Virginia Tech is in the midst of developing a new international business program to reflect the importance of East Asia in industry. The university received a $178,000 federal grant in order to fund the proposal drafted over the course of two years. This new program will utilize Chinese and Korean language and culture in the coursework offered, and will also offer internships with Asian-owned companies in the United States as well as companies in China and Korea.
Virginia Tech’s business school — Pamplin — launched a new study abroad program in China in the summer of 2018 as well as a collaborative Winter Olympics program with George Mason University’s sports management program in South Korea this past March. This winter, next spring, and next summer, Pamplin will offer short-term programs in Southeast Asia and China, and will also introduce semester-long programs in China, South Korea, Singapore, and other parts of the Asia-Pacific region. There are 11,621 international students from the Indo-Pacific in Virginia, which accounts for 57% of all international students in the state. Overall, there are almost 760,000 Asian international students in the United States, with China, India, and South Korea being the most popular places of origin.
China’s economic impact on Virginia is already significant. Virginia exports $9.2 billion in goods and services to the Indo-Pacific every year with China being the state’s largest market at 2.4 billion, making 28% of Virginia exports going to the Indo-Pacific. Exports to the Indo-Pacific have created 56,198 jobs in the state.
According to the Modern Language Association, the number of students learning Asian languages in the United States skyrocketed over the past two decades. In particular, Chinese language learning students have doubled since 1995 — 26,471 students to 53,069 ― and Korean students have more than quadrupled.
Celine Mahne is a research intern at the East-West Center in Washington. She is a third-year undergraduate student at the George Washington University studying International Affairs, concentrating in Security Policy and minoring in Korean.