Xiamen University Students Explore the U.S. Graduate School Experience at UNC Charlotte

July 2012

A group of 26 undergraduate students visited UNC Charlotte from Xiamen University to gain insight into the U.S. graduate school experience as part of a program through Intercultural Outreach Programs in the Office of International Programs. While here, the students met with faculty and students, as well as recent graduates including a  panel on internships and networking opportunity coordinated by Robin Boswell, Director of Graduate Student Career Development in the Belk College of Business.

One enrolled and two former UNC Charlotte students participated in the panel - Abish Chowdhary, a current MBA student, and Ashok Rathore and Woratep Yunyongkul, MBA alumni and currently employed by Bank of America.

“We had the same doubts as they do now,” said Rathore. “It helps so much to hear this information firsthand. I wish I could have had an opportunity like this before coming to Charlotte for grad school. I never knew these things, and it could have helped so much.”

Peter Wu, an undergraduate finance major from Xiamen University, agreed. “The panel was very helpful. I heard a lot of great information, especially from international students who have been successful to apply to a U.S. university.”

In addition to the panel, the Xiamen University students had finance-specific lectures and discussions with UNC Charlotte faculty and staff about opportunities to continue their studies. Richard Conboy, Director of Global Business Studies in the Belk College of Business, specifically discussed the students’ opportunity to enroll in the college’s early entry graduate programs through the growing partnership with Xiamen University.

Through this partnership, 11 students from Xiamen University enrolled in the Belk College mathematical finance program in fall 2011 with one additional student enrolled in the Master of Accountancy program.

The Xiamen students noted time spent with UNC Charlotte students was valuable. The opportunity to share cultures and perspectives was a great advantage for these students, many of whom aspire to return to graduate school in the United States.

 “I wish I could spend more time getting to know the American students,” said Elizabeth Chen, a finance major from Xiamen University. “I want to learn more about their life, so I can live in America more comfortably and make many friends.”