By the time I preparing to leave Strasbourg, my outlook on France and on Europe had completely changed from my initial expectations five weeks prior. Strasbourg was a quaint and picturesque town that was full with life during the day but still at night; an easy place to put down our roots in and the perfect city to call home while studying abroad. Europe, more generally, was an incredible mix of cultures and history unlike anything you could find in America. It was stunning to see how a short three-hour train ride from one town could have you in a completely different country with another foreign atmosphere dictated by the language, food, architecture and disposition of the people there. One of the most noticeable differences, however, was the physical closeness of everything compared to with what I am accustomed to. Without so many cars and the luxury of space that we have in America, daily routines in Europe will have you come in contact and interact with many more people than usual, giving you a chance to actually feel like a local. The pace of things also seemed to slow down a bit and, while it may have felt weird to begin with, that change definitely gave me the opportunity to admire parts of cities and cultures that otherwise I may not have fully appreciated.

This trip was extremely fun, as meant to be, but was definitely still challenging enough with school during the week to balance the right mix of work and play. The two classes taught by Professor Coyez and Dr. Gaspar were tough but also very insightful, and learning about the European Union/ways of business while abroad was an incredible experience. Perhaps the best learning experiences, however, came outside of the classroom. Seeing first hand how business is conducted differently and how the relationship between seller and consumer varies from that in the U.S. was very interesting, and is something that could definitely not be fully captured in a classroom setting. Our weekend trips across Europe were also just as educational as fun because I was able to see the direct impact of various cultures on lifestyles and ways of business. I will never forget the conversations had with different Europeans on long train rides, and the diversity of the people we met along the way. Their extensive knowledge of the United States and different views on certain topics helped me to realize how secluded I have been living and gave me perspective on just how big and complex the world market really is. I learned way more about finance, the European Union and just life in general than I thought I would have in five weeks, but maybe my biggest takeaway from this trip is realizing how much I actually don’t know. This study abroad provided me with a glimpse into a whole other world and gave me the opportunity to step out of my own bubble and look at things from a completely different standpoint. The value that this experience has added to my outlook on my career and the international market cannot be understated, and the memories made will never be forgotten. This journey was truly the experience of a lifetime and the new perspective that I come back home with will contribute to my understanding of the world for the rest of my life.

Categories: 2019 Trip

It’s hard to believe that five weeks ago I first arrived in Strasbourg! Those five weeks flew by but were full of so much learning, growing, and adventuring! Arriving back in Houston I was even more so reminded of how accustomed I grew to the European way of life. Over the course of those five weeks I grew to love the abundance of pastry shops, amazing public transportation, ability to walk and bike all over, and the long hours of daylight. I was won over by the color, vibrance, and liveliness of the city. I was wonderfully surprised to see German influences in the architecture throughout Strasbourg. One of my favorite and most missed aspects of Strasbourg was the abundance of pastry shops! It was impossible to walk for more than five minutes without running into one, two, or five pastry shops! My mentality was to go into every single one, which most of the time meant walking out with another chocolate croissant to try! Arriving back in Houston made me realize that everywhere I visited in Europe was so accessible and connected either throughout high speed train, tram, or bus! I was able to easily travel between cities in Europe as well as all throughout any city I wanted to! It was so nice to be able to get to wherever I wanted to go quickly, conveniently, and cheaply! Everything here in the United States is so spread out and unconnected that it’s basically impossible to get around without a car! Within cities, such as Strasbourg it was also really nice to be able to walk to basically wherever I wanted to go. I could walk pretty much anywhere I wanted to within 10 minutes! I particularly enjoyed the incredibly long hours of daylight in Strasbourg and in so many other cities across Europe that I visited! In Strasbourg the sun would rise around 5:30 in the morning and the sun would set around 9:30 at night! It was so nice to have so many hours in the day to enjoy the outdoors!


Through this study abroad program I not only got to experience the European way of life, but I also simultaneously grew professionally and in qualities that will give me an edge as I prepare to enter the work force in a few short years! No matter what aspect of business I end up being involved in, knowledge and first-hand experience with the world abroad is necessary as business continually becomes more global! Through living in Strasbourg as well as travelling to other places on the weekends I was able to experience first-hand various cultures, see the iconic historic sights, and interact with the local people. Through this I expanded my ability to relate and connect with other people around the world. It’s one thing to read about a culture, but it’s an entirely different one to interact with and encounter a culture for yourself. This not only allows me to relate to other people more, but it also helps me to know how to more effectively motivate, encourage, and manage diverse people. As corporations continually become more global and prioritize the value of diverse employees, it becomes increasingly necessary to have not only the ability to work effectively on a team with diverse people, but also to be able to manage collectively teams of diverse people. Effectively managing intercultural teams can make the difference between a team flourishing, collaborating, and innovating together and a team flat out failing. As Dr. Kevin Mac Gabhan capitalized on in his presentation, managing a team in general is already a challenge, but managing a team with people from different cultures is an entirely new challenge. With greater experience, awareness, and comfortability with international affairs, I now feel much more equipped to take on the challenge of managing diverse teams!


