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Home > Western Michigan University - Office of Study Abroad > Engineering and Culture of Central Europe
Engineering and Culture of Central Europe
A foreign study seminar designed for qualified and capable undergraduate students, graduate students, teachers, and business executives. The seminar provides first hand knowledge of business operations abroad through on-site inspection of foreign manufacturing, marketing, financial, and governmental organizations, supplemented by coordina... read more
A foreign study seminar designed for qualified and capable undergraduate students, graduate students, teachers, and business executives. The seminar provides first hand knowledge of business operations abroad through on-site inspection of foreign manufacturing, marketing, financial, and governmental organizations, supplemented by coordinated faculty lectures and assigned readings.
This Finance and Marketing faculty led program concentrates on business in Central Europe, specifically the cities of Prague, Czech Republic, and Warsaw, Poland. Students will visit companies, educational institutions and meet with faculty and students in Prague and Warsaw.
This course will provide students with learning experiences to develop knowledge and skills to understand other European cultures and provide background to be successful in a global economy. Industrial, academic, and governmental practices in central Europe will be observed and studied. It will focus on Poland and the Czech Republic that many believe to be the largest and most entrepreneurial nations to join the European Union from among the previous members of the Warsaw Pact. The practice of design, manufacturing, and problem solving in other cultures will be discussed and observed. Aspects of the operating business, governmental, and cultural environment will be studied to compare and contrast from a global perspective. Pre-visit orientation will be provided to introduce the culture and language of the host countries.
* The Czech Republic
For a country that has only been around since 1993, the Czech Republic shows an exciting history. Here the past becomes real. Castles and chateaus abound, illuminating the stories of powerful families and individuals whose influence was felt well beyond the nation's current borders. Unravel the history of Bohemia and Moravia, the two ancient lands that now make up the modern Czech Republic and you are unearthing the history of Europe itself. When you have had your fill of the past, return to Prague, one of the world's most beautiful and cultured cities.
A city of 1.2 million and the capital of the Czech Republic, is arguably one of the most beautiful and well preserved cities in Europe. Its compact medieval center, a UNESCO-designated World Heritage City, remains an evocative maze of cobbled lanes, ancient courtyards, dark passages and churches, with impressive views of the 1100-year-old Prague Castle that still retains liveried guards. Prague's rich history has shaped the city, but its social life remains very youthful with many venues for entertainment. The birthplace of Franz Kafka as well as the backdrop for the now infamous Velvet Revolution, the city is rich with historical points of interest, including the Jewish Quarter, Wenceslas Square and Charles Bridge. Cafes and marionette shops line the cobblestone streets, while the Vltava River serves as a constant point of reference for excursions around the easily navigated city that has one of Europe's most modern and efficient public transportation systems. Access to other popular European destinations, such as Vienna, Budapest and Berlin, is simple and quick by rail from Prague.
Poland lies at the center of Europe and is considered by many to be the key to cetral Europe. Poland is bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north.
The establishment of a Polish state over one thousand years ago is often identified with the adoption of Christianity by its ruler Mieszko I, in 966 (see Baptism of Poland), when the state covered territory similar to that of present-day Poland. In 1025, Poland became a kingdom and in 1569, it cemented a long association with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, by signing the Union of Lublin, forming the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth which became the largest country in Europe.
Poland is a unitary state, made up of sixteen voivodeships. Poland is also a member of the European Union, NATO, United Nations, World Trade Organization, and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Commodities produced in Poland include: electronics, cars (including the luxurious Leopard car), buses (Autosan, Solaris, Solbus), helicopters (PZL Zwidnik), transport equipment, locomotives, planes (PZL Mielec), ships, military engineering (including tanks, SPAAG systems), medicines (Polpharma, Polfa), food, clothes, glass, pottery , chemical products and others.
Warsaw is the 8th largest city in the European Union by population. According to WikiTravel Warsaw is not only the biggest city and capital of Poland, but one of the EU's thriving new business centers. The old town, demolished during World War II, has been rebuilt in a style inspired by classicist paintings of Canalletto and known as "phoenix city" ever since.
Warsaw has given its name to the Warsaw Confederation, Warsaw Pact, Warsaw Convention, Treaty of Warsaw and the Warsaw Uprising.
Also spelled Krakow or Cracow, is the second largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland. Its historic centre was inscribed on the list of World Heritage Sites as the first of its kind. Situated on the Vistula River (Polish: Wista) in the Lesser Poland region, the city dates back to the 7th century. Krakow has traditionally been one of the leading centers of Polish academic, cultural and artistic life and is one of Poland's most important economic centers. It was the capital of Poland form 1038 to 1596. The city has grown from a Stone Age settlement to Poland's second most important city. It began as a hamlet on Wawel Hill and was already being reported as a busy trading center of Slavonic Europe in 965. With the establishment of new universities and cultural venues at the emergence of the Second Polish Republic and throughout the 20th century, Krakow reaffirmed its role as a major national academic and artistic center. In 1978, the same year UNESCO placed Krakow on the list of World Heritage Sites, Karol Wojtyta, archbishop of Krakow, was elevated to the papacy as Pope John Paul II, the first non-Italian pope in 455 years and the first ever Slavic pope.
* Academic Program
A creative engineering and cultural tour to show you engineering, science, and cultural centers of Central Europe: Warsaw, Lodz, Czestochowa, Cracow & Prague (over 1,000 years of civilization). Tour modern engineering facilities for steel making, Motorola Electronics Poland, Fiat and Skoda auto Assembly Lines and more. Experience renowned universities: Charles University (Est.1348), Jagiellonian University (Est.1364), Warsaw University of Technology, and Krakow's AGH University of Science and Technology. Visit the jewels of European Cultural and Learning Centers: Wawel & Hradcany Royal Castles and the Medieval Jasna Gora Monastery (Est.1382). Study the engineering and art of the Pilsner Brewery. Admire the centuries of art in the Wieliczka working salt mine 200 m underground. Contrast with a dark spot in human history: the Auschwitz Concentration Camp. Appreciate the central role of Central Europe.
* Academic Credit
Credits (3) for ENGR 3700, may count toward General Education, area 7
WMU credit will be awarded for courses successfully completed on this program with prior approval of the student's academic advisor, academic advisors in departments outside of the student's major department (if the student plans to take classes outside of his/her major), and the Haenicke Institute for Global Education. This approval is obtained by completing the Course Pre-approval Form available from the HIGE. Students are urged to work closely with academic advisors and HIGE staff to plan a course of study allowing for steady progress toward their degree. Less
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