College of Business welcomes Chinese students from Shanghai International Studies University

Aug. 20, 2019


As economics, business, politics and social ideologies become globally intertwined, the University of Montana College of Business is fostering an environment of understanding and cooperation for students on the Missoula campus. Evidence of this can be found in the partnership between the UM College of Business and the Shanghai International Studies University (SISU) School of Economics and Finance in China.

Although SISU and the University of Montana have a relationship dating back more than 30 years, the College of Business and the SISU School of Economics and Finance have embarked on a fresh partnership.

In late 2017, the two signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to facilitate the collaboration. The agreement created a framework for encouraging student exchanges, including through the development of a summer program for SISU students to attend UM. It also established a commitment to build a program that allows SISU students to complete the first three years of academic coursework at SISU and their fourth year at the UM College of Business. These students would earn a bachelor’s degree from SISU and have the option to pursue a master’s degree at UM. The MOU also calls for the two colleges to form a joint business research center to foster cooperation in scholarly research, faculty exchanges and visiting scholar programs.

“The College of Business is thrilled to begin partnering with such an excellent institution,” Interim Dean at the University of Montana College of Business Suzanne Tilleman said about the SISU School of Economics and Finance. “We value the longstanding relationship between the University of Montana and SISU. This is just the beginning of a great partnership for our department.”

This past July and August, nine students and one student chaperone travelled from the SISU Shanghai campus for a three-week summer program, learning from UM College of Business professors in the classroom and in the field. While in Missoula, the SISU students were exposed to the University, the state of Montana and business in the Treasure State.

Students from SISU were shown the business of tourism in the U.S. at Yellowstone National Park, while learning about Montana State Government at the state capital in Helena. UM College of Business alumni at Stockman Bank, Big Sky Brewing Company and Wipfli CPAs and Consultants also helped educate and take the foreign students through their businesses.

“The SISU students have always been academically strong and these experiences can only help enrich their education,” Tilleman said. “This relationship is mutually beneficial for Montana and the SISU students.”

While the three-week summer program was the first experience SISU students had with the UM College of Business, this relationship will ultimately grow academic undergraduate and graduate programs. These personal and academic connections only bolster the College of Business’ reputation and prominence.

To expose SISU accounting and finance students to College of Business faculty, SISU has requested that the College of Business send one to two faculty members each year to Shanghai to deliver courses to their accounting and finance students. Terri Herron, professor of accounting, traveled to SISU in 2018 to deliver a two-week course.

SISU is one of the top eight foreign studies universities in China. With two campuses in Shanghai, it has an enrollment of more than 13,500 students. The organization is known for its students’ outstanding language skills and for its numerous international collaborations.


 2019 SISU Students at the College of Business