Date: December 14 - 21, 2022
Program Fee: $2,900 with 15 participants
COURSE DESCRIPTION AND RATIONALE
This is a one-credit course that includes an international study trip to Germany in December 2022. The trip includes visits to numerous companies and other organizations in Berlin and Munich. In this course we study fundamentals of international business, (ii) the environments and challenges of Germany and the European Union, (iii) strategies and operations for succeeding in such countries, and (iv) specific aspects of business in Germany.
Germany comprises 16 states with 83 million people. It is the leading economy and the most populous country of the European Union. Germany was the site of two world wars. After 1945, Germany split into two states, West and East Germany, and reunified in 1990.
Today, Germany has become one of the world’s wealthiest economies. From a base of leading industries and high-tech firms, Germany is the world's third-largest product importer and exporter. It also has led the way in numerous social and public policy initiatives, including social security, universal health care, and environmental protection. Germany has a rich cultural history, giving birth to many influential artists, musicians, philosophers, entrepreneurs, and scientists.
Germany is home to a high-skill labor force, massive capital stock, low corruption, and world-leading innovation. The service sector comprises about 70 percent of Germany’s economy. As such, the country is home to numerous top services companies, including SAP (software), Metro (retailing), and Allianz (financial services). Leading multinationals in the manufacturing sector include Siemens, BASF, and Adidas. Germany is home to perhaps the most competitive and innovative firms in the global automotive industry, especially Volkswagen, Daimler, BMW, and Porsche.
Germany is recognized for its specialized small and medium enterprises – the Mittelstand. Some 1,000 of these firms are global market leaders in their segment and labeled “hidden champions”. The country is also home to many thriving startup companies. Germany has a very low unemployment rate (2.8 percent) and one of the world’s highest labor productivity rates, a testament to its economic strength.
The European Union consists of 27 countries and more than 500 million consumers. Germany is the EU’s leading member and home to the European Central Bank, headquartered in Frankfurt, which is also the financial center of continental Europe.
In Germany, we will stay in Berlin, the nation’s center of government and start-up firms, and Munich, at the heart of Bavaria and German culture.