Over Intersession 2015, I-Shen “Kelly” Wu, Ahlers Center Fellow double majoring in International Business and Accounting, studied abroad in Hong Kong. An international student from Taiwan already studying abroad in the United States for her degree, she decided that she wanted to see and experience the cultural uniqueness and financial hub that Hong Kong has to offer. Kelly said, “Before my trip, I made the wrong assumption that there will be few cultural differences between Taiwan and Hong Kong. I went through a culture shock when I experienced the hustle and bustle of metropolitan Hong Kong. The way of life, how people value time and money, and the culture were all so new to me! Even within a similar geographical region, there is a radically different way of doing business and methods of approaching a client.”
Once inside the classroom, her learning continued: “In the three-week long course taught by USD’s Professor Alan Gin, I learned about international trade, investment, and the usage and analysis of foreign exchange rates; I also studied international economic policies and the operations and challenges for multinational enterprises. I was able to conduct a foreign exchange rate analysis and prediction of currency, as well as understand and discuss critical arguments for and against international economic policies within the issues of globalization.”
Besides the academics of the program, the students went on a company visit to a multimillion-dollar department store in Shenzhen, took a comprehensive tour of the city, had excursions to Macau and mainland China, and attended an alumni reception. “One of the highlights of the program was the Hong Kong USD Alumni Reception. Not only did we get to meet USD alumni who are currently working or residing in Hong Kong, we also got to meet other USD MBA and MSRE students who were also studying abroad. It was a great event to socialize with alumni to understand how they ended up in Hong Kong,” said Kelly.
Overall, Kelly’s study abroad experience was eye-opening and extremely beneficial to her future career goals. Kelly reflects, “The experience of the program was incredible. I was fortunate to go with a group of amazing fellow students, and be supported by warm and supporting faculty and staff onsite. My study abroad experience in Hong Kong 2015 was definitely one of the most enriching and memorable times of my life! I believe my newly acquired awareness of cultural nuances, education in international economics, and my connection with USD alumni have made me a stronger candidate in pursuing an international career.”