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China Immersion trip makes impact on student's life

| Carrie Ottum

Being immersed in a different culture, traveling to the other side of the world, learning about more about herself are a few of the reasons Riley Haight chose to take the opportunity to study aboard.  Little did she know she would discover young adults, no matter where they are in the world, can have comparable experiences.     

Carrie Ottum, College of Business Outreach Program Manager, spoke with Riley Haight, a senior Business Economics major from Portage, WI, about the impact the China Globalization Immersion experience made on her life in only three weeks.  

CO: What attracted you to the Globalization in China immersion experience?
RH: I was mostly attracted to the opportunity to travel to the other side of the world and experience a very different culture.

CO: Have you had previous experience traveling internationally and navigating other cultures?
RH: When I signed up for this trip, I had been to a few other countries other than America.  With that being said, most of those trips were vacations meaning we really didn’t get to experience the local people outside of the resorts.

CO: What experiences or interactions in China had the greatest impact on you?
RH: The most impactful experiences and interactions in China that had the greatest impact were the relationships that I made with the students that we studied alongside. It is rare to find an opportunity where you get to really immerse yourself into a completely different culture and work closely with people who are more alike to you than you think.

CO: Did your time in China change you or change how you think about the world?
RH: After studying in China I realized the world is a lot smaller than it is made out to be. People all around the world have had similar experiences and there’s always something about others that you can relate to.

CO: How has this experience enhanced your college experience?
RH: This experience has enhanced own understanding of myself. It also taught me how to communicate more effectively with others.

CO: Thank you, Riley, for taking the time to share your experience.  What final piece of advice would you give other students who are considering a study aboard opportunity?
RH: Just do it. There is nothing more enlightening and refreshing. UWEC makes it really easy to take part in studying abroad and it is the best way to learn more about yourself and the world.

Globalization in China Immersion Experience
Tom Sulzer, Information Systems, and Dr. Longzhu Dong, Management and Marketing, will be leading the three-week trip to explore to the business culture of China at Jinan University, Zhuhai campus, May 26-June 12, 2020. A combination of pre-departure lessons, on-site lectures, and tours of important business and cultural sites will give you an overview of China today.

You will experience the language, culture, food, and business etiquette while in Guangdong and Hong Kong. The main part of the program will be held at Jinan University-Zhuhai campus, located on the southern coast of China on the Pearl River Delta. The location of Zhuhai, along with the deep-water port makes it a major attraction for foreign capital. There will be business and cultural visits in Zhuhai and its surrounding area. In addition to ten days in Zhuhai there will be a three-day guided visit to businesses and historical sites in Hong Kong.

While in China, you will be paired with a Chinese "buddy" who will help you navigate Chinese culture outside of the formal framework of the program. Past students rated spending time with their buddies as one of the highlights of the experience.

Applications are being accepted now until the trip reaches the minimum number of students.  

Who should attend. The program is open to undergraduate students with at least sophomore standing by the start of the program, and graduate students. The associate course for the immersion is INTB 362/562, which satisfies three credits of the university's GE III, R2 of the LE requirements, and the university's service-learning and foreign culture requirements. Eligibility requirements include at least a cumulative GPA of 2.6, good academic standing, and completion of ECON 103 or 104.

Costs. Total estimated undergraduate cost: $2,253. This program is approved for FLIIE Blugold Commitment funding in the amount of $1500.  This means, that instead of a program fee of $2650 which covers all lodging, transport, and activities while in China, the new cost will be $1,150. This brings the full estimated cost of participation in the program to $4376.00 (this includes the three-credit course registration). Scholarships are available to high achieving students (3.0 GPA or higher) with high financial need. Preference is given to students with a multi-ethnic background. The scholarship offered through the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU). Scholarship application instructions will be sent to students once they have been accepted into the program.  View detailed cost information.

Total estimated graduate cost: $6232.00 View detailed cost information

Other information. In preparation for this study abroad experience, you will participate in 15 hours of a pre-program introduction during the spring 2020 semester.

For more information. Contact Tom Sulzer, Dr. Longzhu Dong, or Dr. Jeff DeGrave, UW-Eau Claire Intercultural Immersion coordinator, UW-Eau Claire Academic Affairs. Visit the program's website.