Gardner-Webb Business Program Takes Students to Switzerland and France

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BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – For many students, “sightseeing” and “travel” top the summer to-do list.  But how many manage to travel across Switzerland and France, let alone secure college credit while doing so?

That’s precisely what a group of Gardner-Webb business students did last month through Gardner-Webb’s Graduates in Executive Management Program (GEM), sponsored by the Godbold School of Business.  In total, 16 students, faculty and staff spent time in Switzerland, France and Germany, discovering firsthand what distinguishes European marketing and business practices from those in the U.S.

Open to undergraduate and graduate students of all disciplines, the GEM Program presents a unique opportunity to learn meaningful business experience in and out of the classroom.  One of those opportunities is the annual Europe trip, for which the GEM program has become known.

According to Dr. Don Caudill, professor of marketing and a co-leader of the trip, the group visited a variety of businesses in both France and Switzerland, like the Swiss glass manufacturer Glasi Hergiswil and the international headquarters of Steelcase AG, a global leaer in the office furniture industry.  They also spent time at the German concentration camp Struthof near Strasbourg, and a small group of students spent a free day in Strasbourg, France, itself.

During the excursion, students earned course credit by attending lectures and keeping journals of their experiences and reflections.

One of the student participants was Erica Morrow of Boiling Springs, N.C., a senior healthcare management major.  Morrow said, “I really learned a lot by going to Europe.  I saw firsthand how international business works and how it is different from America.  In my major of study, I’ve been learning about international healthcare.  Being in Europe put a lot of things I had learned into perspective for me.”

“If it weren’t for the GEM Program, I know I would never have been able to go on this trip,” said Morrow.  “I am very appreciative of Drs. Charles and Helen Tichenor for the program and the trip.”

Charles Tichenor, professor of business administration, is the founder of the GEM program, and Dr. Helen Tichenor is director of international programs at Gardner-Webb.  Charles Tichenor is the retired chairman of the board of Champale Sparkling Beverage Company, an international multi-plant corporation.

For more information about the Godbold School of Business, call 704-406-2260.

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