Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Few More Photos

The students are busy preparing for their "Cultural Cheat Sheet" presentations tomorrow. It is really great to watch the German and US (and Chinese) students interact and work on these projects. So while they work, and as a way to procrastinate on my grading a bit longer, I present you with a few more photos from the trip..........


This St. Goar - our home base while we were on the Rhein. Our Youth Hostel would be right where the bottom right corner of this photo is - so this is basically the view from it -this was actually taken in 2007 from the Castle Ruins directly above where the Youth Hostel is, so imagine the view we had by lowering the angle and adding in more clouds and drizzle!

This is Frankfurt's version of a Rathaus - it is a very famous building in the altstadt of Frankfurt. This building, like most major city buildings in Germany was mostly destroyed in WWII, so what you see is the restored building. Quite impressive regardless of whether it was original or a restored version.

This is the KD Boat we took down the Rhein, and in the foreground is our luggage! Dr. McCardle and I brought the luggage to the boat dock via a Taxi while the students did a scavenger hunt in Koblenz. We boarded to find a very authentic German restaurant on board: Subway! Too funny. These type of boats are a great way to see the area and in our case our German train pass got us on board for free.

We became the kings and queens of the German rail system. this is a very nice ICE train. The students learned to read the schedule and learned the word for platform (Gleis) and quickly became train competent. Many games of Euchre were played when our reservations or good fortune allowed us to have a 4 seat table. It was a great way to experience Germany and get a much better feel for the countryside and topography of Germany.

This is the group in Paderborn the evening of our first arrival in Paderborn. I have been to Paderborn 9 times: it is my German Hometown (Deutsches Heimat). I am giving the students a quick orientation and soon after Dr. McCardle snapped this artist shot the students dispersed into the city center during the "Fruhlings Fest" (Spring Festival) in search of food and fun.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Negotiation Class in Paderborn has begun!

Teams have started to get together and work on their group projects. The travel has eneded and the classroom work has begun.
This one of the teams working in the lobby of the hotel - which is next door to the Uni - sehr convenient!
We all hope Dr. McCardle, Alaina, Jackie and Ben had safe travels.

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Sunday, May 16, 2010

The "German Business & Culture 2010" group.
Remember, it isn't weird, just different!
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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Trip Collage

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Back in the City .... with Internet

We have covered alot of ground! We had a great visit to Paderborn and then headed of to Cologne for a visit to the world famous cathedral. From there we went to Koblenz where 3 teams headed out into the city to practice being independdent via a scavenger hunt style trip. Then we boarded the KD boat and crused past castles and ended up at St. Goar. There we had a hilarious night of card playing with some of the other Youth Hostel folks. Yesterday we visited the Georg Breuer vineyard in Rudeshein, did a little hiking and has one last boat ride down the romantic Rhein. Today we are in Frankfort and just finished our closing dinner. The group has been great - always excited to try the next German thing whether it be food, experiences or transportation mode (we have walked, biked, trained, taxied, and boated across Germany!). Below are some photos from the last few days. I will try to post more in the next few days. (Photos are in no particular order)

The group on our way to "Apfelwein Wagner" in Frankfurt for our final group dinner. Frankfort is the only German City with US-Style skyscrapers. It also has a wonderful river area and many beautiful avenues.

Taking a Hike along the Rhein River. Way down below us is "Maueser Turm" or mice tower, one of the "toll booths" along the Rhein.

The group at the "Niederwald Denkmal" a monument that celebrates the unification of Germany in 1871. It is often called the German Statue of Liberty.

One of our Case Competition Teams at Uni Paderborn. Each team analyzed the case and made their recommendations to our judging team of Dr's. Eggert, Eckert, and McCardle.

Dr. Andreas Eggert giving his "Customer Value" lecture at Uni Paderborn. His lecture kicked off our case competition with a group of Uni Paderborn students.

The Group with the "Koelner Dom" in the background (Cologne Cathedral) we toured the inside and then climbed the 533 steps to the top!

one of our scavenger hunt teams showing off their items (Bread, Fruit & Chocolate)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Volkswagen Revisited

Just was sent this photo. This is the group after the absolutely brilliant lecture by Dr. Antonios Goros, who is part of Volkswagen's Brand Management team and part of the team that launched the newest branding that VW is now executing. The lecture was both informative and entertaining. Dr. Goros was presented with a WMU Bronco Polo Shirt and promised to wear it with pride

Friday, May 7, 2010


Day one in Hamburg has been great. As a gruppe (Group) we slept in after our 14 hour travel & tour day yesterday. Mike McCardle and I got group subway tickets for everyone and delivered these with a treat from a local bakery to each student. About noon we had our "Hamburg" group give its presentation and then we ventured off into the city.

We took the U bahn mainly to familarize everyone with the stop a block from the hotel and as a way to visit the Hauptbahnhof once again. The photo below is the group in the Hamburger Hauptbahnhof or Hamburg's Main Train Station.

