Students Travel Overseas for Experiential Learning of Chinese Culture
Fourteen students were immersed into the Chinese culture through a summer education abroad program offered through the Department of Management. As part of the international business specialization, students enrolled in Management 4390 (Regional Issues in International Business) didn’t just read about Chinese culture in a textbook, they lived it.
Each May, Dr. Man Zhang, associate professor, takes a group of students to Xi’an and Beijing to obtain an up-close perspective on the businesses and culture of China. Funding for the trip comes in part from generous scholarships from BGSU alumnus, Mike Hoskins.
Studying abroad has a significant impact on the students who participate. Nick Elsass, a business student specializing in both accounting and finance, explains how his study abroad experience impacted him. “Choosing to study abroad in Xi’an and Beijing, China, was a massive step forward out of my comfort zone, but it turned into one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Not only did I not know anyone traveling alongside me, but this was also my first time out of the country. The strangers I left with came back as lifelong friends that helped me make lasting memories I will always cherish.”
He adds, “I was able to make friends in Xi’an which allows me to have an international connection. They helped me learn more about the language, culture, and all-around lifestyle of the Chinese people. The experiences I gained in China will not only benefit my professional career, but my personal life and my appreciation for the Chinese culture.”
Another BGSU student, Rachel Wingate, also found her experience valuable and for a different reason. She returned to the country where she was adopted from. Wingate states, “I cannot put into words how grateful I am to have the chance to go back to where I was adopted from. I am leaving with so much knowledge about my culture and much more. I learned how the globalization of the business community is dependent on understanding local culture. We stayed at a University and took many Chinese cultural classes, visited museums, and ate lots of authentic food.”
As part of the class, student blogs were created. Here are four examples of student blogs that captured their life-changing experiences.