I am so thankful for my time in Germany with the Rollins College of Business this summer. I signed up for the International Business Experience course this past spring semester because it was required for my major. It was between learning about international business abroad or in a classroom, but there was really no question for me. I promised myself I would go abroad sometime during my undergrad and I was getting dangerously close to breaking that promise. A whole semester in another country was a little intimidating for me and not realistic with my academic schedule. This course was a great opportunity to have that international experience for a couple weeks and see first hand how cultural context affects businesses.
One thing I appreciated about this course was the time dedicated to the class before traveling. Of course there were a few assignments to complete before leaving, but they were informational and a good precursor to the trip. They also didn’t take up too much time so it was easy to add the course to an already full academic schedule. There were a couple mandatory meetings to discuss our itinerary and assignments throughout the semester. We had an opportunity to ask questions and express any concerns we might have. These meetings are important to go to as there is vital information communicated during them.
This trip was my first time to ever leave the country, so I had a few concerns. I was a little nervous to have to navigate international flights and customs alone, but luckily I didn’t have to. Our instructors sent us their flight information so we had the opportunity to book the same ones as them, which is what I and several others ended up doing. I was also worried about transportation while we were in Germany and the language barrier. The meetings alleviated most of my concerns and after arriving in Germany, I realized they weren’t worth worrying about to begin with.
The first week of our trip was spent in Berlin. Berlin is a bustling city with clean streets and great public transportation. It may not look like a stereotypical German city with cobblestone streets and Germanic architecture, but it does not lack beauty and history. As a tourist, I was pleased with what the city had to offer. There were plenty of options from good shops and great food to important landmarks and interesting museums. We didn’t have much of a problem with the language barrier as most people spoke English. It was a really fun city and a great way to start our trip. Towards the end of our first week, we took a day trip to Potsdam. It was a nice contrast to Berlin. We visited a palace and some beautiful parks.
The second week was split between Wolfsburg and Cologne, with a day trip to Aachen. While in Wolfsburg, we got to visit Volkswagen for one of our business visits. It was cool to see how they assembled their cars and compare it to the BMW visit we had a few days before. My favorite part of staying in Wolfsburg was meeting a couple students who study there. They took us to some of their favorite spots and we got to visit their school. I loved getting to talk to them about the differences in our cultures and environments.
Cologne and Aachen were my favorite stops on our trip. We saw a couple cathedrals, experienced some celebrations, and swam in hot springs! Both these cities felt more like what you would picture a German city to look like. I would definitely visit any of these cities again, but Cologne and Aachen were highlights for me.
The business visits we went on were interesting and informative. I was excited to see the variety in the types of businesses we learned about. We went to a few tech/software companies, a fashion house, a brewery, and a media company. I enjoyed learning how business is impacted by culture and location. Overall the course was a great learning and traveling experience. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in traveling and course credit. It was so much fun and I learned a lot!
Chloe Evans (BS Accounting) spent spent part of May 2023 participating in a faculty-led trip to Germany through the Rollins College of Business. Chloe had the following to say about studying abroad, “This course is a great opportunity to travel abroad. There was a good balance between learning about international business and free time to experience the cities we were in.“
Share this post: