap food.


Places to visit- Take advantage of traveling via ryanair.com and easyjet.com! In Glasgow, the Kelvingrove, Modern Art, and People's Palace museums are great. Kelvingrove park and the botanic gardens are nice.


Culture shock- There are SO MANY words that are different between the US and UK. If one really wants to I'm sure there are websites that list some. The drinking culture is lot different... as in everyone drinks and goes dancing
and it's no big deal. I think the British are a lot more polite.


How to meet "locals"- The residence halls are a great way to meet people. Also hanging out at student unions, clubs, and pubs (Nice N Sleazy's has a good open mike night on Mondays).


Really interesting courses- As an exchange student you can take classes at the Glasgow School of Art... really fun!


Housing suggestions- Maclay hall is the best! Close to the university and city center. I personally think it would be impossible to have as good of a time if you live far away.



01-02 EAP UK U of London

What to bring: Bring as little as you can, I recommend putting everything you think you will need in a pile and then taking out about 1/3 of it. You can buy just about
everything you need abroad, and you probably will buy a lot of stuff anyway. Pack light make it an adventure.


Where to eat:
Pride of Asia on Mile End Road--some of the best Curry in London outside of
Brick Lane
Wetherspoons--when you are looking for a quick bite and a pint
Wagamama's--all over london, trendy but good and quick service
Chilli's in Canary Wharf--when you want a taste of home, but watch out, its the same as in the states but costs twice as much.

>Places to visit
Blues and Jazz clubs are not as touristy as most places you'll find. I recommend 'Ain't Nothin But...' There is no cover during the week, and has a pretty strong 'Berkeley' feel to it.

>Culture shock
Be prepared for it when you first arrive for a good month or so, but it goes away, and although its hard at the beginning, its worth it later on. (At Queen Mary the faucets are seperated between hot and cold so you can never get
warm water)

>How to meet "locals"
Join a sport, especially at QMW, you don't have to be good, most people aren't by our standards, and its a great way to gain british friends, you don't have many hours in class, and although its easy to befriend americans, if you want to have british friends you have to do what they normally do. Rugby and Crew (known as the boating club) are really strong groups that like to befriend new
people on their teams.

>Language skills
It takes a few days, but you'll begin to understand the brits eventually

>Housing suggestions
Mile End housing is the best

>Other comments
Enjoy it cause it goes by fast.


 


EAP UK, University of Glasgow, Scotland


05-06 EAP UK Glasgow, Scotland


General comments about study abroad and your particular program: I thought it was a really amazing opportunity to be able to study in a foreign country for an entire year. I think, especially in Britain, there are a lot of international students at the universities, and it is very interesting to be able to meet people from all over the world, and not just the U.S. The EAP program at Glasgow was pretty much a full integration program, so I was basically treated like any other student at the university. All the people in my classes were for the most part, local students, which was nice. You really get integrated into the British university culture.


What to bring: An umbrella and waterproof shoes of some kind. It rains a lot in Britain, especially Glasgow.


What not to bring: Too many clothes. You'll end up buying a lot of clothes in Britain/Europe anyways. Also, any electronic heat devices like blow dryers----there's no need to bring that as you can buy them at relatively decent prices here.


Where to eat: British food is generally terrible. But, the Indian food here is quite good. It is relatively expensive to eat out in Glasgow, so I do not go out to eat often. Britain has nice sandwich shops though----in particular, there is a chain store named Pret-A-Manger that makes good sandwiches.


Places to visit: London is amazing and absolutely huge. Edinburgh is also very beautiful, and the architecture of the city is quite unique. The Scottish Highlands are definitely worth a visit---that is the "real" Scotland.


Culture shock: The pound-dollar exchange rate is the biggest nightmare to a U.S. bank account.
I'm not sure if that's a culture shock or just a shock in general. As for the prices here, think the same numbers in the States....but with a pound sign in the front.


There were times at the beginning of the year when I was just so frustrated with some things that I wished I were back in California (only a few times though). Otherwise, I pretty much got used to it rather fast. One of the most "different" things here is the MASSIVE drinking culture. The drinking age limit is 18 in the UK. Pretty much all the school clubs are reasons to congregate, socialize, and drink (even the sport clubs). The way they advertise themselves is through free booze. Even school functions put on by the university faculty will include free booze. Seeing loads of drunk Britons on the street on weekend nights is the norm, and no longer phases me. I think a lot of foreigners are really surprised at first by British students' (or people in general) intake of alcoholic beverages. If you are an American student, you will probably be surprised by the amount of beer you yourself are consuming on a weekly basis compared to before. It is really....quite funny.


