The presentation was engaging and eye opening. The speaker was a child in Communist Czechoslovakia and recounted her family's story. The presentation put the entire experience and company visits into perspective.
As communication students, studying abroad was a particularly valuable experience. Here we were, thrown into an entirely new situation – we didn't know anybody (not even each other, in the beginning), we couldn't speak the language, and yet we still had to function.
Our first destination was Prague in the Czech Republic, where we saw a city that had much of its 500-year-old architecture still in place. The aerospace company we visited as a class still had unused Soviet Migs manufactured two decades ago.
Studying in this picturesque city made spending all day carrying a camera more enjoyable than usual, and I did not think I could enjoy it anymore than I already did.
My study abroad affected me on a personal level because I got to see business from an international perspective, which will be invaluable to me as I begin my career here in the United States.
We were able to see how company culture was in Europe, and how the companies conducted business. Since all of us in the program are accounting majors, we were able to compare the differences between American offices and European offices.
While visiting many companies throughout Central and Eastern Europe and studying their business strategies, one truly stands out as unique experience: the Sparta Praha soccer club in Prague, Czech Republic. I was skeptical about visiting a sports organization, believing that I would learn more from a Fortune 500 company. But I could not have been more wrong.
Although these depictions of events might seem random, these are the memories of my study abroad that I will remember for the rest of my life.
My classmates and I interacted with executives and officials, while exploring the global business strategies of each of the companies. I also gained exposure to a variety of customs, laws, and regulations that affected their business operations in both emerging and mature markets.