A Travellerspoint blog

June 2011

Netherlands Musings

Doing Business in Europe summer school

2IMG_1428.jpgThe Dutch Way

My experience with “Doing Business in Europe” was very positive. While in Groningen we were shown things that could only be taught, by being there. Learning business in Europe means you have to learn the cultures of the people, which make up such a large population base. The business side of things can be taught in books... the success of business; however, is the ability to understand the cultures and their differences’. To learn that, I feel you need to experience it hands on.

The entire country depends on the polder system and water management experts. The Netherlands has had floods in their history from the beginning of time. In the 1950’s;however, was when the most devastating flood occurred. From that devastation, came the extensive project of building dikes, large enough to withhold water from both the inland water systems and the North Sea, became paramount. We walked on land that is under sea level. The events of New Orleans and the devastation they went through, in our short history, show us the importance of such a system.

I was blown away with the tenacity of the Dutch; to be stubborn enough to not let “nature” reclaim the land that make up the entire Netherlands was impressive. We were shown the dike systems and the windmills of old, and new. The old windmills have been replaced by energy driven power stations and the entire system runs with such effectiveness. The Dutch are able to farm the land and use their knowledge of building and dredging dikes and it has become a major business in itself. Their knowledge and proven results on the subject have made them experts, so that are sought all over the world! I have total respect for the Dutch, and to see it first hand and to be there in The Netherlands is something I will treasure forever.

Ramona Hardy
Student, Business Administration
Waterfront Campus

Posted by NSCC Intl 04:59 Archived in Netherlands Comments (0)

Summer School Coming to an End

Doing Business in Europe summer school

Time Flies When You Are Having Fun

So, I’m currently sitting in the computer lab at Hanze University, preparing for my final exam and presentations due in the morning; I’m amazed that I’ve just finished my last lecture of the summer program. It’s true when they say ‘time flies when you’re having fun’.

Just yesterday, I was at the Groningen Sea Port; it was so impressive. While driving around the port on the bus, it was easy to see just how grand the site is. It’s incredible the energy that is developed; countries from around Europe are investing and building here. It’s also impressive that there are both natural gas and renewable energy sources found on site.

The powerboat tour at the port was such an experience; though it was a rush to drive around on one of these boats, it was also neat to see the work that was taking place on the water side (sheep and windmills living in harmony!); I was more than impressed.

I also loved that we were able to see windmills broken down before construction; it’s obvious from afar that the structures are large, but when you see the actual blades on the ground before assembly, it’s a much greater appreciation of just how grand a windmill is.

I also need to add that our boat driver (a very brave man) let me drive our powerboat! Just one more awesome thing to add to a list of accomplishments since landing in NL!

Robyn Wilkie
Student, Business Administration
Waterfront Campus

A Typical Day in Groningen

It’s been a wonderful time in Europe with a lot of stories to tell and experiences to learn from such as: the lecturers at the Hanze University that show another perspective in the way to do business; the excursions to Bremen, Leer, Amsterdam, and the Groningen Sea port; and the interaction with the people of The Netherlands.

A regular day starts in the student house, which is not a house, but a building with students from all nationalities ; I look through the window of my room in the morning trying to forecast the weather, but that reminds me of Nova Scotia, where the weather can change at any moment. After getting ready, I start biking to the university where a cup of coffee at `The Australian`` (the coffee place), is waiting for me.
After a day of intense academic effort, there is always something to do; the facilitators of the “Student Association” have been more than simple organizers of the program; they became friends that are always helping the students to discover why Groningen is the ``City of Talent``.

This place has been our home for 20 days; we still have a few more days of presentations, exams and of course, lots of fun!

Nicolas Mendoza
Student, Business Administration
Waterfront Campus

Posted by NSCC Intl 07:16 Archived in Netherlands Comments (0)

Netherlands Updates

Doing Business in Europe Summer School

Country Special Lectures

I had expected a solid introduction to Dutch business culture during the ‘Doing Business in Europe’ project, and our group has been given one. I didn’t realize that we would be given incredibly informative introductions to the business cultures of six other countries and two geographic regions within Europe.

