An exciting 7-day study tour to Europe
On August 3, 2017, 31 students of IBA along with Mr. Jami Moiz, Assistant Professor Marketing, made history by embarking on an exciting 7-day study tour to Europe. The group of 33 students and faculty commenced the journey to learn beyond the walls of classrooms and develop an encompassing global perspective on marketing dynamics. Munich, Germany was an ideal place for commencing the Euro tour as it provided not only the much-needed international exposure to students but is also an epitome of historical buildings with marvelous architecture.
The official tour of Germany started on the next morning after a day long journey to the Munich. The first stop in Munich was a fully guided tour to Linderhof Palace, in southwest Bavaria near Ettal Abbey that was built in 1886. It is one of the three palaces built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria and the only one which he lived to see. Linderhof Palace and its surrounding park is known for the artistic and stylistically complex ensembles of the 19th century. The students were completely mesmerized by the brilliant synthesis of arts both inside and outside the palace.
This was followed by a stopover for lunch at the famous food street of Ettal Abbey that is popular for the most divine ice-cream across Europe. Our next stop was the BMW Museum in Munich which is the first of its kind a "Brand Museum" that was built in 1973. The BMW Museum is the perfect place for any business graduate to witness the evolution of the Brand 'BMW'. The place provided an insight into the past (last 100 years of company and product history), present and future of the BMW brand. Last but not the least, was a visit to the "Centre Point Mall" which is known to be a shopping paradise and an even better place to understand the retail dynamics in Europe.
Following day was embarked with a fully guided day tour to Zurich – the Land of Alps, Watches and Chocolates. Our first stop was the astonishing Lakeside Promenade Fleuri – a Popular Walking Path at Lake Zurich. The lake is one of the most popular tourist spots and serves as a recreation area for inline skaters, beach lovers, jewellery sellers and street artists. This was followed by a visit to Zurich's Old Town Altstadt which is a cultural, social and historical melting pot. The Old Town manifests the city's rich history through the medieval houses, contorted, narrow lanes and guild and town halls from the Renaissance period. One of the best parts about Old Town is that it is characterized by pedestrian-only streets. No Europe tour is complete without visiting the heaven on Earth -Switzerland. Accordingly, no Switzerland tour is complete without a retail therapy of Swiss Chocolates and hence our next and final activity in Zurich was Swiss Chocolate shopping.
Now was the time to bid farewell to Munich and prepare for the next stop, Frankfurt. On the route to Frankfurt, we stopped at Schlossplatz Stuttgart Palace Square which is the largest square of the city Stuttgart and a major tourist attraction. Since, it was the beginning of the famous August Stuttgart's Summer Festival, the Palace Square and the Upper Palace Gardens were buzzing with tourists from across the world. The Summer Festival provided a great opportunity for the students to learn how the festivals are conducive for businesses. After the Stuttgart visit, we continued our journey and reached Frankfurt around 4.30 pm. After checking into our hotel "Ibis Hotel Frankfurt City Messe" the group went for a city tour using the tram line which was right across the hotel. The first stop was Frankfurt (Main) Hauptbahnhof, Germany's most important central rail hub that serves around 350,000 passengers every day. The station is a beautiful mixture of neo-Renaissance and neo-classical styles of architecture and offers direct connections to Brussels, Amsterdam, Paris, Cologne and Zürich. Frankfurt Main Hbf is also served by regional trains as well as metro lines connecting the station to the metro and RER network of Frankfurt. The students continued their city tour from here and strolling south from the station reached the most splendid River Main, a bank tributary of the River Rhine in Germany.
The day began with a scrumptious breakfast at Ibis Hotel that was followed by a day tour of Black Forest, the land of cuckoo clocks, quaint towns, ruined castles and striking half-timber houses all surrounded by a spectacular mountain range in Baden-Württemberg. We visited Claw the prettiest town of the region enveloped by the 18th-century half-timber houses and picturesque market square.
Day Six started with the half day City tour of Frankfurt that covered the major attractions of the city. The second half of the day was given to students to have leisure on their own and the students made most out of it by either going for shopping, a group of students went to the Europa Park which is the largest theme Park in Germany and the second largest in Europe. The Europa Park is home to some of the world's fastest roller coasters. Another group of students took a day tour to the City of Lights and Love "Paris", which is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities of Europe.
Finally, it was the day of return and after breakfast everyone got ready to leave for Pakistan with friendships and memories that they will continue to cherish throughout their lives. This illuminating and memorable study tour of Europe will go a long way in shaping our professional as well as personal life. Overall, this trip not only gave us the invaluable experience of an international market but also helped us in applying the retail, brands and consumer behavior concepts that we studied in class. For this experience, we would like to thank Dr. Farrukh Iqbal for encouraging these study tours. Additionally, Mr. Jami Moiz , Dr. Amber Gul, and Mr. Syed Mazhar Kazmi deserve our gratitude for their support provided in making it happen for us.
We are grateful to Anum Sadik, Ms Zunaira Gawadri and Javeria Rahim for developing this piece.