Students attending the UD China Institute, UDCI, in Suzhou for the spring semester went on an excursion to the city of Nanjing and took a corporate visit to Crown Equipment in early February as part of their experiential learning opportunity in the country.
Sightseeing opportunities in Nanjing, about three hours from Suzhou, included visits to numerous places such as the Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall and the Nanjing Museum.
“I had briefly learned about the Nanjing massacre my freshman year of college in history class but I was not aware of how horrific it truly was,” said Tara Hoffmann, a junior accounting major.
The Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall was built to honor the 300,000 people killed in the city by Japanese occupiers during World War II. In addition, it was constructed so visitors can learn about the horrors faced by Nanjing’s citizenry in the hope that events like it can be prevented.
Hoffmann appreciated the museum’s optimistic outlook despite its heavy subject.
“The last exhibit featuring art with messages of peace and hope was a very unique and a powerful end to the museum,” Hoffmann said.
The UDCI spring 2018 cohort was the first to visit the museum since its renovation.
UDCI students also visited the Ming Tomb, burial place of the founder of the Ming dynasty, and Dr. Sun Yat-Sen’s Mausoleum, the resting place of the highly revered father of the Republic of China.
The cohort also enjoyed a traditional Chinese dinner during their weekend excursion.
“The strangest thing I ate was probably lamb belly,” Hoffmann said. “I ate a lot of food having no idea what I was putting into my mouth.”
The spring 2018 UDCI cohort also took part in a corporate visit to Crown Equipment in Suzhou on Feb. 9. The company, based in Ohio, is the fourth largest manufacturer of powered industrial forklift trucks globally.
“By taking our students to visit companies … students can see first-hand how companies are responding to competitive pressures to cut costs and gain efficiencies, network with executives for future employment opportunities, and study the challenges and opportunities of selling in China,” said Terence Lau, UDCI executive director of academic and corporate relations.
Students in the class “doing business in China” prepared a briefing presentation prior to the visit. While there, the general manager of Crown Equipment’s branch in Suzhou held a Q&A session with the students and led a tour of the factory.
“I got to see how American companies function in China both from a cultural and operational standpoint,” said Henry Gonzalez, a sophomore international business and operations major.
The spring 2018 UDCI cohort has been in China almost four weeks, but they have already experienced so much.
Upcoming events include a trip to Hebei Province during Chinese New Year, a weekend excursion to Xi’an and a corporate visit to General Motors in Shanghai.
Photos Courtesy of Zhang Dong and Sean Newhouse