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South Africa-Study Trip 2016

All Categories, Inside CBS   -  3. February 2016

Under the direction of Professor Dr. Patrick Merten 19 students from the Cologne Business School and the European Management School in Mainz went on a study trip to South Africa, where they got to know and love the country with all its facets from January 9th-20th.

Upon arrival in Cape Town, the group was met by guide, Andrew and driver, Kurt, who took them on both a tour of the city as well as on a catamaran, where they enjoyed spectacular views of the Cape Town skyline, putting the perfect finish on a long day of travel.

The following days in Cape Town were packed with study-related activities and a tight tourist schedule. Thanks to business presentations on the topics, “Black Economic Empowerment”, “Branding South Africa” and “Social Structural Change”, the students received close insight into the economic, political and social situation in South Africa.

With this background knowledge the tour continues with a visit to the World Cup stadium, where students learned about the impact mega events like the World Cup have on the economic development of a country.

In addition to visits to the national park, Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope as well as a winery in Stellenbosch, a special highlight for students was spending a day in the townships of Langa and Khayelitsha. Thanks to in-depth discussions with the residents, students learned much about South African history and current social developments. A typical African braai (BBQ) brought them closer to African traditions and even more so to the people behind the stories. While the majority of the group opposed the visit to the townships with slight skepticism and concern, the friendly and positive atmosphere there quickly set all at ease, making everyone feel welcome. And after dinner, together everyone enjoyed playing music and dancing in a relaxed atmosphere.

After five days in Cape Town, the group then set off along the famous Garden Route. For the students an unforgettable experience was surely spending a night at the Gondwana Game Reserve and experiencing the South African wildlife including the Big Five up close while on two safari game drives.
In an elephant wildlife conservation center they got to know the pachyderms up close as they walked together “hand-in-trunk”. Following these moving experiences, the last three days were spent in the lagoon town of Knysna, where the trip culminated in pure relaxation.

During the ten-day trip, the students were overwhelmed not only by the beauty of the country, the friendliness and cheerfulness of its people, but also but also by the culinary delights. Whether meat or fish lovers, South Africa offers a unique cuisine, which enchanted all.
Happy, content and equipped with an array of impressions, the group made its way back home. And all agree that though this was for many the first, it certainly will not be the last trip to South Africa.

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