We walked thru the "Fussgaengerzone" which is the pedestrian only shopping area. and made our way to the Rathaus stopping a few times to point out the differences between a German shopping experience and an American one. The photo below is the group infront of the Rathaus - or city hall. If we weren't having typical grey and rainy German weather the beauty of this building would stand out even more.

After lunch at an Italian cafe in the shopping district students went their own way and did some shopping or sightseeing. We regrouped at the hotel proving that the WMU students have become subway literate!

Tonight we went to a great German specialty restaurant that is a "Privatbrauerei" or what we might call a brew-pub. We ate the largest platters of food most of us had ever seen (mainly sausages, pork, kraut and potato salad) and enjoyed their "hausbier" tapped from a keg they brought right to the table. A great deal of fun was had by all.

The night concluded (at least for this old professor) with our first visit to the Hafenfest or Harbor Festival where we walked by hundreds of food booth, 4-5 musical stages and over 100 ships docked, moored and anchored in the harbor. At last count the students were headed to the Ferris Wheel to catch a ride.

Laundry in the morning and hopefully a rain free day at the Hafenfest. If it would break 50 degrees also I will be thrilled!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Leave Berlin and Visit VW in Wolfsburg

We left Berlin today - quite the crew of people and luggage navigating a tram, a S-Bahn and then an ICE Train to Wolfsburg. We made it without issue even if there was some close up and personal time with all the Berlin commuters on the S-Bahn!

The VW tour was very cool. Ways you knew we were in Germany and not the US.... (1) no safety glasses (first time I have ever toured without them) and (2) the driver of our little "VW Golf" train floored it a couple of times and we zipped thru the plant - all done just for fun. US lawyers would never have let either of these happen.

We have more to tell but it is late and I have limited internet connection. So we will update things tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Freie Universitaet Berlin

Today we had a great lecture on Enviromental Industrial Policy by Dr. Klaus Jacob at the Freie Universitaet Berlin. The Uni was founded by a grant from the US in the 40's in order to set up a Uni that would compete with Humboldt Uni which found itself on the East German side of Berlin. It even has a Henry Ford Hall. The Uni has a broad range of programs and is home to about 35,000 students. It also has a really cool library building that was designed by the same British architect that designed the dome on the roof of the Reichtag building. The library looks like a giant brain from the outside and has some very cool interior architecture as well.

Our Berlin group also took a little time to make their presentation on Berlin. Next up will be our Hamburg group.

The group had the afternoon off and many headed out to explore parts of Berlin. Dr. McCardle and I went back to the Brandenburger Tor and Reichtag area and here are a couple of the cool photos.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Bike Tour of Berlin

We did a great bike tour of Berlin today. Our tour left from the famous TV Tower in what was formerly East Berlin and we saw many of the East German sights including Neptune's Fountain, the Museum Island area and the last park built by the DDR govt. in East Berlin. This has a statue of Marx and Engels - it makes for a great picture: a group of capitalistic US Business students with two of the biggest proponents of communism and socialism. Ironic fun!

We then moved to the area of Berlin made famous by the Berlin Wall. We some of those sites and learned more about the history the Berlin Wall and the 1989 "coming down" of the wall. The group photo is at Check Point Charlie, which was the famous border crossing between East and West Berlin.

also visited an area that has the wall and was the central of Nazi Germany with some of the key building of the Nazi Govt (e.g. the SS building). This photo is the students along the wall, or actually along a wire fence in front of the wall designed to keep "wall peckers" from chipping away the rest of the wall. Kind of ironic that the Wall is now protected by a fence!

No trip to Berlin would be complete without seeing the BRandenburger Tor, of Brandenburg Gate. The statue on the top was taken by Nepoleon to France (a gift for his girlfriend) and then the Germans took it back later. gate was a focal point during the Cold War with each side staging events at it to show the other side how great life was on their side.

We visited the area of the German National Govt with a stop at the Reichstag, which is the German Parliment building. It has a long history as its burning was a major contributor to Hitler's rise to power (the communists were blamed for the fire and Hitler used this to oust and kill the 80 communist legislators and then take power). It now has a large glass dome on it that allows people to see the inner workings of the legislative meeting room and thus symbolizes a transparent government.

We are off to dinner tonight to the Zillemarkt, a German Speciality restaurant in the Savignyplatz area of Berlin.

But before we sign off we want to thank Fat Tire Bike Tours (highly recommend the experience) for a great tour and especially thank Tom our great guide!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Opening Dinner

We all had dinner tonight at the Alte Fritz a German specialty restaurant near the hotel. It was good and fun and we discussed some of the mealtime differences between out "normal" and German "normal". These include how people hold their utensils, the use of the "Guten Appetit" toast before beginning and the much quieter atmosphere in a German restaurant.

