OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

10th anniversary of Danish exchange program

10/02/1997

CORVALLIS - Oregon State University will salute the 10th anniversary of a College of Business exchange program with Denmark's Aarhus School of Business on Oct. 6-7.

Among the activities are an Oct. 6 symposium at 1:30 p.m. focusing on the past and future of the program, and a tree planting and plaque unveiling on Oct. 7 at 10:30 a.m. at Bexell Hall. For information, contact Ken Sandstrom, College of Business executive assistant, at (541) 737-6021.

Since the program began in 1987, 208 OSU students, 200 Danish students and a number of professors have crossed the Atlantic as part of the bilateral exchange.

The experiences extend far beyond the classroom, said Corvallis resident Jason Boyd, who received his OSU bachelor's degree in business administration in June.

"I had the best time of my life studying in Aarhus," he said. "I learned a lot about both international business and myself on this exchange program."

Danish student Karin Pedersen agrees.

"I had chosen OSU as my first priority because the finance department had an excellent reputation with very competent professors and high quality courses," Pedersen said. "And, for me, a Danish student used to a much more self-directed educational system, adjusting to the American way turned out to be a very beneficial experience."

Torben Nielsen said that when he first saw Corvallis, he thought it was remote and dull, but soon learned first impressions can be deceiving.

Nielsen now describes OSU as fun, exciting and fascinating. He says Corvallis "is neither dull nor desolate" and the OSU-Aarhus exchange program boosts career opportunities on both sides of the Atlantic.

The Corvallis anniversary observance is actually the second half of a celebration that started in Denmark on Sept. 11 with the planting of an Oregon Douglas-fir at Aarhus. OSU's dean of the College of Business, Donald Parker, joined Morten Balling, president of The Aarhus School of Business, in the planting ceremony and the unveiling of a plaque saluting the 10 years of education.

Balling said there are several reasons for the success of the program.

"One explanation is that competent people at both sides of the Atlantic Ocean decided to support the project right from the beginning." Balling also explained that it is a precondition that all stakeholders involved know that there is a genuine need for development of this kind of international exchange.

"People must understand that the local university or business school environment improves when it becomes international."

Arthur Stonehill, OSU professor emeritus in finance, said the idea for an exchange program between the two universities was actually developed at an education conference in Gothenburg, Sweden, in 1982.

Stonehill said both he and Morten Balling attended the conference and "at that time we invited Morten to teach for a term at OSU. In the fall, 1986, Morten Balling invited me to give a seminar at the Aarhus School of Business describing OSU experiences with exchange programs."

By 1987, the pair had teamed up to develop a formal exchange program between the two institutions.