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College of Business’ New Experiential Programs Advance FSU’s International Education Efforts in China
04/06/2012

College of Business’ New Experiential Programs Advance FSU’s International Education Efforts in China
The Changsha, China, locale
Thanks to the diligent efforts of professors at Frostburg State University, the Center for International Education and FSU’s partners overseas, the University’s College of Business is expanding study abroad opportunities in China for students.

“In a tribute to Confucius, who once articulated, ‘I hear, I forget; I see, I remember; I do, I understand,’ we intend for this to be an indelible education, a transformative ‘voyage of discovery’ for our participating students,” said Dr. Sudhir Singh, associate dean of the College of Business. “As employment prospects for graduates continue to remain uncertain, students should be looking to include experiences on their resume that distinguish them in the employment marketplace. A study abroad experience in China is, in some ways, the equalizer that will make our students very competitive with their counterparts from the larger institutions for employment in larger multinational organizations in the for-profit, nonprofit, governmental or NGO sectors that they might initially have even shied away from.”

Three new study abroad programs offered through FSU’s College of Business will make it possible for students to experience and study the vibrant culture of a country many people increasingly see as one of the most important players in the global marketplace.

From May 20 through June 2, 12 FSU students will travel to Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou and Xi’an, as part of their enrollment in two new courses: IDIS 350 China in the 21st Century and MGMT 490 Special Topics in Business Administration-Management. The two-week international trip is complemented by online coursework. Led by Dr. Yan Bao, associate professor in FSU’s Department of Accounting, and Dr. Lilly Ye, assistant professor in the Department of Marketing and Finance, the program will give students insights into China’s economy and business practices, with visits to factories, the Shanghai Stock Exchange and cultural destinations, as well as meetings with Chinese executives and Chinese college student peers at FSU’s partner institutions.

“We will have very special visits to places not regularly accessible to travel agencies,” Bao said, noting that her connections and Ye’s in their native country have led to some unique activities. For example, while in Beijing, the classes will get to talk to top business leaders at the hotel where they will be staying, and learn about the management’s design of the hotel and marketing and business practices in running it. FSU’s students will also be able to visit a notable brokerage firm in Beijing, thanks to a contact there.

Frostburg’s MBA program is also kicking off an international experience in China on May 31 that runs through June 15, with six students traveling to Beijing and Changsha for two weeks and then completing 12 weeks of online coursework. MBA students may opt to enroll in two capstone courses, MGMT 680 Strategic Integration and MGMT 690 Strategic Change Management, or take MGMT 699 Individual Research in Management. Dr. Thomas Sigerstad, associate professor in FSU’s Department of Management, who is leading the trip, says it will give MBA student teams who are required to study certain industries a unique research opportunity.

“Some of them will be in the States doing research, while others will be on the China trip. They’ll be the people on the ground studying that portion of the industry there, doing field trips and visiting aluminum factories, equipment manufacturers and rice milling,” he said. “When students get done, they’ll have a 100-page single-spaced report to wave around in interviews and say, ‘I studied in the fastest-growing country in the world.’”

Finally, the College of Business is also kicking off a semester-long study abroad program this fall at Hunan Normal University (HNU), FSU’s partner institution in Changsha. Three faculty members from the College of Business will teach one course each, over three non-overlapping, five-week, accelerated sessions to span the 15-week semester. The semester also includes a three-credit Chinese Culture and Business Communication course taught by an HNU faculty member. The College of Business is actively seeking students interested in taking advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime international study experience.

Financial aid is available to students interested in taking advantage of the College of Business’ programs in China.

“We are doing our best to ensure that the cost of a study abroad experience is not prohibitive to the interested student. Toward that end, we are exploring ways in which such costs remain comparable to a stateside experience; wherever possible, we will seek ways to defray costs through scholarships and other funding sources,” Singh said.

“In unfurling this effort, we have great optimism about the educational value of these experiences. … We hope that in two to three years, study abroad in China and other countries will be institutionalized within the College of Business’ educational culture and, who knows, students and their parents will elect to come to FSU’s College of Business because of its particularly successful global learning opportunities.”

To learn more about the College of Business’ efforts in China and for more information on how to enroll in their fall semester there, contact Singh at 301-687-4093 or email ssingh@frostburg.edu. For more information on FSU’s study abroad opportunities and focus on international education, visit www.frostburg.edu/admin/cie.

Situated in the mountains of Allegany County, Frostburg State University is one of the 12 institutions of the University System of Maryland. FSU is a comprehensive, residential regional university and serves as an educational and cultural center for Western Maryland. For more information, visit www.frostburg.edu or facebook.com/frostburgstateuniversity. -end-

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