22 vocational business students spent five days in Germany as part of an exchange visit. Students spent time learning about production, environmentally friendly policies and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as well as German history and culture with German students.
Students visited two diverse companies, one being Schmitz Werke based in Emsdetten where they produce high end curtains/ blinds, and Greif based in Mesum who produce heavy weight bags to use in the construction industry to transport materials including sand. Business student Haniff Uddin said ‘’they quality test large sand bags by filling them up with 7 tonnes plus before they burst, these bags usually take loads of 1 to 2 tonnes. This company provides water bags as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility Programme. The bags can be used as backpacks to transport water in many developing countries where it is difficult to fetch water by foot over long distances on a daily basis. This relates to the Business ethics unit which I am currently studying”
During their visit, students also visited Saline in Rheine, where salt was produced as far back as the eleventh century. After understanding the historic production of salt, Extended diploma business student Rabia Saeed expressed her excitement “I loved so many things on this trip especially being given an opportunity to make our own salt to take home!”
A cultural visit was made to the Zeche Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex, which is a large former industrial site in the city of Essen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Founded in 1847, it is now part of UNESCO’s (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) list of World Heritage Sites, and is also part of the European Route of Industrial Heritage.
The students also learnt about the business side of football by visiting the German Bundesliga side Schalke 04, one of the most popular professional football teams and multi-sports club in Germany, Extended Diploma Business student Ekramul Ahsan said I learnt about that the club grow the pitch on a separate area and wheel it into the stadium when they want to use it in their multi-purpose stadium. I also discovered how the tickets, food/drink and merchandise are sold at the stadium at very affordable prices compared to English clubs, almost half the price”
Students ended their visit with a cultural visit to the historic city of Munster, which is an independent city in North Rhine-Westphalia, regarded as the bicycle capital of Germany NewVIc students experienced a memorable guided tour to the famous cathedrals.