Through the two courses I took on international finance and the European Union, I learned a wealth of knowledge in these areas as well as how these play out and are prevalent complexities in many current events that are shaping economic, political, and business characteristics all throughout the world today that has real impacts on me and the world that I will be conducting business in. In the international finance course I learned about how multinational corporations can flourish abroad in international markets full of potential, while also dealing with and minimizing the great risk that business abroad poses to these corporations. Understanding the inner workings of exchange rates and the various ways in which corporations can use this to their advantage or at a minimum manage the risk that this poses is essential in effectively conducting business abroad. In my European Union class I learned the history and development of the European Union as well as how it functions with all of its various bodies and policies, which is crucial in understanding how the European Union continues to grow more competitive and plays a role in the global economy and impacts international business. It was especially interesting learning the complexities of Brexit and its potential implications in the context of the European Union as the most progressive and increasingly competitive trading block. 


Through this experience of living and studying abroad I have come away with invaluable qualities that will help me flourish in the business world and will open up even more opportunities for me in the future. Understanding the vast potential of global markets, as well as understanding the factors that greatly impact the success of a multinational corporation abroad is crucial for navigating the  increasingly global, competitive, and developing business world that I will soon be working in. Not only have I come away with greater understanding of international finance and the functioning of the European Union, but more importantly I have experienced different cultures and broadened my perspective of the world, which further adds to my ability to succeed in the realm of business, which is increasingly involved globally.

Categories: 2019 Trip

Arriving in Europe for the first time was a whirlwind. Coming off such a long flight and long day of travel it was hard to take it all in at first. The different language and new places were almost overwhelming. After the first day in Strasbourg things started to slow down a little though. The busy city seemed a lot more quaint and friendly. The foreign people became a lot less intimidating and my communication with them got better. While I have had the opportunity to travel to many places in the world before this trip, I had never before been to Europe. I quickly realized that compared to other places like Africa and Mexico, Europe culture is maybe to most like American culture that I has experienced. It became easier and easier over time to adjust after finding similarities of our western cultures.

The past 5 weeks have been a great learning experience. Traveling across 6 countries, meeting so many new people, and experiencing so many new cultures brought many challenges and taught me many lessons. Not knowing anyone going into the trip and traveling across Europe with many new people, there was a lot of trust and team building that we had to do. Often we found ourselves stranded in a train station in a foreign city after missing a connecting train struggling to find our way to our destination. It is in stressful times like these, that I felt like learned the most. Finding the best option to get us to where we are going and working with everyone in the group posed tough challenges. Although we may have struggled at first, over time traveling, missed trains, and delays become easier. Facing these problems together built a trust between our group of strangers. I now feel much more confident facing different challenges in new environments because it was something that happened so often on our study abroad.

Another thing that will take away from the trip is learning to see from another culture’s perspective. Before going abroad I would hear so many things about how people from different European countries would act. I would hear things like “The French are arrogant” or how “The Germans are very punctual” among other things. It was after a few weeks of living in someone else’s culture that I was able to under stand more of the way that they see things. Another thing that helped teach more about perspective is learning about the European Union from Ms. Cecile Coyez. The class allowed me to understand how all these people, countries, and cultures are able to work together in the EU. Not only did this helped me understand European society, but also gave me great examples of dissimilar people working together. It was also very helpful that Ms. Coyez was a native of France and was able to give her inside perspective on how the French and other cultures function. This class and first hand experience working with a variety of people on the study abroad allowed me to see so many different perspectives of the world that a person may have as we traveled from country to country.

