Review Overall Rating
Language pledge good, classes terrible.
Good: language pledge, chinese roommates
Bad: counterproductive teaching methodology. homework load was meant to be challenging, but it prevented us from a) socializing with chinese people b) seeing Hangzhou. I could have done homework back in the US.
Also bad: unprofessional staff in the stateside office would not give me a "yes" or "no" response about my funding. Horribly unprofessional.
Language teachers, textbook, curriculum is largely ignorant of modern language instruction methods, it's meant to be challenging but it's not smart. I told my teacher I didn't need to know how to say "macrame" or 10 ways to say "however." Important and difficult things, like 了 and 把 were presented one day, in a list of 8 other grammar points, with no significant practice. Awful. Waste of time and money. The worst thing is that I had 5 hours of class, 4 hours of homework, and barely got to see Hangzhou.
It was fine once we got there, but the Stateside office was run by a bunch of kids. I asked repeatedly before the program to tell me about financial aid, they ignored my emails. Either a "yes" or "no" would have made my life easier. Unprofessional. Those people are gone now, and it's a new crew. But it was my experience.
Dorms, bugs in the bathroom. On the plus side; there was AC
The best things about this program are the Chinese roommates and the Language Pledge, which everybody sticks too. I learned a lot that summer, and all from the roommates and language pledge (zero from the terrible classes). The worst thing is that I had 5 hours of class, 4 hours of homework, and barely got to see Hangzhou.