Belgian students studying at Dalton State and their industry partners are, from left, seated, Dennis Defrancq, Amaury Al Zaatiti, and Thomas Vanhoutte; standing, Tommy Barge, Kim Harper, and Mike McAllister, all of Beaulieu; Dr. John O. Schwenn, President, Dalton State; Bridget Van Meter of Balta Group; Richard Wong from Dalton Utilities, and Dr. Larry Johnson, Interim Dean, School of Business.
Dalton State welcomes three business students from Brussels, Belgium who are learning the American way of business both in the classroom and from local industry partners.
The students are from Hogeschool Universiteit Brussel which partnered with Dalton State two years ago to provide cultural and educational exchange opportunities for students and faculty of both institutions.
"We are excited to have our second group of exchange students from Belgium,” said Dr. Larry Johnson, interim dean of the School of Business. “We partnered with HUB two years ago to promote international understanding and cooperation that benefits each institution’s academic, professional, and intercultural activities. Faculty and administrators have been to each other’s institution, and we plan to have Dalton State students attend HUB in the 2013-2014 academic year.”
The Belgian students are rooming with other Dalton State students at the College’s Wood Valley apartment complex and attending class and senior seminars in the School of Business. In addition to their classroom studies, they are each placed with local industry partners to learn American business practices.
Dennis Defrancq, a marketing major, is partnered with Beaulieu Industries; Thomas Vanhoutte is a Management Information Systems major who is learning from Dalton Utilities; and Amaury Al Zaatiti is a marketing major working with the Balta Group.
According to Dr. Johnson, the students have been to Chattanooga and Atlanta for dining and shopping. They plan to visit such Georgia attractions as the Coca Cola Museum, Martin Luther King Memorial, and the Georgia Aquarium and may visit a Georgia beach before they return to Brussels at the end of the semester.
A highlight of the students’ exchange will be when HUB Professor Johan Vanhaverbeke travels to Dalton in late March to teach on Change Management in International Marketing and Sales, officials said. Mr. Vanhaverbeke will speak in a program open to the public Thursday, March 28, at 3:45 p.m. He appears courtesy of the School’s Center for Economic Research and Entrepreneurship, Dr. Johnson said.
The educational exchange is an extension of the city of Dalton’s sister city relationship with Dilbeek, Belgium, located near Brussels. Dalton and Dilbeek have been sister cities since 1985.