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Business Tech students Skype with alumnus in China

Posted on Tuesday, March 19, 2013 at 2:59 pm

Business Technology, a class taught by Ms. Stacie Smith, is a dual credit course offered at Bowling Green High School.  Recently the students in this class have been learning about international business.

They have learned how dependent countries are on each other and how what happens in the United States affects countries all over the world.  Students have become knowledgeable about careers associated with international business along with discussing the global business environment and various cultures around the world.

“As a teacher, I like to bring in experts on the topics we are discussing.  It is hard to find a speaker close to home, but with Skype that is no longer an issue,” said Ms. Smith.

On March 13 the business technology class held a Skype session with Andy Erickson who is currently living in Beijing, China.  Andy, a 2010 graduate of BGHS, is spending a year studying abroad for his major of Asian Cultural Studies.

Andy began the conversation by discussing what led him to this career.  He stated that he became interested in international business through the Chinese course offered at BGHS when he was a student.

Andy then fielded questions about his experiences from the high school students.  Students were interested in the culture:  differences in religion, government controls, and transportation.

They also asked questions about the education system in China.  In addition, they were interested in his personal experiences with the people of China such as buying products and the food in the area.

Andy ended the conversation with the class recommending that, first of all, students continue their education, and secondly, that those students should take part in studying abroad if they have the opportunity.

He stated that it makes you appreciate your home and allows you to realize there is a lot of world out there for you to explore.  Dustin Roan, a student in Ms. Smith’s class, was excited to hear these words from Andy because someday he would like to study abroad and live in Japan.

After the Skype sessions students reflected on the experience.

Caitlin McClain stated, “Speaking with Andy gave me firsthand experience of dealing with another culture.  I learned a lot from the experience.”

Shelbie Crow added, “One thing I found interesting was how speaking English was difficult for Andy at first.”

Andy signed a pledge when he entered his program to only speak Chinese except when speaking to family/friends from home.

“I really appreciate Andy taking his personal time (with the time difference it was bedtime in Beijing) to speak with my students.  His experiences brought a unique perspective to our learning process,” stated Ms. Smith.