Business School Topics
UWA Business School students forged friendships with students from six Chinese universities during a recent immersion study tour.
Designed to foster stronger relationships between UWA and Chinese students, the eight-day tour saw students visit universities across Guangzhou and Weihai.
Hundreds of students from Guangdong University of Finance and Economics and Shandong University will complete their undergraduate studies at the UWA Business School as new articulation agreements come into effect, with the first students expected to arrive in July this year.
UWA Business School Student Services Manager Hannah Wilkinson, who led the study tour, said the tour was part of a broader strategy to ensure all commencing international students have access to appropriate academic and social support.
“We took eight UWA students to China to foster new international friendships, but also to help us gain an insight into how Chinese students study and socialise at their home universities,” Ms Wilkinson said.
“One of the things that surprised us most was just how like Australian students Chinese students were when in their comfort zone; they were bubbly, social and even cheeky at times, as well as being really high achievers.”
Now back in Perth, the eight UWA students are busy writing research articles, reflections, and lists of recommendations to aid international students in their transition to life at UWA.
“Before leaving on the study tour, the group took part in a series of pre-departure workshops,” Ms Wilkinson said. ‘Professor Cristina Gibson gave us some fantastic insights into cross-cultural interaction, while Malcolm Fialho, from UWA’s Equity and Diversity Office, led a session on Courageous Conversations about Race.
“The insights we gained in these workshops, together with practical experiences in China, will shape the students’ recommendations.”
Already, the UWA Business School Student Experience team plans to create a targeted orientation program for students (including both Australian and international) entering straight into the second year of a Bachelor of Commerce. The program will include a series of welcome events celebrating diversity, as well as a stronger partnership with the Australia China Youth Association.
“One of the biggest assets of any business student is the friendships and networks built during their studies,” Ms Wilkinson said. “Not only do strong friendships make students’ time at university more enjoyable, they also mean that when students graduate and have friends working in Sydney and Singapore and Beijing, they will find themselves with strong business networks across Asia.”
This trip was partly funded by the UWA Centre for Education Futures. The UWA Business School Student Services team is hoping to secure funding to allow similar study tours to take place in future years.