From experience, I believe you will have a better experience if you think about what exactly you want to get out of the seminar. While a big part of that is “see Europe!!” you are going to have the opportunity to hear a number of outstanding speakers discuss a pretty pivotal time in the history of Europe and the world. Spend a few minutes reading the materials IBS has sent you, and do your own work to find out a few things about the companies we will be visiting. Don’t forget this is your opportunity to learn about how international companies do business by the people actually doing it. Also, think about what you want to do/see in each city. Try to find those few things you simply must do while you are in Europe and plan on doing those.
During this time, our most recent presidential election along with the ongoing Brexit saga has had a big impact on thinking in Europe, something you may come face-to-face with. I’ve been to Europe a number of times since then and everywhere I have been people have cautiously asked about things in the US. Even as partisan as I can be, I have tried to be respectful of their perspectives, and either politely move the discussion away from that topic, or have tried to thoughtfully engage with them. Remember, a big part of doing a seminar like this is seeing how others view the world. Let’s not be quick to discount what others believe simply because it’s not what we believe. Some of our speakers in the past have expressed strong viewpoints, both pro- and anti-American. I find that to be very interesting since it challenges my current worldview. So don’t necessarily assume that anyone who asks you about things in the US is being rude, they are often simply curious.
We are all looking forward to having you on the program!