Profile: Abel Flint ’15

  • Abel Flint by a waterfall in China
  • A group of students by a brightly lit skyline at night

    Abel and classmates in Shanghai, China.

Major: Business Program

Study Abroad Programs: Alliance/ Shanghai University of Finance and Economics (Fall 2013)

Abel Flint spent his fall semester as a junior studying abroad in China at the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics. As a business major, he was able to combine practical business and marketing courses with an enriching cultural experience that allowed him to explore his own heritage as an Asian-American. Here, Abel highlights moments from his experience that helped shape his understanding of modern international business against the backdrop of a vibrant and surprising Shanghai. 

Reason for choosing this program: It’s hard to study business these days without focusing on the economic development that is happening in China. China is quickly catching up to the economic strength of America and can no longer be ignored as an international leader. I felt strongly that it was important for my business education to spend time understanding Chinese economics and culture. This program was a perfect mix of language study and intensive Chinese-centric business courses. Additionally, since I am ethnically half-Chinese, I have always felt an appreciation for Chinese culture and language. I decided this would be an excellent opportunity to explore and better understand my heritage.

Housing situation: I lived in a dormitory with fellow program participants on the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics international campus.

Best memory: The best memory I had was when the entire program went on a weeklong extended field study trip. We had the opportunity to explore different companies within southern China and Hong Kong. This was both an educational and culturally enriching trip.

Greatest challenge: The greatest challenge I personally had was figuring out the cultural norms in Shanghai.  Studying abroad in China is extremely different from living in the United States. Many things that we consider to be abnormal in America are socially acceptable in China.

Favorite class: Marketing in China

What you know now that you didn't know before: If you want any American brands, you are going to pay a premium. For example, a box of Cheerios will cost you almost $11 in an international supermarket in Shanghai. 

Fact about China that you think people would be surprised to learn: I think the most surprising thing for me was the amount of wealth inequality in the nation. This is a nation where there are people who are incredibly wealthy and people who live in complete poverty. For me, I never expected the wealth gap to be that large.