The practise of mixing business and pleasure sits at the heart of a four-week study tour to China, run by UC's College of Business and Economics.
Between November and December every year, up to 30 students travel 10,000kms from Christchurch to Hangzhou, the capital city of Zhejiang province.
Not only do students get to sample the excitement of overseas travel - and do a brief OE of sorts - they also gain credits towards their degree while learning about business in China.
The study tour is open to anyone who has completed a year of study at UC and at least two commerce papers.
Dr Laura Meriluoto, International Business Director says: 'We want students to enjoy the social side of travelling overseas, as well as gain some valuable business knowledge and experience. On top of that, the study tour gives students 15 credits towards their degree.'
The tour starts with an orientation week where students learn about and research business in China.
In China, UC students spend two-and-a-half weeks attending classes on management, economics and Chinese language, arts and culture at Zhejiang Gongshang University. Students also teach conversational English to small groups of Zhejiang Gongshang University students.
"This is one of the best parts of the tour. Students get to know local people and gain a deeper understanding of Chinese culture. They develop important networks and establish friendships and business contacts that many of them use in the future," she says.
Dr Meriluoto says the Chinese concept of 'guanxi' - or the basic dynamic of personalised networks of influence - is central to Chinese society and something that students can explore in their new friendships.
"In the West we tend to translate this as 'making connection' or 'building relationships' - but neither of these ideas sufficiently reflects the cultural implications of guanxi.
Students stay in a dormitory and hostels together. They go sightseeing, visit local markets and practise basic Mandarin in real-life situations together.
They have the opportunity to travel by high-speed train to Shanghai, China's most populous city commonly described as the face of the country's booming economy.
In Shanghai, they visit Western businesses such as New Zealand companies Fonterra and The Warehouse, and global market and advertising research firm Nielsen. Business executives take time out to talk to students about doing business in China.
"Travelling to China and experiencing these things first hand means students come away with a much deeper understanding of the cultural and business context over there. "Many students tell me the trip opens their eyes to the opportunities that exist in China. Some even change their course of study - taking up Mandarin studies, for example - after the experience. Others return to China for a semester-long or year-long academic exchange.
"Overall, students achieve much, much more than they would do if they'd spent the summer at home."
Find out more about the Chinese Business Practices and Culture Study Tour