Student Experience

Natalie Albert: The University of Florida Retail Study Tour in China was the adventure of a lifetime. This trip gave me exposure to and understanding of the important Chinese market. Understanding the Chinese language, culture, government, and market is quintessential in today’s business world. I believe that going on this trip gave me exposure to consumers and markets abroad that furthered my understanding of business in America. It was interesting to see how businesses operate in China; the cultural and economic differences really influenced how even the same company operated in China as opposed to the United States. We also were exposed to how the markets are trending in China. Being able to learn about these markets with a firsthand experience was invaluable for me and I hope to be able to utilize that knowledge in my future career… Read More

Rokeshia Ashley: The Pearl of the East.  This is where I had some of the most baffling and exciting experiences of my life.  There were so many different aspects and cultural idiosyncrasies that could singularly identify China as its own, instead of carrying the stigma of counterfeiting products.  However, the most interesting experiences from my journey throughout the five cities was the language and the eating style… Read More

Andranique Boone: When I would tell people about my pending travels to China, a common response involved how much it would be a trip of a lifetime. I’ve been on other study tours where the group dynamic was lacking especially in study tours with grad and undergrad students. That was not the case with this tour. While many of us had seen each other in the class meetings before the trip, it was not until we were in country where bonds blossomed. This trip also afforded me the opportunity to make professional contacts as well. I really appreciated the opportunity that presented itself in being able to talk to the various company executive staff or liaisons that were provided. As a student without retail experience the company visits still remained interesting to me. The presentations that were given at the various companies contained themes that translated to various forms of business. As a student with previous coursework in tourism, I thoroughly enjoyed the governmental visits. While the governmental visits provided good information for me to take back to the states it was the side conversations that I had with the presenters and company liaisons that proved to be the most beneficial. I was able to pitch various ideas to them and have them provide on the spot feedback. It was nice to have someone within the industry provide suggestions on how to succeed in starting a business not only within the sector but in China itself…Read More

Patricia Botero: Being a Business Major, and growing up in an entrepreneur family made me realize that in order to be successful in my career I had to know what China was all about. After finally making the decision of going to China, I started doubting myself. I wasn’t sure if the trip was a good idea after hearing many terrible comments about China. I have always believed that cultural awareness is the key to achieve success in both a personal and professional level. This way of thinking gave me the independence to not listen to those comments, so I decided to take a risk. After all, I thought to myself that the worse thing that could happen was loose a couple of pounds and get a little home sick…Read More

Chen Chen: After the study tour in China, I have to say the China retail study tour is meaningful and interesting. Even though I am a Chinese, I have to say the fast development of China shocked me and I am proud of my home country…Read More

Christina Duffy: Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Life is what you make it. Always has been, always will be.” When it came to the China Retail Study Tour, the trip was what you made it to be. You can be where you need to be when you need to be, but if you are just meeting the minimum requirements, you cannot expect maximum return. If you take the time to notice your surroundings, ask questions, and bask in the culture of China, that is when you truly experience China…Read More

Mehdi Eshaghayan: Our trip to China was extremely informative and interesting. I gained a more in-depth knowledge about the world of retail and I learned a lot about China. China is an interesting country; it faces tough challenges and at the same time it is the land of opportunities. China is the world’s manufacturer and even in this time of economic downturn, it is still a fast growing economy…Read More

Shirley Li: Immediately after I exited the airport, I recognized the smell of air in China. No, this retail study tour was not my first trip to China. I visited China a few times before but much of my visits were limited to Guangzhou and Hong Kong. Unlike my previous trips, I will be traveling to five different cities with students who have never been to China, and visiting companies to understand the business-side of a diverse country…Read More

Christine Peters: Despite what seemed like a large cost for the program and having no prospect of a scholarship, I decided to go on this Retail Study Tour based on one central reason; I knew very little of current Chinese business practices. I had no idea of how this eastern powerhouse operated and I’ve heard a lot of stories that didn’t make sense in my western mindset. It seemed every company I’ve worked with has had business connections to China somehow. So, not only was it a learning experience in discovering a culture very different from my own, but I saw it as a step in my career development…Read More

