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LA PLATA, Md. (Nov. 24, 2009) -- College of Southern Maryland students taking courses in international economics, marketing and business in a market economy will learn first-hand the value of building personal relationships, the intricacies of cultural communications and international business protocol when they travel to China with Southern Maryland's local chambers of commerce members next spring.
CSM Professor of Business and Technology Athena Miklos is teaching core courses for this year's International Travel Program scheduled for March 30 through April 7 and will be traveling to China with students. "Students who are immersed in a foreign culture, even for a short period of time, gain so much intellectually from the insights and first-hand experiences that come with exposure to people outside the comforts of their home communities. These insights will serve them throughout their lives, no matter what field of study they pursue," said Miklos.
"This is the opportunity of a lifetime for not only CSM's students, but for Southern Maryland business and community leaders, and anybody in the community who wants to join us," said Ken Gould, director of the Charles County Chamber of Commerce, the trip's organizer. "Not only will our group have incredible sightseeing opportunities, but they will also participate in a business conference and dinner where they will have opportunities to meet and talk with Chinese business owners. There are also various optional low-cost tours, such as a performance by Cirque du Soleil, and a rickshaw ride to a luncheon with a Chinese host family."
The tour is open to chamber of commerce members from Calvert, Charles and St. Mary's counties and CSM students enrolled in at least one of the selected business courses included in the program. Non-chamber members will pay an additional $100 to join the group. "We would be happy to have 40 to 50 people make the trip with us-and will be pleasantly surprised if we get 100," Gould said. "The value in this package at $1,999 is so incredible we hope we will have a large contingent from Southern Maryland." The Charles County Chamber of Commerce is hosting an orientation meeting for those interested in learning more about the trip on Dec. 15 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Charles County Chamber of Commerce office on Centennial Way in La Plata.
The trip includes roundtrip transportation from La Plata to JFK Airport, roundtrip airfare from JFK to Bejing, 4-and 5-star hotel accommodations, three full meals each day, daily sightseeing tours, English-speaking guides, admission to tourist attractions and taxes.
"We will visit sites around the capital city of Bejing including Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City, the Great Wall and Ming Tombs. An excursion to Shanghai and Suzhou will include visits to centuries-old gardens and temples and a silk factory. In Hangzhou we will see a 64-foot carved Buddha, and visit pagodas and tea houses. Visits to economic development zones are featured stops throughout the trip," said Miklos. "Built into the trip are dinners and meetings where we will be interacting with businessmen and women who are looking for opportunities in our community-this trip is as much about the intricacies of building international business relationships as it is about experiencing the culture of a foreign country. It is exceptional that CSM offers such rich cultural experiences for our students to experience abroad."
Students must have CSM tuition, fees and cost of trip paid by Dec. 15.
For students interested in information on CSM's China International Travel Program, passport and Visa requirements, and deadlines, contact Miklos at 301-934-9478, AthenaM(at)csmd.edu or visit www.csmd.edu/travelstudy/china.
For chamber and community members interested in information on the Charles County Chamber of Commerce Business and Cultural Tour of China, contact Gould at 301-932-6500 or kgould(at)charlescountychamber.org.