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North Carolina University Undergrads Benefit From Unexpected School Visits to China

An unexpected injury and a subsequent six-month delay has allowed four undergraduates and one MBA student from Fort Hays State University, in North Carolina, USA, to accompany two of their teachers in a series of school visits to China this January, for the purposes of research.

Initially slated for July of last year, these trips were originally not supposed to include any students from the institution, being a solitary venture for associate professor of marketing and management Tony Gabel and international coordinator Justin Evans. However, after Gabel suffered a serious knee injury, requiring surgery, the trip was postponed for six months, during which time the two researchers were able to apply to a grant for undergraduate research trips, offered by the University itself. It was this money that later allowed Gabel and Evans to provide five of their students with school visits to China, as well as finance their own.

The programme, which actually started with only two students, was later funded by a number of other institutions within the college, after the two professors received upwards of twenty applications from highly worthy students. The Provost’s Office, the Graduate School, the College of Business and Entrepreneurship and the Department of Management and Marketing all chipped in at this stage, eventually granting the organising duo enough money to take an additional three students on the school visits to China.

The group subsequently spent one week in Beijing and another in Shanghai, carrying out research on how companies can best account for the legal systems within which they operate. Overall, the students and professors carried out interviews with forty Chinese businessmen about the topic in question. The first paper detailing their findings is to be published in the North Carolina Journal of International Law & Commerce Regulation in the spring of 2014.

Of the seven-strong group, only one member had ever been on a school trip overseas, with the experience being widely regarded as an ‘eye-opener’ by the other six.

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