Arrival In Berlin

Some of us are here, and the rest are in transit. We are greeted by cool and wet weather, not a big surprise. Some of us are waiting on luggage that is on a flight from Amsterdam still, but will be delivered later today. Either that or the group is going to be really sick of my current outfit! We have a group dinner planned for tonight and I look forward to that being the real kickoff for the experience.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

3 Days!

Hard to believe after almost a year of planning we are at the t-3 day point. The flights have been booked, hotels secured, dinner reservations made. We have partners at Frie Universitaet Berlin and Uni Paderborn lined up and ready to go. VW world headquarters will be welcoming us and the Georg Breuer Vineyard is setting the table for our arrival. All very cool stuff. But what is going to make this trip special are those small moments when assumptions are challenged, new ideas of what is normal are discovered, and horizons are broadened. These moments will happen at any time and it will be those that will make the 15 students (and the two faculty) better business people and better global citizens. Get your final packing done (LIGHT!) and drink your final glasses of non-carbonated tap water; we are headed for Deutschland in 3 days for an amazing experience! I can't wait!

Dr. E.

Monday, April 26, 2010

German Business & Culture - Itinerary

Sunday, May 2: Leave USA

Monday, May 3: Arrive in Berlin

Hotel: Alex Hotel

Greifswalder Strasse 3

10405 Berlin

Tel: +49 30 4172 4172

Fax: +49 30 4172 4140


Group Dinner @ around 6pm … Likely location: Der Alte Fritz


Tuesday, May 4: Culture Day

Fat Tire Bike Tour of Berlin 10am – 3pm.


Optional Group Dinner @ ZilleMarkt (German Specialties)


Wednesday, May 5: Green Germany

Lecture by Dr. Klaus Jacob

Environmental Policy Research Centre

Frei Universität Berlin


Group Lunch in the Mensa at the UNI (http://www.fu-berlin.de/)

Afternoon open (time for laundry & sightseeing)

Dinner on Own

Thursday, May 6: Volkswagen World Headquarters

Travel to Wolfsburg (10am – Noon)

Plant Tour and Brand Marketing Presentation at VW


Travel to Hamburg (6-8:30pm)

Hotel : Hotel Brennerhof gARTen

Brennerstr. 70-72, St. Georg
Hamburg , 20099
+49 (0) 40 28 08 880

Fax +494028088888


Friday, May 7: German Media Industry

TBD – Working with Professor @ Hamburg Uni

Group Dinner in Hamburg

Likely location: Groeninger Privatbraueri


Saturday, May 8: Harbor Day

Morning for laundry & relaxing

821st Hafengeburtstag Hamburg

The Largest Harbor Festival in the World (and the harbor’s 821st birthday!)


May 9: Travel Day

Train to Paderborn (11am – 3pm)

Hotel: Campus Lounge

Mersinweg 2
33100 Paderborn, Germany
+49 5251 89207-0

Fax: +49 5251 89207-800


Group Dinner in City Center at Paderborn’s Fruhlingsfest (Spring Festival!)

Monday, May 10: Paderborn + Negotiation

Tour of Paderborn: City Center, Cathedral & Shopping

Negotiation Lecture by Dr. Eckert @ Uni Paderborn


Dinner on your own

Tuesday, May 11: Uni Paderborn Day

Customer Value Lecture – Dr. Andreas Eggert, Uni Paderborn

“Case Competition” - Teams of US & German Students

Group Dinner @ The Brauhaus


Wednesday, May 12: Köln (Cologne)

Train from Paderborn to Köln (10am – 1pm)

Hotel: Hotel Müller Köln

Brandenburger Str. 20

50668 Köln

Tel: +49 (0) 221 / 912 835-0

Fax: : +49 (0) 221 / 912 835-17

E-Mail: info@hotel-mueller.net

Homepage: www.hotel-mueller.net

Köln Cathedral & Allstadt tour


Group Dinner

Thursday, May 13: The Romantic Rhein

Train to Koblenz

Visit Deutsches Ecke & Board KD Boat for trip down Rhein


Hotel: St. Goar Youth Hostel

Jugendgästehaus St. Goar

Bismarckweg 17

56329 St. Goar

Telefon 0 67 41 / 3 88

Telefax 0 67 41 / 28 69


Group Dinner @ Youth Hostel

Friday, May 14: The Weingau

Train to Rudesheim


Vineyard Tour and lunch @ Georg Breuer Vineyards

Visit Neiderwald Denkmal (German “Statue of Liberty”)

Quick tour of Assmanshausen


KD Boat back to St. Goar (past the famous Lorelei Rock!)

Dinner on Own

Saturday, May 15: Frankfurt

Train to Frankfurt (10am – Noon)

Hotel: IBIS Frankfurt City Center

Speicherstraße 4
60327 Frankfurt am Main

Tel: 0049 (0) 69 27 30 30
Fax: 0049 (0) 69 23 70 24


City Tour

Group Dinner

Sunday, May 16: Departure Day

Depart for home, elsewhere or Paderborn ……

Welcome to our Blog!

This is the blog for the German Business & Culture study abroad trip through Western Michigan University's Haworth College of Business. We will be posting our thoughts, our experiences and some photos for those that would like to follow along. The trip is May 2-23, so check back often to check it out.