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Business students return from China with valuable global knowledge

August 7, 2009

Business students and faculty at the Temple of Heaven in Beijing. Photo courtesy of Brian Danos.

Business students from Loyola University New Orleans are back on American soil after an intensive three-week study-abroad program in China. Loyola teamed up with the Beijing Center for Chinese Studies to offer the program for undergraduate and graduate students within the College of Business.

Students who took preparation classes on Loyola’s campus last spring traveled to China on July 3. While there, they studied contemporary Chinese history, culture and business in Beijing, Xi’an and Shanghai. Professor Wing Fok, Ph.D., the Henry J. Engler Jr., Distinguished Professor in Management, led the program and taught international business practices in China. Lee Yao, Ph.D., the J.A. Butt, S.J., Distinguished Professor in Accounting, taught international accounting. During the trip, MBA students took on extra research projects for graduate credit.

While in Beijing, students visited the Great Wall, the old and present Summer Palace and the Forbidden City as a supplement to their studies. In Shanghai, they visited the famous Water Town Shanghai History Museum. In Xi’an, they saw the Big Mosque, the Terracotta Warriors and the Big Goose Pagoda. Fok said balancing academics with culture is vital to the program.

“This program gives our students an excellent opportunity to be totally immersed in the Chinese culture for three weeks,” Fok said. “It also gives our students the chance to observe firsthand why China has so quickly become a new economic powerhouse. Prior attendees consistently commented that it was an eye-opening and once-in-a-lifetime experience for them.”

Two MBA students who participated in the program agree.

“Western media depict China as a unified communist state bristling to dominate this new century,” said Brian Danos. “However, when you visit the Middle Kingdom you do not find one cohesive China, but many Chinas all uniquely blazing a path between the appearance of socialism and street-level 'hypercapitalism'.”

“This trip to China really opened my eyes to the intricacies of this global economy,” Stephanie Hotard said. “It’s a perspective that you have to experience; you can’t just be taught. The program has been an invaluable piece of my education at Loyola University New Orleans.”

Fok said the College of Business is planning to create a similar program for business executives in the future.

For more information on this program or other study abroad opportunities, visit the Loyola University Study Abroad Web site or contact Director of International Education Debra Danna at 504-864-7550 or by e-mail at danna@loyno.edu. For more information on the College of Business, contact Catherine Koppel in the Office of Public Affairs at 504-861-5448 or by e-mail at ckoppel@loyno.edu.

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Loyola at a Glance is written and distributed for the faculty, staff, students and friends of Loyola University New Orleans. It is published by the Office of Public Affairs, Greenville Hall, Box 909, 7214 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70118. (504) 861-5888.

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