I went to China with the GIEU program through U of M. I heard about GIEU through various e-mails and decided to look into it and other study abroad options by contacting Sandra Wiley. I chose the GIEU because I didn't have a particular place in mind to go and there were many options within the program.
I didn't take any courses before hand, but GIEU gives 2 credits for the study abroad experience. It is listed as course UC 275.
Luckily we stayed with English majoring Chinese students who spoke English very well. Therefore it wasn't necessary to speak Chinese. I learned some basic Chinese such as Hi, very good, thank you, you're welcome, etc.
Would you recommend this program? :
I would definitely recommend GIEU. I wish I would have been involved every year I was in school. The cost of the program is $1,400 plus airfare and spending money. However, you are hired as an intern through the University so you are paid for your time abroad. I received around $1,000 for three weeks in China. Plus, along with learning and taking classes, we did a lot of sight-seeing.
Be extremely open-minded when going to another country. Expect things to be different and be willing to adjust yourself accordingly.
Will this help you in your profession?:
I am actually considering going to graduate school outside of the United States now. Because I am not fluent in any forgien language I would have to go to an English-speaking country.
Just a lot of thanks to Sandra Wiley who helped me in my decision to go abroad. And to the department of Kinesiology for giving me a scholarship and making it more affordable for me to have this experience.