Categories: 2019 Trip

As this was my first time traveling to Europe, I did not know what to expect of Strasbourg or even France in general. When we landed in Frankfurt, Germany at the airport, it didn’t immediately hit me that I was in a whole new country. It was just another big city, the only problem was I couldn’t read any of the signs. As we made our way by bus to Strasbourg, France, my impressions started to change. The roads were different, cars with long and skinny license plates had different styles of driving, and all of the buildings used architecture I was not familiar with. I began to feel more and more out of place. By the time we made it to Strasbourg, it finally hit me that I was no longer in the “American Bubble”. I was extremely excited that such a beautiful city was going to be my home for the next five weeks. I expected to feel a little uncomfortable in the beginning. That is part of what makes it such an amazing experience. I know I grow the most when I feel awkward and out of my comfort zone. The challenge is adapting to the situation and making the best of it.

I am thankful that Dr. Gaspar immediately took us on a walking tour around Strasbourg. This was a great way to become more familiar with the city and begin adjusting to the time difference. I absolutely loved every bit of Strasbourg. A perfect evening was getting gelato by the Cathedral, walking along the canal, and then sitting by the fountains in Kléber Square. What was once a foreign city to me that I knew nothing about, quickly became my home that I was excited to return to after a weekend of traveling. One of the main differences about Europe that I loved was how easily I could travel from one country to the next. In total I visited six different countries throughout the five weeks. Europe has an outstanding transportation system that I felt like we were able to figure out pretty quickly.

All of these exciting adventures and experiences certainly added value to my professional career. It was a unique experience getting to take classes at the EM Strasbourg Business School. Seeing how their students interacted was even different from home. It brought me awareness of what education and business is like around the world. Even though I couldn’t speak their language, I was still able to learn from the students through other interactions. I learned that a huge part of doing business globally is adjusting to cultural norms. Professor Coyez always made it a point to address the cultural differences in her teaching and grading styles. I will always remember this as I move into a global career in Public Accounting. I will work with many people from around the world, and the first thing I need to think about is what cultural differences I may have in the work environment.

Having the opportunity to visit many of the European Institutions also aided my professional career. I visited the European Parliament, European Commission, and the European Central Bank. The main takeaway I had from these visits is how globally aware people are in Europe. It is hard to fathom that the Parliament can operate in 24 official languages, translating through all of them in a matter of minutes. This inspires me to reach outside of my bubble and learn as much as possible about the world. In my career I hope to have some international involvement. There is so much to learn from others, and I am eager for my next adventure abroad!

Categories: 2019 Trip

Growing up in Texas, the vast majority of my European integration and international finance knowledge was limited to that of high school required history classes. Prior to this study abroad, I was nervous about what to expect and apprehensive on how my limited knowledge of the culture, language, and history would affect my visit. After arriving back home in Texas, it is difficult for me to articulate just how invaluable my experience was on this truly inspiring opportunity.

Upon arriving in Strasbourg, I immediately fell in love with the small-town atmosphere. I often felt like I was living in a green screen with how picture-perfect the landscape of the city was. The first few days of my visit were difficult as I was trying to adapt to the new culture. As someone who relies heavily on the GPS and my car, I was impressed at the efficiency of the locals to navigate their daily life so comfortably through public transportation and bicycles. The language barrier was the most difficult part of the trip. I quickly learned that a little goes a long way in terms of communication. Learning a few basic phrases and showing local store owners and servers that I was trying to learn the language (despite how bad my French was) made our interactions much more pleasant. Sitting on the border of Germany and France, Strasbourg’s eclectic architectural and cultural integration of the two countries is seen so prominently through the Gothic architecture and exquisite cuisine. One of the best moments of my trip was waking up for an early morning run to watch the sun rise over the magnificent Notre Dame de Strasbourg. Highlighting the skyline in the center of the city, I never found a moment where I was not stunned by its beauty.

As a finance major, the material I learned from both Dr. Gaspar’s and Madame Coyez’s class was truly invaluable in my professional development. Politically, economically, and socially this was truly the prime time for me to take classes and live like a local in France. As issues with Brexit, the refugee crisis, and sovereign debt currently face Europe, I was able to truly gain a better insight into how finance, history, and economics have all played an integral part in the development of European integration. In Dr. Gaspar’s class, we spent a large majority of the course understanding different types of risk and international relationships. I found it incredibly eye-opening to delve into a micro understanding of why businesses are and aren’t successful abroad. Despite the many different means of penetrating global markets and increasing profits through foreign subsidiaries, the downfall of most multinational corporations is their inadequacies in cultural awareness. While Dr. Gaspar’s class taught me numerous technical concepts about hedging techniques and risk exposures, it also reiterated that at the end of the day, business is about people. In comparison with the American emphasis on corporate advancements, Europe has a people-centered professional culture. Madame Coyez’s taught me the practicalities of negotiating political issues. After our role play activity at the European Parliament, I had a much greater understanding of the challenges of working on finding a common goal for 28 counties, despite the differences in cultures and priorities.

