Kenan-Flagler Business School University of North Carolina, Chapel hill, USA

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1 Kenan-Flagler Business School University of North Carolina, Chapel hill, USA Fall 2009 Guangzhi Zhao Here is a photo of UNC alumni game. It is a good way to test how much you are into basketball how many basketball stars you can find in this picture? I remember when I got the UNC exchange position last year. I told my Mom I was going to UNC. Where is UNC? she looked quite confused. well, I explained, That is Mickel Jordan s school. Ohh, Jordan! She suddenly realized, But you are not a basketball student, right? This is the side effect when you have something really excellent---your other good points are shadowed behind the shining stars. Not many people know that UNC is one of a top 5 public university in USA, and its Kenan-Flagler business school, where we will study at, is among the top 20 US business schools. Besides the academic quality,

2 the friendly people, different culture and the beautiful sight-seeing all make UNC an attractive exchange school. In the following part I will share my own experience there. Part I practical information 1. Arrival The website studentuniverse ( may helps you to find cheap ticket. Student Universe offers discount tickets only for students, so do contact them in advance to verify your student identity. The nearest airport to the school is the RDU airport, which is around 20 minutes driving distance. However, some of you may want to go to America before the school start and enjoy a driving trip. Before you go to US, contact Patricia Collins, Who is the manager of Kenan-Flagler s international program. Tell her your schedule and she will arrange a pick-up service. 2. Accommodation You can choose to live on-campus. The room condition is not compatible with its high price( 3100USD/ Semester-four months): you will share a two-bedroom apartment with another exchange. You ll have a private room and share the kitchen, bathroom and living room with your roommate. What may attract you is the dorms are within 5 minutes walking distance to the school, considering that some classes starts 8am in the morning, it seems not so bad to live on-campus. Off-campus living is less costly. A private room will cost you USD/month, and a two-bedroom apartment will cost around 800 USD/month. Most of our classmates who choose to live off-campus live in Carborro, Atlas spring and Purefoy. However, since a typical US leasing contract last 1 year, it may be hard to find the half year s rental, normally you need a sub-lease. Moreover, having a car is necessary if you live out of the school because the public transportation there is not as convenient as in Europe. 3. Furniture, bedroom and kitchen stuffs You can buy everything in Walmart but before you do that, contacting to Patricia Collins may bring you some pleasant surpise she may have free stuffs left by the previous exchanges. 4. Transportation

3 Travelling inside Chapel Hill is convenient. All the busses are free to everyone. The P2P bust can even take drunk you back from the bars at 3 o clock in the night. However, Chapel Hill is quite small. If you travel to the nearby towns Durham or Raleigh frequently, you may want to have a car. You can choose either to rent a car, or to buy a used car ( because you can sell it at the end, the price will be almost the same). The North Carolina state don t recognize the International driving license, but the Norwegian license is OK. 5. Cost Except the rental, almost everything in North Carolina is around half of the price in Norway. But don t be so-careless: the American businessmen are really good at making you spend your money! I am an unfortunate case I spend much more than I spend in Norway. So still need to manage your purse well! 6. Luggage - what to bring, what not to bring. The weather is much warmer. People wear short T-shirt till October, and in the winter the lowest temperature is around 0 Celsius. My suggestion is, don t take too much luggage, instead, take an empty baggage and bring a fullfilled baggage back, with all your harvest of shopping. Part II School life 7. courses As an exchange student you will take classes in the MBA program. The students get the course from the Bidding system. You will get 2000 bidding points. The most popular classes, will cost you more than 400 points. But don t worry if you can t get enough classes, generally you can get into most courses you want to choose during the drop/add week. One semester in Kenan-Flagler consists 2 modules, each last 7 weeks. The full semester load requires you to choose 8 courses, or 4 courses in each mod. The workload is manageable but higher than NHH, I think the actual workload for 8 courses in UNC equals to 5-6 courses in NHH. However, the workload varies a lot, some classes like Applied innovation in communications or Business Demographics require nearly zero extra work after class, while some strategy and finance classes, like Private equity and applied corporate finance, may involve a lot of assignments and case discussion, which are quite demanding.

