Vibrant Business Experience

PROVO, Utah – Oct 01, 2018 – Did you know that making a sincere promise in China is demonstrated by putting a hand over the heart? Or that in Korea putting your hands in pockets is seen as a sign of arrogance? Oh, and don’t forget that pointing fingers is a no-no in Japan and other countries.

In addition to the vast differences in body language between the United States and Asia, business practices also vary between the two countries. In order to gain a deeper understanding of these differences, eleven students embarked on the Asia Pacific Study Abroad this summer and widened their business horizons.

“This study abroad is designed to give students from all majors throughout BYU Marriott exposure to business dynamics and also to experience cultures in that part of the world,” says Troy Nielson, the BYU Marriott professor who led the trip.

When the program was initiated, its purpose was to familiarize students with Chinese business as China was becoming a dominant player in global affairs. However, the trip now extends to countries in Southeast Asia and the Pacific, including Vietnam, Thailand, New Zealand, and Australia.

While traveling to each country, students met with a number of business professionals in a variety of fields. They interacted with the Asian general manager of DHL who shared with the students his “passport to success.” They talked to an American ambassador at the U.S. embassy in Beijing who told them about available opportunities to do business with Asia. They also learned from top executives at Marriott International about the importance of branding.

“The students received vibrant business experience from this trip,” Nielson says. “It’s hard to find a study abroad that presents as many dynamic, growing business environments in one trip as this one does.”

In addition to the business knowledge that students received, they also learned more about Asian culture from a perspective outside of their own. “The most amazing part of my experience was the opportunity to see the world outside of an American lens,” says Hunter Hutchens, a BYU Marriott accounting junior from Reno, Nevada. “We were able to experience these countries through the eyes of the people.”

Students learned more about the culture as they spent time interacting with the people in each country and as they traveled to famous tourist attractions. The group visited eight different cities in six countries and stopped at the Great Wall of China, Shanghai Disneyland, the Sydney Opera House, and many other attractions.

Between the business and cultural experiences, this year’s Asia Pacific Study Abroad marked another successful trip to the Eastern world. “There is a power of learning that comes from the stories and experiences students have outside of the classroom,” Nielson says. “Study abroad experiences don’t fade as easily, and students are more likely to retain what they learn.”

Students on the study abroad in Asia.
Great Wall of China
The group visited the Great Wall of China.

Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Sydney Zenger