Dr. Larry Johnson, left, Dean of the School of Business at Dalton State College gathers with travelers before their departure for Belgium. With Dr. Johnson are, from left, front row, Christian Brant, Katherine Phillips, Brandon Woods, Takeshia Arp, Brittiany Payton, Tylean Coleman, Aleah Russell, and Dr. Marilyn Helms; back row, David Moore, Lee Tubbs, Carlos Arevalo-Barrera, John Smith, Tiffany Crowder, and Andrew Combier. Alfredo Velazuez is not pictured.
A group of 13 students from Dalton State College’s School of Business took a 10-day trip to Brussels, Belgium. The study abroad trip was a part of the Special Topics Management-Doing Business in Brussels course, taught by Dr. Marilyn Helms, Sesquicentennial Chair and Professor of Management.
“As the professor, it was great to see another country and a study abroad experience from the students’ eyes,” said Dr. Helms. “As they learned to read the subway map, navigate the train and rail and bus system, and just got more confident in their abilities, I realized what a great experience the study abroad is.”
Dalton State has a formal student exchange agreement with the Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel in Belgium. HUB has sent a total of 10 students to Dalton State in the past three years.
While in Belgium, the School of Business students, including Carlos Arevalo-Barrera, Takeshia Arp, Christina Brant, Tylean Coleman, Andrew Combier, Tiffany Crowder, David Moore, Brittiany Payton, Katherine Phillips, Aleah Russell, John Smith, Alfredo Velazuez, and Brandon Woods, participated in a number of activities, including a logistics project involving coffee exports, in which they had the opportunity to work in teams with Belgian students. The American students soon realized that shipping in other countries is not so different from the U.S.
“Few students knew anything about letters of credit, shipping containers, and other issues in the logistics project before they started, but they soon realized that all of our U.S. goods arrive by shipping containers and how we seldom cover this in our classes in the States,” said Dr. Helms.
In addition to the logistics project, students chose topics on which to write a paper to be presented at the end of their trip to a board consisting of American and Belgian professionals.
“While researching for their papers, students learned about recycling, why Europeans won’t eat our hormone-treated meat or genetically modified foods, and a host of other NATO/European Union issues that were also important but new to this group, who were previously only focused on Dalton and Georgia issues,” said Dr. Helms.
Students attended numerous seminars, presentations, and activities, where they heard lectures about topics such as the history of the EU, sustainability, intercultural management, the latest trends in European marketing, and transatlantic relations.
Participants in the study abroad were also given a guided tour of Brussels, where they visited Brussels Central Station, the United States Embassy, Breendonk concentration camp, the Atomium, Mini Europe, the royal residence, the Chinese Pavillion, and the Japanese Tower.
“I think the study abroad experience is great for broadening a student’s perspectives,” said Dr. Helms. “Now these students will read about other countries and have a mental picture of the issues and business challenges they face when they hear stories on the news.”
“In the future, they will be more valuable employees,” she said.