UDM student experiences China through study abroad opportunity

The Current, Winter 2002




Brian Dunne’s room looks a lot like that of any typical dormitory at any American university. One noticeable difference, however, is that the television in the lounge mainly features Chinese programs. Dunne’s dormitory is in Beijing at the University of International Business and Economics, where The Beijing Center for Language and Culture-Jesuit Universities’ China Program is housed. Dunne, a senior business administration major concentrating in international business, is one of three UDM students currently in the program.

The China study abroad program is a consortium of Jesuit colleges and universities that is coordinated through the Study Abroad Office at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. Chinese language courses are required of all students in the program except those who can demonstrate fluency. The classes require 10 hours of class time and two hours of language lab per week. In addition to Chinese, students take courses in management, international business, business ethics, finance, marketing and contemporary Chinese economy, which are taught in English. The students are mainly from Jesuit universities across the United States.

Two university computer labs are available to the students. Dunne states, “I can do pretty much anything from here over the Internet—banking, applying to law school, and keeping in touch with my family.”

Dunne, like all students in the program, interacts daily with ordinary Chinese students.

“Chinese people are much more reserved than Americans,” Dunne observes. “They study hard because there is fierce competition at the university level. Some of the students who aren’t from Beijing feel they must study more diligently, so that they can get a job here after they graduate.”

Another great opportunity offered by the program is travel. For instance, Dunne has visited the Great Wall, the Temple of Heaven, Tianamen Square, Prince Gong's Palace, and shopping areas such as Silk Market, Pearl Market, Wangfujian, and Xidan. Other expeditions include Shanghai, the Bell Tower, the Drun Tower, the Summer Palace, the Forbidden City, and the Ming Tombs.

It can be difficult for students with a limited knowledge of Chinese to get around and find places, but William Blake, another UDM student in the program, maintains that “half the fun of going out is trying to get to places and find what you want.”

The Beijing Center for Language and Culture-Jesuit Universities’ China Program is open to all undergraduate students in good standing with a 2.8 GPA or higher. For more information, visit The Beijing Center Admissions or email Cecilia Chang, The Beijing Center Admissions director at cchang@lmu.edu.