Students explore business and culture in Japan and Hong Kong
As part of a global engagement experience, a group of students traveled to Asia to compare two dynamic cultures and countries that have been in the forefront of economic development since the 1950s.
A dozen Elon students spent the month of June in Asia as part of the course Exploring Business and Culture in Japan and Hong Kong.
Led by Tina Das, Lincoln Financial Professor of Economics, and Mark Kurt, associate professor of economics, the course examined how international trade, business and economic activity influence culture, politics, wealth, and society across this region and the world.
The cohort spent time in Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara, Osaka and Hiroshima, Japan, as well as Hong Kong, China, visiting universities, businesses and cultural sites to study the similarities and differences between Japan and China. Business visits included Li & Fung and VF Corp. in Hong Kong, and Takeda and Coca-Cola Japan in Tokyo.
“[The course] gave as a chance to fully immerse ourselves in foreign cultures that we previously knew very little about,” said accounting major Derek Muller ’21. “There were so many experiences that would last us a lifetime and so many things we learned that you can’t get out of a textbook. The four business trips provided fantastic insight on global business and really gave us a chance to learn how other countries operate in comparison to the U.S.”
The last 11 days of the course were spent at Kansai Gaidai University in Osaka, Japan. The cohort stayed in traditional Japanese student housing and explored Japanese culture with Japanese students from Kansai Gaidai.
They developed their understanding of Japan’s economy and business environment through daily meetings covering case-based topics in international business, economics, intercultural team building, and Japanese art lead by Elon and Kansai Gaidai faculty.
“The month in Hong Kong and Japan was an opportunity for me to explore new cultures, learn about the business world and practices of Asia, and break out of my comfort zone to gain new skills and broaden my horizons,” said marketing major Hannah Rosetti ’20. “The course was full of enriching experiences, blending business and cultural activities that provided the perfect opportunity for us as students to make the most of our time abroad.
"Hong Kong and Japan was one of the best times of my life, and has set me up for success in the future, prepared me for my upcoming semester abroad and allowed me to learn more about who I am outside of the ‘Elon bubble.’”