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Students from Kouvola
in a Workshop in China

Text: Heikki Reijonen,
Photos: Hugh Clack,

Participants from six countries participated in the 3rd International Workshop that took place in Foshan, China. From Finland was a team from Kymenlaakso Polytechnic, Business Department Kouvola.

In the team was senior lecturer Ulla Pietilä and seven students: Heidi Blomfelt, Hugh Clack, Heikki Reijonen, Tuire Hartikainen, Marika Kiiskinen, Katja Mäkinen and Sanna Vapalahti.

The workshop was dated from 31 March to 13 April and during that time the participants visited Hong Kong, Foshan, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Peking making business visits and getting familiar with the culture.

The aim of the workshop is to promote intercultural understanding and communication in business life. The communication between the participants was done in English even though only one team was a native English. The participating teams arrived from the host country China, Russia, Germany, Portugal, USA and Finland. The way to promote intercultural communication is a business game called Intop III, which was played in Xi-An Hotel nearby Foshan.

The multi-cultural aspect of the game is one of the most important factors. From left to right: Prof Xiao Xiaodong (China), Ulf Küper (Germany), Guan Xiaoli (China), Rosa Samoqueiro (Portugal), Farel Valsaint (USA), Heidi Blomfelt (Finland).

The area of Foshan and Guangzhou is one of the fastest developing areas in China. The area receives special attention from the government and many foreign companies have established joint ventures and production plants in the area. The growth of the area is enormous. All over the cities you can see construction plants where new skyscrapers are being build. Traffic in the city centres is terrible. The streets in the city of Guangzhou are built in two levels in order to ease the traffic situation. The visit of this group of international students was very important to the area. We were invited to three official dinners and one official breakfast during our stay in Xi-An Hotel. One dinner and the breakfast were organised by the spokesman of the Peoples Congress of Foshan, Mr Han. One dinner was hosted by the Mayor of the city of Foshan and one was hosted by the Principal of the Foshan University. The local television companies reported our visit altogether three times.

Intop III game is a business simulations program in which six periods are being played. During each period the team has to make all relevant decisions affecting the activities of the company: pricing, production, financing, taxation etc. The teams were multinational and in some cases the language problems were not easy to solve. After each period for which we had time about 3-5 hours the results of the round were published. After six periods each participant had to buy shares of other companies.

In addition to the business game all the students and lecturers participated in a doubles table-tennis tournament. Only multinational couples were allowed. Like Prof Dr Bamler, one of the German organisers said: “Nothing else is more important than Ping-Pong.“

To sum up, the 3rd International Business Game was a big success. The arrangements were good. Only problems faced were a bit too tight timetable and hot weather in Xi-An.

You can read here also Hugh Clack’s experiences from the trip.

More information
Student Heikki Reijonen,

More photos

This article is from Insider 13/2000 28th April 2000. Insider is a weekly student magazine of Kymenlaakso Polytechnic Business Department, Kouvola.

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