22
 

Black Hills State University student leaders Chase Vogel and Lorrin Anderson are in Germany developing an international relationship with new partner school Aalen University.

Black Hills State University student leaders Chase Vogel and Lorrin Anderson will spend the rest of this month in Germany developing an international relationship with new partner school Aalen University.

The South Dakota Board of Regents approved the new academic partnership between BHSU and Aalen University, located in the German state of Baden-Württemberg earlier this year and plans are being made for a group of students, faculty and staff to participate in an academic and cultural visit to Germany in May 2015.

“Lorrin and I are going to start to make connections at the new university and get the word out on what they have to offer,” said Vogel, business administration – economics and finance major from Cheyenne, Wyo.  “It is so nice to get that world experience and encourage more students to experience that as well. It is such a great opportunity.”

Aalen University is the BHSU of Germany with similar enrollment, location in a small community in the Black Forest, and strong programs in both business and science, according to Dr. Priscilla Romkema, BHSU dean of the College of Business and Natural Sciences.

The partnership began when Dr. James Fleming, BHSU director of counseling and international studies, invited one of his contacts at Aalen University to campus. “The purpose of the visit was to establish a relationship, a professional linkage, with the German university,” Romkema said.

The two universities signed a memorandum of understanding for the partnership with BHSU.

However, Aalen University was hosting a pilot ambassadorship with all its partnership universities this May and had two open spots. Vogel and Anderson jumped at the chance to be BHSU’s representatives.

Vogel, BHSU student senate president, and Anderson, student senate vice president, are joining a group of students from all over the world who will tour the area, sit in on some classes and visit some of Germany’s largest industries including the BMW factory in Munich.

“I commend Chase and Lorrin for their interest and passion in traveling and studying abroad,” Romkema said. “They like to be pioneers.”

Anderson, corporate communication major from Winner, said she is excited to experience what Aalen University is like and bring back information back on what the school has to offer BHSU students.

“I really want to encourage this international experience,” she said.

Vogel and Anderson will hold a presentation in the fall to share their experience with BHSU students and faculty.

“Personally, I hope experiences like this help make it more of a priority to put exchange programs into the curriculum for business programs,” Vogel said. “I think it is important nowadays to become a global citizen.”