7/15/16 ASHLAND, Ohio – Seven Ashland University students and Rebecca Parillo, director of Global Education, are spending part of their summer in Taiwan as part of the University’s Dauch College of Business in Taiwan summer program.
The students participating in this trip are Amanda Jones, international business major from Wadsworth, Ohio; Grace Ecenbarger, information systems major from North Canton, Ohio; Nate Knowlton, finance major from Lexington, Ohio; Margaret Nunley, marketing major from Hilliard, Ohio; Anna Sara, business management major from Marysville, Ohio; David Grim, finance major from Chillicothe, Ohio; and Sophie Brightman, marketing major from Saline, Mich.
The students are spending much of their time at Providence University in the Wu Chi district of Taichung, Taiwan. The summer program involved students enrolling in two Providence University classes – Mandarin Language and Cross Cultural Business and Management Seminar. Providence University paired the students with learning partners, who were Providence University students interested in improving their English knowledge of the American culture.
“A key objective of the program is to provide meaningful exposure to an Asian market and culture for Ashland University’s business students,” said Dr. Khush Pittenger, professor of management and coordinator of the COBE in Taiwan Program. “It is a unique opportunity as not many students are likely to travel to Asia on their own and there are no other Ashland University travel abroad programs that focus heavily on Asia.”
According to Pittenger, Chinese economy is in the news frequently and such international experiences bring to life what students read in textbooks and newspapers.
Pittenger thanked AU Board member Alan Roth and his wife, Julie, for providing the generous financial support to make this program possible and affordable for Ashland University students. “We are so grateful that Alan and Julie have provided the funding that has allowed the Dauch College to offer this COBE in Taiwan Program for our business students,” she said.
Dr. Elad Granot, dean of the Dauch College of Business and Economics, said this program is a great opportunity for Ashland University students to experience the urban attractions of the third-largest city in Taiwan, which has a population of one million plus.
“Exposure to international markets, executives, and cultures is an integral part of a 21st century business curriculum. As Dean of COBE, I put a high priority on providing our students and graduates with multiple opportunities for international experiences throughout their time at AU,” Granot said. “We teach about the global economy and the flat world, and there's no better way to understand it than experiencing it first hand in cooperation with our friends at Providence University.”
One of the students, Sophie Brightman, had a number of great things to say about the experience so far.
"It seems like everyone has enjoyed learning Mandarin Chinese and about the culture. For it only being our second day, I can already tell how much the group as a whole has improved in speaking Mandarin. We all try to quiz each other when we are walking around, which makes learning the vocabulary and the characters much easier. I am almost positive that by the end our six weeks all 12 students will have the ability to communicate short conversations in Mandarin. I am definitely looking forward to continue learning about the language and the culture," she said.
"I think a main part of studying abroad is trying new things. If you are not open to experiencing all sorts of new and unique things then I strongly believe you will not receive the same understanding as everybody else. From everything we have done so far I know that this group of people will be up for anything. By having a group of people with such positive attitudes it makes every day more exciting than the one before," she added.
"Before I left for Taiwan, I was nervous about the language barrier and staying in a place with such a different culture. After being there for three weeks I can honestly say the nerves are gone and I have loved every minute of this trip. The entire group is very adventurous and I think that is helping make this experience one to remember. I am especially enjoying trying new foods and activities while learning Mandarin Chinese and about the Taiwanese culture. I can't wait to see what the next half of the trip will bring," she concluded.
Margaret Nunley said, "We are all having a great time learning new things about food, the culture, enjoying our Mandarin language class and leaning new things about ourselves in the process. We have all grown closer through many experiences we have all had together so far. For instance, our karaoke bus trips going to different places, or the simplest decisions of trying to figure out where to go for dinner; We are all having a great time with great attitudes all around the group."
Grace Ecenbarger said, "I came to Taiwan to learn about its culture through immersion. Learning through first-hand experiences as well as in classes has given me a better understanding of Taiwan’s true culture. I really enjoyed trying new foods and learning Mandarin while in Taiwan. The COBE in Taiwan program has given me many unique experiences and has provided me with insight into international business."
David Grim said, "Studying abroad is a wonderful experience. I've been blessed to go on three separate trips with AU, ranging from just over a week to six weeks. COBE in Taiwan is quite the unique experience! We've been able to immerse ourselves in a foreign culture and learn more about it firsthand. Everyday we walk among streets and stores that aren't meant for tourists, but rather for the citizens of this country. It certainly allows us to expand our own experience in a unique way. It has been a great trip and one that is full of opportunity!"
More student information is available at the Dauch College blog at: https://dauchcobe.wordpress.com/