Do you want to learn more about how 20 students fell in love? Great, then this blog post is perfect for you. Let me tell you more about our fairytale love story and this year’s CEE Master Class’ field trip to Slovenia.
At our graduation ceremony the CEE Master Class was compared to a love story that just begun and is thought to last for a lifetime. What might sound cheesy to most of you, is nothing but the truth. We all applied last October (the application for the MC CEE 2022/23 is already open) and luckily we were accepted in this complementary WU program. Extremely interesting classes prepared us well and gave us the opportunity to learn a great deal about culture, history, geography, business and interpersonal peculiarities of the CEE region. Our fieldtrip to Slovenia then was the breathtaking Grande Finale of our educational journey.
It was a quite warm day in May, when we gathered on the WU Campus early. Our bus to Slovenia (the only country with LOVE in its name) took me 19 other students to the Slovenian coast, to Portoroz. Even though the weather was not perfect, we were excited: let’s discover our neighbor in Central Europe. The partially present rain could not stop us. Not only did we enjoy Slovenian national dishes in nice taverns and visited the famous salt fields of Piran, but we also even swam in the admittedly cold Adriatic Sea. In the sunnier moments, we visited the nearby town of Piran whose Venetian origin is undeniable. The historical sights were almost as impressive as the view on the sea with the Alps in the background.
Discovering a country however is not done by simply staying in one place. Next on our travel itinerary was the country’s capital, Ljubljana. At the University of Ljubljana, we were kindly welcomed by the Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences. Prof. Jaklič then gave a very insightful lecture on the international orientation of Slovenia’s economy and businesses. It was interesting to learn about the challenges of attracting foreign direct investment to such a small country with 2 million inhabitants. And how the initiatives of majors of towns can make the difference in the negotiations with foreign investors.
Once our bus had made it out of the car park with some bruises, we headed for the city center. Most impressive for me was the city tour that showed the highlights of architect Jože Plečnik who shaped Ljubljana with his buildings. The tour finally ended at an old monastery with beautiful paintings right in the city center. Shortly afterwards, we headed for our final stop: Bled. We all fell immediately in love with this place in the heart of Slovenia. Where once again we had an excellent and very entertaining guest lecture at the business school, the renowned IEDC Bled School of Management. Hearing about the crucial role of trust in the CEE region and how low levels of trust taint the development of business relations in particular and the cooperation in a society in general stuck to me and will always change my view on things. The boat tour on the beautiful Lake Bled was the great cultural finale to a fairytale journey.
There is no fairytale that works without its magical actors. Since the previous Master Class cohort was not able to go on a fieldtrip due to Covid regulations, they were invited to join us. Over the course of the last year, I already developed strong bonds and became friends with my peers. The 2020-21 cohort was a great addition to our group. It is a fairytale love story – with lifelong friendships – and occasional “Stammtischen”. You are welcomed to join us when you want to learn more about Slovenia and the Master Class CEE.