While many of us took vacations and basked in the Pacific Northwest sun this summer, students from Highline College and three other colleges went on a study abroad trip to learn about the supply chain.
Students from North Seattle College, Tacoma Community College and Wenatchee Valley College joined Highline students on the first Follow the Supply Chain Study Abroad Program to visit apple orchards of Wenatchee, a shoe headquarters in Seattle and the Mekong Delta in southern Vietnam.
And thanks to generous sponsorships of The Boeing Company, Lynden Logistics, Federal Way Chamber of Commerce, the UW Center for Global Studies and the UW Global Business program, students only had to pay a $500 fee to participate.
At Brooks Headquarters in Seattle, students learned how shoes are designed and tested using capture motion and other high technology methods. With sustainability being a big part of Brooks’ supply chain, students also learned some of the complexities of what it takes to bring shoes in through customs using a Foreign Trade Zone, before being shipped off to Brooks’ warehouse in Indiana.
In Wenatchee, CMI Orchards showed students their packaging facility which uses technology to sort and grade apples. Students saw the orchards and learned how apples are grown through a variety of methods.
In Vietnam, it all came together.
There, students saw a factory where Brooks shoes are manufactured, and they were able to meet and talk with workers and managers of the factory.
They also saw how apples were shipped in cold storage containers through Cat Lai Port. At the end of the trip, one of our students commented, “I had no idea how complicated it was for a Honey Crisp apple to arrive on my table.”
Additionally, students were briefed by the U.S. Consulate and spent a half-day with Vietnam’s National University students as they toured the Mekong Delta, a maze of rivers that is home to many floating markets in southern Vietnam.
The first trip within the Follow the Supply Chain Study Abroad Program was put on by Highline College’s Global Programs and Highline College-based Center of Excellence for Global Trade and Supply Chain Management.
It is both organizations’ hope that this study abroad trip will not only be the first of many within the Supply Chain Study Abroad Program, but also that it’s part of an expanded study abroad effort at Highline College. The aim is to provide students of all backgrounds an opportunity to see the world up close –– something increasingly important in our international region and globalized world.
Learn more about Center of Excellence for Global Trade and Supply Chain Management and Global Programs.