Study Abroad students gain cultural and business values in China

Every summer several Nicholls students experience the chance to learn about the cultural and business aspects overseas.

Students who participate in the annual College of Business Administration Summer Study Abroad Program in China develop skills that help help inside and out of the meeting room. Since 2009, Nicholls students have been given the opportunity experience professional and cultural growth once each summer, while earning credit hours towards their academic degree.

This summer, Nicholls’ students attended the seventh trip to China in late May. There were 12 students and faculty members from Nicholls that attended the 10 day journey. Dr. En Mao, Associate Professor of Computer Information Systems, has been the program coordinator since starting the abroad program.

“The trip is a very unique experience in several different ways,” Mao said.

“The trips are packed with daily activities that last from 9 in the morning to 9 night.”

Abroad trips to China are not permitted to only students who attend Nicholls. Other schools and community members have also tagged along on trips over the years.

“Some years in the past we had a couple of retired people and siblings of students who have participated.” Mao said. “We’ve had students come with us from different schools such as McNeese, Southeastern and LSU.”

China’s business life makes for a popular destination for any student wanting to gain firsthand experience in understanding business from a global perspective. China is the world’s second largest economy and one of the fastest growing superpowers. The country is the fastest growing telecommunications market and is also the United States’ largest trading partner. Being well rounded in multiple platforms is the focal point for the abroad trip. Developing different skills, both in America and in different countries, enable business students to compete more effectively in today’s global economy.

Students get the chance to sit amongst several different business companies. The knowledge gained from the many entrepreneurship markets provides a better insight into business. Once Nicholls students go abroad, they learn about U.S.-China business relations and how it impacts cooperation and globalization. The business visits include multiple companies such the U.S. Commercial Service Office in Shanghai and Beijing Hyundai.

The cultural immersion during the trip is what many of the students gained the most knowledge from. Members who attended the trip this summer attended excursions to Hu Tong, the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, the Great Wall, and the site of the Terracotta Warriors just to name a few. The cultural aspects of the trip helped the group members gain a deeper connection between cultural and economic strengths. One thing students from a Louisiana know how to make a connection with is food.

“Trust me students learn to use chopsticks correctly, every single one of them,” Mao said jokingly. “I tell them you just have to learn, so by the second or third day everyone is using them.”