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Elon business students gain immersive experience in Shanghai

Through the LSB Center Abroad in China, students completed a semester abroad, taking business courses and completing an internship while living at East China Normal University.

Eight Martha and Spencer Love School of Business students spent the fall 2016 semester living, studying and working in Shanghai, China. The study abroad opportunity was coordinated through the LSB Center Abroad in China.

Elon and ECNU students explore Huangshan, a mountain range in Eastern China.

The Martha and Spencer Love School of Business, in partnership with the Isabella Cannon Global Education Center, East China Normal University (ECNU) and the Council on International Education and Exchange, launched the LSB Center Abroad in September 2015. The center offers Elon undergraduate students a semester-long study abroad opportunity to take business courses and complete an internship while staying at ECNU.

"Having the opportunity to go outside of my comfort zone to both study and travel around Asia with a group of people I was not previously familiar with allowed me to branch out socially and academically in order to gain a truly immersive experience in a foreign country,” said Kaitlyn McDonnell ‘18, a finance major from Morris Plains, New Jersey. “I was lucky enough to meet such inspiring people through my daily life in China, whether it be through work events, school-led activities or travel excursions. I truly believe this experience gave me a better perspective on the world and a glimpse into the way the Chinese live."

In addition to courses about the business and culture of China, the students, seven juniors and one senior, took Love School of Business core courses, such as “Principles of Finance,” “Principles of Marketing” and “Principles of Management,” as well as one elective course – “International Relations,” “Modern Chinese History,” “Communicative Chinese,” “Individual Income Taxation” or “China's Macroeconomic Impact.”

The courses were taught by Susan Anderson, professor of accounting at Elon University and the center's faculty-in-residence, as well as by ECNU faculty.

Beyond the classroom, students participated in study tours. They traveled to Thailand to see The Grand Palace in Bangkok, the Vegetarian Festival in Phuket, and the beaches on Phi Phi Island. They also visited the Hong Kong Exchange and a variety of businesses, including Coca-Cola, Culp Fabrics and Baosteel.

Students gained exposure to an international workplace by completing internships with 17 MengShare, Linsey, YiYe Business Marketing Advertising, Golden Tiger Trading Company, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Lizzy’s All Natural and Ruder Finn.

“Through the program, the Elon students have made Chinese friends and learned about the Chinese culture and business environment,” Anderson said. “They have gained an appreciation of all that we (Americans) have in common with the Chinese, which will help build bridges between the two countries in the future.”

Anderson’s advice for students who are thinking about participating in the program next year: “Take Chinese if you can, and be flexible and open to new experiences.”

Nicole Filippo,
1/31/2017 8:40 PM