Thursday, September 4, 2014

Learning Outside of the Classrom: Gabelli Study Tour to Beijing

I went to China this Summer!
Two days into the fall semester of my junior year, it's hard to believe that I'm already  halfway done with my Fordham experience. It seems like the time is just flying by, which is how most students feel. The time flies, though, because Fordham students are always busy!  Being in NYC, it is very difficult to not be busy since there is simply so much to do both on campus and off of campus.

One of my favorite opportunities that I have had the privilege to have at Fordham is to travel the world. I love taking advantage of Fordham's Study Tours, which are mini Study Abroad opportunities that typically last 10-14 days and go absolutely anywhere in the world.

This Summer, I went on a Gabelli Study Tour to China with a group of about 40 students to experience first-hand the Chinese business culture. Right after finals, I packed my things and got on the longest flight of my life from NYC to Beijing. While I do not consider myself to be a couch potato, I certainly watched more than my fair share of movies on that flight. 

We all visited the Forbidden City together
Beijing was such an amazing opportunity. While we were there, we attended lectures at a local university to learn more about China's history, culture, and economy. It was fascinating to learn directly from Chinese scholars, who give such a different perspective than what I was used to hearing from American professors. These lectures really made me realize how different cultures can view the same events and circumstances completely differently simply because the different cultures have different perspectives.

Corporate Visit to Coca-Cola

We also visited several companies. Some of these companies are very familiar to Americans, such as Coca-Cola and Hyundai. However, we also visited companies that are very familiar to Chinese people, while unfamiliar to Americans, such as Tebian Electric, a major Chinese manufacturer of power transformers and other electronic equipment. We also visited Ricci Cafe, which is a restaurant chain that was created by two Americans who now live and work in various cities in China. Each of these companies was so different from the rest and truly provided invaluable first-hand knowledge and experience of China's business culture. 

Visit to the Great Wall of China
However, we also had plenty of time to become immersed in Beijing outside of our lectures and corporate visits. During my 10 days in Beijing, I ran all over the city to see as much of it as I could. I visited historical sites, bartered in several different markets, and ate so many new things (sometimes things I did not even recognize!). 

It is great to take classes about international business or to read about what it is like to conduct business in another country, but I really recommend actually experiencing first-hand what it is like in those countries. By the time I am a senior, I will have visited London, Paris, Beijing, and Santiago to gain this experience through Fordham's Study Tours. These experiences are helping me to become more conscious of not only American business, but the global business world, which is becoming increasingly more important as businesses all over the globe become more connected to one another.

No comments:

Post a Comment