The International Exchange Center is proud to announce Yves Thiers as this month’s Exchange Visitor of the Month. Yves came to the United States from Belgium soon after graduating with a Master of Industrial Science degree. He hoped to be able to gain hands on knowledge of the engineering projects he studied at university. His host company, Dal-Tile Corporation, was just the place for this. Dal-Tile Corporation is a tile manufacturer and distributor based out of Dallas, TX.
Not only has Yves been able to train at their Dallas location, he has also visited their other locations in Texas, Oklahoma and Kentucky. He finds it very interesting to see the similarities and differences between the different plants. When training Yves feels like his “observations and opinions are always heard and valued by the people that I work with.” This interaction has been one of his favorite parts of the training. Yves’ supervisor has also enjoyed having him on their team. He has remarked that Yves is a quick study in the projects he is assigned to. He “has been able to gather the data and use it to calculate potential energy savings for our company. Having people like Yves to teach about making tile gives us hope for the future of tile making.”
When not at his training site, Yves has used his free time to explore the US. He has done everything from site-seeing in New York and Chicago to taking in a baseball game to horseback riding in Texas. Recently, Yves took part in a very unique activity. “I went noodling (bare hand catfishing) in Oklahoma with Carl, a Native American descendant.” In the future Yves has some activities he would still like to try such as bull-riding and seeing what an American church service is like. Yves has enjoyed both learning about American culture and sharing his own culture with his new friends and colleagues by setting up some Belgian beer tastings.
Yves has enjoyed his time here so far by making the most of it both at his training site and in his free time. His advice to other J-1 trainees and interns is to “realize that your time is limited and there is a whole lot to do. So grasp at any opportunity to broaden your mind, and be sure to avoid doing the same things you would do at home.”