A Travellerspoint blog


Emily's Blog

Doing Business in Europe 2013

Yesterday morning I woke up at 6:15 and began preparing for my last day at Hanze. After turning in my bike and lock I spent nearly 40 minutes with other students reviewing as much information as we could and spitting it back at each other. When the 2.5 hour exam on the 13 sections we had to cover was over, we waited to present two major presentations worth 60% of our grades. After we finished, we walked 30 minutes back to student housing and then prepared for the 30 minute walk to the restaurant where all of the summer school students would have our last meal and drinks together as a group with the program coordinators.

On the walk to the restaurant we talked about what our favorite parts of the trip were, and I couldn’t pinpoint any specific experience. I thought about it and realized that even though it has been difficult sometimes and the workload constant, I’ve enjoyed my time here in its entirety. I came here specifically to move outside my comfort zone, push those barriers and challenge myself, and grow as a person. I am taking all of this experience gratefully. The people who shared it with me are amazing and I don’t know if I could have come as far as I did without them.

Would I take this program again? In a heartbeat.
Would I recommend it to others? Without hesitation.

Emily Sharpe
Business Administration Student
NSCC, Pictou Campus

Posted by NSCC Intl 06:31 Archived in Netherlands Tagged netherlands europe nova_scotia study_abroad businesss Comments (0)

Melissa's Blog

Doing Business in Europe 2013

I am Melissa Kranyak, one of the five students from Nova Scotia Community College that is participating in the Doing Business in Europe program here in Groningen, Netherlands at the Hanze University.

There are only four days left in this three week program and it has been a steady onslaught of homework, sightseeing, Dutch cuisine and Dutch culture.

Last week we went to Amsterdam and visited the Rijksmuseum which I absolutely adored. I saw many works here, some by Rembrandt, Monet, and Van Gogh. The weather was beautiful for this event.

After the museum we were ushered to Philips Headquarters where we observed a presentation given by the CEO Frans van Houten and his global eye employees. At the end of the presentation three groups from Hanze university that are participating this program competed against one another in a mock “Dragon’s Den” event with concept products that Philips may be interested in making. Among them from NSCC were Bradley Cameron (First place winner) and Megan Holley. The prize was a sonic care tooth blasting type floss machine……? We then finished up at Philips with a drink and snack social where we were able to practice our 30 second elevator pitches (which I failed horribly at several times, but that has not discouraged me for the future)

After this long amazing day we went out for a wonderful authentic Italian dinner in the heart of Amsterdam and then retired to our Castle for the night. That is correct, it is not a spelling error, we stayed in a castle for the night. It has a moat that goes all the way around it.

The next day we went through the Anne Frank House and toured around Amsterdam sight-seeing and shopping. I also was able to locate a normal size coffee which made me very happy (Side bar: In the Netherlands and suspect all of Europe, coffee is sold in very tiny increments which does not work for me because I am severely addicted)

The last couple of days have been dedicated to presentation and project completion.

Overall, this is a great program that challenges you in ways that you would not normally experience in your own country. Seeing and learning about how multinational companies operate and restructure has been my favourite part of this trip along with the mentors that are teaching us in the many classes we have each day.

Thank-you Hanze University and Nova Scotia Community College for this opportunity and experience.

Melissa Kranyak
Business Administration Student
NSCC, Waterfront Campus

Posted by NSCC Intl 06:30 Archived in Netherlands Tagged travel netherlands europe business nova_scotia study_abroad Comments (0)

Megan's Blog

Doing Business in Europe 2013

Megan_1.jpg Megan_2.jpg
Hello! My name is Megan Holley and I am one of the students participating in the Doing Business in Europe summer program at Hanze University of Groningen. I am a Business Administration student at NSCC and I found out about this program through a presentation done at my school by past participants.

Today is Wednesday which means we're officially half done of the program already. I can't believe how fast the time has gone by; it feels like we've only been here a couple of days. Today was the first time I've biked around town without getting lost once! I finally can bike to school and back without taking a wrong turn. It's pretty bad that it took me almost two weeks to learn the route! Other than getting lost a lot, I am loving biking everywhere each day. When I left home I was sure that I was going to miss driving a car, but so far I don't miss it at all - biking is awesome. We've been really lucky with the weather so far as well, I haven't had to even open my umbrella yet!
My stay in the Netherlands so far has been super busy but so much fun at the same time. We have done three tours of the Netherlands and a trip to Germany for a tour of Meyer Werft, along with lots of fun social programs. On Sunday, the group went to The Island of Schiermonnikoog for a cultural excursion day. Schiermonnikoog is a nearby island that is a part of the province Friesland. It is a small island; about 1,000 people live there permanently and biking is almost the only transportation used. Only the people living there are allowed to drive a car there, so there's bike roads everywhere. The island was beautiful and we were able to have some time to explore wherever we liked. I decided to spend most of my time going to the beaches there and just biking around and sightseeing.

We had a short teaching day today from 8:30 until 2pm. We learned about international facility management, followed by a sales training class, and then we had a class about the countries in Eastern Europe. I'm glad our day was a little shorter because we have lots of assignments to work on along with studying for our final exam. This Friday is our trip to Amsterdam where we will visit Philip's headquarters. When we arrive there we are going to have the opportunity to pitch a new product idea to Mr. Frans van Houten - the CEO of Philip's! The class worked in groups to think of new ideas that Philip's could possibly add to their line of products. It's going to be so cool. I probably won't sleep the night before!

