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Transformative Business Immersion (TBI) in Developing Countries

Transformative Business Immersion (TBI) is a 6 credit-bearing experiential learning course of the HKU Business School at the University of Hong Kong.

The course takes place during the Summer Semester and students can participate in one of the classes either in June or in August. The class size is comprised of around 25 undergrad students who travel to a tropical island in the Philippines, Bohol, where they work with small business and live alongside local families for 3 weeks before their return to Hong Kong.





Throughout the duration of the course, students stay in a small village near a town called Jagna, about 2 hours drive from the international airport and the capital city of Bohol, Tagbilaran.


The accommodation is provided in homestays with local families and is a unique opportunity for students to suddenly have several brothers, sisters cousins and pets ... well, a whole new family :) This helps students to immerse themselves in daily life of locals, experience the beautiful Filipino culture (including the delicious food) and understand struggles of life in a developing country.





Transformative Business Immersion (TBI) course has developed close relationships with businesses located in and around Jagna. Over the years of collaboration, students have helped many local business owners understand their products, accounting and operations, and have helped them establish new strategies to improve their business.


Students work in teams and are assigned to businesses ranging from Bed & Breakfast through vegetable stalls or tile vendors to diving shops. This is an opportunity to see how small, family-owned business works, what are the issues and also what are the happy moments. 



What Students Learn

  • Perform a detailed analysis of a small or micro-enterprise in the context of a developing economy. 

  • Apply theoretical knowledge learned in past courses to approach, in an innovative way, weaknesses or inefficiencies that surface in the analysis. 

  • Work with community and business leaders to discuss the analysis and potential solutions, together coming up with practical means of implementing the solutions. 

  • Develop a deeper, more thoughtful understanding of the culture, economy and environment through daily interaction with host families.

Course Outline