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30 August 2007

Denmark students coming to HACC next week

Twenty-four Danish students studying international marketing will put their English to work when they meet and mix with HACC students for two-and-a- half weeks starting Sept. 5.

This is the second academic year in which Minerva College in Randers, Denmark, is sending students and faculty to HACC’s Harrisburg Campus to experience American culture.

Plans are under way for a reverse exchange in 2008 with HAAC students and faculty traveling to Randers for the first time.

This exchange program is an introduction to developing what HACC envisions as just the beginning of other global academic relationships, says Linda Lefevre, associate dean of the Business, Hospitality, Engineering and Technology Division, and exchange coordinator. She sees such endeavors as a “positive and important ingredient of today’s education process.”

“Students stay with host families, and gain an understanding of the difference in cultures. They are exposed firsthand to our lifestyle, learning about our customs, political systems, values and priorities, Lefevre says. “It is a unique opportunity for students to gain insight and perspective into the way others live in the United States.”

She continues, “The trip to Denmark in May will give our students the same experiences through the host family exchange.”

Ricki Hurwitz and Garry Brinton of Susquehanna Township will be a host family for the Danish exchange program for the second year.

“This was particularly timely since we visited Denmark last year when Garry went to a convention there,” Hurwitz says. When the couple learned about HACC seeking host families through the Harrisburg Rotary Club of which Garry is a member, they volunteered.

The experience was so good; they agreed to do it again this year. “It’s neat” for their daughter, Talia Brinton, 17, and “we all learn what it’s like in another country.”

As for the 19 women and five men ages 16-21 who are coming here from Denmark, they are international marketing majors who wrote personal profiles that express excitement about the exchange program. Some express interest in traveling and securing jobs within a global economy when they graduate.

Ditte Hjersing Knudsen of Randers chose the course that includes advanced level English, German and Spanish because she wants to be a stewardess. Annie Fogh Stensgaard Jensen, also of Randers, is focusing on career possibilities in linguistics and wants to understand differences between her country and the United States.

Daniel Leth wants to broaden his horizons by attending an American university after he graduates from Minerva College. Ulrich Arent Schoeler of Hadseten, Denmark, has “always dreamed about living in the USA with a nice job and so on — a bit like what others may prefer to call the American dream.”

While visiting the Harrisburg Campus, they will work independently on their regular studies so they don’t fall behind in filling their home college’s course requirements, says Martin Wise, HACC senior professor of marketing in International Business.

They also are preparing themselves to work well on the international scene by learning “protocol and etiquette of other countries.”

Wise, who looks forward to participating in the reciprocal trip to Denmark, relishes the exchange of ideas and the opportunity for students and faculty to develop friendships. He notes that some of those who participated last year “continue e-mail contact.”

“It’s great that HACC has the opportunity to host students from Denmark,” said Robert William, Director, Office of Multicultural Affairs/International Education that oversees the college’s study abroad tours. “We live and work in a global economy and the more such exchange programs are developed, the more opportunities HACC students will have to develop the skills and mindset necessary to be successful in the global marketplace.”

Lefevre and Wise feel the Danish students will benefit from speakers lined up to focus on the business scene. The visiting students also will visit Harley Davidson Corp. in York.

On the cultural side, they will tour Lancaster to learn about the Amish -- of particular interest because the Minerva students are studying German and Germany this year. They also will visit the Gettysburg battlefield and numerous landmarks in New York City and Washington, D.C.

When HACC students go to Denmark, Lefevre notes they will go to Copenhagen and the Lake District to round out the experience.

Fast Facts

Students interested in the exchange program to Denmark May 9-22 must meet certain criteria to qualify for consideration.

Eligibility requirements call for a student: to have paid tuition and fees, have a 3.0 grade point average, provide three letters of reference that includes two from a HACC instructor and one personal reference, and take one of a trio of three-credit courses next semester in the Business, Hospitality, Engineering and Technology Division.

The course names, number of student openings available and the professors to be contacted are:

  • Business 230 with openings for eight students – Professor Martin Wise at 780-2324 or mjwise@hacc.edu.
  • Marketing 245 with openings for seven students – Wise
  • Tour 282C – Denmark – Professor Getachew Kassahun at 780-2495 or gwkassah@hacc.edu.

Application information for $1,000 scholarships to cover part of the $1,714 cost of the Denmark trip is available. Contact Linda Lefevre at 780-2366 or via e-mail at lalefevr@hacc.edu.

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