Dr. Pradip Majumdar, Department Chair
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Studying abroad in China was one of the most memorable parts of my undergraduateexperience at NIU. We learned not only about mobile robots and China's role in globalmanufacturing, but also about the differences and similarities between life in the United States and China. Every minute of our time in China was an important learning experience, from dinner etiquette, to shopping at the local stores, to trying to communicate with the locals. This was the opportunity of a lifetime, and I'm glad to have taken part in it.
Kevin Manktelow, graduated in summer 2009, currently a graduate student at George Tech.
"This study abroad program is an amazing educational experience, but it provides an evengreater cultural experience. Over the course of the trip, I naturally learned about China and its rich history, but I also learned so much about the United States, the world as a whole, and about myself. This truly is an invaluable experience, and I would highly recommend it to any student wishing to widen his/her horizons."
Thanks again for a wonderful time in China!
Kasey Klaisner, mechanical engineering senior
From an anonymous student survey:
18. What cultural and social adjustments did you have to make when you arrived in the host country? If relevant, please comment on your experiences with diversity issues in your host culture.
Socially, we all had to learn how to deal with the fact that we were practically rock stars because we were Americans. Most people had never seen a "real-live" white person or black person.
24. Please add comments on housing if you wish.
Our accommodations were excellent, and we were treated like Kings and Queens. Internet was not always available where we stayed, which was disappointing sometimes; but in a developing country it is to be expected. The same goes for electricity.
26. What did you spend the most money on while you were abroad - not counting extended travel?
I spent well under $750 in question 25. $200 would have been more than enough for me. $500 was the most anybody spent in 3 weeks. Most money was spent on souvenirs, as food and excursions were all paid for in the program cost.
32. Would you encourage other students to enroll in this program?
It was well worth the money, and while it was a school program, it was also very fun and there was a lot of time for cultural visits, tours, etc.
This program, although in its infancy, is a great opportunity for students to earn credit while expanding their horizons. It was truly an eye opening experience to see how students in other countries live and spend their time --- often quite different than in the United States. The classes were appropriate and the visits to the Universities and Companies were usually very fascinating.