IFSA/Alliance: International Business in China

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In the last century Shanghai has experienced exponential growth from its origins as a colonial trading port to a bustling international metropolis and global financial hub. Today, the home of China’s first free trade zone attracts an international population with its fast-paced industry and cosmopolitan vibe. Shanghai serves as an ideal location to explore China’s rapidly changing business environment and the global networks in which it plays an ever more strategic role. Examine these issues through challenging business and economics coursework, and build your resume by opting to complete an internship.

The program center is located on the campus of Shanghai University of Finance and Economics (SUFE). You will live in shared apartments with local university students. A week-long field study trip to Hong Kong, Macau, and Guangdong Province will allow you to deepen your understanding of investment and financial service industries influencing economic development in China.

Questions & Answers


based on 4 reviews
  • Academics 8
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 8.8
  • Housing 9.5
  • Safety 9
Showing 1 - 4 of 4
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Alliance in Shanghai is a Must

I honestly don't think I could have picked a better program to study abroad in China. The Alliance does a great orientation to help you adjust to the new culture, which was huge for me considering I'm from the South and am not used to large city environments. The staff was great, caring, and available when you needed support. The housing situation was ideal and located in a fairly convenient area. The academic components were great. Classes were small so I was able to maximize class time to practice my Chinese. I really enjoyed all of my professors and the site visits gave me a great look inside business in China. The Alliance also set aside lots of travel (and will also help you set up outside travel), which is great for those who are nervous about arranging things for themselves. The Alliance does a great job of making sure that you can make the most of your time abroad. I learned so much about the world and myself, and would have studied longer if I didn't graduate. I assure you, if you choose this porgram, you're making a great decision.

How can this program be improved?
Switch the dates of independent travel and group travel. Doing group travel first will make it easier for participant to interact with everyone in the program and create a more cohesive cohort of students .
Yes, I recommend this program
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Gates to Reality

On our first day in China, we entered from the front, main gate, but as we left to get dinner that evening, we walked out the back gate. At the time, there was absolutely no identifiable difference between the two. I had been plopped into this foreign world, it had seemed; everything was so different from anything I had ever known that it was unperceivable that there could be degrees to the visibility of Chinese culture.

3 months later, we were identifying out meals by the gate through which we exited campus. The phrase, "do you want to just do back gate," made us immediately aware of the kind of meal we'd be eating: local, authentic, quick and cheap. You could also get treats like fresh sweet potato chips or a youzi, a Chinese grapefruit. But out the front gate, on the other hand was our portal. In walking distance, at Chifeng Lu Station, you could find a KFC and other modern/Western delicacies. The front gate was also where we would go to hail a taxi to go downtown.

It seemed like 2 different worlds as we walked out of the two opposing gates. The local elementary students getting out of class near the back gate showed us the very local, familial side to Shanghai. It showed me that my semester abroad that sometimes felt like a vacation, was giving me unparalleled insight to Chinese life. Personally, I liked the balance of the 2 gates. But what I liked even more was the perpendicular streets that slowly transition the back gate to the front gate and vice versa. The craziness we sometimes saw in the back gate culture is not that far gone from modern China. And I loved every second of it.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Alliance in Shanghai

I really enjoyed my time abroad in Shanghai, China with the Alliance program; it was the most memorable four months of my life. I will be honest though, in the beginning it was extremely difficult for me to adjust to the culture, being away from home, as well as living on my own. But luckily I had the support of my peers and the program, therefore I was able to overcome these difficulties quickly. Thankfully I lived at the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics (SUFE) dorms along with other students from around the world, which helped me so much because they were going through exactly what I was going through. I would usually have class from 10am until the afternoon and some days until 4pm, giving us enough time to roam the city and get familiar with Shanghai. As for the language difference, what helped me get over this fear were our weekly Chinese tables where we were forced to speak Chinese. Also, when ever I went grocery shopping, or purchased meals I was forced to speak Chinese in order to communicate with the locals. It was an amazing experience, I would highly recommend this program to students thinking about studying abroad.

How can this program be improved?
The only thing I would change about this program would be the organization of the administration, during my time abroad it was a bit unorganized.
Yes, I recommend this program
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The Alliance

The Alliance for Global Education's Business in China program is perfect for those interested in international business or relations. The staff and program are wonderful for learning about the amazing culture of China and Shanghai!

With weekly activities available, and a friendly staff a phone call or 5 minute walk away, you feel immediately at home and safe within the giant city.

How can this program be improved?
Instead of classes 5 days a week, the classes could be reduced to 4 days per week that were slightly longer. This would allow for travel outside of the city much easier. In addition, the textbooks used are very advanced and not very contemporary.
Yes, I recommend this program


Meet the Staff

About Institute for Study Abroad (IFSA)

The Institute for Study Abroad (IFSA) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1988. Our primary goal is to provide quality study abroad opportunities, plus academic and personal support services, for qualified North American undergraduates seeking to...