Analytics in the GBA: Draft



Summer 2024 International Academic Project:
Analytics in the Greater Bay Area, China

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Guangdong – Hong Kong – Macau Greater Bay Area, also known as the Greater Bay Area (GBA), is a megalopolis consisting of nine cities in the Guangdong Province of China, as well as Hong Kong and Macau. It is the largest and most populated urban area and is among the four largest bay areas in the world, comparable with the bay areas of New York City, Tokyo, and San Francisco. The GBA accounts for approximately 5% of China’s population and 10% of China’s GDP, and is the largest and the richest economic region in South China.

Analytics in the GBA is a ten-day international academic project that takes Georgia Tech Online Master of Science in Analytics (OMSA) students and alumni to the GBA to see analytics applications in action by visiting some of the most impressive companies and organizations in the region, with analytics knowledge sharing led by Georgia Tech – Shenzhen faculty. Besides the technical aspects, this program also enables OMSA students and alumni from around the globe to meet in person, gain cross-cultural experiences in this vital region of the world, and enjoy some time together networking and connecting with each other. Program participants are welcome to travel with their family; GT-Shenzhen staff members will be happy to provide some essential logistical support to the accompanying family members.

Participants must be current Georgia Tech OMSA students in good academic and disciplinary standing, or Georgia Tech OMSA program alumni.

Program Information

  • Program description: See slides
  • Program Director: Prof. Xiaoming Huo
  • Program coordinator: Ms. Windelyn Lin. She is located in Shenzhen and accessible via Georgia Tech email or Teams call by appointment.
  • Program dates: June 23 – July 2, 2024.
  • Cities to visit: Hong Kong & Shenzhen, China.
  • Eligibility: Current Georgia Tech OMSA students in good academic standing and good disciplinary standing (no pending disciplinary charges or outstanding disciplinary sanctions) or OMSA alumni.
  • Capacity: 40 participants for the summer 2024 program offering.
  • Deposit: A non-refundable deposit of $200 USD is due at the time of application. Remit payment to GTSI (Georgia Tech Shenzhen Institute). If you apply for the visa to China and your Chinese visa application is denied, we will refund you the $200 deposit minus any credit card fee or wire transfer fee that incurred as part of the transaction; official documentation showing proof of the Chinese visa denial will be required to receive any refund.
  • Application deadline: April 8, 2024 or until the program capacity has been reached. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, first-come, first-served.
  • Program fee balance due to GTSI by May 15, 2024: $300 USD. Together with the $200 USD deposit payable at the time of application, the combined total of $500 USD program fee is to cover program events, venue fees, Hong Kong Airport pickup, ground transportation in Hong Kong and Shenzhen, 2 group meals, materials and supplies, travel insurance, and local staff support.
  • Additional expenses to budget: International airfare, lodging in Hong Kong and Shenzhen, Chinese visa application fee, meals and personal spending.
  • Lodging: The program will provide program participants various hotel lodging options in the same vicinity to accommodate different budgets and occupancy choices: double-occupancy, single-occupancy, or family occupancy. Participants are to pay the hotels directly for the housing costs.
  • Travel in China before or after the program: You may feel free to travel in China before or after the program. Please be sure that you have a sufficient number of entries and duration of stay on your Chinese visa.
  • Contact for questions: Send mail
  • Application Process

  • Step 1: Read carefully the information on this page and the linked documents.
  • Step 2: Join the program information session via Zoom scheduled for Date, Time ET. Meeting link: TBD; i.e., Zoom Meeting ID: TBD. You can view the recording using your Georgia Tech login. Reach out to the program coordinator or send mail if you have additional questions.
  • Step 3: Submit your application via this page by the application deadline. Or you can scan the QR code below with your phone:



