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LIM College Students Visit China
College's First Trip to China Provides Valuable Exposure to Major Force in Global Fashion Industry
Led by Professors Derek Cockle and Paula Wang, eight LIM College students visited China from June 13-27, 2009 as part of the College’s first travel abroad program to that country.
The group visited five Chinese cities, including the major metropolitan centers of Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, as well as Suzhou and Hangzhou, which are known as the capitals of Chinese silk and tea.
Students had the opportunity to visit 10 fashion companies, including: Kenneth Cole, GTL (a fabric and design firm that collaborates with major U.S. fashion brands), High Fashion (the biggest silk fabric print company in the world), and Novel Group and Iconix China (which produce items for Tommy Hilfiger and Pepe Jeans), as well as the Hong Kong office of Cotton Incorporated.
Says Professor Wang, “The students saw firsthand the dramatic changes taking place in China. China is not only the world’s largest country in terms of production, but it’s also the world's second-largest consumer market. The demand for luxury products continues to soar, even during the current recession.”
Among the many cultural sites included on the trip were Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, the Great Wall, and the Olympic National Stadium.
“If LIM College’s students are to be prepared to face the future challenges of an international market, it is crucial that they understand the cultural differences between the U.S. and China.”
The trip to China was tied to two LIM College academic courses. Chinese Culture and Language is offered every semester and focuses on China’s culture and history as it relates to international business development and social situations, and the Chinese language as it is used in business and social contexts. A new online course focused specifically on this trip, titled Fashion, Business and the Chinese Culture briefly introduced students to the history and culture of China, and examined China’s position in the global fashion industry. Students who went on the trip were able to take either course in preparation for the experience.
Given the success of this year’s venture, LIM College’s summer program to China will continue as a regular offering. Going forward, Professor Wang hopes more students will take advantage of the opportunity to visit a country that is so important in the global apparel business. She also plans to expand the list of companies students will visit on next year’s trip.
She says, “If LIM College’s students are to be prepared to face the future challenges of an international market, it is crucial that they understand the cultural differences between the U.S. and China. Our graduates will have a competitive advantage if they are knowledgeable about the new generation of Chinese entrepreneurs whom they may one day find themselves competing and/or collaborating with.”