Published: July 3, 2017

FGX GermanyDon Oest, faculty member at the Center for Education on Social Responsibility (CESR), along with Andrea Straccia, director of Leeds Residential Academic Program (RAP), took 28 Leeds freshmen to Germany to explore the operation and culture of global businesses.

The trip focused on ethics, efficiency, expansion and social responsibility as they relate to business in Germany. The group spent seven days in Berlin with a day trip to the city of Dresden, which was severely bombed during World War II and then restored. 

“What an amazing trip and experience for all of the attendees. We got to actually see how socially responsible and sustainable businesses operate in Germany, along with their emphasis on efficiency,” remarked Oest.

The group visited the following places and organizations:

  • Transparency International – a global civil society organization leading the fight against corruption
  • German Ministry of Education – to understand the focus and emphasis on education in Germany
  • Schultheiss Brewery -  one of the oldest breweries in Germany to learn how they are operating in a sustainable manner with recycling
  • Deutsche Bahn – a German government-owned railroad and its emphasis on social responsibility and sustainability
  • BMW Manufacturing Site – to see how efficient BMW builds their motorcycles
  • BSR – a German government owned waste-to-energy power station
  • Volkswagen Manufacturing Site (Dresden) – to learn how Volkswagen builds electric cars
  • Sustainable Infrastructure of Potsdamer Platz – an innovative urban hub and famous model for sustainable city development
  • Berlin Wall Memorial – to understand the history of the division of East and West Berlin and the ethics regarding the innocent lives that were lost in trying to flee from East to West Berlin, along with the memory of Holocaust victims

The trip ended with the group experiencing a German soccer game between Hertha Berlin and Bayer Leverkusen at the Olympic Stadium, which holds up to 100,000 spectators and was built for the Olympic Summer Games in 1936.

For more on CESR's global experience courses, visit CESR Learning