By Samantha Savaglio
The UW-Parkside Department of Business traveled with students, faculty, and staff to China in May 2012, exploring the culture through business information sessions, corporate interactions, historical monuments, and a trip to Hong Kong Disney!
Through the College of Business, Economics, and Computing's Global Education Center, the group was able to visit a variety of cities. Trips included Beijing, the metropolitan capital of China; Hong Kong, known as "Asia's World City;" and Shenzhen, a prominent Special Economic Zone of the country.
This was the second trip to China for the department with the first taking place in 2010. Both were deemed incredibly successful.
The trip was coordinated by faculty members Professors Jamie Wang, director of the Global Education Center, and Michele Gee, chair of the Department of Business, and Dr. Consuelo Clemens, associate director of International Studies.
Students studied Chinese culture and business at Beijing Information Science and Technology University (BISTU) while being housed on campus. Outside of the classroom, students visited several corporations, allowing them the experience of professionally interacting with the culture.
Student Sierra West speaks on how influential the trip was to her both personally and professionally.
"It gave me a new breadth of experiences to learn from and to share as well as global perspective," she says.
The Forbidden City, the Summer Palace, the major 798 Art District, the Temple of Heaven, Peking Opera, the National Stadium (the Olympic "Bird's Nest"), the National Aquatic Center (the Water Cube), the Mansion of Prince Gong, and major shopping areas including Wangfujing Street, the Hongqiao Market, and Silk Street were highlights.
West recalls climbing The Great Wall as one of the most inspirational and exciting activities of the trip.
"I have never been more blown away at a sight in my life," she says.
BISTU also provided a valuable experience for Prof. Wang and Dr. Clemens, who spoke with BISTU students about studying abroad at UW-Parkside. As part of the successful exchange agreement with BISTU, Chinese students enroll here in undergraduate business, economics, and computer science majors. Also, masters programs are offered, including the Master of Business Administration and Master of Science in Computer Information Systems.
"Universities make it so easy for you to find ways to get abroad while you are in school, so take advantage of the resources that are there for you," Dr. Clemens urges.
Her advice to students traveling abroad?
"You can sleep when you are on the plane on your way home! Take advantage of every opportunity while you are there." She continues, "Do not hesitate to try a new experience or fill up your entire day with activities during your trip."As a graduate student, West is a prime candidate in today's job market. "I had an employer ask me about the trip, because they were strongly considering candidates with international experiences over those who did not," she informs.