Wayne State University

News and Announcements

New international exchange partners Wayne State with Dutch university

February 1, 2016

A new international exchange program focused on international business offers students the opportunity to study at Fontys University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands.

The exchange program, offered in English, is open to undergraduates and will take place at the Venlo campus of the university, one of Netherland’s largest, beginning Fall 2016, says Jaclyn Assarian, associate director of the Office of International Programs (OIP).  Participants can study for up to two semesters.

This Fontys partnership joins a long history of international cooperation and formal agreements OIP has with more than 150 entities worldwide.

News of the partnership was announced during International Week at Fontys. Assarian was on hand for the launching, joined by assistant professors Eric Zacks of the Law School and Jeremy Rickli of the College of Engineering, who also were guest lecturers that week.

Comprehending sustainability from an engineering perspective was the topic of Rickli’s lecture.  It was a great experience to learn about the student’s attitude toward sustainability, he says, since it is a global topic that must take into account the viewpoints of many countries.

Zacks, who teaches business law courses and has been instrumental in establishing Wayne Law’s Program for Entrepreneurship and Business Law, lectured on the legal issues that face virtually every start-up or emerging business and the importance of a business attorney in drafting an effective entrepreneur plan.

   As a guest lecturer at a campus (left) in another country on a course      he doesn’t usually teach, Zacks says, he has a deeper appreciation for preparing the material for the course.

  “There is an inherent knowledge gap that exists between teachers and students, which is not unique to students abroad,” he says.  “Sometimes we take for granted that our students have a particular level of knowledge.  Each time we prepare to teach, it is necessary to consider and reconsider how best to bridge that gap, and to realize it is sometimes easier to start small and build up.”

Zacks, who studied in Israel as an undergraduate student, says international exchange programs such as Fontys provide a unique and valuable experience.

"Students develop a broader and more nuanced understanding of their area of study, as well as a better understanding of the world," says Zacks.    

For more information about the Fontys program, contact Lisa Kyle, exchange student coordinator in the Office of Study Abroad and Global Programs, at lkyle@wayne.edu or 313-577-3207.