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Doing Business in Europe in the Netherlands – I’m sitting here in the boat hotel, or boatel as I have been calling it, where I have been staying in Groningen, trying to reflect on my time here so far. This trip has provided me with countless opportunities to learn more about European culture, cross-cultural communication, and even about myself. You could say that the main reason I am here is to participate in the Doing Business in Europe summer program at Hanze University, however, there is so much more to this trip than what I am being taught in the classroom.  

The boat hotel “boatel” MS Andante where we are staying.  

I was fortunate enough to travel around Belgium for a week before the program began, where I visited the cities of Brussels, Namur, Brugge, Ghent, and Antwerp. Words cannot even begin to describe the experience of visiting these beautiful cities. I have hundreds of pictures and memories that are going to remain with me for the rest of my life. Until this trip, I had never visited Europe. I had the opportunity to travel all across Canada, through the United States, and even into Central America, but this is my first time crossing the pond.  

A traditional Dutch windmill that we visited on our tour of the Dutch countryside.  

The fun did not end when I arrived in Groningen. While we are here for school, the program has been organized so that the students can get the most out of their time here. We have spent time in the classroom, visited Grolsch, saw the Dutch countryside, and have had time to explore the city we are staying in. I feel so fortunate to have met some amazing people and to a have already built lasting friendships. 

Hannah (left) and I at Grolsch.  

This past long weekend, I had the opportunity to travel to Dublin, Ireland with some of my new friends. It was an amazing experience that I will never forget. It’s very cool to think that we could go visit a different country for the weekend- something that does not happen too often in Canada. As I write this post, I am both reminiscing about this past weekend as well as looking forward to this upcoming weekend that we will be spending in Amsterdam. Through the program, we have been given the opportunity to pitch a marketing strategy to executives at Philips. Ten groups will be competing for three spots, so that has been the focus of this evening.  

Had the pleasure of visiting many places in Dublin, including Trinity College.  

I am so grateful for the opportunity through NSCC International to visit Europe for the first (and certainly not last) time, develop my intercultural communication skills, build new friendships, learn valuable lessons about business, and grow as a person. It is with mixed feelings when I think about departing Europe and heading home in ten days. However, one thing is certain- this is one of the most amazing experiences of my life so far and I look forward to bringing my memories, knowledge, and skills that I have developed over this trip with me wherever I go in the future.  

Holly Klein  

Business Administration (Accounting) Student  

NSCC Pictou Campus  

 

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