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K-State Today

June 22, 2018

K-State Professional MBA students, faculty and staff travel to Taiwan

By Brent Fritzemeier

The PMBA tour group

After classes adjourned for the spring 2018 semester, a group of 16 Professional MBA students, faculty and staff traveled to Taiwan for professional development, personal growth and international networking opportunities. Professors Chwen Sheu and Eric Higgins served as the faculty leaders for the trip which included business tours, cultural immersion and unique sightseeing experiences for the participants. 

The group arrived in Taipei on May 24, and hit the ground running the next day with business tours to Tesla Motors, Solomon Technology Corporation and Intel. Executives with each company provided an overview of their company's mission, economic impact, corporate culture and decision-making insights that guide operations. The day was topped off by a tour of Taipei 101 — which stood as the world's tallest building from March 2004 until March 2010 — and dinner at the very popular dumpling restaurant, Din Tai Fung, on the building's first floor.

Days three and four were filled with cultural immersion activities that took the group to Yeiliu Geopark along the northern seacoast, the Martyrs' Shrine, the National Palace museum, Chaing Kai-Shek Memorial Hall and Long-Shang Temple. Participants were exposed to the historical heritage of Taiwan and were able to observe the changing of the guard ceremony while at the Martyrs' Shrine. A guided tour of Taiwan's national treasures also provided an overview of the incredible permanent collection of ancient Chinese imperial artifacts and pieces of art representing 8,000 years of Chinese history based upon the Ming and Qing dynasties. The day was capped off by Wildcat Night where group members were matched with K-State alumni who served as hosts for exploration of Taipei.

Before departing Taipei on day five, the group toured Kansas State University's sister school National Taiwan University of Science and Technology. At the university, the group was treated to informative presentations by Vice President Liu and K-State alumnus David Sachse. Presentations focused on the history and economy of Taiwan, the economic impact and opportunities of Taiwan's higher education system and personal experiences of working in private industry abroad.

During day six in Taichung, group members traveled to Sun Moon Lake, Taiwan's largest body of water surrounded by the hone of the Thao tribe, one of the aboriginal tribes of Taiwan. The group also had the privilege of taking a guided tour of the Chung Tai Chan Monastery. The tour guide, a practicing monk, educated the group on the history of the monastery, tenets of Chung Tai and directions of Buddhism, as well as detailed information on the statues and organization of the temple area.

The final day of the trip was spent learning about international banking at Taichung Commercial Bank and touring National Chung Hsing University, an agricultural university similar in mission to K-State, where group members also received a Chinese calligraphy lesson. At the end of the day, group members were matched with business students from National Chung Hsing University who helped K-Staters experience the night market from their perspectives, exchange stories and build relationships.

K-State's Professional MBA program is unique in its requirement that students participate in faculty-led international study trip as part of the curriculum. The exposure to different cultures, both on the business and personal levels, has provided enriching experiences for the program's students and for the faculty and staff developing and supporting the development of these opportunities.

In 2019, trips are being planned to Costa Rica, South Korea and Italy. For more information about the online Professional MBA program, visit k-state.edu/onlinemba.