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Darla Moore School of Business

IB students clean up Congaree National Park as part of ongoing give-back efforts

February 27, 2018

With the arrival of beautiful weather here in South Carolina, it's no surprise that many USC students spent the weekend outside. What you might not expect is what more than 50 of the Darla Moore School of Business' international business students were doing with their sunny Saturday: picking up litter throughout Congaree National Park.

As part of the ongoing community service efforts of the Moore School's Office of International Business Student Engagement, a group of Moore School IB students from freshmen to master's students picked up a truckload of litter over the weekend, some of which had been there since the 2015 flood. Park rangers estimated they saved the park roughly $2,400-worth of work.

This cleanup is not the first for this group, and it's just one of the ways that IB students are giving back to the local community. Last semester, 29 IB students who are now studying abroad were connected with specific classes at Irmo Middle and High schools. Now that those students are in other countries with their program, they communicate through email, blogging, and video chatting with the middle and high school students to teach them about other cultures and daily life in different parts of the world.

"The purpose is to give those middle and high school students a broader appreciation of life internationally," says Daniel Ostergaard, head of the Office of International Business Student Engagement. "It brings the world to them in a way they likely haven't experienced before."

In addition to this unique partnership and various community cleanups, the office also has a student mentoring program in place, hosts bi-weekly brown-bag sessions to promote engagement with faculty research, and regularly invites middle and high school students from around Columbia to hear from current IB students about what they're learning in order to increase their global interest.

"It's all about international business outreach," Ostergaard says. "Our students really impact these local kids, but honestly, our students seem to get more out of these experiences than the kids do."

For more information on the Moore School's Office of International Business Student Engagement or to learn more about their upcoming events, email Daniel Ostergaard at

By Madeleine Vath

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.