Marquette Global Newsletter: October 2016

Twenty-five Year Partnership with the University of Antwerp

This summer, Joseph Terrian, assistant dean of undergraduate programs for Marquette University’s College of Business Administration, led a group of Marquette students to Antwerp, Belgium for the 25th time. The three-week study abroad program began in 1992 and continues to promote cross-cultural understanding of business concepts through coursework, corporate visits and excursions.

The success of the program is largely due to the strong relationship developed with the University of Antwerp, where students attend class. To date, 868 students have participated in the program. To celebrate the anniversary, the University of Antwerp planned a special surprise celebration.

Terrian and the 24 students were taken by train through Antwerp to the town hall. There, a reception was attended by a deputy public affairs officer from the U.S. Embassy in Brussels, Antwerp’s vice mayor, local business representatives involved with the program and faculty and staff from the University of Antwerp. Dr. Liliane Van Hoof, director the program at the University of Antwerp, coordinated the event with help from the Ibis Hotel where participants stay. At the ceremony, Van Hoof presented Marquette with a commemorative plaque.

Assistant Dean Joseph Terrian and Dr. Liliane Van Hoof. Courtesy photo.

“They recognized Marquette and the University of Antwerp for 25 years of a great partner relationship with the hope that it continues,” said Terrian.

The partnership enables program participants to learn about the European economy and business environment from faculty at the University of Antwerp. Students study a variety of subjects, including business, economic, social and cultural ramifications of the European Economic and Monetary Union. Topics have included the economic outlook in Europe, cross cultural management, sales management in Europe and internationalization strategies. In past years students have visited local businesses, including KBC Bank and a Nike distribution center.

“I can talk about cultural differences all I want, but students need to go there and experience the different ways they do business,” said Terrian.

The city lies about 30 miles north of Brussels, where the European Union is headquartered. The proximity has enabled students to see the European Parliament and European Commission first-hand. The location of Antwerp has also meant the program has been able to incorporate trips around Belgium to the medieval cities of Ghent and Bruges, and even around other areas of Europe, including Paris and Amsterdam.

“There is a quaintness to the city of Antwerp,” said Terrian. “The program allows students to really experience and learn how business is done differently in a different environment.”

Terrian notes that the intercultural skills the program teaches are crucial to today’s job market, especially since large companies like Rockwell Automation, Brady Corporation and Johnson Controls are global businesses.

“Most of our students are going to end up working with global companies anyways so having that understanding…you really cant experience it unless you are there,” said Terrian.

Courtesy photo.

Apply by March 1 for the upcoming trip, INBU 4951: Travel and Study Abroad in International Business in Antwerp, Belgium, taking place May 22 to June 10.