By Sigourney Clark, ECU Business Administration (MBA) from Raleigh, NC
Day eight of the Alpine Study Abroad program started off at 9:00 a.m. with a 45-minute ride to Engelberg, Switzerland. While on the bus, I could not help but be mesmerized by the blue water, lush green grass covering the foothills, and the Alpine mountains peeking through the clouds. The view was definitely one of a kind and something I would have only ever seen in a picture or movie.
When we arrived in Engelberg, our first stop was the Schaukäserei Kloster Cheese Factory where we were able to see how cheese is made, and even try a few kinds of cheese for which the facility is famous. We enjoyed the selection of cheeses they provided and the company of others in the group, then we were given a few hours of free time to roam the city.
My Impressions of Liechtenstein & the FMA
By Nicholas Kiczales, ECU Accounting Major
Today we woke up early to travel to the sixth smallest country in the world, Liechtenstein. At first, I was not sure what to expect from this small country. When we arrived, I was taken aback at how small a country really could be. It also sparked some interest in me about what countries are smaller than this. When we first arrived at the Financial Market Authority (FMA) of Liechtenstein, we were greeted by one of our presenters. We then went upstairs to a room where we were given a presentation about the country and the FMA’s role. One thing I found truly remarkable about the presentation was that Liechtenstein’s population is only about 38,000 people, especially in light of the fact that ECU is aiming to break 30,000 in enrollment next year. Another thing I found interesting was how passionate our presenter, Johannes, was about his work. He truly had a passion for what he was doing and it was obvious that he knew a substantial amount about his field of financial law.
PeeDee’s ICE(ARRGH) Experience- ICER: Innsbruck Center for European Research
By Taylor Chappell, ECU Accounting Junior from Belvidere, NC
Today we went to the University of Innsbruck where we met with a professor and student involved with the Innsbruck Center for European Research (ICER). The organization focuses on research regarding the integration of the European Union. I was interested to find out that the EU operates similarly to our US government, in that its decisions are based on a two-thirds majority. It was eye-opening to see that countries around the globe are experiencing some of the same issues that we are. Opportunities like these allow us to realize the need for growth in the decision-making of American policy and also see where we are operating in the most efficient way.
By Katherine Schroeder, ECU Accounting & Finance Junior from Bordentown, NJ
After two eye-opening experiences, seeing Castle Neuschwanstein in Germany and the Bergisel Ski Jump in Austria, I was ready for my next adventure with the COB Study Abroad Program. On our second day in Austria, our sixth day of the Study Abroad Program, I was looking forward to seeing what Swarovski Crystal World had to offer. As our group began piling on the bus, there was some excitement over seeing Swarovski Crystal World and some excitement that we finally had a short ride on the bus. When the bus pulled up to the Swarovski Crystal World, I had expected a big crystal building with a flair for the dramatic; instead, I found a couple buildings, a garden, and a cave. Although this was not what I had expected, the garden gave me a great impression on what I was going to find in the cave.
Impressions of Innsbruck, Austria
By Carrington Wooten, ECU Business Finance Junior from Kinston, NC
As we arrived in Innsbruck, I automatically knew I would enjoy the town. Innsbruck is a college town nestled in the Swiss Alps, smaller in size than Munich. Much like in Greenville, you can find college students studying, grabbing a bite to eat, or hanging around the main town center. The people are friendly, active, and welcoming. I felt extremely comfortable in the town; unlike in Munich, I was able to navigate my way around. The main town center was just a mile from our hotel.
The first night in Innsbruck, after presentations, a group of us went to dinner with our tour guide to a local Italian restaurant on the university campus. It was really neat to see all of the students out on the quad enjoying the evening, tossing frisbees, catching up with one another, and eating dinner. I think this is something that we, as Americans, fail to do. We are often in a hurry to grab a bite to eat that we forget to enjoy each other’s company. Dinner was topped off with delicious ice cream then a little more walking around the town center. There were still plenty of people out enjoying the summer’s night. After a little while, we headed back to the hotel, and our first day in Innsbruck came to a close.
