Business and Culture Along the Silk Roads

Fall 2014, Winter 2015 and Spring 2015 quarters

Taught by

visual arts, Chinese studies, human development
economics, management, community organization


Good training in business management and cultural competence are essential requirements for the development of successful and sustainable enterprises. This program will focus on the interconnections between business, economy, and culture, with a specific application to trade, cultural exchange, and community development along the Silk Roads.


For centuries, the ancient Silk Roads moved ideas and goods between the great civilizations of Asia, Pacific Rim, the Middle East, and the New World. From the time of Marco Polo and Genghis Khan to Yo Yo Ma, the Silk Roads have connected empires and fostered the development of music, art, religion, and commerce. In this program we will study contemporary and historical Silk Roads to envision sustainable commerce of Silk Roads in the future. We will develop learning, skills, and practical knowledge that are necessary to provide a strong foundation and vision for understanding the business and economic development potential of selected cultures along the Silk Roads. We will examine how developing commerce of Pacific Rim can impact the economic future of Washington State. We will learn about international trade, socially responsible enterprises, and intercultural communication. We will learn about the use of money and alternative business financing models. The program will be foundational for forming business pathways to move toward greater cultural, economic, and environmental sustainability.


        In fall quarter, we will learn the skills necessary for understanding the historical, cultural, and economic significance of Silk Roads and for creating a sustainable business plan. Our study in fall quarter will include learning about community resources, business economics, and social/business enterprises along the Silk Roads. In winter quarter we will learn about intercultural communication, alternative business financing models, leadership, and application of business skills in non-profit and corporate enterprises. Winter quarter will also provide an opportunity for selected students to travel on Silk Roads to China and Vietnam with faculty members Thuy Vu and Hirsh Diamant to study business, economy, culture, and education there. (Students traveling abroad can earn 12 credits.) In spring quarter we will work on practical application of acquired skills in intercultural leadership, international trade, marketing, and developing sustainable applications of students’ business plans.



Fields of Study

Preparatory for studies or careers in

Business, intercultural leadership, international trade, marketing, developing sustainable applications of students’ business plans.

Location and Schedule

Campus location



Offered during: Weekend

Advertised schedule:  Fall Dates: Sat. 9a-5p, Oct. 4, 11, 18, 25, Nov. 1, 8, 15, 22, Dec. 6,  plus a two day field trip to LaPush on Wed/Thursday, Nov 12/13  Winter Dates: Sat. 9a-5p, Jan. 10, 17, 24, 31, Feb. 7, 21, 28 plus the Lunar Year Year/Tai Ji celebration Fri/Sat/Sun, Feb 13 (6-9p), Feb 14, 15 (10a-5p) Travel and study abroad: March 1 - April 4 Spring Dates: Sat. 9a-5p, April 4, 11, 18, 25,  May 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, June 6.

Final Schedule and Room Assignment


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Online Learning

Enhanced Online Learning

More information about online learning.

Required Fees

Fall: $50 for overnight field trip to LaPush; Winter: $15 for Lunar New Year Celebration Winter: Vietnam and China, 2-8 weeks, approximately $2500-$4500 depending on the length of stay.

Internship Possibilities

Business and community organisations, public and private k-12 schools

Study Abroad

Vietnam and China, 2-8 weeks in Winter and Spring quarters starting Feb 23, 2015, cost: approximately $2500-$4500 depending on the length of stay.

Registration Information

Credits: 8 (Fall); 8, 12 (Winter); 8 (Spring)

Class standing: Freshmen–Senior

Maximum enrollment: 50


Course Reference Number

(8 credits): 10003

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Accepting New Students

Course Reference Numbers

(8 credits): 20003
(12 credits): 20004

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Accepting New Students

Signature Required

Students need to demonstrate prior knowlege of business and cultural/language competency

Course Reference Numbers

(8 credits): 30003

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