Overall my experience in The Netherlands so far has been very positive. The teachers do an amazing job of fitting in all the information into the short amount of time they have for each class. My other classmates and our program coordinators have been great, and most all of the Dutch people I've met have been very friendly. This next week and half is going to go by so quickly, but I'm going to make the most of it and enjoy every minute of it.

Thank you!

Megan Holley
Business Administration Student
NSCC, Pictou Campus

Posted by NSCC Intl 06:29 Archived in Netherlands Tagged netherlands europe biking business nova_scotia study_abroad Comments (0)

Bradley's Blog

Doing Business in Europe 2013

Bradley__1_.jpgBradley__2_.jpgHello there! This is Bradley Cameron reporting live from Groningen city here in the Netherlands. I have been studying at Hanze University learning about European culture and business for a week now, and it’s hard to believe that we are already a third of the way through the program.

Prior to arriving in the Netherlands, I completed my first year of Business Administration at the NSCC Waterfront Campus in Dartmouth, NS. The “Doing Business in Europe” summer program seemed like it would be an excellent way to expand my horizons and increase my knowledge and experience with respect to international business. The Netherlands has exceeded my hopes, and there’s still two weeks to go!

So what is it all about?

Well, like we were warned before we left, “it’s not a vacation”; most weekdays we are in class from 8:30AM to 5:00PM. In all honesty though the material we are covering is so new and engaging that I don’t mind the long days at all. There are so many factors involved in the economic, legal, and cultural environment that is the European Union (EU) that I am left awed at the amount of work and dedication that has transpired to not only bring the EU into existence, but also to maintain and expand the union into the future. I must also state that I have been very impressed with the faculty at Hanze University. I feel like we have been given the “all-star” line up because every teacher we’ve had thus far has been very knowledgeable and incredibly friendly.

There’s more than just class time in the schedule. On Saturday we travelled to Enkhuizen in order to tour an outdoor museum of a small Dutch community that thrived during the 1800s. Along the drive we stopped to see some of the incredible dykes which hold back the ocean and make life for many parts of the Netherlands possible. Of course I had read about the scale of the dykes prior to coming here, but seeing them firsthand was something else altogether. It’s astounding the degree to which the Dutch have literally created much of their country through hard work and determination.

At Enkhuizen we saw the houses, technology, and lifestyle that was common in the Netherlands a couple of hundred years ago. It was apparent that contending with copious amounts of water was as much a way of life for Netherlanders back then as it is today. The Dutch are a hearty and resourceful people, and have been that way for many generations! While in Enkhuizen, I also got the chance to eat some smoked herring cooked using authentic methods from the 1800s, and it was absolutely delicious (this is saying a lot coming from someone from Nova Scotia!).

If this week has been any indication, my remaining time the Netherlands will go by faster than I would like, but I am determined to enjoy every minute of this incredible experience. I plan to work hard at the academic program that has been created for us, and to eat a lot more delicious Dutch cheese before it’s over. Thank you and God Bless!

Bradley Cameron
Business Administration Student
NSCC, Waterfront Campus

Posted by NSCC Intl 05:13 Archived in Netherlands Comments (0)

Richard's Blog

Doing Business in Europe 2013

Goedendag! My name is Richard Bagnell from NSCC Truro Campus in Nova Scotia Canada. I am one of five NSCC students selected to participate in the 3 week summer school program, Doing Business in Europe. I was introduced to this program through Robyn Wilkie and NSCC International, who have coordinated with our host Hanze University in Groningen, Netherlands. This busy and exciting program will directly expose us to aspects of international business along with cross-cultural communication and experience, as well as unique opportunities and experiences that we will continue to blog about over the next 3 weeks.

Today we departed Groningen for the day and arrived in Papenburg in the northwest of Germany to visit the site of the largest covered shipbuilding yard in the world, Meyer Werft, a 6th generation family business. Mr. Thomas Witolla, head of research and development, took us on a tour of the highly technological manufacturing facility showing and explaining to us the manufacturing process to build the mass which becomes a luxury cruise liner. Meyer Werft also manufactures other ships including ferries, river cruise liners, research vessels, container ships, livestock carriers and gas tankers.
Mr. Witolla explained how the ships were built in 6000 tonne sections that were shifted, rotated, and lifted by cranes, as well as showing us firsthand the computerized cutting of steel and hybrid laser welding technology. It was easy to see the relation to our studies in business as the logistics of strategically moving these pieces through the warehouse was of high importance to time and cost efficiency, let alone the logistics of filling the ship with furniture, lifeboats, parts, and other accessories over the two year process. Without perfectly tuned logistics within all aspects of the company, the inefficiencies would increase to dangerous levels that would threaten and compromise the company.

Meyer Werft employs over 2500 and receives and considers all feedback from their employees in hopes to achieve utmost efficiency. The company’s research and development team has much to focus on to differentiate itself from its key competitors, but has a strong focus on energy management, energy efficiency, and environmental impact. They even go as far as trying to reduce sound and vibrations on species living in the waters that the ships cruise through.

With ships taking up to two and a half years to complete, it is not rare to see up to 100,000 spectators watching the completed ship leave the shipyard, including employees who watch with tears of pride.

When speaking about the employees working to build the ships, Mr. Thomas Witolla summed it up by saying - “Without the people, everything is nothing.”

Richard Bagnell
Business Administration Student
NSCC, Truro Campus

Posted by NSCC Intl 05:05 Archived in Netherlands Comments (0)

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