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Chinese business students at UNM aren’t worried about tariffs

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Anran Chen, a Chinese business student who is part of a program with the Anderson School of Management at the University of New Mexico.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Yuanyuan Lai and Anran Chen are not at all worried about a trade war between their country and the United States.

The Chinese business students, studying at the University of New Mexico this week as part of a new international program, say the escalating tariff battle is a temporary episode that won’t slow the overall pace of global business development.

“I’m very confident,” said Chen, an undergraduate student at Beijing Institute of Technology in Zhuhai. “This is temporary. Developing is forever.”

The 54 undergraduate students from the Beijing institute and The University of Technology in Dong Guan are at the Albuquerque campus for several weeks to take English language and business classes. They are among 139 mostly Chinese, Mexican and Argentinian students who are studying in non-degree programs this summer at UNM.

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Yuanyuan Lai, a Chinese business student who is part of a program with the Anderson School of Management at the University of New Mexico.

The business students’ exposure to Albuquerque aims to prepare them for a joint program under which they will return to UNM’s Anderson School of Management to finish their senior year and pursue a master’s in business degree.

For many, it’s their first visit to the United States, and they said they like what they see so far.

Chen, who is studying financial management, said he “fell in love with this place” and admires the way American professors are less formal than their Chinese counterparts.

With the U.S. teachers, he said, “It’s not just speech, it’s communication.”

Lai, a freshman, is trying to soak up as much she can about the food, the language and the way companies do business.

“I want to learn how Americans do things,” she said.

The students are paying $4,600 for their UNM stay, not including travel expenses. It’s a sign of the huge demand in China for a limited number of university slots, said Anderson dean Craig White.

At one student recruiting event in Dong Guan, north of Hong Kong, about 500,000 people showed up as a burgeoning middle class seeks an education for their kids, White said.

Yu Hin Cheung, student affairs director at the Beijing institute, said it is imperative for the Chinese students to gain a “global perspective” if they’re going to succeed in the business world.

“In the long run, collaboration is the only way to make the world a success,” he said.

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