For Chloe White, a trip this summer to the Balkan countries of Greece, North Macedonia, Kosovo and Albania “was nothing short of incredible.”
A senior majoring in accounting at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, White was one of 18 students traveling for “Doing Business in the Balkans,” an International Business Experience course in the Gary W. Rollins College of Business.
“There was a blend of warm hospitality from the communities we visited, breathtaking landscape and lots of education on ancient history,” White said. “Additionally, being able to immerse ourselves in the local cultures varying from traditional foods, cultural festivities such as dancing and something as simple as enjoying espresso while it rained, made this trip both relaxing and informative.”
College of Business faculty members Dr. Beni Asllani and Dr. Katherine Karl traveled with the students.
During the trip, students participated in guided tours to learn the history and culture of each country. They also visited several businesses, including a vineyard, a bank and an automotive parts supplier.
“Each of the business visits offered different insights not only into how the various businesses operate but also into the industry and economy of the country and larger region,” said Jessica Bodenhamer, who is pursuing a Master of Business Administration. “The multiple organized cultural visits, guided tours and museums also provided insights into business and cultural values.”
Dominique Tran, a sophomore majoring in marketing and entrepreneurship, said the trip “meant growth, stepping outside of my comfort zone, broadening my perspectives, taking on and overcoming challenges, being humbled by creation, and finding what I truly enjoy.”
“I am so grateful for UTC and this program, which allowed me to learn more about the world but, more importantly, more about myself,” Tran said.
Talking to people in the European countries helped Amal Abazid, a senior in finance and accounting, better understand the operations of each country’s political and economic systems and how different religions coexist in the region.
“While talking with the other students, it was clear that we had many things in common, such as hobbies and the dedication to making a better tomorrow for future generations,” Abazid said.
An International Business Experience trip is planned for Spain and Portugal in December 2023. The application deadline is Aug. 15 or until all available spots are filled.
In May 2024, Asllani will lead another trip to the Balkans. A trip to Germany is planned for the same month.
To learn more about International Business Experience courses, visit: https://www.utc.edu/gary-w-rollins-college-of-business/departments/international-programs/faculty-led-study-courses-and-programs.