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Volume 12, Edition 8: May 2013 *20 year Anniversary*

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31st Annual International Festival a Success!

International Festival
I-Fest attendees sample Chinese green tea at the China booth
In celebration of the diverse culture and international spirit on our campus, UNCG held its 31st annual International Festival on April 13, 2013. The IPC and the International Students Association invited representatives from UNCG, INTERLINK, and the Greensboro community to showcase the cultures of over forty countries. The event was extremely well-attended by both students and members of the greater Greensboro community. Representatives shared information about their countries and cultures, including history, geography, culture, and language, and many booths featured food, crafts, and games for attendees to enjoy. Attendees were also given special “passports” in which they could put stickers representing each country they visited. In addition to the country booths, guests were also treated to a variety of performances on the I-Fest main stage. Popular performances included the Mexican Folklore dancers, the Daliana Belly Dancers, and the Korean K-Pop Dancers.

Huda Alad-noor, a degree-seeking graduate student from Iraq, was one of the attendees. “It’s like being on a miniature world tour,” she said. “It’s beautiful, because you get to meet so many different people, and you learn so much from them.”

Simone Cappati (Italy) and friend Melanie Maldonado (UNCG) show off their Italian pride
Simone Cappati, a degree-seeking international student from Italy and an intern for IPC, was in charge of the Italy booth. “It was really fun to share my culture with so many people,” he said. “It was great to see people engaging with the information we were sharing with them and seeming excited to learn more.” With the help of some of his fellow Italian students, Simone prepared a variety of activities, music, food, and information about his country to share with festival attendees. Visitors looking to learn a little Italian could pick up an “Italian for Dummies” pamphlet, or they could test their knowledge of Italian geography in a trivia game that required players to place a famous Italian landmark on the correct location on a map. Especially popular was the face painting—guests could have the Italian flag painted on their faces—and, of course, the food. The featured dish was crudaiola, a traditional chilled pasta dish from Southern Italy made with basil, cherry tomatoes, oregano, parmesan, and mozzarella.

Overall, Simone’s experience at the festival was a positive one, and he was glad to be a part of the event. “UNCG is such a center of international engagement, and I think it’s important that we have events like I-Fest to recognize and celebrate its diverse community.”

IPC would like thank to everyone who made this year’s I-Fest such a success!

New Global Entrepreneurship Experience Course Gives Students First-Hand Experience in Forming Global Business Partnerships

From March 8-17, 2013, 15 UNCG students travelled to Belgium as part of a new course offered jointly by the Bryan School of Business and Economics and the Lloyd International Honors College (LIHC), HSS 300: Global Entrepreneurship Experience. The purpose of the class is to provide an opportunity for students to have a rich multi-cultural experience, understand and gain an appreciation for another global environment, and go through the development process of starting a global business. Students enrolled in the course are partnered with 18 students at the Louvain School of Management (LSM) of the Université Catholique de Louvain in Louvain-la-Neuve, Mons, Belgium to develop a unique business concept. The students met and worked together via virtual teleconference before travelling to each other’s countries to meet in person. During spring break, UNCG students travelled to Belgium, and a couple weeks later, the LSM students came to Greensboro. The students hosted each other in their homes during each visit. While in Greensboro, the students finalized and presented their business plans to their fellow classmates.

The course was organized and taught by Bryan Toney, Director of the North Carolina Entrepreneurship Center (NCEC), and Dr. Frank Janssen, a professor in the Strategy and Organization (STOR) department at LSM. Mr. Toney and Dr. Janssen previously taught a similar course at Appalachian State University. Mr. Joe Erba, a professor in the Management Department in the Bryan School, also accompanied the class on their trip to Belgium with the support of a Kohler grant. Mr. Erba took the trip in order to meet Dr. Janssen and become familiar with LSM, as he will be taking over for Mr. Toney as the course’s coordinator for the Spring 2014 semester.

Bryan Toney (back row, center) with UNCG and LSM students in Brussels, Belgium
The partnerships made between the UNCG and LSM students led to some very creative and innovative business ideas, including “EcoCoon,” a store focused on selling green cleaning products in reusable containers; “AllergoKit,” a company that creates kits providing recipes and ingredients for lactose- and/or gluten-free meals to be sold in grocery stores; and “Autothentic,” a rental car company based in Florida which offers European customers the opportunity to drive vintage American cars while sightseeing in the US.

In addition to collaborating on their projects during their trips, students were also able to visit local businesses and cultural sites. In Belgium, UNCG students visited Alterface, a company that specializes in multi-person interactive gaming technology for theme parks and attended a presentation from AWEX, a regional economic development agency. Students also visited museums and cultural sites in Louvain-la-neuve, Brussels, and Ghent. In Greensboro, LSM students visited Ralph Lauren and the Sales Factory and participated in UNCG Entrepreneur Day. They also visited the International Civil Rights Center and Museum in downtown Greensboro.

Overall, the program was a tremendous success. “Global Entrepreneurship is one of the most effective classes I have taken during my time at UNCG,” one of the participating students said. “I suggest this class to every student.” The Bryan School plans to continue its support of this program in coming years, positioning it as part of their International Business curriculum.

If you are interested in designing similar courses, contact Dr. Penelope Pynes at pjpynes@uncg.edu to get started. A special thanks to the Study Abroad and Exchange Programs (SAE) staff, particularly Denise Bellamy (Director of SAE) and Logan Stanfield (Study Abroad Coordinator), for their work to implement the program.

Several of the participating students were able to travel to Belgium with the aid of the new Global Entrepreneurs Travel Fund, a scholarship offered through the NCEC. If you are interested in learning more about this fund, or would like to donate, please contact Bryan Toney at bctoney@uncg.edu. You can also make your gift online at http://www.uncg.edu/dur/giving/ (click the “Give Now” button, select “Other” in the designation field, and type in “NC Entrepreneurship Center”).

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