When I initially signed up to attend the Summer Europe Seminar, I had no idea what to expect. I knew we would visit companies but I thought there would be quizzes and tests along the way. This program is anything but traditional! We weren’t ever in a classroom setting and we gained professional, hands on experience in the real world. I promise that you will not get more of an adult-working experience with any other program!
What to expect:
A regular day consists of getting dressed in business casual or business formal attire (depending on the company visit) and starting the day by 8 A.M. (Some days we were able to sleep in until 10 A.M.). Once everyone meets in the hotel lobby, we made our way to the first company visit. Depending on the city, we would either travel by coach or the metro.
Sometimes we had multiple company visits in one day and others we only had one or two. If you only have one company meeting during the day, then after that visit YOU’RE DONE FOR THE DAY! Once you return to the hotel after the meeting, you can change into comfortable clothes and explore the city as you wish!
We would enter a factory or office building and be greeted by someone who would remain with us for the entirety of the visit. Most of the time we were seated and a person of higher management would give us an overview and background about the company. They would tell us about their personal journey in the company and about their role.
From there a longer presentation would begin, giving us insight into the journey of the company and how they got to where they are today. It’s important to take notes during your meetings because it will help you tremendously when you’re writing your final paper!
Depending on the company visit, we were able to receive a tour of the building or factory after the presentation. Through touring the facility, we were able to see the process a company goes through to produce their product or what the daily routine is at the certain company. For example, at Cantina Valpantena we were able to view their wine production process and observe their daily procedures. We were even able to taste their products after the tour!
The company visits gave us insight into how companies in different countries operate compared to the United States. Sometimes we were even able to see a product created from start to finish, which was super neat to witness.
My Advice to you:
Take advantage of your free time and fit in as many touristy (or non-touristy things) into your day. Don’t sit in your hotel room! Grab a couple of friends and make your trip worthwhile! International Business Seminars gave me a completely new perspective to studying abroad.