4 The MBA classes are completely different to the traditional MSc classes in NHH. The classes in UNC don t hit so deeply into theory, but requires a lot of case study and discussions. Students are strongly encouraged to speak at class and the participation will be scored. The courses I chose last term: Business Demographics A very specific class in a niche field. The teacher is very experienced in the topic, however, you may feel a little bit boring if you are not interested in it. The class style is quite similar to NHH, the professor always speak in the lecture and the students take notes. Final grade depends on a group presentation and a close book exam( don t fear of it, it is very easy!) The workload is very low. Applied improvisation in communication Greg Hohn, the instructure of this class, is a professional improvisal actor and director. Thus, the class style is quite different: Greg teaches us by organizing us to play funny games in the class. To get good grade, you should be active in the class, be volunteering in the games. The games will sometimes embarrass you, but don t worry, you will find a lot of fun. The workload is extremely low, because you can choose not to do any after-class work (if you ignore the suggested reading). Selling your ideas This is a new course about communication. The teacher is quite good, enthusiasm and responsible, however, maybe because it is a new course, the structure is not well organized, sometimes we confuse about what we get from the course. The grade base on the two oral pitches, two writing pitches, and one final project pitches, and the workload is relatively high. Strategy and Uncertainty Richard Bettis, the instructor of the class is an excellent academic researcher, and he is the co-editor of the prestige journal strategic management journal. If you are interested in strategy, you may want to ask him for help. Complex deals The course name is quite Complex. Actually it is an advanced accounting course mainly discuss about acquisition accounting. Accounting is the strongest field in UNC

5 business school s research, ranked as 6# in USA, and he instructor is almost the best accounting professor in UNC, so the quality of the course is excellent. The teacher is a very humor (and complex) guy. However, you may feel it is a little bit hard if you don t have any accounting background like me, but if you get to understand it you can expect a good grade. Global financial Market A finance class base on FX exchange market. The instruction is clear. However, I think the class requires some finance background, I strongly suggest you to take investment course before you take it. Private Equity The professor has a lot of experiences in the practice of private Equity, he used to be the manager of the UNC endowment fund, and he also have his own venture capital fund. Almost every week he invite someone from the industry to give a lecture, which give you a lot of networking opportunities. However, the workload of the course is high, there is a tough assignment every week and a big final project. International real estate investment The guest instructor is from Reading University in UK. He founded three real estate fund, a very experienced people. The class is good, and workload is extremely low. Still, I suggest you have a soundable finance background before you take it. 8. Job hunting If you choose to go for exchange in fall semester, you will have a lot of opportunities to participate the career seminars and company presentation. However, if you would like to find a job in USA, you will be disappointed because the school s career service for international students is fairly poor. 9. Sports The Football season starts in September. The popular games require tickets, which you get from the lottery system. In other games you can watch free with UNC student card. The Basketball season starts later, in November. Almost every matches require tickets got from lottery system. However, if you don t have one but really want to watch, you can still go to the stadium and you will have a great chance to get a free ticket there.

6 For your own exercises, the gym is free to all students. The international MBA students play soccer every week. Some of them play very good, especially the south American students. 10. Travelling You ll have one week s block between the two modules, when you can plan a long journey. Usually there is no class in Friday, so a three-day s weekend is enough for a short way trip. RDU airport is very small, like in Bergen, the flight tickets are generally expensive. So you may want to plan in advance. Patricia will to you the recent on-sale tickets information. If you don t have a car, you will need a cab to the airport. You may contact Janita (Her number is ), she charge 25USD to exchange student, which is much cheaper than other cabs. 11. Night life There are a lot of good bars on the franklin street, so you ll have enough places to express your energy in the night. The most famous bars is called Top of the hill, where Mickel Jordan often went to when he was here. Other bars we used to go are Library ( it is not a Library!!), and He is not here. The end Overall, The UNC s exchange semester is a very nice experience to me. Enjoy yourself in the beautiful place, nice weather and friendly people, you ll get to love this school. Moreover, if you need further information, please contact me by to I will be glad to offer any help. Let us go Tar Heels!

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