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Business students go global

China trip teaches students multinational manufacturing

Published: Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Updated: Tuesday, October 2, 2012 16:10


Top: Although the trip had a primary focus on learning about China's multinational manufacturing facilities, students were able to visit world-renowned sites such as the Great Wall. Bottom: Shanghai was one of the major attractions the previous trip. Due to its success, the Department of Operations & Supply Chain Management is offering the trip again.


Photos courtesy Monte Ahuja College of Business

While many twenty-somethings like to spend their spring break in Cancun or the Bahamas, Cleveland State University offers students an alternate idea — a trip to mainland China.

The Department of Operations & Supply Chain Management has organized a faculty-led trip from March 8 to March 18, which can be used as credit toward both undergraduate and graduate programs. Professor Chia-Shin Chung and Department Chair Oya Tukel will be leading the trip, and students will get a chance to see not just multinational manufacturing facilities, but also cultural sites like the Great Wall of China, Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City.

This is not the first time CSU's Monte Ahuja College of Business has offered this opportunity. Chung and Tukel led a similar program this past Spring Break that they coordinated with Asia Institute, a company designed both to enhance study abroad programs for students and emphasize the huge role China has in business and manufacturing.

Ava Carter, a graduate student who went on the trip to China in March 2012, said the trip is a good opportunity for CSU students since it offers experiential learning that really allows students to go “behind the scenes to get a better understanding of the field of manufacturing itself.”

According to Carter, the trip offered a deep cultural immersion, making it stand out and be worth the investment.

“I think you get enough (experience),” Carter said. “If it’s your first time traveling, then I think it’s enough of a culture shock that you would consider going back.”

Going back is exactly what Chung and Tukel are doing. Due to the success and popularity of the first trip, Tukel said this trip is perfect not just for those in logistics or supply chain management, but any student who is considering a career involving some aspect of globalization.

“Our students need to be worldly," Tukel said. "They are going to be global managers, and it’s our responsibility to open their minds."

Tukel said the goals of the trip are to bring students to a larger awareness of China’s role in manufacturing and how it affects the United States. She encourages students who are skeptical of China’s methods and large-scale operations to experience it firsthand.

“See it for yourself to see how other people live, eat and how they think,” Tukel said.

The Department of Operations & Supply Chain Management isn’t profiting from this program since assisting faculty either raise their own expenses for the trip or pay their own way, instead of having students absorb that cost.

The relatively short span of the trip, Tukel said, works great for students at CSU, who are mainly commuter students. Therefore, she said it’s the perfect solution for the student with limited time and a small budget that wants to get the most value out of their experience.

For more information about the trip to China, including cost and applications, visit


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