Emily Roberts: My impulsive decision to participate in the UF China Retail Tour filled me with excitement, anxiety, and anticipation. I have always loved traveling. Spending enough time in a country to appreciate its culture, meet a few locals, and wander off the beaten path has always been an essential part of travel for me. Although joining the study tour was a rushed decision, it was an adventure I will never forget. My family and friends filled me with advice and warnings, as well as plenty of medication before I ventured off to a country that seemed “farther than the moon” according to my mother…Read More

Michael Schra: The first example of what we were to experience in China happened in San Francisco. Upon looking around the plane on a US based airlines we realized we were the only ones within eyesight who weren’t of an Asian nationality. This would seem to imply that the large majority of people traveling between the US and China are Chinese as you’d expect America’s to prefer US carriers and Chinese to prefer one of their carriers for trans-pacific flights, but here we were on a United flight from San Francisco full of people who didn’t speak English. In fact, most the flight attendants seem to prefer Mandarin has their main language…Read More

Arlie Slonim: We celebrated our last day in China by visiting two cultural sites – Tiananmen Square and the Great Wall of China. It may have been the incredible feat of making it to the top of the wall (with the help of the ski-lift and toboggan) or it may have been the fact that it was our last day in China. Nevertheless, as I stood at the highest point of the Mutianyu Pass, I began to think how incredible my experience was on the China Retail Study Tour…Read More

Wei Song: This is an amazing trip. The three weeks spending in China has become one of the best time in my life…Read More

Andrew Vittetoe: I spent most of the flight from San Francisco to Shanghai asleep as per my original plans for getting on the China sleep schedule as soon as possible. I was surprised that 90% of the passengers were Chinese citizens. Even on the plane we felt like the minority. We landed around 5:30pm China time. Getting through customs and immigration was faster than getting through security for a domestic flight in the US. They looked at our passports and pushed us through. On the other side we were met by Peter Long, our tour guide essentially. Peter loaded us and some of the others from our group onto a bus and we set-out for our hotel. Along the way Peter gave us some tips for staying safe in China. One thing he told us to watch-out for was being approached on the street by a pretty Chinese girl who will ask if you’ll go with her to a restaurant or starbucks to help her practice her English, whereupon she will try to solicit you. After hearing this Christine turned to Michael and me and said, “Michael, don’t be seduced by pretty girls and Andrew, don’t be seduced by starbucks!”…Read More

 Samantha Weaver: This study tour was an invaluable experience. Not only did we get to experience the culture of China we got an in depth view of the current retail business environment. We learned about the status of the economy, business regulations, challenges facing both multinationals and domestic companies, and about the various retailing formats…Read More

Shane Wiggins: The 2012 UF China Study Tour was beyond simply a trip.  It was an experience beyond what is imaginable.  I grew as a student, a friend, and most importantly as a young adult.  I learned what is unable to be taught in the classroom.  I saw what people couldn’t see in pictures.  I interacted with people who live on the complete other side of the world.  I met new faces and formed forever-lasting relationships.  I realized how important culture is and the impact foreign places, objects, and people could have on ones self.  I witnessed firsthand the business retail industry in China where I could compare the similarities as well as the difference between the same practices here in the United States of America.  Once in China, I was stunned by the wealth of historical, cultural, and social information brought upon us.  The vast growth and development happened right in front of our own eyes.  It was a close-up learning experience of doing business in China and a proactive opportunity to expand my global network…Read More

Yingying Xie: From May 10th to May 27th, 2012 China Retail Study Tour visited Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Yingkou and Beijing. 4 faculties and nineteen students, we visited the first-tier cities and third-tier city in China. This is a fantastic trip, through the companies visited and culture visited. I have a better understanding of China’s retail. At the same time, I have a new understanding about my home country China…Read More

Fang Zhang: Going on China study tour is the best experience I have ever had during my study in UF. I am the last person sign up for this program. Fortunately, I finished all the steps before deadline. As a Chinese student, I am already quite familiar with Chinese culture and Chinese market. However, through this summer trip, I got new knowledge and new ideas about multi-culture, international business, local food and Chinese relationships. All the activities in this program are amazing, and I gained more than I expected…Read More

Yufei Zhang: Going on this study tour this summer was one of the best decisions that I have ever made. Even it is already past several days after we finished the trip. But I still feel like all the members get together and ready to take the bus to visit a new company. There are a lot of reasons to make this study tour such successful…Read More