Travel gave me my most memorable University experiences

Preeya Kaur is a third year BA (Hons) Economics for Business student at Derby Business School. As part of her studies, she has taken the opportunity to travel to Copenhagen in Denmark and Vienna in Austria to expand her University education.

New dimension

The trips to Copenhagen and Vienna are definitely my most memorable experiences during my time at University. The international perspectives have really added a new dimension to my degree.

The thought of a university fieldtrip would obviously excite any student to want to go … especially if it’s free! However, the additional educational benefits of the trip are definitely worth any amount money.

As a third-year economics student, when the Head of Economics mentioned a trip to Copenhagen, I knew it was an adventure I could not refuse. To apply, you had to write 200 words stating how the trip would benefit you. In my case, it would broaden my cultural horizons and help with my international understanding, as my intention is to work/study abroad. I was delighted that my application was accepted.

The key aspect of the Copenhagen trip was learning about money laundering and art fraud. We learned that Van Gogh’s paintings tend to have other artwork behind them because he was poor so could not afford new canvases. And technology is an important tool in exposing art fakes. By using infrared spectrometry you can work out which elements are found in the artwork. For example, elements such as iron and magnesium would not be used in certain periods. So, if they are found in the artwork, this shows it is a fraud. This led us to different viewpoints, perspectives and a better understanding on what goes on in the business world around us.

International opportunities

In March 2019, we flew to Vienna for an educational visit to the United Nations. The primary aim of the trip was to provide us with a better understanding of sustainable development. This forms part of our Economics of Sustainable Business Growth module. We would also look at what activities the United Nations carries out in order to fulfil the sustainable development goals it aims to achieve by 2030.

As economists, many of us may find ourselves wanting to pursue jobs within an international organisation so the tour and talks were very useful in giving us a feel of the organisation and an idea about what it might be like.

It further allowed us to make good impressions on people that work there and get good connections. Additionally, the trip provided us with opportunities as the speakers discussed how we can apply for internships at the UN. This motivated me to keep pushing and working harder so that I can take this opportunity.

Derby Difference

Time to relax

In Copenhagen, we were staying in a hostel rated as one of the top ten in the world. The facilities they provided allowed us to chill out as a group with table football and pool tables and a big screen TV. We also had the chance to eat at the Gasoline Grill. It was voted the best burger place in the world in 2017. Spending time together and exploring the city meant that we even had time to learn Danish dancing from one of the locals.

I had visited Vienna before so I knew some good tourist spots, with my favourite place being Prater Park. It contains Vienna’s landmark amusement part and we managed to persuade a few people to go on the scariest ride. Watching their reactions was definitely one of the highlights of the trip.

Making lifelong friends

Going on these trips was a lovely way to finish my University experience with friends and lecturers, and being able to relax and learn in a different environment. Both trips have really made my University experience. A global mindset is so valuable for your future career and it was a privilege to go abroad with such an amazing bunch of people and embrace international cultures. After graduation I plan to work abroad and these opportunities will really enhance my CV with European fieldtrips.

Having gone on the trips only knowing a handful of those who went, I came back with lifelong friends! There was not one dull moment! With everyone studying similar degrees but having different backgrounds, we were able to learn from each other and take advice and tips so that we could all succeed. After returning, we still catch up regularly and see each other around University.

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