REPORT ABOUT THE ODED LÖWENBEIN SUMMER SCHOOL

Offered in cooperation with RheinAhrCampus (RAC) of the Hochschule Koblenz University of Applied Sciences and Coastal Carolina University (CC) in Conway, SC, the Oded Löwenbein Summer School Programme has been driving internationalisation at the Department of Management Sciences of Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg (H-BRS) for 19 years now.

It offers students the opportunity of a three-week exchange. H-BRS students peek into the US higher education system, develop their intercultural skills and improve their own language skills as they host their US exchange students.

The first part of the programme consists of a one-week visit by US students and professors to Bonn. Here they join selected events at the Department of Management Sciences and RheinAhrCampus while meeting with companies from the region. The American guests also join students of the two German partner universities (H-BRS/RAC) for cultural and extracurricular events.

"Learning negotiations skills from the Vice President"

One MBA student from the RheinAhrCampus was so kind to organise a visit to the Deutsche Post/DHL Tower in Bonn. The tour also gave the group the unique opportunity to meet Matthias Schwarz, Senior Vice President of Procurement, and listen to his talk about negotiation skills.

The second part of the programme ran from mid-August to mid-September at Coastal Carolina University. Students arranged their own journeys, allowing them to explore other US cities or regions before or after their stay at CCU. While there, they joined cultural events organized by CCU, such as a football game of the Chanticleers. The annual day trip to Charleston, South Carolina’s historical hub, however, had to be cancelled because of Hurricane Dorian.

All of a sudden, we were in Tennessee

Since the CCU campus also closed down, all international students who weren’t staying with family or friends were brought to the East Tennessee State University (ETSU) in Johnson City. This included the German students from H-BRS and RAC and their accompanying lecturers, who packed their things and travelled nine hours to Tennessee on coaches and minibuses provided by CCU. Although the campus is outside of the core evacuation zone, there simply was no staff left on campus to take care of the students.

CCU’s evacuation effort was impressive to witness. ETSU also took excellent care of their guests. Daily meetings between the CCU supervisors and the German lecturers, followed by meetings with the evacuated students, kept everyone on the same page about events on the Carolina coast.  

What is more, the evacuation did not overshadow the academic part of the exchange. Students and CCU professors were still connected via e-mail and CCU’s learning platform and were able to pursue their tasks and reports for the five days they spent in Tennessee. Since the Conway campus hadn’t suffered any major hurricane damage, the last week could proceed as planned.

Even with the short stint in Tennessee, the German students were exhilarated by their stay at CCU.

Next year’s visit is being planned right now. Should you be interested in learning more or joining the Oded Löwenbein Summer School Programme next semester, visit the website or e-mail the coordinator, Karsten Heinrich.

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