    A $200 non-refundable deposit is required at the time of application. We will send detailed Chinese visa application instructions to those who have applied.
  • Step 4: Apply for visa to China starting as early as 3 months before your planned arrival date to mainland China. Fill out the China Online Visa Application (COVA) by following the visa application instructions but do not click the submit button on the COVA site. Note the Application ID which allows you to return to the COVA site and update your visa application online within 30 days. If you will be using a visa service to represent you for the visa application at a Chinese Embassy or Consulate, you will need to send the COVA Application ID and your passport number to that visa service to review and submit it on your behalf. You will need to drop off your passport, required supporting documents, and make the visa application fee payment to the visa service.
  • Step 5: Make $300 USD program fee balance payment by the final program fee payment deadline of May 15, 2024. Detailed payment instructions will be sent to the program participants.
  • Step 6: You should purchase airfare once your Chinese visa is issued, or you may purchase a refundable airfare prior to the visa issuance.
  • Step 7: Make your hotel reservation from the hotel options provided. Program ground transportation will be provided only to/from those hotels.
  • Passport and Visa

  • Passport: You must have a current and valid passport with at least 6 months of validity left from your return date and at least two blank visa pages left.
  • Visa to Hong Kong: Nationals of about 170 countries and territories may visit Hong Kong for 7 to 180 days visa-free; see the visa policy of Hong Kong. U.S. citizens do not need a visa to visit Hong Kong. If your nationality does not exempt you from the Hong Kong visa requirement, please make sure that you have sufficient time to apply for both the visa to Hong Kong and the visa to mainland China. If you fail to secure a visa to Hong Kong, you can fly directly to Shenzhen and the program does not make any partial program fee refund if you miss the Hong Kong portion of the program.
  • Visa to mainland China: If you are a citizen of France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain or Malaysia, you do not need a visa to visit mainland China for up to 15 days. If you are a U.S. citizen, you should apply for a tourist visa (L-visa), and the cost is the same whether you apply for a single entry visa or a 10-year multiple entry visa. The visa cost consists of a visa application fee ($140 for U.S. citizens; different amounts for citizens of other countries) charged by the Chinese Embassy, plus a charge from the visa service if you choose to use one.
  • China Online Visa Application (COVA): We will provide detailed COVA instructions to those students who have applied to this program.
  • Airline Itineraries

  • The most efficient airline routing from Atlanta to Hong Kong takes approximately 24 hours including one stop with a reasonable layover. The most efficient routing from Hong Kong to Atlanta takes approximately 20 hours including one stop with a reasonable layover.
  • Note that Hong Kong and Shenzhen will be ahead of the U.S. Eastern Time by 12 hours in the summer.
  • In order to participate in the program fully, please plan to arrive in Hong Kong by Sunday June 24. A local staff member will meet you at the Hong Kong Airport upon your arrival in accordance with the flight itinerary that you provide to us.
  • Each program participant will book their own airfare.
  • A CNN article: The world’s best airlines for 2023, according to Skytrax.
  • From the U.S. to Hong Kong, Korean Air (a member of the SkyTeam Alliance) offers itineraries via Seoul. If you have a long layover in Seoul, you may take advantage of the airline’s complimentary or low cost transit tours.
  • From the U.S. to Hong Kong, Qatar Airways (a member of the OneWorld Alliance) offers itineraries via Doha. If you have a long layover in Doha, you may take advantage of the airline’s complimentary transit tours or even complimentary transit accommodation.
  • From the U.S. to Hong Kong, Turkish Airlines (a member of the Star Alliance) offers itinearies via Istanbul. For the long layover in Istanbul, you may take advantage of the airline’s complimentary Touristanbul service – a free layover service for all international transfer Turkish Airlines passengers. Anyone who flies through İstanbul and has a 6-24 hours layover time can use this service.
  • Pre-Departure Orientation Session

    We will hold an orientation session via Zoom to discuss logistical matters such as airport pickup, international mobile data, currency and money matters, insurance and healthcare, electricity and electronics, customs procedure, etc., around mid-April. We will share detailed pre-departure orientation information with the confirmed program participants.