Emerson joins forces with major Chinese university to offer global student experiences

Allison Teixeira
July 19, 2011

Emerson and the Communication University of China (CUC) collaborated to offer international experiences in Boston and Beijing this summer for students from both institutions. A group of 11 Emerson students from the Global Marketing Communication and Advertising (GMCA) graduate program traveled to Beijing in June to learn about China’s media and marketing industries, and a group of 35 CUC students recently visited Emerson as part of a U.S. tour.

“The world is shrinking and it’s very important for our students to have exposure to perspectives that are outside their own backyards,” said Linda Moore, Emerson’s Vice President for Academic Affairs. “When their students come here, there’s an opportunity to have a dialogue with people from another culture, and when our students go there, they can immerse themselves in Chinese culture.”

Emerson and CUC students at the Great Wall of China

Emerson graduate students visited the Great Wall of China with their counterparts from the Communication University of China.

The Emerson students who made the trip to China were taking part in a new four-credit course called Global Marketing International Seminar, which was offered to GMCA students in place of their usual internship requirement. The students, accompanied by GMCA program director Thomas Vogel, were paired with 11 CUC students while in Beijing and worked in teams to develop reports on the media and advertising environments in China. They spent two weeks attending lectures at CUC, visiting several Chinese companies, and seeing famous sites in the region, including the Great Wall and Tiananmen Square.

“The students were able to take the concepts that they’ve learned here and apply them,” said Vogel. “There is no classroom environment, no case study in the world, that can replace the real-world experience.”

While there, the students blogged about their time in Beijing. “In just three weeks, we made new friends at CUC; explored a new city; learned about Chinese culture, people and marketing communication practices; and visited companies such as BOSCH, Publicis Beijing, Huayi Brothers, and many more,” said participant Julie Burdan. She pointed to a discussion about the reality of Chinese target audiences and the future of the market as one of her “favorite moments” of the trip.

A few weeks after Emerson students returned from Beijing, a delegation of undergraduate and graduate students and faculty from CUC visited Emerson in Boston as part of a three-week tour. The CUC students attended lectures taught by Marketing Communication faculty William Anderson, Donald Hurwitz, Mariko Morimoto, Douglas Quintal, Art Stewart ‘82, and Vogel. They also visited several media–related sites in Boston, including the New England Cable News studio, the Massachusetts State House, and the Boston Globe. In addition to their week in Boston, the delegation made stops at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Columbia University.

CUC students with Emerson faculty and administrators

Students from the Communication University of China visited with Emerson faculty and administrators during a trip to Boston.

“I can’t say enough about the students from CUC. They were wonderful,” said Assistant Professor of Journalism Mark Leccese, who arranged the tours around Boston. “They were so curious about everything. They asked hundreds of questions, and it was a very interesting teaching experience for me.”

The CUC is a noted university in the information and communication fields in China and is known as the cradle of the country’s broadcasting and television industry. Emerson has collaborated with the CUC on several projects in the last decade. Projects have included visiting scholar opportunities, student exchange programs, and a program that allowed Emerson students to work for the Olympic News Service during the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics.

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