Reverse culture shock: Haven't been back to California yet, but I can already imagine that I will be a bit disappointed when I can't "pop down to the pub with my mates" as often as I do here. It will also probably be weird to not see as many drunk people in public anymore. Ahh...and getting used to the Berkeley workload again....that should be interesting. I find British universities quite lax in comparison with the UCs.


How to meet "locals": The best way to meet locals is to either live with them or join loads of clubs. I have met most of my friends through either my residence halls or classes, but I would say that most foreign students who want to meet locals do so by joining clubs or societies. That's where all the socializing takes place.


Language skills: The funny thing is that in Scotland, they do speak English......but Glaswegian accents are so incomprehensible, that they might as well be speaking a different language. There have been some awkward conversations in the beginning of the year only because I was not used to hearing certain Scottish accents (some are easy to understand and some are a bit harder). I would have to say that the local Glaswegian accent is still for the most part, incomprehensible to me. Luckily, most Scottish students do not speak with Glaswegian accents even if they are from Glasgow.


Really interesting courses: I found my Internationalization & International Market Entry class quite stimulating because it was small and had students from everywhere......Scotland, Finland, Germany, U.S., Denmark, Nigeria. It was also a pretty good mixture of lecture + discussion (unlike many British classes where the students pretty much do not speak in class). I thought it was very interesting to hear the perspectives of and debate with people from different types of backgrounds. British universities are very different from Berkeley in the sense that you don't really get homework or midterms, and a lot of the studying is independent studying. The professor does not outline work for you to do....basically, what you put into the class is what you will get out of it. The courses require a lot of independent organization.


Housing suggestions: At Glasgow, the university accommodation is quite good & cheaper than in Berkeley. I am living in Wolfson hall, and I have my own room with my own toilet facilities, which is really good. However, a lot of the people living in Wolfson are all freshers.....so 17-19 years old. Plus, the hall is 45 minute walk or a half an hour bus ride from campus. Getting to the main campus is quite annoying. Kelvinhaugh Street is where all the international students live. There, they have older students from all around Europe, and it is flat-style, so you are sharing a flat with 5 other people. Kelvinhaugh gate has really nice facilities and is full of graduate students (however, that makes it rather hard to get). Both Kelvinhaugh facilities are a 15 min walk from campus. Queen Margaret is also flat-based, and has more first-year students. It's a 20 minute walk from campus, and has very good facilities.

EAP UK Glasgow, Scotland

What to bring
"Really, don't bring much with you. You'll hate yourself when you have to carry four bags full of momentos, hair dryers, CDs, computers, etc.! This experience will teach you how to simplify your life by bringing only the essentials--no more than two bags and a carry-on...Don't buy too many clothes prior to going away. You will definitely want to adapt your style so as to fit in better (most of Europe is much dressier and stylish than America)." (1997-1998)


What not to bring
"Laptops, CDs, hairdryers, too many shoes, and don't bring too many very American things." (1997-1998)


Places to visit
"London, Glasgow, Florence, Rome, Barcelona, and Croatia were my absolute favorites." (1997-1998)


Culture shock
"Culture shock is tricky because you never realize that you are experiencing it. However, the culture shock that my foreign friends and I experienced was manifested in the incessant comparisons we made between Scotland and America. Be wary of starting too many sentences with, "Well, in America we do this..." or "They do such and such weird here...." Of course it is natural to compare the cultures, but I found that by the third month, the foreigners and the natives were sick of such comparative conversations. You will engage in them, it's inevitable, but try to let yourself get absorbed in the culture rather than stand analytically apart from it." (1997-1998)


Reverse culture shock
"Many people develop a severe distaste for America while abroad--it's an easy thing to do when most of the world continuously attacks every bit of our culture. Yet, I developed an appreciation for aspects of America that I had overlooked because I was always so skeptical of it. For me, the biggest shock was returning to my hometown with my old friends and family and finding it all so utterly unchanged. A year abroad will alter you, whether you realize it or not. So, to return to a life where people still act and do things in their old habitual ways was rather frightening to me. I had a hard time not regarding my old life as quite stale. I also had a hard time interacting with old friends because I felt so different, but speaking with them was forcing me to be my old self rather than my new self. Yet, no worries. You will deal with such issues as they arise and from them you will continue to learn about yourself and the world around you." (1997-1998)


