Business Administration - German Style - Nov 1, 2012 - Study Away - UW-Superior News and Events

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Business Administration - German Style

Posted on Nov 1, 2012
At the age of seven after meeting a Brazilian high school exchange student, Ryan Wood realized he would someday study in a different country. After years of planning, he flew to Germany for his senior year in university.
click to enlarge
Brandenburg Gate in Berlin

© 2012 Ryan Wood

Brandenburg Gate in Berlin

Ryan lived and studied at the University of Kassel in Kassel, Germany for eleven months through the Wisconsin-Hessen Exchange.

In this exchange no previous knowledge of German is required because the program begins with an intensive two-week German language course before classes officially start for the semester. Each student is placed into a level where he or she will be successful. If one has never studied German, basic skills such as counting, and ordering food are emphasized. Thereafter, students may continue to study German language and culture and/or focus on other subject areas.

Ryan says, "Hands down, this was the best time of my life!"

Traveling occupied much of Ryan's free time. Other than his extensive travels in Germany, he visited Iceland, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

As a double major in Music and Business Administration, he had already completed all coursework for his music major including three semesters of music history.

In Germany he experienced this first-hand through visits to places such as the Czech National Museum of Music which houses period instruments from the Holy Roman Empire. J.S. Bach had long ago performed at his neighborhood church in Kassel. He also enjoyed attending concerts where period instruments were used.

Ryan describes his housemates in Germany as "some of the best friends I've ever had. I lived in a campus apartment in an international building. As it was described to me in an email before I left, 'You have a single room with private wash basin in a flat with students from many nations.' During the first semester my housemates were from Spain, Sardinia (Italy), Hungary, Macedonia, and Poland.

"In the second semester they were from Wisconsin, Italy, Turkey, Bulgaria, and the same Spanish girl. One can learn very much about a culture by their eating and cooking habits. Every meal in our apartment was an adventure. Meals were a hodgepodge of family recipes from around the globe!"

While in Germany, Ryan concentrated on courses in his second major, Business Administration. Although the courses offered in Kassel were similar to those at UW-Superior, he notes that they offered exciting new viewpoints.

Other than German language courses, the first course he took was a unique master's level Globalization course. Of the 30 students in the discussion, 25different nationalities were represented. Each weekly three-hour block was set up as a discussion about a reading that involved an important topic of globalization such as global health.

In his second semester at Uni Kassel, he was admitted to an International Management Certificate Program consisting of five different courses, all taught in English: Fundamentals in International Management, Human Resource Management, International Marketing, Company Project, and International Business Environment.

While the courses like Human Resource Management were very German in nature, he stated they were still typical classes whereas Company Project and International Business Environment were special.

Company Project was a semester-long analysis of an actual company, which ended with a daylong tour of the facilities. International Business Environment, a three-week block course taught by three professors from Spain, Turkey, and Germany, focused on cultural awareness and the expatriation process from a European perspective.

Ryan is available to meet with students interested in a study away experience in Germany.

So, what does his future hold? Very likely it will include graduate studies in Germany!

News Contact: Cherie Sawinski | 715-394-8020 | csawinsk{atuws}
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