TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Florida A&M University (FAMU) School of Business and Industry (SBI) is spreading its international influence to the Far East. Along with the 10 SBI students that are already studying abroad in Shanghai, China, nine more students traveled to China with SBI faculty members recently, to visit corporate partners overseas.
“Through this visit our students were able to walk away with a strengthen knowledge of international business procedures and better cultural understanding of the Chinese culture,” said Charles L. Evans, SBI associate dean.
According to Evans, SBI has generally had a relationship with China, and specifically the University of Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade (SIFT). After SBI faculty members took a trip to China, planning began to send a group of students overseas to visit Owens Corning, Cigna and SIFT.
Funding was secured from corporate partners John Deere, Owens Corning and Hills Pet Nutrition, and the SBI Board of Advisors.
The nine students selected to participate were:
Megan Chattam, a fifth-year MBA student from Arlington, TX.
Bisola Adejobi, a third-year accounting major Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Kai Day, a fifth year MBA student from Atlanta, Ga.
James Nero, a fifth year MBA student from Detroit, Mich.
Aaron Brown, a fifth year MBA student from Detroit, Mich.
Garrett Henry, a fifth year MBA student Newark, NJ.
Lynada Peeples, a fifth year MBA student Tampa, Fla.
Andrew Collins, a fifth year MBA student from Atlanta, Ga.
Rachel Hill, a fourth year MBA student from Orlando, Fla.
Accompanied by Evans, and SBI professors Ira Bates and George Clark, the students found the trip to be nothing short of memorable, both academically and culturally.
“It really surprised me at first how much they industrialized,” Day said. “It was just like you were walking down the street in New York or any other major city in America. You can definitely see that there has been lots of development since 1979 when they begun using capitalism.”
Chattman noticed similarities in both American and Chinese cultures.
“They watch the NBA just like us,” she laughed. “But there were some things that we took for granted, like free refills and having your personal space. I say that because everywhere is so crowded. Everyone in China is used to being in very close proximity to each other so there’s no concept of personal space.”
Collins, who is also the FAMU Student Government Association President, said this trip was a testament of FAMU’s ability to provide an international education.
“Students considering enrolling in a college should definitely consider FAMU for its heritage, but also for the opportunity to have an international education,” Collins said.