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Stories from Abroad: International Business Institute



May 28, 2005
I'm sitting in a 400 year old prison in Sweden that has been renovated into a hotel and conference center. Our rooms are the old prison cells! :)


I have only been here 2 days and so far we have visited Parliament, watched the changing of the guard at the Palace, seen the rooms used for the Nobel Prize banquet and dance and a 4 hour bus tour around the city. On Monday we are visiting the corporate office for Electrolux - parent company to Hoover and Frigidaire.


I should probably explain why I am here. I am spending the summer on another study abroad program called the International Business Institute. We are traveling through 10 countries in 10 weeks, visiting major corporations, touring the major cultural sites, and taking 4 classes from professors who are traveling with us. There are 44 students from all across the US. We just arrived on Thursday and have been adjusting to the time difference, climate and language. On Monday we are taking a cruise ship to Helsinki, Finland and then taking a hovercraft to Tallinn, Estonia where we will be for a few days before we drive to Moscow, Russia. After that we are taking a train to St Petersburg and then flying to Germany. That is the first half of the trip before we stay in the Netherlands for three weeks for intensive academic study time.


It's crazy to think about being away for the whole summer.


June 17, 2005
Greetings from Prague , Czech Republic !!!!!  This trip is flying by and I am enjoying every second of it!  Since the last time I wrote, we have spent 5 days in Russia , flown from Moscow to Amsterdam , driven to Germany and spent 5 days in Heidelberg , and then drove to Prague .  It has been a whirlwind of tours, sightseeing, classes, corporate visits, and quality time hanging out with friends. 


Russia was a country full of opposites – ornate castles, amazing cathedrals, beautiful architecture, dark, grey buildings, horrible beet soup which is bright pink and is served at EVERY meal, and somber people with faces that light up and glow when they smile at you.  It was a very stretching experience that changed my view of the people, the economy, and the relationship between Russia and Americans. 


Germany was a beautiful country!!!!  We stayed in a small town, visited Heidelberg Castle , visited Daimler Chrysler and John Deere, and shopped. I could definitely get used to living there!


Now we are in Prague for a few days.  We have toured the city, visited the Black and Decker plant and walked all around the city.  This city is beautiful and full of music and art.  We have also started having more classes since we have two profs with us now.  They have been extremely interesting and I am really looking forward to getting deeper into the subjects.  The best thing is that we are studying the economies while experiencing it first hand.  It’s the best way to learn!


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