Direkt zum Inhalt
International Study Week 2022

International Study Week to Vancouver/Canada

Master IBS Studienwoche Vancouver

IBS master’s students on a study week in Vancouver, Canada
Prof. Dr. Barbara Niersbach, the Dean of Studies and International Representative of the Faculty of Technology and Management, led this year's study trip to Canada together with Prof. Dr. Eberhard Hohl. The destination in the golden autumn: Vancouver, a dynamic city with approximately 650,000 inhabitants and a comparatively young population, distinguished by a large number of immigrants, particularly from Asia. The lively metropolis is also known as the “city between heaven and earth” due to its geographical location as Canada’s third largest city.

Campus tours and lectures
The international study weeks always have three goals in common: academic, business, and cultural. The study group was led from Weingarten to the new partner university, “British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT),” at the start of the academic part. Professor Barbara Niersbach is pleased with the new partnership and says, “We will be able to offer our Master students the option of doing a Double-Degree at BCIT beginning in the winter semester 2022-23.” During the visit, the contracts were signed. Julian Hausmann, as a pioneer student, is already integrated into everyday study life on site and is enthusiastic about this exchange experience.

In the context of the campus tour, the responsible head of the Global Relations Program, Mark Nakamura, presented the academic and methodological-didactic specialties of the study programs to the students with great enthusiasm. BCIT, like RWU, is distinguished by its close proximity to businesses, particularly in Startup areas of the Vancouver metropolitan region. Following the campus tour and student meetings, the Weingarten students attended lectures on ‘Doing Business in Canada’ and ‘Successful Leadership and Intercultural Communication.’ Prof. Dr. Eberhard Hohl delivered the latter guest lecture in front of a larger plenum at BCIT, which included Canadian professors as well as Canadian and international students.

Startup visit and climate change in the Coast Mountains
The students spent the second day of their study trip in the scenically stunning Squamish region, near the former Qlympia winter sports resort of Whisler. A visit to the Startup company Nexii was on the schedule, which included a factory tour and discussions with the company’s management. Nexii focuses on resource-saving and sustainable construction solutions. Nexiite is six times lighter than conventional concrete while maintaining comparable strength, is resistant to fire and water, and has a low carbon footprint. The company intends to change the industry for the better with its products. Buildings can be constructed in a very short time using Nexiite Pannels, which are custom-designed concrete walls and ceilings. With a market valuation of more than $1 billion, the company’s status as a “Unicorn” emphasizes its future potential.

This was followed by a presentation at a workshop in the District of Squamish on “Sustainability and Climate Change.” Dr. Ian Picketts, Manager of Sustainability and Climate Change in Squamish, explained to the students how the environment and climate will change over the next few decades and what concrete consequences this will have for the region. In this case, the community is taking the lead in dealing with shifting environmental influences. The local administration, through a “Climate Leadership Team,” is attempting to raise public awareness of the issue through concrete action plans on the one hand, and to develop the region sustainably on the other. Following a thrilling day, the group spent the evening with Dr. Ian Picketts in a relaxing environment and lively discussion at a local brewery.

Studying and Living at Vancouver Island University (VIU)
The third day of the study trip included a visit to Vancouver Island University (VIU) in Nanaimo. The students were able to enjoy the beautiful Strait of Georgia in sunny weather by taking the ferry from the mainland to Vancouver Island. When the students arrived in Nanaimo, they were greeted by a VIU bus and given basic information about the university and Green Island. “VIU is an internationally renowned university that has been collaborating with RWU since 2012,” explained Prof. Hohl, who initiated the collaboration and also gave guest lectures during study weeks at RWU.

The university, which was founded in 1936, provides a diverse range of programs at world-class faculties, as well as first-rate student life facilities. Approximately 2,000 of the total 19,000 students are international students from over 50 different countries. Students at VIU had the opportunity to attend a lecture on “Linear Programming in Operation Management” given by Prof. Dr. Anupam Das from Mumbai. It was fascinating for Weingarten students to witness the dynamic teaching methodology and intense interaction between the professor and the students.

Following the lecture, two MBA students, Levi and Nadir, led the students on a tour of VIU’s main campus. Our students were also able to learn about Canadian history during the tour. On September 30, Canada observes National Day of Truth and Reconciliation in honor of all Indigenous children who attended residential schools in the past with the goal of eradicating Indigenous peoples’ languages and cultures. “We value the integration of students with Indigenous roots, which is why VIU offers special programs to help them,” Levi said.

Start Up for a sustainable Canada
The following day began with another highlight of the study trip for the students, as they returned to Vancouver by seaplane. This was a unique experience for the students, who were able to admire Vancouver’s beautiful nature from a new perspective. Following that, the group went to the Startup “JARR.” Founder Emily Sproule, along with her sister Claire, aims to make the grocery business more sustainable by selling food in refillable jars that create a cycle with a deposit system. To conclude the day, the students attended the Vancouver Canucks hockey game against the Seattle Kraken together with Prof. Niersbach.

Team Building on Grouse Mountain
On the final day of the study trip, the students went to the nearby 1250-meter-high Grouse Mountain to explore the nature park and participate in a team-building activity. The group had to walk to various stations on the mountain terrain and complete group tasks that they had previously received along with an overview map during this event. These tasks included knowledge questions that had to be learned from the information boards scattered throughout the park, as well as tricky tasks like trying to free two fellow students who were tied together without taking off the rope. The tasks were also designed to promote group cooperation and cohesion. In between tasks, the students had the wonderful opportunity to see the world-famous “Lumberjack Show.” Following this special event, the group returned to Vancouver for a group dinner to cap off the successful day.

The following morning, there was a “Farewell-Breakfast,” during which the students shared their personal insights and (intercultural) experiences with Prof. Niersbach and Prof. Hohl. Upon their return, the students will present their study week reports and photo galleries in a follow-up meeting at RWU.

“I genuinely think I speak for the whole group when I say that this study trip was something special for us,” says Vanja Petric, a fifth semester student. “We not only got to know each other better on this trip, but we also had the unique opportunity to get to know such a beautiful city as Vancouver and its surroundings, with all that it has to offer.”

Prof. Dr. Eberhard Hohl, Vanja Petric, Corina Kovacic, Daniel Maucher, Thomas Walser