Although five weeks seemed like such a long time throughout the trip, it was over within the blink of an eye. This trip truly exceeded all expectations I had. My only hope is that I am continuously reminded of the importance of cultural awareness and appreciation as I move forward in my professional career and future traveling excursions. I am beyond grateful for Dr. Gaspar, Madame Coyez, Mays Business School, and EM Strasbourg for facilitating this opportunity of a lifetime. Au revoir, Strasbourg!

Categories: 2019 Trip

Before this trip, I had never heard of Strasbourg. After googling it, I thought it seemed like a pretty town and was excited to experience it for five weeks. As I don’t expect to ever live abroad, this was an incredible opportunity to gain an appreciation for different cultures that contrast so differently to our own. Upon arriving, some things that I noticed were the more apparent differences in European lifestyle. Stores closed early and few things were open on Sunday, people loved wearing denim clothes, the weather was beautiful and far more mild than what we were used to. As time went on, I began to appreciate more things about the European culture. Things are closed on Sundays, but people use that time to spend quality time together in parks and restaurants. Relationships are incredibly important. I loved seeing how this was displayed in things as simple as their store hours. This contrasted greatly to the United States, where things are open late into the night and often on holidays as well. It took some time to get used to, but I grew to love this aspect. While I had preconceived notions about how the French would be, I found that most people were very accommodating and friendly towards us. This made the transition much quicker and made Strasbourg feel much more like a home-base during our time. During our weekend travels, I would be excited to return “home”. Strasbourg was the perfect size, giving a balance of city life while being small enough to not feel overwhelming. 


Beyond the cultural aspect, I learned so much from our classes with Dr. Gaspar and Madame Coyez. Both of these classes were helpful as we traveled Europe. Seeing the lessons being taught in the classroom in the world around during our travels helped enforce what we were learning. In Madame Coyez’s class, we learned about the European Union as a whole. This was a lot of information to absorb, as there were processes that were both similar and very different than our own government. Learning about these things equipped us to be more knowledgeable as we traveled to different countries in the EU. We could hold more intelligent conversations and have more thoughtful observations about interactions between Member States and their citizens, as well as other events occurring in the news. In addition to this, the lesson taught by Dr. Mac Gabhan on diversity in the workplace was incredibly eye opening. It was a great display of how different cultures can unintentionally clash, and how inefficient your workplace can be if these differences aren’t addressed. Going forward, I believe that I will be much more equipped to notice cultural differences when working in a multinational firm, and will have the ability to handle any issues that may arise in an effective manner. 


My five weeks in Strasbourg were very eye opening, and made me more appreciative of both Europe and the United States. I was able to think more critically about things that both entities and cultures do that I may agree or disagree with, and why this was the case. This awareness makes me a more informed citizen of my own country and the world. When I am one day in a position where decisions I make impact both, I will be better equipped to help all parties because of my time in Strasbourg and the lessons I learned while there. 

Categories: 2019 Trip

It has always been a philosophy of mine that in order to truly comprehend something, you must first experience it and that philosophy has never held truer until this trip. I have heard many things about Europe through friends, family, and teachers, but it was not until experiencing Europe myself that I was given a clear picture of what life over there is really like. My picture of Europe developed over the 5 weeks we visited, but the first impression, for the most part, holds true to the very end. My first impression was formed by the differences in culture such as the architecture, language, and mannerisms. Out of the three main differences, architecture was by far what fascinated me the most. Seeing a mix of French and German style in Strasbourg, an elegant French style at the Palace of Versailles and a quaint German style in Switzerland all looked as beautiful as the next but in its own special way. The language and mannerisms stood out as much, if not more than, the architecture. It was interesting sitting near a group of Frenchmen who were having a conversation while not understanding a single word they spoke. Not only could you not understand them, but you did not want to stand too close because they were most likely smoking. Regardless of the language barrier and constant smell of smoke in the air, Europe was an amazing place that I will one day return to. With the beautiful atmosphere, good food, and bustling cities, Europe was everything I hoped it would be and more. After this life-changing experience, I can now confidently tell people what life in Europe is really like and encourage them to make the journey so they can experience it for themselves.


