Students in Management 303: Experience Business Abroad complete a semester-long joint project with students from the Université Catholique de Louvain in Belgium. Over UNCG’s spring break, Bryan School students traveled to Belgium where they stayed with students or host families while visiting businesses and exploring a new culture. A few weeks after this visit, the students from Belgium traveled to the US and reversed the experience.
Seniors India Johnson and Yalaina Brown shared some reflections from their experience with the Belgian students visiting the US.
What was your biggest takeaway from your experience with hosting the students from Belgium?
“Since the Belgian students visited the U.S, it gave me more insight on my own culture from a different perspective. There are so many opportunities and connections locally that we typically overlook. Visiting the small entrepreneurial companies right here in Greensboro surprised me; I wasn’t aware that there were so many risk takers and influential leaders right here under my nose.” – Yalaina
“I was able to communicate what American culture is like to my partners, and they were able to provide me with insight on how practices in their culture were. You never understand how big the world is until you travel over 4,700 miles to a place you’ve never been before to see things firsthand.” – India
What did you enjoy most about completing your international team project?
“My group designed a mobile app that would allow users to complete travel challenges when they visited new places. We placed a huge emphasis on creating the most authentic travel experience for tourists by providing them with fun local activities. While bringing this concept to life, we spent an extensive amount of time on the overall idea, design and development of our application, which allowed me to learn a lot about international business.” – India
Who was your favorite local entrepreneur that you met on your Greensboro excursion with the students from Belgium?
“Andy Zimmerman was my favorite. Andy started off working for his parent’s furniture company at a young age….he then realized that life had more to offer. He decided to venture out and start his own company. One of the piece of advice from Andy that will stick with me is ‘Control your own destiny.’” – Yalaina
Overall, how did your experience in the affect you?
“I learned that effective teamwork goes a long way in making the experience more enjoyable. Being understanding and open to new perspectives is vital when working in a group. I was fortunate to work with students that brought forth amazing, unique ideas that I had not thought of prior to meeting them.” – India
“This experience most ignited a spark to continuously step outside of my comfort zone. My view on the world has drastically changed since I’ve experienced another culture firsthand. The people and the culture have shaped my views. I used to look at the world through binocular lenses, but now I have realized that the world is full of intriguing people and a wide variety of cultures.” – Yalaina