The program is designed to broaden students’ horizons, providing opportunities for them to learn about another country, its people and its culture while continuing their studies through business courses at Hanze.
According to IBM program coordinator Oded Tal, international exchange opportunities provide students with personal benefits as well.
"These exchanges build self-confidence because students are able to live, study and perhaps even work in a foreign country," he said.
Exchanges also enrich the learning experience for students studying at Conestoga. Tal points out that incoming exchange students bring another perspective to the classroom. Students from Hanze University as well as ESC Troyes are currently studying with third-year IBM students at Conestoga. After two terms these students will return to their home universities to continue their studies.
Conestoga participates in nine exchange programs for IBM students, with opportunities to study in France, the Netherlands, Hungary, Czech Republic, Austria, Slovenia, Chile and China. According to Tal, the college is working to add more countries to the list in the near future.
For Stark, the exchange has been a tremendous experience.
"I think it is safe to say we are all having the time of our lives," she wrote in an email. "It will be very sad to leave Groningen come December."