We have been taught about the relevant cultural, historical, and political aspects of the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Eastern Europe, France, and Italy, and still have Scandinavia and the United Kingdom to learn about in the coming week, all from Hanze University faculty who are extremely knowledgeable, and often born-citizens, of the region being discussed. You would need to travel to these places and be involved with business there in order to learn everything, but there is no better preparation for doing so than what we have been given here.

Calum MacDonald
Student, Business Administration
Strait Campus

The Netherlands!
Travel has opened my eyes to cultural experiences I otherwise would never have experienced. My time in Groningen so far has not only met, but exceeded any expectations I may have had including: the city, the school, the program, and especially the people. Last night I had the privilege of meeting an unspoken hero. A classmate and I were on our bikes, and of course, my elastic strap on the back of the bike got caught in my chain and wedged inside the chain cover. It was completely immobile!

As we struggled to try and think of a solution (the most likely being carrying the bike back across the city), an older gentlemen stopped to see if he could help. He spoke no English, but through limited hand gestures and pointing, he said he would be back in a few minutes. Continuing to fiddle, a few minutes later he pulled back up on his bike this time with a tool kit, and was able to remove the mangled bike strap. He shook our hands and was on his way! No expectations, and was almost embarrassed at the amount of thanks I was giving him!!!!!!! Ultimately I am having the most incredible time learning about doing business in Europe while being part of the diverse and vibrant city of Groningen.

Jennifer Arseneau
Student, Business Administration
Truro Campus

Great Program

It is hard to believe that we are in the last week of our summer school program here in the Netherlands. It has been a fantastic experience as an instructor and member of our group. Our Dutch hosts have provided a top notch program that covers all the important aspects of internationalization such as culture, business, academics and social activities. Every international experience is different. Going to new countries with an open mind is a very important aspect of the internationalization process. I have learned so much from my experience and I plan to share this with my students and other faculty.

Helen Graham
International Field School Coordinator
School of Business
Faculty, Business Administration

Posted by NSCC Intl 02:20 Archived in Netherlands Comments (0)

2011 Summer Program “Doing Business In Europe”

Arrival in Groningen and first week of program

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The 2011 Summer Program “Doing Business in Europe” has officially started at the beginning of this week in Groningen, the Netherlands. A group of five students and one faculty member from the NSCC School of Business are participating in the above program organized by several business schools at Hanze University of Applied Sciences. A member of NSCC International is also on site to support the group during the initial phase of the program.

This three-week program is a combination of academic sessions, professional site visits (to companies in Groningen, Amsterdam and Bremen, Germany) and various cross-cultural activities. Students will learn about various aspects, such as marketing, management, accounting and legal, of doing business in countries of the European Union. Program facilitators include Hanze University professors, as well as guest speakers from the private sector.

In addition to NSCC students, the program also includes students from one Canadian and two US universities and colleges. This is the first summer program of this kind offered at Hanze University and the initial feedback from all participants has been very positive. Our colleagues at Hanze are doing a great job and everyone is looking forward to the upcoming sessions.

A big thank you goes to representatives of the Hanze University Student Association who have organized a very interesting cultural and social program for summer program participants, including the bike city orientation, museum visit, and pan cake lunch.

In addition to the summer program, NSCC and Hanze University are implementing another joint project - The Energy Efficiency in the Built Environment (EEBE) is a 3 year Canada – European Union student and faculty exchange project (2010-2013) funded by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada and the European Union. NSCC is the lead college in this project and the other partners are Holland College (PEI), Hanze University of Applied Sciences Groningen (Netherlands) and the Institute of Technology Carlow (Ireland). EEBE will employ a project-based learning approach to give students the practical skills and international context required to take a leadership role in significantly improving energy efficiency practice in the built environment industry. The EEBE project will fund teams of students and faculty to travel between the four partner institutions to work together on planning and executing energy efficiency retro-fits on older housing stock.

More blog entries on the summer program experience by students and the faculty lead will follow shortly.

Zoran Kondali

Posted by NSCC Intl 08:35 Archived in Netherlands Comments (0)

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