Dylan at the EBS Business Summer School

International Explorer: Dylan


I would like to start off by saying that the Summer School which I attended in Germany over the June/July holidays was by far the most exciting and beneficial academic experience I have been a part of so far. From the moment I arrived in Germany, I was surrounded by a wealth of culture and experience which will remain with me for years to come. The opportunity to study abroad has truly broadened my perspectives of just how many opportunities there are out there for us students.

I think above anything else, this was the greatest lesson I took from the Summer School experience – the world really is ours for the taking and we have to put ourselves in the right positions to pursue our own personal goals and aspirations. The Summer School allowed me to meet a diverse group of young students from 14 different countries which lends itself to an invaluable cultural experience. Not only were we interacting with the other students during the day at classes but also in the evenings and on the weekends when we could travel together. Finding out about other cultures and their perspectives on different situations is a truly humbling experience and the little things that you learn from each person can have such an impact on you.

The First Step:

The first step in planning my trip was obviously to get my Schengen Visa which allowed me access into all the member “Schengen States”. I found the Visa application process to be relatively painless. The application forms were available on the German Embassy’s website and I was also able to book my appointment online. They did request quite a few documents and therefore it is imperative that you have all your required documentation in order before you go for your application appointment. I managed to book an appointment with only a 2 day waiting period and once I had handed in my application, it only took 3 days before I had my Visa.

Academic Content:

The European Business School is one of Europe’s finest Business Schools and is situated in the area of Oestrich-Winkel (Germany), about 45 minutes drive from Frankfurt. The Business School is relatively small compared to Stellenbosch University but manages to draw some of Germany’s finest lecturers and students. The academic content of the Summer School was very interesting and all of current relevance. The course managed to cover a broad spectrum of topics including finance, marketing, cultural differences in the workplace, the aviation industry and logistics, which meant that there was something for everybody to enjoy. Even if the days’ lectures were not relevant to what we studied at our home universities, they were presented in such a way that we were kept interested and focused throughout the day.

The European Business School had sourced lecturers from their own departments and even from abroad (the Netherlands) to present to us which was an amazing experience. The level of teaching and the method of teaching were impressive and I found it extremely stimulating. There were only 29 students in the Summer School and much of the study material was focused on group work and discussions led from case studies. The course had a great balance between theoretical study and practical experience.

Company Visits:

We were taken on a company visit to the Lufthansa Training Headquarters in Frankfurt which was very impressive and I found it so interesting to see exactly how the airlines’ staff  (including pilots) are trained in all spheres of aviation. The training centre is one of the biggest in the world and airlines from around the globe send their pilots to train on the Lufthansa flight simulators. On another occasion, we were taken to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France. We were fortunate enough to be given a very comprehensive tour of the magnificent building and a lecture on the European Union and its different capacities by one of the council’s advisory officials.

Business Simulation Game:

We also spent three days playing the “business simulation game” which is a fascinating computer program giving participants the chance to theoretically run an airline for a set period of time and therewith make all the important management decisions which are required in the actual field of aviation today. Each team’s decisions regarding pricing strategies, marketing mixes, asset procurement, human resource management and numerous other factors affected the outcome of the game and ultimately led to the success or failure of your airline and that of your competitors.

Support from EBS Coordinators:

On a personal level, the support which we received from the course coordinator and the housing coordinator was excellent and both ladies seem to have a great relationship with the International Office of the University of Stellenbosch. Nothing was too much trouble for them and they even went as far as to offer help with our weekend travel arrangements and the booking of concert tickets etc. The course coordinator, Ursula Haque, would brief us each morning on the day’s events and she also accompanied us on all our company visits.

Accommodation and Logistics:

The accommodation which was provided to us for the duration of our stay was excellent. Us four Stellenbosch guys had our own apartment with an amazing view over the Rhine River, which was situated about 100 meters from our entrance. The apartment had its own kitchen, bathroom and lounge area so we really did have everything we needed. We were within walking distance of the European Business School (about 10 minutes walk) and a few hundred meters from the Hattenheim train station which was great for traveling purposes. The European Business School covered our cost of accommodation which was quite a save for us. The village that we stayed in is called Hattenheim and it is relatively small with no supermarkets and shops however a short bus drive away are the towns of Oestrich and Winkel which had the necessary shops.

We were provided with bus passes for the duration of our stay at the European Business School which made it easy to get from the one village to the next. The villages were however within walking distance if you wanted to walk. The bigger chain stores were surprisingly cheap and therefore when we were to make our own food, it really did work out incredibly inexpensive. As with anywhere, eating out was slightly more costly however it wasn’t unaffordable. Lunch was available at the European Business School every day which was very convenient and we ended up eating there most days.

The proximity of destinations and availability of travel options once we were in Germany was impressive to say the least. The sophisticated public transport system allowed us to explore much of the surrounding area and see exactly what the local villages had to offer. We found that buying the day passes on the trains was worthwhile as it gave us unlimited travel for a day at a really reasonable price, especially if we booked in groups of three.


We were also given a 4 day extended weekend in which myself and three other students decided to travel to Prague, Czech Republic. Our travel options really were endless and most of the students ended up travelling together after the course. A fellow Stellenbosch student and I travelled to Paris, France and Rome, Italy after the course which was also one of the highlights of my trip. I would highly recommend that future Summer School participants make the most of their time overseas by travelling as much as possible either before the start of the Summer School or afterwards. Obviously by travelling afterwards you have the added opportunity of travelling with your fellow Summer School students.

Final Words:

Being given the opportunity to study at the European Business School was such an honour and I understand that it is one of those experiences that not everybody gets the opportunity to appreciate. I feel privileged to have attended one of the top business school’s in Europe and it is not something which I take lightly. I know that I will be drawing from my experiences for years to come and I only hope that Stellenbosch University will continue to offer students the opportunity to be a part of something so great and meaningful.