The Frank G. Zarb School of Business has launched a unique partnership with a Chinese university that includes a summer internship in China and culminates in degrees from both institutions.
Fifteen Hofstra business students began the new dual degree program with Dongbei University of Finance and Economics during the spring 2016 semester. The five-course, two-semester program is taught at Hofstra by two visiting professors from Dongbei – Dr. Zhenhua Ji, PhD, a finance and accounting professor, and Dr. Orhan Hilmi Yazar, PhD, an expert in international trade, marketing, and intercultural comparison and management.
Over the summer, students will spend six weeks at Dongbei, including a month-long internship at a multi-national corporation.
As part of the program, five exchange students from Dongbei are spending two semesters studying at the Zarb School.
The partnership is among just a few such dual degree programs at U.S. universities.
Zarb School Dean Herman Berliner said the Dongbei program will give Hofstra business students a significant advantage when they graduate and enter the workforce.
“This sends a very clear message that the Zarb School of Business is a dynamic, international program always seeking new ways to provide students with the kind of global experience that is essential in today’s business environment,” said Zarb School Dean Herman Berliner.
“Studying for a dual degree and having an internship in China puts our students in a perfect position for the global economy they will be a part of, and makes them that much more competitive,” Berliner said.
Located in the northeastern port city of Dalian, Dongbei University has an enrollment of about 20,000 students. All courses there are taught in English. It is ranked among the top three universities in China for the study of finance and economics.
Dalian is a city of about four million people just under an hour by air from Beijing. It is a trading and financial center that has attracted international companies including Microsoft, Nokia, IBM and Intel. It is also home to the Dalian Wanda Group, China’s largest commercial property company and the world’s largest cinema chain operator. Dalian Wanda’s chairman, Wang Jianlin, is the richest man in China, with a net worth of $30 billion, according to Forbes.
The dual degree program is open to students majoring in finance, international business, marketing, management and entrepreneurship. Courses include Cross-Cultural Comparison and Management, International Financial Management and Chinese Economy and Society.
For some students, like Kevin Kusmierz, a finance major from Pennsylvania, the program will be their first international experience.
“I’ve never traveled out of the country,” Kusmierz said. “You get a dual degree, you get an international internship. You can’t pass that up. I think it’s absolutely imperative for growth to explore and to be exposed to different cultures.”
International business major Tori Matisoff, who speaks Chinese, visited for the first time as part of a study abroad trip to China during her freshman year.
“I fell in love with it, and have been looking for a way to go back ever since,” she said. “My dream is to be an expatriate partnered with a Chinese company, and this is great for my resume.”
Cover photo: Zarb School Dean Herman Berliner, Associate Dean Gioia Bales and the 15 students who are participating in the first year of the school’s dual-degree program with Dongbei University.