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Posted 4.19.06

Twenty-six MBA students recently attended the Spring International Institute in Strasbourg, France. It was a week filled with interesting visits to a variety of companies and organizations, some great food, and, of course, a lot of fun.

Many in the group decided to arrive in Europe a few days early for some pre-Institute touring. Some flew into Paris, others Switzerland, and a few even began the week in Germany. When everyone arrived in Strasbourg on Sunday, there were already a number of weekend adventures to be shared.

There were several visits to companies throughout the region. On Monday the group traveled to Roche in Switzerland. The group was immediately immersed in the economic, regulatory, and even political ramifications of doing business in Europe. “It was really interesting to see some of the regulatory differences between Europe and the U.S., especially in the pharmaceutical industry,” said Eric Matson, a second-year MBA student.

Students also traveled to Frankfurt, Germany, to visit the European Central Bank (ECB) headquarters. There they were able to participate in a lengthy conversation with an official from the Bank on several topics, including the rollout of the Euro throughout the European Union and the role of the ECB in controlling inflation.

Other visits included a Mercedes plant, the local Strasbourg newspaper, Commerzbank Bank in Frankfurt, an ancient castle in the French countryside, and even a visit to the host school for the week, the Strasbourg Graduate School of Management. It was a true diversity of experiences, learning, and fun!

Of course, no trip to Europe can be all work and no play. Throughout the week, groups of students made a point to go out for dinner and fun in Strasbourg. With Strasbourg’s unique location near the border, students were able to sample cuisine from both France and Germany. There were also planned trips to a small, local winery and a Heineken brewery.

Overall, this year’s Spring International Institute was a true variety of unique experiences, a wonderful mixture of learning and fun. There were new friends made and some lasting memories formed. It will surely be a trip that no one will soon forget.

By James Armour, MBA '06 

 

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