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Last fall, Professors Robert Rogowsky and Li Juan Zhang designed an immersive learning course to give Monterey Institute students the opportunity to experience first hand the real-world issues, impacts and policy implications of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone (FTZ). Fifteen students then joined them for a week-long trip to China over the March Spring Break, where they visited the Shanghai FTZ, met local policy makers, and learned from guest lectures by industry professionals and scholars. Students also had the opportunity to meet with faculty and students from Shanghai University of Finance and Economics and work with them.

Abdel K. Seck (MAIPS ‘13) calls the trip “a lifetime opportunity” because of the valueless amount of learning it offered him. Minnie Patnick (MBA/MAIPS ‘15) is especially grateful to her professors for organizing such an enriching experience filled with amazing site visits and “phenomenal” lectures. Like many graduate students, Haiben Ren (MAIPS ‘14) is focused on career opportunities and says that it was great to meet so many important people in the Shanghai FTZ, “where potential job positions are from in the future.” All of the students spoke of the importance of well-designed immersive learning opportunities, to put what they learn in the classroom into perspective, and to deepen their understanding of the issues they will face as professionals.

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Jason Warburg

Eva Gudbergsdottir