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Global BBA Study Abroad Report, Kristen - Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China

  • Name: Kristen
  • Year of Study: 4 (Global BBA)
  • Institution: Shanghai Jiao Tong University
  • Period: 2022 February 〜 2023 January

We caught up with Kristen, an international student from Vietnam who joined the Global BBA Program in Spring 2020. She is set to graduate soon so we caught up with her to ask her about her exchange at Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) is one of China's oldest and most prestigious higher education institutions. Established in 1896, SJTU is renowned for its commitment to academic excellence, innovation, and research. Located in Shanghai, one of China's most dynamic and cosmopolitan cities, SJTU offers a wide range of undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs across various disciplines, including engineering, science, business, medicine, and humanities.

The Antai College of Economics & Management, Shanghai Jiao Tong University (ACEM) consists of School of Economics, School of Management and more than thirty research institutions and centers. ACEM aims to develop the highest-level managerial talent, with thoroughly international viewpoints and capacities, in order to compete in the global economy. While focusing on academic research, the college is also committed to serving national and international corporations and institutions, through leading-edge consulting and research, as well as the development of outstanding future managers. The college is triple-accredited by AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA and was the first in the Chinese mainland to have earned the three crowns.

Why did you want to go on exchange?

I opted for China due to my collaboration with three friends in launching an online fashion brand there. Among NUCB's top partner universities is Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU), ranked third nationally.

Recognizing significant disparities between SJTU's educational approach and that of NUCB, I was intrigued to experience SJTU's theory-based education firsthand and explore its applicability to our business venture.

Is the learning style more research based? How have you adapted?

At SJTU, the approach is more research and theory-based, with classes leaning towards a passive format. Typically, tutors would explain concepts through lectures. This stands in contrast to NUCB's active learning method, where tutors not only explain concepts but also guide us in applying them to real-life scenarios, exploring various approaches and business models. At SJTU, the emphasis is on understanding and proving the validity of theories and concepts.

What have you missed most about NUCB/Japan?

What I missed most from NUCB were the class discussions and the case-method approach. I strongly believe that active class participation accelerates learning compared to solely listening to lectures. The case-method particularly benefited me by preparing me for real-world business scenarios, rather than just theoretical learning. I appreciated the dynamic atmosphere created by professors and the engaging class activities.

What are your goals for the future and how will this exchange help you?

This year, I am committed to assisting my family in expanding our bakery business in Japan. Additionally, my brother and I are collaborating on launching a real estate company aimed at catering to foreigners interested in renting, buying, and investing in Japanese properties. Moreover, I've ventured into opening new gym centers in Vietnam. Looking ahead, my goals are straightforward: I aspire for success in all my business endeavors next year.

My international exchange experience has been invaluable in understanding Chinese business practices and the intricacies of localizing businesses as an outsider.