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Globetrotting Business Students Visit Europe and South America

March 25, 2008

Ayse Vatansever enjoys some leisure time in Salzburg's historic area.

LeBow College of Business students really are going places.

Through the college's international residency programs, LeBow College's One-Year MBA students returned from a trip to Munich, Germany and Prague, Czech Republic, in February. Also, LeBow undergraduate juniors and seniors concentrating in International Business just returned from a trip to Chile.


Munich and Prague

Students enjoyed a tour of Prague's old city, which included the city’s Easter Fair.

The Drexel One-Year MBA students traveled to Munich and Prague at the end of February for this year's One-Year MBA program residency to learn about industry within the European Union and how countries such as Germany outsource manufacturing to countries like the Czech Republic. They also learned that as economic conditions in the Czech Republic continue to improve, the companies are actively looking for more economical places to manufacture their goods.

Two-Year MBA candidate Sean Mayo looks at a display of braking inventions at Germany’s Knorr Bremse, the leading manufacturer of brakes for European commercial vehicles and rail cars.

Director of Full-Time Programs Donna Ferrari said the best thing about the trip is the "practical application of the students' knowledge ... They've sat in the classroom and heard about things like currency fluctuation. But this trip gives them the opportunity to experience that first hand. Sitting in a company's headquarters, they really get the experience to see what's happening there."

Arriving in Munich on March 1, students spent four days being introduced to the basics of doing business in Germany. They also learned about German culture and industry and had the opportunity to tour a BMW plant and The Biotooling Co., a medical engineering company.

The students then traveled to Prague, where they spent the next four days learning about economics and the political transition in the Czech Republic. They toured a Johnson & Johnson plant, and they also toured a crystal factory where they learned about a family's plight to try to re-establish its product's brand name. Originating as Rueckl Crystal, the factory was taken over by the Communist rule in the former Czechoslovakia and renamed Bohemian Crystal. After the country transitioned back to capitalism during the past two decades, the family that originally owned the factory actually had to purchase it back from the government.

One-Year MBA candidates HiJi Kim, Eva Bailey and Ryan O'Malley in Prague's Easter Fair.

Upon their return, students continue their discourse on this international learning experience as parallels to the content in their cohorted classes are presented, as well as through a reflective learning assignment.

Students also had some free time in each city to explore and have fun. Students in LeBow's One-Year MBA program have participated in an international residency since the program's inception at LeBow College. Past One-Year students have traveled to Paris, Berlin, London, Budapest and China.


LeBow College undergraduate juniors and seniors concentrating in international business returned from Chile March 29 after a week-long educational experience. While abroad, students engaged in a number of valuable learning experiences including visiting Chile's Parliament, Central Bank, and Stock Exchange. Students also visited the country's largest winery, Concha y Toro, and posted their day's activities on a student-managed blog. To read students' account of the trip and view photos, visit their blog.

Chile was chosen as the destination for this first international residency for international business majors because the country's recent transition to an open economy makes it a good example for study, and because there is a sizeable link here in Philadelphia with locally based companies like ARAMARK that import products from Chile.

LeBow College Dean George P. Tsetsekos said that the college's international residencies are thoughtfully planned and coordinated to complement classroom learning and give students the most well-rounded educational experience possible. "LeBow College's programs employ international residencies to give our students an edge in understanding the global economy. Giving our students the chance to experience global marketplaces improves the quality of their college education and positively affects their overall learning experience."

In preparation for this trip, students participated in a short course, toured a Unifrutti cargo ship in Philadelphia's port that arrived from Chile, and heard Chile's Ambassador to the United States Mariano Fernández speak about trade.

Students participating in this residency are continuing their study and discourse relating to the trip by taking Seminar in International Business, a class created to complement their learning in Chile.

The cost of the Chilean trip was subsidized in large part by the generosity of College alumni.