9 weeks of only studying Chinese in Beijing is pretty long. Some of my friends are already missing home and lives in their home countries. I think there are certain conditions for students to enjoy the environment here and make the most of HBA.
If you are only interested in studying Chinese language, or getting extra language credits, HBA is not the right choice. Getting a good grade at HBA is not difficult; you do not have to study much. This situation means that you have a lot of free time. If you do not have much interest in learning about Chinese culture and visiting various tourist sites, you'd be bored. You could go to bars everynight if you want, but what's the point of going to places where only foreigners go and drinking like American college students in Beijing?
If you haven't been in an environment in which you always have to use your second/third language, HBA could be a hard experience. I think most of the students often use English when teachers are not around now. Still, many are tired of using Chinese. I had a similar experience when I was at Yale with English, but there was almost no way I could use Japanese in my daily life. Thus, I have no problem with only using Chinese here (I often use Japanese to talk with other Japanese students though).
↓三里屯: Most of the students go to bars there. You can enjoy shopping in a daytime.