- Fall: May 1
- Spring: November 1
About International Business in China
Looking for specific classes? Explore CHART, our exclusive class database — if the International Business in China Program is pre-approved at your institution, you’ll find classes recently taken by other IFSA students.
Shanghai offers you the unparalleled opportunity to study international business and economic development in Asia's financial center. Outside the classroom you get a first-hand encounter with China's rapidly changing business environment through corporate visits and internships with Chinese and multi-national companies.
International Business in China Benefits
- Impress future employers with your first-hand knowledge of Chinese business culture by studying abroad in one of the fastest-growing economies in the world
- Enhance your resumé by gaining hands-on work experience as you complete a part-time internship from a wide range of industries
- Find your home in a vibrant, student-friendly neighborhood, where our program center sits just around the corner from the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics (SUFE)
- Pair with a local Chinese university student in the optional language partner program. You'll spend at least two hours per week for eight weeks practicing language in a social, casual setting
- Participate in an extended field study trip that introduces you to the diverse social, economic and geographic realities that exist within China's borders
What our students say
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The IFSA Difference
Academics at International Business in China
- China: Economic Giant (3 U.S. semester credit hours): The course provides an interpretative survey of China's emergence as a global economic power. The phenomenal changes in the Chinese economy over recent decades are highlighted, and aspects of quantitative development are related to the radical reforms adopted since 1978. Students discuss major policy issues encountered by the Chinese government in sustaining high-speed economic growth without instability. Students also explore China's pursuit of full integration into the global free trade system.
- Chinese Language (6 U.S. semester credit hours): No prior language study is required. A placement exam during on-site orientation determines each student's appropriate language level.
All elective courses are taught in English. Not all electives may be offered in a given semester depending on enrollment and faculty availability.
- Business Chinese I or Business Chinese II (3 U.S. semester credit hours): Students must have completed three semesters of Chinese language for this course. Students develop specialized skills in business-related communication in Chinese in both oral and written forms.
- International Money and Finance (3 U.S. semester credit hours): Students must have completed an Introduction to Finance course as a pre-requisite for this course. This course familiarizes students with the basic theories for global financial liberalization and the major policy problems involved for the Chinese government to fully integrate the country with the global financial system. Discussions address Chinese interest rate determination, the exchange rate regime, and associated risks; new investment and financing techniques; B-share versus A-share in Chinese stock markets; the role of qualified institutional investors; and the possible implications of renminbi becoming fully convertible in the future.
- International Trade: A Chinese Perspective (3 U.S. semester credit hours): This course helps students develop the conceptual basis and the necessary tools for understanding modern international trade at the intermediate level. Topics include classical and modern theories of international trade, factor price equalization, empirical tests and extensions of the pure theory model, economic growth and international trade, the nature and effects of protection, and motives and welfare effects of factor movements. Each topic includes case studies under the context of China's international trade with the U.S. and the rest of the world.
- Internship (3 U.S. semester credit hours): Interns are placed in Chinese, joint-venture, or foreign-owned companies; research institutes; non-governmental organizations; or media and art studios. Placements are highly competitive, and other foreign languages and professional skills assist in the placement process as well. Interns spend approximately 10 hours per week at the internship site and complete a final academic paper with an accompanying oral presentation. Internships are supervised by a faculty advisor who meets with students at least twice individually and at least three times as a group.
- China as a Global Market (3 U.S. semester credit hours): China is not only a major export market but also a global sourcing base, given that Chinese exports are dominated by foreign-funded enterprises. Discussions include China's rising purchasing power and consumption market potentials, trends in China's demand for capital goods and western technology, marketing new products, cultural attributes in Chinese consumer behavior, outsourcing and sourcing in China, the service industries, international distribution systems, market regulations and deregulations, export tax rebate and import duties, and pricing and terms of payments.
- Managing Enterprises in China (3 U.S. semester credit hours): This course focuses on the modus operandi of major types of enterprises in China, such as large-scale state-owned enterprises, share-holding corporations, collective enterprises of global significance, and foreign-funded conglomerates. Discussions address functional aspects of enterprise management, including production and investment decision-making, financing, marketing and supply sourcing, human resource management, technology transfer, and research and development, as well as the Chinese government's changing regulatory framework.
- Operations and Supply Chain Management (3 U.S. semester credit hours): This course introduces business operation and supply chain management. Both operations and supply chain management are the primary functions of every company and organization. In this age of rapid globalization and fast moving information, operations and supply chain management are the keys to improving company profitability and sustainability. It is crucial for the success of a company and its customers, therefore no one should underestimate its importance.
- Exploring Community & Culture in a Global Context (3 U.S. semester credit hours): Through a creative asynchronous online format, this course facilitates active engagement with your host community, exploration of cultural identity and examination of diversity in the context of political, economic and sociocultural structures. Students cover topics such as intercultural communication skills, intercultural learning theories, tools for intercultural analysis and the development of personal strategies for engaging with differences of any kind following the study abroad experience. This course is ideal for students seeking transferable skills and specific competencies for success in the global marketplace. Depending on your chosen IFSA program, this course may be taken as a part of or in addition to your full credit load. Home institution approval is required for enrollment.
In Shanghai, students have the opportunity to participate in a part-time, credit-bearing internship at sites that may include Chinese and foreign businesses, NGOs, and government organizations. The placement process begins with the submission of the Field Component Intent Form upon acceptance into the program and typically concludes with an in-person interview in China.
IFSA makes every effort to place student interns at companies or organizations that match the organization's needs with a student's skills, experience, and goals, including but not limited to the student's Chinese language level and communication skills, prior professional experience, and work competencies. Applicants are encouraged to be flexible. Internships may include opportunities to:
- Assist with development of virtual brand presence; monitor and maintain regular social media activity
- Research and report the latest regulatory issues affecting foreign investment
- Develop marketing strategies for foreign brands interested in entering the Chinese market or already in China wanting to improve their business
- Design and develop software applications and local information systems according to customer requirements
- Play an active role in all aspects of the client engagement process including interviewing clients, building financial models and creating and delivering presentations
- Conduct industrial analyses and research traditional wealth management approaches
Housing & Meals
The IFSA Team
IFSA has a dedicated team who are here to help you prepare to achieve your goals. Feel free to reach out. We are happy to answer your questions!