Dean in China

Dean is a University Scholar and a senior accounting major in the Cox School of Business. In summer 2011, he is traveling to Hong Kong with the SMU-in-China Business program to get a firsthand look at modern China’s unique culture and business practices. He says he also plans to do some touring (and attempt to get by without knowing a single word of Chinese …)

More Beijing: Another side, another story

After wrapping up my study abroad, I met up with my family, who had all come to China around the end of my program, and we set out for further adventures. The last leg of my trip to China began with a return to Beijing. I know I already did an entry about Beijing, but I won’t be recapitulating anything – I’ll gloss over the stuff I already covered and focus on the new. I’ll start by saying that the haze was not nearly as strong as on my previous visit. Still there, but you could actually see into the distance now, and the sky was mostly visible.  After meeting our tour guide for Beijing, we got right down to [...]

2011-08-02T19:21:29+00:00 August 2nd, 2011|Dean in China|

Last days in Hong Kong

After our return from Beijing, we found ourselves staring down the barrel of our final week of the study abroad program. The week really flew by – here’s how it all went down as we finished up our work and tried to make the most of the time we had left. Shenzhen Luckily we still had one more day off before classes resumed, so we took the opportunity to head out into the mainland for a day, taking the Hong Kong subway all the way out, to the last stop inside the Chinese mainland at the city of Shenzhen. We had passed by Shenzhen on our train ride to Guangzhou, and a couple of students in our group had already [...]

2011-08-01T17:43:02+00:00 August 1st, 2011|Dean in China|

Birthday in Beijing

After spending most of our third week in Guangzhou, we were back in Hong Kong for only a night before we all headed out to Beijing for a long weekend! After rising early to get to our flight and head over, we dropped off our bags at our hotel and headed out to take stock of this new city. One thing leaped out at us immediately. And I need to preface this by saying that I’ve talked a lot about how great China is on this blog (because it is), but nothing is perfect, and here we encountered something rather unpleasant: Beijing was enshrouded in a thick haze that made it impossible to see very far. It reminded me of [...]

2011-07-28T21:08:26+00:00 July 28th, 2011|Dean in China|

Into the Mainland: Guangzhou

Ni hao! [Hello!] Had to use Mandarin this time - this week we ventured out of Hong Kong to head into the Chinese mainland for a few days. We went to the city of Guangzhou in the Guangdong province for some new class and company visit experiences. Let’s do a breakdown! Day 1: Acclimation We got up early in the morning to head to the train station to get to Guangzhou. As the train headed out of Hong Kong, we watched the scenery roll by for a few hours (when we weren’t napping). I noticed that as we got farther into the mainland, things got foggier outside. It seemed to be a mix of fog from the intense humidity, and [...]

2011-07-25T21:15:00+00:00 July 25th, 2011|Dean in China|

Class with Chinese students

Our second week ended with a special class. We dressed up to share a lecture on intercultural communication with a group of Chinese university students from Shanghai. We split into groups and immediately got under way chatting with each other about each other’s cultures; they wanted to know how the Chinese are seen in America (we basically told them that they are considered to be very smart at things like math, but also rather quiet and shy), while they told us how the Chinese view Americans (loud party-lovers, but creative thinkers and good businessmen). We also swapped tips on how to adjust when visiting each other’s culture, and generally learned from each other how our respective societies, attitudes, cultural norms [...]

2011-07-20T20:04:34+00:00 July 20th, 2011|Dean in China|

Cultural relevance

We began a new set of classwork this week. Instead of management, we had a new teacher who would be telling us about marketing in China. The first two classes on this subject involved learning a bit about China’s layout, with many areas divided into special zones based on the government’s plans for the area. We also learned about the structure and hierarchy of China’s government. We were also taught about the sort of buyers the Chinese people are; they prefer to buy high-quality, long-lasting goods, and are willing to pay a little extra to get those qualities. And while they generally associate high quality with foreign brands, this does not hold true for household products, where the Chinese tend [...]

2011-07-14T21:06:21+00:00 July 14th, 2011|Dean in China|

Flaws in the gem

The events over the last several days have given me a bit of food for thought about how businesses operate, how much power parties in a business transaction can wield, the importance of connections, and just how different the culture is here. It started with a class that contained, among other things, a discussion of China as a major market. Now, we all hear these days about how China is the biggest untapped market for everything under the sun (and then some), and that if a company can just crack the market, then there is oodles of money to be made and everything will be great forever. But today we got to hear about how it’s NOT quite the perfect [...]

2011-07-11T18:53:16+00:00 July 11th, 2011|Dean in China|

Hong Kong, the fragrant harbor

Dean is a University Scholar and a senior accounting major in the Cox School of Business. In summer 2011, he is traveling to Hong Kong with the SMU-in-China Business program to get a firsthand look at modern China's unique culture and business practices. He says he also plans to do some touring (and attempt to get by without knowing a single word of Chinese ...)

2011-07-07T15:46:57+00:00 July 7th, 2011|Dean in China|