Business in China: Students travel to Xiamen to learn from innovative firms

Business students visiting Xiamen, China. Photo: Naomi Kroll

20 Western Sydney University students have been given a unique opportunity to learn about innovation and professional practice in business, by working with firms in one of the world’s largest economies.

Final year Bachelor of Business students visited Xiamen, China in a study tour led by Dr Dilupa Nakandala and Dr Stella Wu from the School of Business.

The study tour provided the undergraduate students with the opportunity to put their knowledge and skills into practice by engaging with large firms in Southern China in a work-integrated learning project.

Dr Nakandala says it is important for students to develop skills to work in diverse business environments, especially in today’s globally connected industries and markets.

“With its advancing economy and fast-growing industries, Xiamen offers great prospects for our business students to receive professional and cultural experience,” says  Dr Wu.

Over the course of the 14-day program, students engaged in the following activities:

  • Consulted with executive managers from accounting software development company, Onlyou
  • Attended a guest lecture at Xiamen University
  • Visited businesses such as Torch Electron and Ogawa
  • Travelled to the Fujian mountains
  • Explored Gulang Island off the coast of Xiamen.

The trip was funded by the Australian Government under the New Colombo Plan initiative which aims to promote the Indo-Pacific by supporting undergraduates to live, work and study in the region. The students each received a $3,000 grant to support their place on the program.

Dr Nakandala says the University recognises the value of the NCP program in creating opportunities for our students to build an impressive portfolio of evidence to support their future career plans.

Luke Bowden, 35, who is completing a Bachelor of Business and Commerce (Property), says the trip deepened his understanding of Australia’s relationship with China through the cross cultural activities he participated in.

“Our group visited a traditional Chinese village where survival from the land was their way of living, and it was an interesting contrast to the cities undergoing rapid economic and infrastructure growth,” says Luke.

Odelle Luong, a Bachelor of Business and Commerce (Advanced Business Leadership) and a Bachelor of Laws student, was also among the students chosen for the program. As well as learning about the business environment in China, Odelle also had another important role— she was a translator for her fellow classmates.

“My Mandarin was fairly limited but by the end of the trip, I was competent enough to translate two speeches which I presented at the reception organised by the Australian Consulate-General,” says Odelle.

Odelle hopes to work in the South-East Asian region in the future and says the trip was an opportunity to gain real-world experience of working with clients.

“It was great to see what offices in China are like, and to understand the corporate culture within a company, compared to Australian companies.” she says.

Western Sydney University will further their relationship with South China with another group of Business students travelling to China in 2018 and 2019.


16 January 2018

Jessica Cortis, Media Officer