Attending college in London

03/28/2017: We spent two weeks in the British capital as part of our undergraduate course in Business Administration and Foreign Trade.

One of the integral elements of the course is a two-week stay in London. This trip takes place in the second academic year and includes courses at the European College of Business and Management (ECBM).

We set off on 14 November 2016 accompanied by two lecturers from the Institute for Foreign Trade Am Lämmermarkt and roughly 50 fellow students. We stayed at a very central hostel near Hyde Park, located on a lively street which offered plenty of places to shop and go out in the evening.

Besides discussing current economic topics and the history of London, courses at the college also included numerous excursions. The East London Docklands and the ‘Siemens Crystal’ tower were on the sightseeing list – and a visit to the High Court of Justice, where we were able to witness a trial, was definitely a highlight.

On the second-to-last day we took a written test on what we had learned. In addition, we were asked to give a presentation to the panel on a topic of our choice; mine was the issues of the London housing market. I also worked out a plan projecting how the market could develop in the next few years. 

Insights into British culture and everyday life

How we spent our leisure time was up to us. After class we usually explored the city in small groups. If you didn’t feel like going to the conventional sights such as Buckingham Palace or the giant London Eye, you could choose a guided tour and trace the trail of Jack the Ripper.

On the weekend we experienced British sporting culture by watching a rugby match between England and Australia. Another highlight was visiting HELM Great Britain, our local subsidiary. There, we eight ‘HELMies’ got the chance to meet our English colleagues in person.

What made our stay so special was the unique perspective from which we got to know the city. Normal tourists go sightseeing, but we were able to witness the day-to-day routines of genuine Londoners, such as piling into the ‘tube’ at rush hour, taking an early-morning jog through Hyde Park, or enjoying our lunch break at one of the famous food markets in the City – we were always right in the thick of things.

All in all we were able to gain and share a lot of new experiences that we will most certainly never forget. In a nutshell I found London to be a lively, multicultural city which offers unlimited opportunities for all kinds of activities. The city’s diversity never ceases to amaze!

Constantin Barth 
(2nd year student in Business Administration and Foreign Trade)