Central Europe Connect - Digital course week at EUBA Bratislava
WU student Lisa Magdalena Klauss is one of the participants in the Central Europe Connect program. She tells us about the impressions she gained during the digital course week at EUBA Bratislava.
Why did you choose the CEC program?
I have chosen this program because I found the international aspect very attractive. I have already completed my entire upper secondary school abroad (Italy), but had little opportunity to get in touch with Central and Eastern European cultures. At WU, I found this program to be a unique opportunity to broaden my horizon in this respect. However, for the decision to sign up for this program, it was crucial that during the program you spend three weeks in three different cities. Admittedly, I was very disappointed at the beginning when we were told that this program would have to take place online this year and I could not imagine how this could lead to a functioning interaction between students. Now, the second course of the program is already over and I have to say that my expectations have been exceeded.
What is it like to participate in this (online) short study program?
Of course, an online environment is not comparable to an on-site course in Bratislava. However, I have to say that all those responsible for CEC made every effort to offer us an attractive program despite the current circumstances. I also found the students very active during the lectures and working in groups worked extremely well. An online mode requires much more organization, coordination and cooperation on the part of all students. You could feel that every single one of them enjoyed participating in the program and everyone tried to do their best. And even though a lot of content was delivered in a very short time, lecturers were always ready to answer questions and discuss students´ input.
What have you learned academically from the second online CEC course week of the University of Economics in Bratislava (EUBA)?
The week in Bratislava was very interesting. One of the central themes was FDI, or foreign direct investment. We analyzed the attractiveness of Central and Eastern European countries and discussed both the different types of FDI and parameters to measure attractiveness. What I personally found interesting was the European comparison, which was achieved mainly through the presentations of the group work, as each group dealt with a different Central or Eastern European country.
Which social and intercultural experiences have you had in the courses?
I have learned that you have to listen more actively and be more responsive to other group members in an online environment. It was often difficult to interpret some statements, as facial expressions and gestures are easier to interpret when you meet someone in person. But apart from the theory, what I benefited from most was acquiring soft skills. I had to adapt to other cultural backgrounds and, for example, had to get used to the fact that I was often interrupted when I was talking. In general, however, the opinions of everyone were accepted and I tried to understand different points of view, which led to a very respectful way of dealing with each other.
What positive experiences can you look back on? What was your personal highlight?
My personal highlight was when one of my group members was not available on the last day of the course on which we were supposed to give our presentation. At first, there was panic among the rest of us. Who would take over this important part of our presentation? However, instead of blaming the missing group member because - as we later learned - his alarm clock didn't work, we were all worried about him and hoped that everything was fine with him. I think this situation conveys very well our team spirit and how we grew together as a team, even though we only knew each other from our virtual meetings.
Would you recommend other students to apply for the CEC program?
Yes, because this program offers so much more than the frontal teaching you are used to at universities. In all three weeks, you will also get to know a company and under normal circumstances would be able to get to know the company on-site in the respective city. However, the companies are also involved in the online format of the CEC programme, thus providing important insights into the practice.
"In conclusion, I believe that the program has not only enriched my theoretical knowledge, but has also helped me to develop personally and socially."
Virtual tour of Bratislava:
EUBA - University of Economics in Bratislava
Location: Bratislava, Slovakia
Population of Bratislava: approx. 437.000
Number of students: ca. 7200
Exchange level: Bachelor