From: Saginaw, Michigan
Majors: Masters of Business Administration
Patricia traveled to Taiwan for 3 weeks as part of the 2011 Taiwan UM-Flint faculty-led program led by Dr. Jacob Peng. Here is a reflection of her experience:
I participated in the SA program as part of my MBA concentration in International Business. I was able to see first-hand how business is conducted in another country. The greatest part was meeting other people who were studying or running businesses that conduct global transactions.
Dr. Peng, and everyone that helped make the trip possible, did a fantastic job in salvaging the trip considering the natural disasters that occurred in Japan. With the extra time in Taiwan, I was able to see additional businesses and experience the culture more in-depth. I now have a number of new friends on Facebook and other email contacts because of the value added learning experience.
If at all possible, I think the Study Abroad experience is one program every student should participate in. It took a few days to adjust to the culture and time change in order to really learn from the opportunities we were exposed to. However, knowing what I know now I think in addition to a study abroad trip, participating in study abroad for an entire semester would offer additional advantages. This type of learning is truly value-added learning, in my opinion.
Which experience had the most impact on your personally?
The experience that impacted me most was getting to know my fellow U of M Flint classmates and faculty leader on a more personal level.
What were your expectations of the trip? How did your experience differ from your expectations?
I expected to see a very poor country. Instead what I saw was a country that was very innovative and looking to encourage foreign direct investment as well as encouraging students to travel abroad.
What was the biggest difference in culture that you experienced while a abroad?
The collectivist society vs. individualistic society we have in the USA.
What surprised you the most about your time abroad?
How quickly the time went - I would have liked to stay in Taiwan longer.
How has this experience changed you?
This trip provided first-hand experience in how operations management systems work in the real-world business. I was also able to see what types of business other countries are using to gain market-share on a global level.
Would you recommend this program to other students?
Yes. My MBA program at UM-Flint should be completed by the end of this year. As I move forward to another chapter in life, I will always cherish the memories from the classroom and my travels. I have learned a great many lessons that will help guide me in my personal and professional choices for the future. Thank you to the faculty and staff who make learning such a positive experience.