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International Business Project

Students of the International Academy on a study trip in Budapest

International Business Project Budapest

"The International Business Project is carried out by German and international students as a pioneering project at Budapest Business School, a partner university of RWU," says Prof. Dr. Barbara Niersbach. As Dean of the part-time MBA program IBS, she and her students value International Study Weeks as an important core element of the program. So now, for the first time, a study week for 20 Bachelor students of the International Academy (IA)!
The IA is led by her in her function as the faculty's international representative. Her colleague, Prof. Dr. Eberhard Hohl, founded the cooperation with the Budapest Business School (BGE) more than 15 years ago. As the leader of this study week, he emphasizes the core fields of the study trip right away when welcoming the students: "The academic field refers to lectures, seminars and dialogs with lecturers as well as Hungarian students. The business-related field gives RWU students insights into the Hungarian business world in the context of company visits as well as discussions at the German-Hungarian Chamber of Commerce." Mr. Nayan Kadam (M.Sc. M.A.) as co-leader and coordinator of the study trip emphasizes especially the third core field: "The field of intercultural competence strengthening through mindful encounters and experiences in art and culture as well as especially in the dialogue with people in everyday situations".

Furniture company Bányai Bútorok

On the second day of the study tour, the students visited the furniture company Bányai Bútorok outside Budapest, in Pilisvörösvár. The furniture company, run by the Bányai family since 1978, specializes in the creation and processing of high-quality kitchen and bathroom furniture. The group was welcomed there by the owner and managing director Péter Bányai. The tour of the company was very impressive. It was particularly noticeable that the Bányai company uses a lot of German machines, "because they work particularly precisely and cleanly," said the owner of Bányai furniture. It was very interesting for the study group when Mr. Bányai addressed the current situation in Hungary. "However, despite the current difficult economic-political situation that prevails there, the company is able to hold its ground well on the market." The Q&A session together with him and Dr. László Bodolay, our supervisor from BGE, was very insightful for the students in terms of business challenges and strategies on the Hungarian and European market.

Budapest Business School (Budapesti Gazdasági Egyetem BGE)

Budapest Business School (BGE) is the largest business school in Hungary with approximately 19,000 students. It was founded in 1857 and offers a variety of business and management degree programs as well as exchange programs. With internationally recognized lecturers and modern learning methods, the university is known for both its high academic quality and its practical orientation.

The RWU students were warmly received and welcomed by the Department Head, Dr. Marianna Válóczi. To start with, there was an interesting lecture by Dr. Bodolay on the history and culture of Hungary entitled "Hungary, a country to get to know". This was followed by a campus tour and discussions together with Hungarian students. Towards the end of the day at the partner university, the moving documentary film "No Command!" was shown to the students. The students were able to discuss the turbulent events surrounding the opening of the border in 1989 with the director Péter Szalay and the dramaturge Dr. Ildikó Hidas and to process their impressions.

It is important to mention that the well-established ERASMUS cooperation with the BGE includes numerous bilateral student exchanges and projects as well as lively faculty mobility. Both Dr. László Bodolay and Prof. Dr. Eberhard Hohl are proven ERASMUS guest lecturers in this regard. During this year's study week, Professor Hohl held his lecture in English with BGE students on the topic "Fit for foreign cultures: Success factor intercultural communication and cooperation".

City of artists Szentendre

Szentendre is a picturesque small town near Budapest on the banks of the Danube with pastel-colored houses, cobblestone alleys and an open-air museum. Dr. Bodolay guided the students through the town and told them about the different cultures, the baroque buildings, the museums and churches. At the end of the historical-cultural excursion, the group visited the famous Marzipan Museum.

German-Hungarian Chamber of Industry and Commerce

On the fourth day of the study tour, the students visited the German-Hungarian Chamber of Industry and Commerce, or DUIHK. The main task of the DUIHK is to promote German-Hungarian trade relations. The chamber represents about 900 members from all sectors of the economy and is a member of the network of German Chambers of Commerce Abroad, AHK for short. Membership in the DUIHK is voluntary and not limited to German companies.

The students were warmly welcomed there by Mrs. Zsuzsanna Sipka. Mr. Dirk Wölfer, Head of Communications, gave them an informative and exciting lecture on German-Hungarian trade relations and the tasks of the DUIHK. He also drew the students' attention to challenges that companies are currently facing and will face in the future, e.g. high inflation, shortage of skilled workers, demographic change, recruiting and retaining talent, digitalization).

Cultural experiences

In addition to Szentendre, other fascinating places worth seeing in Budapest were also on the agenda. For example, on the very first day, after check-in, the group was welcomed by Dr. Bodolay in his role as tour guide and led by him on a first exploration tour through the city grove near the zoo. Not far from there, the students were able to admire the Hungarian Museum of Agriculture in Vajdahunyad Castle. After a short visit to the Monument to the Revolution, the tour ended the day at the famous Heroes' Square with the 30-meter high Millennium Monument.

In the morning, on the second day of the trip, the students, together with Dr. Bodolay, drove to the Castle Palace in Buda. The old castle complex also houses the residence of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and the residence of the President of the Republic of Hungary, Katalin Novák. The students were also able to witness the impressive changing of the guard in front of the President's palace.

On Friday morning, the famous Strudel House was on the agenda. Here, the students were given a clear instruction in the production of strudel and were even allowed to try their hand at it. Afterwards, the group was able to taste different types of strudel. Afterwards, Dr. Bodolay asked the students questions about historical and modern Budapest and they set off in small groups to explore the city and find the answers to the questions. This "scavenger hunt" was a challenge for the different subgroups and ended in the afternoon at the famous State Opera House. There the whole group got a guided tour through the building, which was built in 1884, and could even attend a singing performance on the opera stage.

Then it was Saturday and the last full day in Budapest. The students explored the Central Market Hall and many bought a nice souvenir for family and friends at home. During lunch in a typical Hungarian restaurant, Prof. Hohl, Dr. Bodolay and Mr. Kadam moderated a final round of discussions in which they exchanged their personal, professional and cultural experiences of the study trip. The subgroups of the "Budapest scavenger hunt" were also "awarded" in the form of marzipan confectionery and delicious Hungarian chocolate.

In the afternoon, a Danube cruise was on the agenda - at the same time a possibility to let the study trip come to an end in a relaxed atmosphere. From the boat, the students had another view of the city and its famous sights, such as the Chain Bridge, which connects Buda and Pest, or the imposing Parliament Building. This view from the water of the city's imposing historical backdrop was a beautiful final impression of the successful study week. "This joint boat trip was thus a final inspiration for the students, who got to know each other better over the course of the week and were also able to learn a lot from each other," said Noelle Keppler (BM student, 3rd semester).


Moritz Giesler, Prof. Dr. Eberhard Hohl, Noelle Keppler, Patricia Krog, Samuel Lindinger