Students Explore Asian Culture Through Unique Summer Program

2018 marks the 10 year anniversary of the “Exploring Asian Culture” program, offered by the Center for Asian Business at LMU. This unique course takes students abroad on a two-week immersion experience to four major cities in Asia to learn about East Asian history, culture, and business practices. Classes for the course are held at LMU each spring semester and the study abroad trip takes place during the first two weeks of summer break. 142 students have participated in this special international business course since its inception.

Dr. Yongsun Paik, director for the Center for Asian Business and professor of management, Dr. Marki Hackett, assistant director for the Center for Asian Business, and Dr. Charlotte D’Evelyn, lecturer, Asian and Pacific studies accompanied 17 freshmen and sophomore students during the trip. Students visited Seoul and Busan, Korea and Beijing and Shanghai, China from May 7 – 22.

The course included three Saturday lectures by a team of LMU professors during the spring semester, followed by two weeks overseas, where students toured cultural and historical sites, attended on-site lectures and visited local companies. In Korea, the group visited SK Telecom, Samsung Innovation Museum, Hyundai Auto Plant, Hyundai Heavy Industries, U.S. Embassy Seoul, and Under Armour. Students also experienced Korean culture by dressing in Hanbok (traditional Korea attire), making fresh kimchi (a famous Korean dish), and attending cultural excursions to Gyeongbok Palace, King Sejong Museum, Jagalchi Fish Market, Haeundae Beach, and Haedong Yonggung Buddhist Temple. In China, the group visited cultural sites including the Great Wall, Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Yu Garden, Jade Buddha Temple, and Oriental Pearl Tower. Corporate visits in China included the U.S. Embassy Beijing, KPMG, Adient/Johnson Controls and Coca-Cola Shanghai. In addition, Patrick Lozado, manager, Business Advisory Services, U.S.-China Business Council delivered a special lecture titled “Doing Business in China.”

“This program was designed to broaden students’ perspectives through global imagination, enhance cross-cultural understanding, and exemplify positive world views,” said Hackett. “Our goal is that the program promotes a deeper understanding and appreciation between Asians and Americans, as well as prepare students to work in the global market.” Paik emphasized, “The U.S. relationship with Korea and China has become all the more important from both geopolitical and economic perspectives as new developments on the Korean peninsula have continued to unfold.”

Student Gavin Toy enjoyed the program so much the previous year, he joined again for a second year as a student leader. His description of the program: “From start to finish, this course is nothing short of spectacular. It’s one thing to learn materials in a classroom, but being able to actually experience those things first-hand, put what you learned to use, and see for yourself just how incredible and intriguing it all is, transforms your engaged learning experience into something much more. Something you want to hold onto for the rest of your life.”