Southwest Tennessee Community College

January 25, 2007

For more information, contact: Kimberly Kreider (901) 333-4023

BEALE STREET, ELVIS, STAX AND BARBECUE – DANISH STUDENTS ARE LOOKING FOR HOSTS WITH THAT FAMOUS MEMPHIS HOSPITALITY!
Written by: Pat O’Brien


Once more, word is out. Once more, a group of Danish college students is headed to Memphis and Southwest Tennessee Community College to soak up our Southern culture while they pursue their studies in international business, with Memphis as their central focus. “This is a new group, from a different college, who heard about Memphis and the Southwest experience from a college that has been sending exchange groups for years,” said Southwest’s International Student Coordinator Debbie Hunt.

From South Zealand College in Naestved, Denmark, 26 students and two faculty members will arrive March 14 for nine days of serious study in their major - International Business, except this time they will be studying the program with a Memphis perspective and Southern flair. “This is the central feature of their study program,” according to Hunt. “They’ll have their academic seminars on campus and will visit businesses, a local production facility and an outlet mall to get a feel for export.”

That’s just the study side of the trip, Hunt emphasized. “They’re equally serious about the cultural aspects, and we are busy recruiting host families to provide a home atmosphere, including meals and some transportation to the Macon Cove Campus. They are looking to learn first hand about the American culture and hope to share their culture, especially their cuisine with their hosts.”

She emphasized the importance of placing the students with local hosts. “For one thing, it makes the whole program financially feasible, from the study aspect to the cultural exchange. Staying with local families lets them become completely immersed in the personal side of Memphis; it’s a home experience rather than a commercial experience of hotels and public transportation.”

The students all speak fluent English and want to speak the language with their hosts, said Hunt. “They start studying it (English) at about age eight, and many English and American television programs are broadcast in English, so they’re especially well attuned to the language,” said Hunt.

The students are looking forward to “the full Memphis experience,” said Hunt. “The music, Beale Street, Graceland, the Civil Rights Museum are for starters, and of course, Memphis BAR-B-QUE!!!!! And they plan to participate in a community service project while they’re here. She added, “We also hope the season will cooperate and provide a beautiful Memphis springtime. Their own country is famously beautiful, and we’d love to give them a real feel for the beauty of our fine city.”

“These students learned about Memphis and Southwest from students at Svenborg College in Denmark, – which has sent students for overseas study at Southwest for the past 12 years. “They had their options, and they chose Memphis as their destination over New York, LA, and all other choices. Apparently, word of mouth is the best advertising! Added Hunt, “Over the years, our host families have thoroughly enjoyed sharing their culture and lifestyle, and many have made lasting friendships with their students, including visits to Denmark.”

To learn more about hosting members of the group, call Debbie Hunt at (901) 685-6946, (901) 488-5524 or (901) 333-4556. You may also e-mail her at dhunt@southwest.tn.edu.