Study abroad programs are thought of as an excuse for kids to go to a foreign country and party away their parent’s money while not learning anything. Thankfully I can say that my study abroad experience was nothing like that. With classes such as European Integration and International Finance, I learned more this summer about the European political system and international finance than I had ever imagined learning. From learning how and why the European Union operates to learning how exchange rates affect not only a countries currency but it’s overall economic well-being, I feel more confident and prepared to talk about such topics if the opportunity ever arises.


A major factor for me wanting to go on this study abroad was my consideration searching for a job that would allow me to work in a European country. Not having ever been to Europe prior to this trip, it felt only right to visit before making such a life-changing decision. This study abroad program was perfect because it not only taught me about Europe, but also about companies that are in the U.S. but have subsidiaries, acquisitions, and joint-ventures in European countries. While I was on the edge about working in a European country before the trip, I am now fully committed to going back after I graduate for a couple of years and experiencing life there as a working man. One of the biggest contributors to this decision was our group visit to the Mercedes factory. It was not necessarily the factory itself, although that was very cool, but the idea that a company based in Europe could have such a huge impact in the American economy.


This study abroad has brought great insight into what I want to do after college and has opened my eyes to a world across the sea that I did not know much about. I will never forget this great adventure as it has become a part of me and my story. Texas A&M has blessed me with many things such as education, friends, and a place to call home but I can now add international enlightenment to this list which has been the most impactful of them all.

Categories: 2019 Trip

When we first arrived in Strasbourg, I was blown away by its beauty. The old architecture, detailed cathedrals, and cobblestone roads took my breath away. The city had such an authenticity about it and reminded me how much history lies in Europe. I felt this way about every place I visited. The buildings, bridges, churches, roads, and statues all seemed to illustrate a piece of history, and it was humbling to remember all that came before me, as an individual and an American. I also noticed right away how different “normal” in France is from “normal” in the United States, especially Texas. It was exciting to live the life of a European which included different cuisine, not having air conditioning, and using public transportation, the euro, and another language.

Having had the opportunity to travel to Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, and Austria I realized that these cultural differences don’t only occur between the United States and Europe, they are present between European states as well. My experience in each of these countries differed so much and was full of such unique cultures. Professor Coyez emphasized this nationalism in her class and taught us that when conducting business, we might have to alter the way we communicate and operate to successfully work with different nationalities. She also taught us all about European legislation and the benefits and hurdles of living in Europe and doing business within the European Union. We even had the opportunity to visit three of the European Union legislative institutions and learn first-hand what their objectives and priorities are. It was an incredible experience that I believe helped me better understand the functioning of the EU and prepared me for future international affairs.

The political and social elements of the EU that I learned from Professor Coyez tied perfectly into and helped support the financial elements of international business that I learned from Dr. Gaspar. It was so interesting to see how everything in globalization ties together. For example, political agendas can indirectly or directly affect financial and economic situations through inflation or exchange rates, and corrupt social practices can effect lawful trade and business. Dr. Gaspar did a phenomenal job of walking me through the many complex layers of conducting business internationally and pointing out how that are all related. I feel milestones more informed on the benefits and drawbacks of multinational cooperations and what elements must be considered when conduction business globally.

Before this study abroad, I had never been to Europe or experienced its diverse culture. I knew very little about the European Union, how it worked, or how it was created, nor did I understand what international business really entailed. This real-life experience coupled with the knowledge I acquired in class has opened my eyes so much and equipped me to have educated conversations about conducting business abroad. I feel so much more confident and prepared to pursue a career in this field than I ever imagined before this trip.




Categories: 2019 Trip

Coming in, I expected Strasbourg to be nothing but a sleepy town with only a few restaurants and not much else to do. Therefore I was pleasantly surprised when our first walk around the town revealed that there was much more to do than I had originally assumed, with tons of shops and restaurants on every corner. Strasbourg still has a very comfortable feel to it, and I think a month is plenty of time to get a good feel for the city. A major thing that I noticed within the first week was the hospitality of the people. French people generally have a bad reputation for being rude to visitors, specifically Americans, and while some were a little cold towards us most people in Strasbourg and even the bigger cities like Paris were very welcoming. The biggest thing that I immediately noticed and will miss very much is the architecture. With so many old buildings and the influence of both German and French culture, Strasbourg is picturesque and it is near impossible to find something similar anywhere else. My favorite part about being in Europe is how easy it is to travel and see different places. Trains are generally easy to book and not too expensive if taken care of early enough and allow you to travel quickly and comfortably to all kinds of places. I took trains to Salzburg, Munich, Paris, and Interlaken and while there were some hiccups I would say that the pros very much outweigh the cons when it comes to traveling by rail.