How to meet "locals"
"Live in a dorm or residence hall situation. It is inevitable that you will find good mates when living with so many people, though perhaps they will be younger than you." (1997-1998)


Really interesting courses
"If planning to travel around Europe, take Art History courses (Renaissance, 19th Century) and perhaps a European History class. Everything will make so much more sense if you do." (1997-1998)


Other comments
"With no hesitation, I absolutely recommend that everyone study abroad. You will learn more about yourself and the world than you ever could by staying around for a third year in Berkeley. Perhaps you won't think that you are having the best year of your life while living it abroad. But, let me just say that all the people who have returned from studying abroad have been altered in positive ways. We all feel so much happier in this world because we were able to see a different way of life and encounter different meanings for living. We all are more confident and relaxed. A few didn't come back and many others have plans to go back. I understand it is difficult to abandon your life here, to disrupt the continuity and leave this time and place. But in the longer scheme of your life, leaving this moment behind in order to challenge your entire self will undoubtedly benefit your whole being." (1997-1998).



EAP UK, University of Warwick, England


General comments about study abroad and your particular program
-I went to University of Warwick, England through Butler University's IFSA program in the fall. The program ran smoothly, but make sure to check that you are taking enough units since they use a different system over there.


What to bring
-Very warm coats, chapstick, scarves, gloves, boots, a strong umbrella, a laptop and a laptop lock. Be prepared to spend a lot of money there. Things are more expensive in general, especially transportation if you want to travel around the UK and the rest of the europe.


What not to bring
-Californian summer clothes.


Where to eat
-london is well known for its Indian food, so be sure to try a couple of Indian cuisines. Also, try the traditional fish and chips.


Places to visit
London!! Stonehenge, Cambridge, Oxford, Stratford-upon-Avon.


Culture shock
-It was hard for me to adjust since there are hardly any Asians in England in general. Their Chinatown is like 3 blocks long, which is tiny compared to San Francisco's.


Reverse culture shock
-coming back was wonderful!! i really had no "problem" adjusting to coming back, in fact i was very happy to see my family and friends again. you really don' t know what you have till it's gone!


How to meet "locals"
-go out to clubs and pubs. my university had a student union that had events every night. if you play a sport, join a team because they aren't very competitive so basically everyone can be a part of it. make friends with people in your housing unit. i met a lot of really cool locals just by hanging out in the kitchen and hallways.


Language skills
-since they speak english, students shouldn't have a problem. however, there was a ton of brittish slang that i had to catch on to, so watch out for that.


Really interesting courses
-i took a lot of management courses that I really enjoyed.


Housing suggestions
-Live on campus!! I was lucky enough to have my own room with my own bathroom included.


Other comments
-studying abroad is such a life-changing experience. it really puts things in perspective. the best thing about it is that it throws you out of your comfort zone. it's hard starting over in a new place, having to get along with different people. there were times where i was lonely and frustrated, but i have learned more about myself in these past 4 months than i have in the last 3 years.

---


What to bring
"Rain boots, sleeping bag, a couple of little black dresses, warm coat, swimsuit, plug converters, lots of money, and expectation of fun." (1998-1999)


What not to bring
"Lot of summer clothes--not too many sunny days, expectations of fun in the sun, electric equipment, housewares." (1998-1999)


Where to eat
"University: Union--crummy but cheap and cheery, Arts Centre--better but also costs a bit more, Xanana's--nice and intimate and not too expensive, also bar and cafe, New Varsity--just ten minutes walk on Gibbet Hill, decent bar food and good atmosphere for not too much money; Coventry: Brown's--right in the city centre and good pub food, Dragon-Phoenix--near city centre and good Chinese buffet, Old Clarence--eccentric pub in Earlsdon that serves Oriental food along with fish-n-chips and does special nights and charity shows and pub quizzes, Bistro Italiano--Central Earlsdon, slightly posh but quite nice food; Leamington: Sache's--nice place for a good meal (~£20-30/person with wine) and live jazz band/singer, Cafe Rouge--very hip and posh place, really good food but a bit pricey, Basement restaurant--best deal I found in Leam, take a right at the crummy chip shop across from the Parish Church down the Parade, about a block or two up and go down a flight of stairs, great food at only about £10/person; Kenilworth--must visit, really good restaurants in city centre: Restaurant Francais--family restaurant with only four tables so the food is really exquisite but also expensive, intimate place good for a date, the Italian restaurant next door is also really good (I forgot the name), Pizza-e-pasta: a block down and a lot cheaper but still pretty good food and pretty nice atmosphere." (1998-1999)


