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China: Doing Business in China

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Course Location:
Program Dates:
BSAD 195 - 4 credits
Chun Zhang & Xibao Zhang
Tuition: Cost for 4 credits of Summer Session tuition rates based on resident or out-of-state resident status. Take advantage of the Summer 30 percent discount: $400 per credit for in-state students and $1,010 per credit for out-of-state students.

Program fee: $1,648* (includes room, in-country transportation, excursions). Visa and food is covered by each participant. All participants traveling to China will be responsible for obtaining a Chinese visa for their 4 week stay. These visas cost approximately $150. Airfare is estimated at $1200 - $1600 depending on your departure city. * This price is subject to adjustment due to currency exchange fluctuation, fuel cost and airline fees. Students are responsible for obtaining the appropriate vaccinations, including any associated costs. For information on the 30% discount on tuition this Summer, please visit Student Financial Services.

No Prerequisites specified

Explore the cultural dimension of working and conducting business in China. Although using a business context, this course is equally valuable for anyone interested in understanding the cultural factors involved with working in China.

China, the fastest growing economy in the world today, will undoubtedly influence the way we think of business in the future. Experience these changes first–hand through company visits and meetings with representatives from international businesses working in China to examine cross–cultural management issues. In addition, explore the dynamic changes in Chinese consumer interests, and the implications for companies around the world, by teaming with a Chinese student for research carried out in the streets and markets of Qingdao.

Student Blog

Participants will:

  • Learn about China’s rapidly changing political economy
  • Understand the structure of business: Joint ventures, State–owned enterprises (SOES) and Wholly Owned Enterprises (WOFES)
  • Explore the historical, social and economic forces that affect decision–making in China
  • Learn about China’s emerging consumer society and the forces that are driving it
  • Visit companies to discuss cross–cultural management issues with managers in multinational companies
  • Explore the role of Guanxi, or a network of personal relationships, and its role in accomplishing major tasks in China
  • Discover your individual cultural preferences and how they differ from Chinese counterparts
  • Develop important skills for conducting business in China

The class will travel by train to Beijing on June 13 and spend three days exploring important cultural sites including the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, and the Beijing Opera…among others.


Chun-ZhangChun Zhang
Professor Chun Zhang: Dr. Zhang joined UVM in the fall of 2005. She received her Ph.D. in Marketing and her M.S. degree in Agricultural Economics from Michigan State University and her B.A. in Finance from Renmin University of China. Her teaching interests revolve around marketing management, international marketing, and research methods in marketing.



Zhang-Xibao-1-1Xibao “Tony” Zhang Dr. Zhang is Professor & Associate Chairman, Department of International Economics & Trade College of Business Administration, Qingdao University. He received his PhD from RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia; MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, Austin, USA.; and his Bachelor of Agriculture, Ocean University of China, Qingdao, China. Professor Zhang has co-taught our Doing Business in China course from it’s inception five years ago.


Wang-Haijun-1Associate Professor, Haijun Wang Haijun Wang, is Associate Professor, Qingdao University responsible for teaching Translation Studies and Cultural Studies for international students. Professor Wang offers UVM students a cultural and historical context for understanding the role of Confucian and Daoist beliefs in Chinese business relationships. She has been involved in UVM’s summer course since it’s inception five years ago.




See Kristy Landsvik’s (student) blog from the 2011 course:

Student Testimonial

China Abroad from UVM CE on Vimeo.

CYBEC Simulation: Student Teams compete to Identify Best Product or Service to Launch in China

One of the unique features of this course is the Cybec Simulation. Student teams, consisting of UVM and Qingdao University students, conduct market research for a fictitious American company, Cybec. In three weeks they are asked to identify a product or service to launch in China for their parent company. These mixed American/Chinese teams visit numerous markets and read reports on the changing Chinese consumer marketplace in hopes of identifying a produce or service they feel has great potential in China. They must then determine how to “go to market” with this product/service. This proves to be one of the highlights of our annual course, as these cross-cultural project teams learn a great deal from one another about cultural similarities and differences. The nuances of cultural differences regarding language, colors, and symbols are all examined as teams develop marketing themes for their product launch. Following is a brief segment of a team presenting their findings to a team of judges at the conclusion of the 2013 course. (Similar to a case compettion, teams compete for the best idea and presentation.)