While there is so much to do and we did a lot of traveling as a group, there is still a lot of class. Lectures were longer than our usual 50-75 min and were content rich. I learned a lot in a short time through this format, information that I am confident will be very helpful in the future. Professor Coyez’s class about the European Union provided me with knowledge that I would otherwise probably have never sought, and introduced me to a way a viewing things that is outside of our normal American vantage point. Knowing the way other governments work is especially important in today’s global business environment, where just about everyone is connected in some way. Dr. Gaspar’s class was fascinating and provided me with knowledge on topics I never thought I would learn about such as exchange rate prediction and currency hedging. I believe that this knowledge along with the experience that living abroad and functioning within a foreign market brings is invaluable and highly sought after by many companies in today’s global marketplace. Spending time abroad has also helped me to become more aware of cultural norms both in and out of the workplace, an important thing to know about when working within and international company. One of the coolest parts of the study abroad that I believe may open doors in the future was the company visit to Mercedes-Benz, as well as the institutional visits that we took to the European Commission, European Central Bank, and Duetsche Bundesbank. The Mercedes-Benz visit provided a fascinating look inside the manufacturing process of their many car models, while the other three visits all provided us with impactful knowledge regarding the current global business and political climate directly from the source. I feel much more competent and aware after completing this study abroad due to responsibility that is required when living and traveling alone in an unfamiliar environment, and I think that will now be visible in the way that I carry myself as well as on my resume.

This study abroad has provided me with amazing international experience along with 6 quick credit hours. The lessons that I have learned both in and out of the classroom will surely stay with me for the rest of my life; it will give me a very interesting talking point with potential employers and other international travelers and has broadened my horizons beyond the normal life that I am accustomed to. I highly recommend others to pursue this transformative experience.

Categories: 2019 Trip

Over my first few days in Strasbourg, I most often noticed the things that were slightly different from what I have experienced in America, such as the way floors in the hotel were numbered (starting at zero instead of one), or that the streets were better built for public transportation, walking, or biking than they were for driving. As the trip went on, however, I gained better insight into the European way of life. The first characteristic of the culture that is noteworthy is how Europeans think across borders and have a multicultural perspective; the streets of Strasbourg were filled with a great diversity of people, most of the people I interacted with were multilingual, and there was little concern about national borders, with some Strasbourgians going across the border to Germany for mundane tasks like grocery shopping. It is not without reason that the motto of the European Union is “United in Diversity.” Secondly, Europeans, in business and life, tended to prioritize things beyond success and efficiency; worker protection laws were strong, there was no grousing about the speed of service, and governments, companies, and citizens alike had a commitment to creating a more environmentally sustainable culture in Europe.

Going on this study abroad program has made me a better future professional in several ways. First, it has exposed me to important distinctions among cultures and how they can affect my ability to connect with people. Even if my career does not take me to western Europe, these experiences will help me to be self-aware about how my words and actions may be perceived by those different from myself, helping me to adjust to different business environments more easily and smoothly. As a marketing major, being able to recognize cultural differences will be especially important, because what will be persuasive to an American will likely not be persuasive to an Alsatian. Luckily, I also learned from this program that cultural differences can be overcome by being reflective, sensitive, and polite. I dealt with this firsthand because of the language barriers I experienced. Some people, especially in France, were reticent to speak English, but after politely asking them to do so in their native tongue, they were often more than happy to do so. The coursework and institutional visits I had during this trip gave me a better understanding of policy-making processes, not only in the European Union but in the United States as well. Having knowledge about another governmental system has given me something to compare with my own, making me a more informed citizen. I also feel more capable of navigating diverse regulatory environments. Even just watching a commercial on television or browsing the web showed me the differences in regulations between the EU and the US, especially in the areas of personal data and consumer protection; as someone who wants to go into a career involving data analytics, this exposure will be very useful as I develop techniques to use data to connect people with products they may enjoy. Lastly, the experiences I had on this program have helped me to develop my analytical skills by forcing me to use limited evidence around me to solve problems. When I could not read a sign in German, for example, I would have to look at symbols, other words that were familiar, or my surroundings to try to piece together the information I was looking for, such as the direction of the train station. The situation will be similar when I have to develop solutions to complex business problems, where all valuable information will not be conveniently listed out for me in one location. No matter where my career takes me in the world, my participation in this program has made me better prepared for the challenges I will face.

Categories: 2019 Trip