The UMass Dartmouth Charlton College of Business has renewed its exchange agreement with Ostfalia University which works closely with the Volkswagen Group. Both the University and Volkwagen's world headquarters are located in Wolfsburg, Germany.
Under this new agreement, Charlton College students will continue to participate in the college's very popular intensive Global Marketing: An European Union (E.U.) Perspective course held in the spring, including a two-week immersion program newly developed full-semester or one-year study abroad program in Wolfsburg. The new program offers UMass Dartmouth students the opportunity to study at Ostfalia for a full semester, taking equivalent courses in English while German students will attend UMass Dartmouth for a semester or full academic year. The tuition arrangement typically called "study at foreign institution and pay at home institution" makes it affordable for students.
"Our relationship with Ostfalia University has been excellent," said Charlton College Dean Angappa Gunasekaran. Since 2006, 105 UMass Dartmouth students have participated in the two-week International Summer University (ISU) program in Wolfsburg, and five Ostfalia students have studied at UMass Dartmouth.
In addition, six UMass Dartmouth students have served as interns at Ostfalia University and two of them moved on to internship positions at Volkswagen, and subsequently secured full-time positions at facilities in Germany and Ireland. ISU graduate Courtney Roy, Senior Project Specialist of Managed Sites at American Tower Company (ATC), who earned her marketing degree from UMass Dartmouth in 2010, said "The opportunity to study in Germany and learn about other cultures was an experience I will never forget." Jonathan Najarian, Product Manager at Volkswagen AG and ISU alumnus, who graduated from UMass Dartmouth with a B.S. degree in marketing in 2012, said, "Three years after the program, I'm now living in Germany, working at my dream job, at my dream company, Volkswagen AG. Simply put, ISU Wolfsburg changed my life for the better."
A number of individuals have played significant roles in making the UMass Dartmouth and Ostfalia partnership a marquee program for the Charlton College of Business. The original agreement was signed in 2006 by Professor Ric Golen, current Chairperson of the Management & Marketing department and the late Dr. Joseph Bronstad, former Professor of German Language and Literature.
Dean Gunasekaran has made the completion of the new agreement one of his top priorities. Dr. D. Steven White, Professor of Marketing and International Business, led the first group of eight students to study in Wolfsburg, Germany in 2006, and since 2007 Dr. Godwin Ariguzo, Assistant Professor of Marketing, has led 97 students on the trip. Dr. Ariguzo played a significant role in helping coordinate the resigning of the new agreement. Dr. Jack Chopoorian, Professor Emeritus and former Chairperson of the Marketing and MIS department worked tirelessly for many years to help recruit students, manage the relationship between the two institutions, and address many student-related challenges at UMass Dartmouth and Ostfalia.
The ISU program was the brainchild of Dr. Mike Hoffmeister, Professor of Marketing and International Business at Ostfalia University, working with Ostfalia Dean Dr. Gisela Theis. The new agreement includes multiple options for students from both institutions to travel and study abroad. During the recent Charlton College of Business study trip to Wolfsburg in May 2013, Dr. Theis asked students from both institutions to participate in the new exchange agreement signing ceremony held in Wolfsburg.
According to a 2013 report published by the Institute of International Education, the number of international students at colleges and universities in the United States increased 6.5 percent to 764,495. Also, the number of U.S. students that studied abroad for credit during the academic year 2010/11, was 273,996 a 1.3 percent increase over the previous year.
The UMass Dartmouth Charlton College of Business has renews exchange agreement with Ostfalia University. Sitting from left to right: Dr. Godwin Ariguzo, Dr. Gisela Theis, Dr. Mike Hoffmeister (Ostfalia). Standing from left to right are UMass Dartmouth students Stephanie Le (Marketing), Nathan Furnas (Finance), Meaghan Hand (Accounting) and Ms. Elisabeth Uta (Ostfalia).
Dr. Godwin Ariguzo can be reached at 508.999.8403 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.