About Myself

Hello, my name is Patrick Voirol and I am specializing in international business and business management here at BGSU, graduating this upcoming December. A little background information on me, I was born in the United States, but grew up and spent most of my childhood in a little town called Wilburgstetten in southern Germany. I then moved to the US to try out high-school and live with my dad for a year, which I ended up liking a lot and stuck around. While the US is a very unique and interesting country, I think following my graduation I want to land my first job in the US and start my professional career here; but ultimately want to return to Germany someday. But since I have dual citizenship, this has no rush





Since I have been at BGSU I have tried to get involved in the on-campus life, joining Greek life the spring semester of my freshman year, and serving on IFC’s (inter fraternity council’s) judicial board. I joined Phi Gamma Delta, where I was the finance chair throughout the last year, furthering my budget management and financial skill. Additional, serving on the judicial board has taught me a great deal about collaborating with others and hearing others ideas and opinions on matters to collectively form a decision.

Following my graduation I am planning on moving to China for a year to teach business English abroad. I have studied abroad in China the summer of 2018 (which I will touch base on later) and got to know the country very well. The opportunities for foreigners in China currently, are through the roof due to their rapid economic growth in the recent decades. After that I would like to find a business related job in the area for another few years, before eventually returning to the US or Germany. I suppose I just want to explore the world a bit right out of college and not go to one area and company I will stay with the rest of my life.

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My Trips

While I touched base on my international experiences, and how I have learned the culture of other countries through visiting them and studying them; I have certainly also taken unforgettable trips within my own home countries. I actually just returned from a ten day Florida road trip August 23rd. Four of my best friends from Germany came up to visit me in the US at the beginning of August, which shortly after we departed for a road trip. WE drove from Ohio to Daytona Beach, then to Miami, Key West, and on the way home stopping in Fort Myers. The most memorable stop on the entire trip, by far was Key West. Everything was very laid back and almost as the entire place was 20-30 years behind. The highlight of that stop was taking a snorkeling trip to the third largest and only living coral reef in the US. It was very interesting serving as a tour guide to my friends (which have never been to the US) and showing them our way of life and diverse culture here.

Going back to Asia, which I mentioned earlier, this last Winter I took a three week trip to Vietnam to visit a friend. Unlike China, which is considered a first world country, Vietnam is still considered a third world country. Considering the history between the US and Vietnam as in the Vietnam war (which they refer to as the American war over there) I was skeptical as first as to going there. But the people, young and older were very friendly, everyone welcomed you with an open smile; and wanted to know about yourself and what you thought of the country.


Being a once French colonized country, the coffee in Vietnam is made through the french style, where they have a drip bowl like device on the cup, where your coffee freshly drips into your cup. So if you love coffee, like myself it is a very good place to be, as you can find a coffee shop on every corner.

Adding all my trips up I have been to 40 of the US states, and about ten countries, including three continents. If you have not traveled much, I would highly advise it! A good place to start is southeast Asia, as everything is extremely cheap and you can make due with as little as $20 a day, including hotels. But also in Europe, you can get off very cheap if you stay in hostels, which can be more interesting that hotels, as many people in staying in hostels are between the age of 20-30.

I hope you all enjoyed reading about my trips and experiences, and I look forward to reading about your trips and hearing about your experiences!



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My International Experiences

To start off, my first international experience (that I can remember,) was visiting my dad in the US when I was just a little child. Although I did this multiple times a year, the first time I actually really remembered it was fascinating. It was truly my first experience of a foreign country. If you have ever been to a foreign country you know the feeling…you drive down the road and are just looking at every little detail, the trees, the houses, the fields, the way people walk…just Everything. All that, while my dad was re-teaching me all the English words I had forgotten since I was in the US the prior time.

Growing up in Europe made for very easy travel also, whereas in the US you may drive four hours to leave your state, in Germany you can drive four hours and be in a completely different country. This has allowed me to drive to countries such as France, Italy, and Austria (to attend a festival.) While you can categorize countries by continent, every country still has its very own and unique ways and traditions. Learning about different countries has always fascinated me, however an area to the world I have never been to growing up, but always wanted to go to was Asia.


