Here’s my final update on my visit to Beijing for the
International Business Travel Course
to China, which took place this past Spring semester.

Argyros School students at US-China Student Summit

The last portion of the travel course was the
U.S. China Student Summit
. The summit united student delegates from universities throughout America and China to increase relations between the two countries. The program was heavily packed with speaker events, panels, and group activities. Many officials who work closely with China and the U.S. were at the summit.

A speaker who left an impact on me was
Carola McGiffert
, president of the
100,000 Strong Foundation
. She works to “invest in U.S.-China Relations, one student at a time.” The foundation aims to bring American students abroad to study in China. In July of 2014, the foundation reached their goal of having 100,000 American students study abroad in China, but it is good to know that they are not stopping there.

Just from this one travel course, I have realized the immense value and knowledge that comes from studying abroad. I was pleased to learn that there are organizations actively promoting studying abroad for our generation, in an effort to improve our education.

Another portion of the summit was group activities. We were assigned to a group of about 10 students, five from America and five from China. The group activities gave us the opportunity to not only meet Chinese students, but to also learn about the lifestyle in China since we were given the opportunity to ask questions in a casual setting.

There were also many activities hosted by a facilitator. They showed the following two videos, which really made an impression on me while offering a different point of view than I’ve considered.

This National Geographic video leads you to ask so many questions. For example, what does “typical” mean? Do I want to be “typical”? Does knowing the “typical” person impact the way I view the world?

The second video that I really enjoyed was about
Lauren Singer
who strives to live a
Zero Waste Lifestyle
. Her drastic change in lifestyle is almost unbelievable. It helped me relate it to businesses that promote similar lifestyles, as I believe American culture is moving towards a healthier lifestyle and planet. Companies are consistently branding themselves as “eco friendly” or “organic.” After watching the video, I wonder if this movement will become even more apparent in the next few years. Will the new business standards require them to be eco friendly? It will be interesting to see how this progresses in the next few years.


Finally, one of the highlights of this trip was the opportunity to take a picture with
Yao Ming
and sit in on an interview. The respect and love for Yao Ming in this country is unbelievable.

In my college career, I hope to take courses that will help shape my career, as well and myself personally. I am very proud to say that
BUS 494
 has definitely helped accomplish some of this. My interest in international business has been sparked by this course, as well as my interest in traveling. The friendships I’ve made with classmates as well as the professors are undeniably very valuable to me. I hope that I have an experience like this again at Chapman University.