Places to visit
"Near by the university: Warwick castle, Kenilworth castle, Stratford-upon-Avon, drive down Kenilworth road (the queen's favorite road); further: Cambridge, Nottingham, Cardiff (great weekend trip), Southampton/Portsmouth (inhabitants of both cities rival each other and call each other scummers, never say you're from the other city when in one of them) and to Scotland if you've time--Sutherlands is absolutely gorgeous all year round even though hostels only run during the summer, be in Edinburgh for Hogmany (new year), cheap and cheery places to stay in Inverness, which is a really good place to station yourself for day trips out to Loch Ness and Costal attractions, go out to Orkney islands if you've time, really beautiful place; Ireland--Dublin is a smallish but beautifully architectured city, lots of history and fables and listen to the Gaelic spoken occasionally in pubs, really nice people as well. Nightclubs: Gatecrasher (if you can get in), God's Kitchen in Birmingham, Mr. G's in Coventry, Atomic Jam (techno nights at various places), the Planet in Coventry for a cheap night out, or the union which is quite good and occasionally draws some big names, Cream in Liverpool (occasionally in London as well), essentially buy a music magazine (e.g. Mixmag) which will tell you everything you need to know to plan ahead." (1998-1999)


Culture shock
"First year students of most majors need to only pass the year, so their grades don't count and so they're drunk and loud all the time; linguistic mixups: garters are called suspenders, and suspenders are called braces, sidewalks are called pavements, college refers to high school-level occupational institutions and is not synonymous with University, moms are mums, and English girls tell their moms everything, EVERYTHING! Reverse culture shock: I think I'm going to miss football (soccer)." (1998-1999)


How to meet "locals"
"Go out for a drink, establish a link with someone and network through them and be witty; be nice but do not be eager--they'll turn away; need to give them lots of time to get used to you before they can be on intimate terms--the culture is very very cliquey on top of being somewhat reserved (except Friday and Saturday nights). Freshers are really nice and easy to get along since they're on the same level as you but finalists are a tough cookie--they're worth your effort though, because they're brilliant when they finally let you into their group, provided that you never let your efforts show. Joining sports and societies is also a good way to meet people, though again the fresher/finalist difference is very obvious." (1998-1999)


Language skills
"Not too much trouble, most of them think the American accent is amusing and will tell you the correct way to say things in a nice way; lots of Europeans here provide rich ground for getting to know them: Dutch people speak excellent English and are really funny but they're a bit reserved so it takes some time to get to know them, Germans are quite nice people, most of them tend to cluster together and speak German, but there are quite a few who speak really good English and are very very funny and nice, the French usually speak terrible English, so a bit of French knowledge is essential if you expect some communication, Scandinavian people speak very good English (shocker) and are the most gregarious of the European lot (another shocker), but they'll out drink you any day, lots and lots of Greeks here but they tend to cluster and the culture is quite chauvinistic." (1998-1999)


Really interesting courses
"The English courses here are just fantastic, so much that I've audited a course just for the fun of it, also heard that the Creative Writing courses are brilliant; the business school is really good, and my Marketing course was very interesting as well as rewarding." (1998-1999)


Housing suggestions
"If you're willing to share and willing to move out for vacations, then take Benefactor's hall, big gigantic windows, gorgeous view and very spacious rooms-doubles; Arther Vick halls offer en-suite bathrooms and has matching furniture and wide hallways; Rootes is not too bad but full of freshers which could potentially be a nightmare during exam times; Tocil flats is a great choice, a bit dormitory like, small rooms, but really good location and a good mixture of residents; Hurst flats tend to be a bit cramped, very small rooms, but the atmosphere is very intimate since there's only six persons to a flat, all finalists, which may or may not be a good thing; Claycroft rooms are spacious, the public spaces are spacious as well and it's next to Tesco's (the big grocery store nearby) but it houses mostly graduate students and married students." (1998-1999)


Other comments
"The English people are reserved on surface, but that means they're actually more intense people on the inside, which tends to come out when they're a bit drunk, then they're the most wittiest people in the world; intimate relationships are well maintained and very intense, in direct opposite to the rather cool disposition that is shown to strangers and acquaintances. Courses here are very well organized, but the grading system is quite stiff." (1998-1999)