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Europe

Anna Pleshakova’s Summer in Vienna

When I first decided to study abroad this summer, I was looking for a program in in a German-speaking country. I have been studying the German language for a while and I wanted to practice my skills. That is when I found a short three week program in Vienna, Austria. I heard how beautiful and full of rich culture this city is so the decision to attend the program was not difficult to make. Through Wirtschafts Universitat (WU), this program offered an intensive Marketing Management course and a Business Ethics enrichment course, both of which I could apply towards my major requirements.

1094935_500571200016969_750420463_nThe International Marketing Management course I took encompassed a large amount of information in several weeks. The three professors all had experience in the field and provided us with case studies and information on current events and trends in the market. They explained what strategies we should use when promoting a product abroad. Additionally, we were placed in random groups and had to choose a product or service that is only produced and distributed in our home country and find a way to introduce it to Austrian consumers. At the end of the course each team gave a 30 minute presentation about their product. Listening to the other teams’ view of the Austrian market was very exciting! I learned a great deal about how to pick a target audience in another country and how to make a product more appealing to these consumers.

When I arrived to Vienna in the summer, I immediately noticed the beautiful architecture of the buildings nearby.  Everything was surrounded by so many green trees and other plants, which gave the city a very homey and relaxed feel. The weather was very hot and many of us noticed that public spaces are not air conditioned because the city is very focused on sustainability. Additionally, Austrian people were patient with me when I tried to explain myself in German and did not immediately switch to English, as many people in other countries tend to do when speaking to tourists.

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On the day of my arrival, I met the other students who were in the program and there were people from over twenty different countries! The program offered many cultural, as well as social activities throughout the three weeks. Every day the program planned events for us in the city.  We went to museums and restaurants, on walking tours, and did other activities. A very memorable event was the International Cultured Evening. Students represented their country and had to come up with skits and prepare traditional food or other activities that are unique to their country’s culture.

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Another thing in Austria that we thoroughly enjoyed were pastry shops. This is one of the things Vienna is most known for. I got the chance to try Apfestrudel (Austrian apple pie), the famous Sahertorte (chocolate cake) and other delicious cakes and dishes from the Austrian cuisine. On weekends several students and I planned trips to other cities in the area. We went to Budapest and Gratz, both of which were amazing experiences!

Overall, this has been an unforgettable experience. I am so glad I had the opportunity to learn about the Austrian culture and meet such great people from all over the world.

 

Anna is a GWSB Junior in the BBA program, concentrating in Marketing and minoring in Communication.  

*To read more about GW’s International Summer University WU Exchange Program, click here.  

 

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