Away on Business

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Trips are built into many of the classes at Temple Rome.  I’ve spent the past two weekends in Brussels and London with my Business in the European Union and International Business classes, respectively.   I have friends who have been to Milan, Florence, and Sicily as part of their course requirements.  Isn’t this what studying abroad is all about?

There are currently 4 business classes offered at Temple’s campus in Rome: International Marketing, International Business, Business in the European Union, and International Trade.  Professor Mahanty teaches International Marketing and Professor Patania teaches the other three classes and is the professor we traveled to Brussels and London with these past couple of weekends.

Our schedules in Brussels and London were set up similarly.  We left Rome in the late afternoon/early evening on Thursday, arrived at our destinations by Thursday night, and spent Friday attending meetings.  By 5:00 on Friday, the business part of our trips was over and we were free to do as we pleased until we had to meet the class to go to the airport on Sunday.

The Business in the European Union class went to Belgium because Brussels is where the European Union is headquartered.  The class met with representatives from the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, and NATO.  The speakers were able to give our lectures real world relevance and reaffirm what Professor Patania had taught us in class about the workings of the European Union.  All of the meetings were incredibly pertinent not only to what we’ve been learning in the course, but also to current events (especially following the reelection of Barack Obama).  The European Union is one of the chief attractions in Brussels and it was really cool to be able to spend a day getting a firsthand look at what the EU is all about.

As I mentioned, we were done with our meetings by 5:00 on Friday and were free to do as we pleased from that point on.  On Saturday morning, Professor Patania offered the class the option of meeting him to take a walking tour to see the major sights in Brussels.  The majority of the class visited the main tourist attractions together on Saturday morning and split up to shop, eat, nap, and sightsee some more that afternoon.  At night, we regrouped to go out to dinner and experienced the nightlife in Brussels as a class.

The International Business trip to London was similar to the Brussels trip, but there are only 9 students in International Business this semester so it was even more intimate.  We visited ING, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Bloomberg, and the US Embassy in London on Friday.  Just like in Brussels, we were given the chance to apply what we had learned in class this semester in diverse business settings.  We all got a taste for how international business works in different companies and on political and corporate levels.  After we finished with the meetings, we took off to see as much of London as possible in a little over twenty four hours.  A lot of us were able to get a lot done in a little amount of time.  Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, Shakespeare’s Globe Theater, Buckingham Palace, the European Parliament, the London Eye, and Big Ben were sights that most of us had seen by Sunday.

I would recommend taking a class with an excursion to anyone studying abroad.  Free time is usually built into the itinerary and the “learning” part of the Business in the European Union and International Business trips was actually very interesting because of its relevance to the course material.  Of course, there is the added benefit of being able to see new cities like Brussels and London with your classmates.

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