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NWCC Business students travel to worlds biggest economy

TERRACE Business and China go hand in hand, so for Business Administration students from Northwest Community College (NWCC), nothing could be a greater learning and cultural experience than an academic exchange to the country boasting the worlds strongest economy. This year, seven Business Administration students, along with program coordinator and instructor David Try, are in China at Qingdao Technical College (QTC), NWCCs sister college. It marks the second of a three-year exchange agreement. Try explains the exchange agreement came out of a broader exchange between the two colleges, in which management and faculty from both institutions spent time abroad. In 2009, four QTC faculty came to NWCC for two months each, then Try went to QTC for a month in 2009. Our goal, as faculty, was to understand the key differences between our countries in teaching and learning and have a basic understanding of the big changes between our two countries that our students would experience, said Try, adding that it was during this period the three-year exchange agreement was signed. Naturally, it made sense to send Business Administration students, says Try. Given that we are the business program and trade with China is growing, plus the factor of the Prince Rupert container port and the business possibilities for our graduates in the Northwest, it seemed like a natural fit to have an exchange with China, said Try, who along with two of his students, has been posting to the NWCC Community Connections blog. Go to http://nwcc.typepad.com/connections/china/ for blog posts and a picture gallery. Living here, in student dorms, and going to class and of course those field trips is a truly eye-opening experience for our students, he said. As NWCC students are assigned a QTC student, the friendships which develop enable NWCC students to see what life is really like in China not just what tourists see. Student bloggers Bobbi Boyd and Scott van Dyk, plus classmates Christine Leclerc, Lindsey Bentham, Joyce Cloakey, Jason Shellenberg and James Seymour, in addition to their classroom studies, have taken trips to the Emperor's Summer Palace, the Great Wall, the Chinese War Museum and the Forbidden City in Beijing, plus the Tsingtao Beer Factory in Qingdao. Boyd and van Dyks blogs have been characterized by awe at the sheer size of the cities, the population and the visible signs of growth, a genuine appreciation for their hosts and the pride of the Chinese, a frustration with the language barrier and a sense of humour and adventure in tackling the cultural differences. There are so many things we have seen and done now that I could blog about, I don't know where to start, writes Boyd, a first-year certificate student, in one blog. I want to share everything I have felt and seen so far. Last year, Try brought 11 NWCC students to China and two QTC students came to NWCC, both graduating in December 2010.

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