Bergisel Ski Jump- A Leap of Faith
By Caleb Beard, ECU Business Management Senior from Hickory, NC
Today our group traveled to the Bergisel Ski Jump in Innsbruck, Austria. This ski jump has hosted three Winter Olympics in 1964, 1976, and 2002. As we learned about the strategies, improvisation, and fatigue this sport requires, I was reminded of what the college of business teaches their students. When ski jumpers practice, they can only handle about five runs consecutively. This safety limitation is implemented due to the stress and fatigue these skiers’ minds and bodies go through during the practice season. The precision and intensity each practice run demands is very intense. In business, intense and precise work, along with hours of practice, are required for success.
Fussen, Bavaria, Germany: Neuschwanstein Castle
By Phillip Kinney, ECU Business Management Information Systems Senior from Durham, NC
Today started pretty early. We had to be downstairs in the lobby of our Munich hotel by 5:45 am. We grabbed a breakfast box and made our way to the bus that would take us to Castle Neuschwanstein in Fussen, Bavaria, Germany. As we approached the end of our 1.5-hour bus ride, the castle came into view. “Majestic” is the only word I can think of to succinctly describe the elegant beauty of the castle’s grey stone exterior and Medieval architecture. However, this should not come as a surprise, because Castle Neuschwanstein serves as the inspiration for the famous castle at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. The castle’s beauty was rivaled only by the breathtaking views of the mountains, waterfalls, and other natural features available on the property.
Free Day in Munich: Dachau
By Kellie McGee, ECU Management Accounting major
After a day of travelling and two days of learning about BMW and how their cars are made, in Munich at the BMW museum and in Regensburg at the BMW plant, the group was exhausted. Luckily, today the students had a free day to explore and sightsee around Munich and surrounding areas and rest up for the next leg of the trip
In the morning, a group of students, faculty, and I travelled by train and by bus to Dachau, the first concentration camp. The camp was opened in March 1933, just a few weeks after Hitler gained power. Liberated 12 years later in 1945 by US troops, tens of thousands of prisoners had been killed during that time. Walking through this memorial, exploring the museum, or listening to an audio guide helped transport the visitors back in time, painting an extremely vivid picture of the terrible conditions and horrors that these prisoners had to endure. Read more
Business at BMW
By Delaney Clinton, ECU Business Management Junior from Charlotte, NC
For the past two days in Munich, or as the locals say, “München”, I have had PeeDee with me. During those days, we have mainly been focusing on BMW. On the first day, we went to the BMW museum and showrooms in Munich, Germany. Here we saw a lot of old, new, and future BMW models. This was a very interesting experience because I was shocked by how many different types of cars have been created over time. I brought PeeDee with me for the entire trip through the museum, and you can see his adventures in the pictures!
Today, we went to the production plant in Regensburg. Even though I am not particularly interested in cars, I thought it was amazing! My tour guide told me that in 2017, there were 38,200 cars produced and there were zero cars that rolled off the production line that were the exact same!
Travelling to Munich
By Brewer Harris, ECU Business Finance Senior from Cary, NC
Today was the first day of our journey to four European countries. Excited to take on our long day of travelling, we arrived at Raleigh Durham International airport at 11:30 sharp. We quickly learned that careful planning is essential to the success of scheduling flights. Right from the start, our flight was delayed from RDU to Atlanta. Had we not built in extra slack in our schedule, we would have missed our connecting flight from Atlanta to Munich, Germany. After running to the gate, we just barely made final boarding call. This skill of planning ahead paid off due to it being ingrained in my business classes.
After catching our connecting flight, it was smooth sailing, and we were able to watch movies and catch up on some much-needed sleep. Once off the flight, I found German Customs very unique compared to the United States. The process felt very relaxed initially because we did not have to go through security or metal detectors, which was unusual. It was as simple as getting our passports stamped and picking up our luggage. There were, however, several police with automatic weapons on constant guard in the airport. In that regard, the culture here is very different from the United States yet very intriguing. This made me wonder if the United States was the only country that had strict security detail for people entering the country.