In the Students’ Own Words
Read about the experiences of your Cougar peers who participated in the Europe Study Abroad Program 2010 (Vienna-Budapest-Prague):
- “Studying abroad in Europe is absolutely amazing! We started in Vienna, where I absorbed some of the differences in European culture and got familiar with the local entertainment, shops, historical landmarks, and, oh yeah, we did get some economic and political enlightenment at the same time! Next, Romania, they made us feel like family right from the start! From the food to the entertainment to the breathtaking countryside…you have to see it to believe it. We are now in Budapest, and, astonishingly, it just keeps getting better. I never thought Hungary was such a beautiful country, but it is, and the history is even more intriguing. It has definitely been a very busy and exciting trip so far, I have learned so much more about the world, people, and business than I could have imagined, and there is still more to come!” (Shanelle Dickerson)
- “After being shown the city’s amazing features by our friendly tour guide, we got straight to work by visiting various reputable businesses located all over Vienna. First, T-mobile described to us their corporate strategy and oversaturated market. Then Erste Bank showed us their unique approaches to giving people bank accounts. Finally, OPEC had an interesting theory on a better welfare for all. It’s not a cartel! However, Vienna wasn’t just work. We were able to use our evenings to explore what great things Vienna had to offer. Many of us visited the Belvedere palace where Klimt’s famous painting “The Kiss” was located, Schönbrunn Palace, and St. Stephen’s Cathedral. We relaxed in the evenings by sitting on the beach by the Danube canal and engaging in conversations about life, academics, and more.
- It seems like we barely got to Vienna before we had to say good-bye. We took the train to Romania and realized that it was not as easy as we thought. Some conductors weren’t happy and some engines were worn out. Finally we arrived to one of the most beautiful sceneries you could possibly imagine. There were mountains with big white letters spelling “Brasov,” like the Hollywood sign, sticking out of the bright green trees. That made it worth the hassle. Then things became even more interesting when we saw a man with two horses and a wagon loading our entire luggage in the back to haul it up the hill. Then a whole new adventure began…
Stay posted!” (Jason Emerson)
- “Experiencing Europe means pushing your boundaries: trying local cuisine, learning to enjoy life without air conditioning, taking public transportation, and walking up and down many, many stairs – to really ‘get it’ you have to do as they do and live as they live, leaving any preconceived notions behind.
From our site visits, we have learned that the liberalism of lifestyle and politics in Eastern Europe does not necessarily flow into commercial lending. Consumer credit seems almost non-existent while collateral requirements are not equally applied across the board. Financial institutions appear to refuse credit to borrowers with more-than-adequate collateral based on other, non-disclosed and/or often irrelevant factors causing unnecessary delays or creating outright obstacles in the realization of growth. In some cases, governmental fiscal policy appears counterintuitive to basic economic principles on both macro and microeconomic levels. Surprisingly, a comparison to western practices would have lending in Eastern Europe pegged to the ultra-conservative side of the spectrum.” (Steven Gilbert)
- “To say the least, this trip was a very interesting and eye-opening experience. Eastern Europe holds many unexpected surprises that are usually overlooked from a tourist perspective. Vienna, Bran, Budapest, and Prague are cities that left me speechless in many ways, the culture, the people, music, and amazing architecture. From a cultural aspect to an academic one, this journey through Eastern Europe is a defining memory that I will never forget.” (Max Arciniegas)
- “The program has left an indelible impression on me. Above all, I have learned about the strong similarities and passions that we as a race of people share. This program has given me the fortune of speaking with people all over the world and realizing that many of us, regardless of nationality, share values, beliefs, and a common struggle to progress.
It is so refreshing to realize how much a person from a faraway land understands about you and how much more they sincerely want to learn. I will forever be impacted by my conversations on politics, race, and religion with the lady from Romania, the lady from Germany, and the man from Belgium.” (Aaron Jones)
- “I really enjoyed traveling and studying abroad while visiting several different international companies. This is an experience that I would, not only recommend because of the courses, but also because you two made the experience more enjoyable and were both so sweet throughout no matter what happened! Thank you for expanding my intellect and sophistication!
From the language spoken to the bottled water, it was exciting to see how different people on the other side of the world can be. It was interesting to see how some businesses can be successful even with governmental and policy constraints in their countries. I enjoyed every bit of the trip to Eastern Europe; I learned things that could have never been taught in any classroom. In addition, I learned about how different cultures behave in different settings, business and personal. This was truly an experience one must go through to grasp a more thorough understanding of how business is conducted internationally.” (Melanie Girald)