Majd Khabour is a student in the M.A. in International Business & Policy (IBP) program. Khabour, who will graduate in December 2018, shares her experience during the program’s international residency in Frankfurt, Germany earlier this year:
Day 1: The week commenced with our arrival from five continents. Despite the jet lag, we were eager to explore Heidelberg and its famous castle. The trip exposed us to Germany’s beautiful hills and history in what is considered among the most important Renaissance structures north of the Alps. It also allowed us time to bond before what we knew would be an intense learning experience.
Day 2: We started with two courses: Institutions, Diplomacy, and International Business and Global Investments and Operations. Each was curated to deepen our understanding of global business in light of current events, specifically the role Europe plays in contemporary politics and business. We discussed global actors and debated the concept of anarchy. The day concluded with a welcome dinner.
Day 3: In preparation for a visit to the European Central Bank, we discussed the history of money, financial crises, and the euro. This provided a critical academic benchmark to complement the information we received during our visit. Our tour brought to life various aspects of the bank’s function, achievements, and priorities. Spending time in the oval room surrounded by panoramic footage of previous bank meetings was a powerful experience.
Day 4: We participated in an international politics simulation involving various global actors. In groups, we had to embody each of the unique actors to address a challenging global conflict scenario. The day also involved a site visit to Caritas Frankfurt, one of the key institutions supporting social efforts like responding to the refugee crisis. While it was encouraging to hear about their efforts, it was concerning to learn of their struggles to adequately meet the needs of refugees.
Day 5: Academically, the international politics simulation continued to evolve in complexity due to groups’ creative memos and actions. In the Global Investments and Operations class, we explored how cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology impact global business and the economy. It was fascinating to research and discuss new and unique applications of each in areas like gaming and charity. Experientially, a site visit to Goethe University provided yet another historical perspective on key aspects of Germany’s history, including World War II and Jewish concentration camps. The lecture we attended provided scholarly views on the implications of contemporary issues, including Brexit, immigration, and NATO.
Day 6: Our academic and experiential exposures led to an understanding of risks imposed by current global political and business environments. The courses focused on risk management using financial tools and methods, in addition to foreign policy instruments. The final site visit included a walking tour of Frankfurt’s old town, financial district, and red-light district, which challenged our perception of alternative policies and measures to address social issues.
Day 7: We concluded with group presentations and foreign policy recommendations, as well as reflections from experiential visits. This incredible week was topped off with an equally incredible closing dinner featuring traditional German food and touching personal statements from my fellow classmates.
Reprinted from the fall 2018 Georgetown Business magazine; the online version can be found here.