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This summer, 50 Eller business management and marketing majors took their first-semester cohort classes in Nanjing, China. The accelerated program resulted in 15 credits in seven short weeks, but the intangible benefits of the experience proved immeasurable.

“The opportunity to live in China while completing my first semester cohort in Eller was something I just could not pass up,” says Megan Shekleton (BSBA Marketing ’11), who also traveled to India on an Eller-led trip two years ago. “Traveling and experiencing different cultures and parts of the world is my biggest passion.”

Eller students in China

Eller undergraduates (left to right): Courtney Duff, Ashley Leuders, and Erika Barakat.

Shekleton cites the group’s visit to the Great Wall as a highlight, but also recalls wading though puddles on the way to class after a massive monsoon storm and finding solidarity with classmates as they celebrated the Fourth of July together.

“This experience was unique because not only did I conquer an extremely hard course load while in China, but I also had the best time experiencing Chinese culture with my new friends,” she says. “I did not just learn about the cultural differences between Chinese and Americans through a textbook or a teacher, but I got to experience them in my everyday life.”

“I decided to apply for the Global Cohort because I am very interested in Chinese culture and language, and saw the opportunity to study there as invaluable,” says David Ware (BSBA MIS ’12). “The Chinese business class we had was extremely informative, and gave all of us a unique perspective on global business.”

Eller undergraduate students participate in a day trip

Eller undergraduate students (L-R) Jenna Meredith, Megan Shekleton, Whitney Freese, Brett Weisberg, Katie Isales, and Megan Pulver participate in a day trip between classes.

Ware says that the experience gave him a better understanding of Chinese culture and a heightened awareness of China’s role in the global economy. But, he adds, “The highlight of the trip was the connection I made with my fellow students. It’s amazing to walk up to McClelland Hall every day and see the 49 people I got to know so well.”

Ashley Lueders (BSBA Marketing ’10) agrees. “This trip made me feel close to Eller; I walk the halls with my head held high now,” she says. “I built very close relationships with my peers and my teachers.” Lueder is the first woman in her family to attend a four-year university. “The last thing I thought I would ever do is attend college, let alone take classes in China!” she says. “Growing up in a less privileged community has not only offered financial, academic, and social challenges, but it has also made me realize the value of a college education.”

The experience also changed the way she looks at the world. “I am very open minded now,” she says. “I think on a global level rather than on a local or national level.”