On the left, Venice, Italy. On the right, Lake Garda, Italy.

                           Antalya, Turkey

In the summer of 2018 I was fortunate enough to go on a four week study abroad trip to China. It was BGSU faculty lead…and funny enough, our instructor for this course. Dr. Zhang, was the person in-charge of the study abroad program…Hi, Dr. Zhang! I won’t talk much about this experience here, because if your scroll down further on my blog, I wrote a very detailed post about my study abroad experience in China. But to summarize the trip, the first two weeks were spent at Shaanxi Normal University in Xi’an China, where we learned about international business in china, and about ancient Chinese culture and traditions; and the following two weeks were an internship at the Rural Energy and Environmental Agency in Beijing, China with a focus on marketing.

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A Different World

A different world.

If I could sum up my past adventure in China in one sentence I would probably use something along those lines; however, that would be impossible, because I cannot sum up these crazy and adventurous last few weeks in just one sentence.


Since I arrived ahead of the entire group, I was fortunate enough to receive a private tour of Xi’an from one of the TA’s, which went by the name of ‘Swag.’ Besides touring through the city of Xi’an, the highlights of the day included the Muslim Market, a market where you can pretty much find anything you’ll ever need, and taking pictures in front of some “rebellious government words” as described by Swag, hence the serious face and pose.


While exploring the city the first few days was fun, it was now time to get to the university. Aside from learning international business concepts, we also learned and dove into what Chinese culture and traditions truly means.


While back in the US I would consider myself an average tea drinker, drinking maybe 2-3 cups per week, and by drinking tea I mean putting a tea bag in a bug and pouring hot water in. Tea here is like a daily routine, many drink tea throughout the day like we drink water. And in a two-hour tea ceremony session, we learned the different types of tea, and how each one must be prepared in a different way. It was interesting to see how they take pride in their tea here, because many back home don’t even drink tea.


It’s known that the Chinese do not write with English letters, but I never truly realized how complex their symbols can be to write. Depending on how you write a certain symbol, it may have a completely different meaning, and then each symbol can be written in many different styles. During a class, given by a calligraphy master I maybe picked up and learned how to write a handful of symbols. While it was challenging to master the art, it was fun and interesting. Just like the tea ceremony, the calligraphy master took extreme pride in his work and was watching us very closely as we were attempting to get even remotely close to his work.



In addition to in-class learning, we also did a lot of expeditions and excursions outside of the walls of the classroom. To fully understand the people and culture, you must understand the long history of China. While US history spans a few hundred years back, Chinese history spans across thousands of years. Fortunately, China has done an outstanding job preserving their history in museums and protected history sites. While the museums were rich in information and highly interesting, none of them compared to the sight of the Terra Cotta Warriors’.

The sheer volume and number of live-sized, hand-made soldiers was breathtaking. And on top of that, each one was distinct and individualized, meaning not even one was identical to another one.


Of course, one of the biggest aspects of going to Xi’an, China was the food. The food was interesting at times, however most of it was absolutely mouthwatering and delicious.


While the cultural lesson and food was very exciting, one of the most memorable events of the trip was visiting the Xi’an “Free Trade Zone.” Since I am studying international business, diving into a trade zone in a foreign country and seeing how business and trade is conducted on a large-scale operation with enormous visions for the future was breathtaking. China is in the process of implementing and fulfilling their “Belt and Road” initiative, so understanding the concepts of how their trade vision will be fulfilled in Xi’an was very enlightening.


So, while you may be thinking yourself China isn’t the country for you, because of the language barrier, such a different culture or other reasons, you should think again. While it is true, that China is hardly anything like the US, or anything you are used to in general, China is an extremely welcoming and friendly country and I would go back without hesitation.

Sometimes you just have to step out of your comfort zone and explore something new.

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