October, 2012

Calling Pamplona Home

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

By: Brett Kennedy, Foster Undergraduate

Wow! The first month and a half in Pamplona has been amazing.  It feels more like home with each day that passes.  I have well-acquainted myself with the city and the warm personalities of the people that live here.  It has been a transition, yes, but not as abrupt as I expected it to be.  It has been surprisingly easy to get into the rhythm of the schedule that you find in Spain, including the late dinners and afternoon siestas.  The city has a sort of “buzz” to it that I attribute to the friendliness of the locals; most people you see on the street are engaged in conversation with others, and many times a day I see strangers recognizing each other and stopping for a quick chat.  When I visit the local shops I am always greeted with a big smile and a “How are you?” which is a nice touch to my daily activities.  It’s even considered rude if you don’t greet a stranger in an elevator!

It has been a pleasant transition going from the fast-paced and somewhat impersonal rhythm of home to the more interactive “seize the day” mentality.  With this culture as the driving force, meeting people has never been easier.  Most people are very open to talking to strangers which gives way to opportunities to make new friends.  Overall, Pamplona is a very safe city with many beautiful landmarks scattered throughout it.  Lately I like to relax by running laps around the Ciudadela, or Citadel which was built over 400 years ago to protect the city.  It is the deep-rooted history like this, which is all around the city that adds to the experience of living here and understanding the Spanish culture.  I can already see myself missing Spain the minute I leave, but for now I plan to seize every minute that I can.

Pioneering Through Germany

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

By: Cynthia Chiou, Foster Undergraduate

If you want to be sure you’ll have a satisfying experience abroad both academically and culturally – I can sincerely recommend WHU in Germany. I cannot speak highly enough of the experience I’ve had so far! I am one of the first students to participate on the UW exchange with WHU, and I am proud to be a part of it.

To give you a little introduction of myself, I am a junior in the Foster School of Business studying finance and marketing. Having always heard past graduates talk about their regrets of not studying abroad, I knew I had to grasp the opportunity while I still could. I ultimately chose to study at WHU in Germany for a couple of reasons. First, I’ve always been fascinated by German culture and was interested in learning more. Second, WHU is highly regarded as one of the top schools in Germany with an intimate academic setting and world renowned professors. Third, I was blessed enough to receive the Dufey Scholarship which has helped me tremendously with expenses.

 

Description of the Area: Vallendar & Koblenz 

WHU is situated in the small town of Vallendar which is just along the Rhine River. Before studying abroad, I thought my hometown Kenmore was small – well, let’s just say Kenmore would be considered a metropolis compared to Vallendar. The area consists mostly of WHU students and retired German families. It was a challenge adjusting at first since I’m used to so much activity around the UW, but I’ve begun to treasure the peaceful walks to school along the Rhine and the simplicity of the local culture. If you want to enjoy more nightlife and shopping, it’s only a short 10 minute bus ride to Koblenz which is a slightly bigger city.

The ‘Tauschie’ Community 

I would say after spending a little more than a month here, I have really appreciated the university’s efforts to make us tauschies (German for exchange students) feel welcome. During the first couple of weeks, the international relations and VIP student team organize several events that allow all exchange students to get to know one another better. The team takes you on a regional wine tour nearby and you end the day feasting on a traditional German meal at a beautiful brewery. The VIP also organizes a rally in Koblenz where tauschies run around the city completing silly tasks in order to get to know the area better. Our team was called ‘The Bamm Bamms’ as you can see by the blue diapers we made for our costumes.

After the first few weeks winded down, there were plenty of events to still keep me busy. Every week, tauschies organize a ‘Tauschie Tuesday’ at the nearby bar, Korova. It’s usually thematic by country and tauschies of the chosen country prepare food and drinks of their culture. In addition, every Thursday evening many students go to Palais which is a local club in Koblenz. Apart from the events put on by WHU, tauschies are always organizing dinners and hang-outs. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed dinner parties with other tauschies and discussing cultural differences and similarities.

Courses at WHU

Classes here have been similar to that of the UW but also different in a few ways. Before signing up for a course, you can view all of the various times the course meets throughout the semester. Instead of having classes the same time each week, you could have anywhere from twenty hours of class one week to only five the next. This has turned out to be pretty convenient for planning week long trips. Otherwise, day trips around Germany have been just as interesting. Since the semester is split into two quarters, there is a lot of material to learn in a very short amount of time, hence I’ve been cramming for finals which are in about two weeks.

 

Traveling 

As far as traveling goes, exploring the various regions of Germany has been very exciting! The country is divided into sixteen different states in which each part has its own distinct feel. It’s only in a country like this where you’ll be able to visit the hippest parts of Berlin one minute and then experience traditional Bavarian life in Munich the next. Outside of Germany, I will soon be paying a visit to London, Ireland, and Prague. The great thing about Germany is it’s situated right in the heart of Europe which makes traveling to neighboring countries extremely convenient. I’m surprisingly less homesick than I thought I’d be. Of course, there are things about Seattle I miss, such as friends and family, but there is so much to explore here that I simply feel obliged to discover everything. If there’s one thing I’m learning about myself throughout this experience, it’s that I am too curious for my own good. The world is so beautiful and I hope to return to Europe another time. No, no. I must return to Europe soon to see the rest!!

 

All in all, I can’t wait to continue building lifelong memories while learning about our world and my place within it. Studying abroad obviously comes with sacrifices and well, points of confusion (did I really just buy German yogurt or is this sour cream..?) All joking aside, you’re confronted with a lot of ‘unknowns’..from the big to even small things. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but you’re put in a unique situation that you’d never find yourself in at home. Being isolated in a foreign country forces you to question why you do the things you do, whether you have a good reason for why you do them that way, and in the end makes your mind all the stronger. On a practical level, you learn to roll with the punches and find alternatives in the right places. I already know my time here will fly by. I’ll be trying my hardest to appreciate every moment before it’s all over!

 

My Days in Pamplona

Monday, October 15th, 2012

By: Michael Cross, Foster Undergraduate

Moving to another country is an adjustment, and it’s a bit overwhelming at first. After arriving in Pamplona after good 14 or so hours of traveling, and then taking the wrong buses to the exact opposite side of Pamplona from where I needed to go, I had finally made it to my hostel. I was told that finding an apartment wouldn’t be too hard once I got here, and that it was often the better approach. So, that’s what I did. But it didn’t make my first days here any easier!

 

I knew culture shock would set in at one point, and for me it was the first three days. Living in a hostel, trying to learn the culture of a new city in a new country, navigating my way through the city to find apartments, attempting to get a mobile phone so I could call landlords, and then talking to landlords in my broken Spanish over a phone with poor reception, all made for a recipe of deep concern. I couldn’t even figure out where to go to get dinner! And who’d have thought that would be hard? Needless to say, I quickly went from thinking my Spanish was “good enough to get by” to realizing it needed a lot of work. Fast forward four days and I was moving into my apartment with two Spaniards. Suddenly, this place felt like home. It’s amazing how much a dwelling can do. With an apartment as my anchor, I was ready to start living in Spain, and all forms of culture shock disappeared completely.

A week later, classes began at UNAV. Well, kind of. For the first couple of weeks, the university is a little disorganized so it turned out that neither of my Monday classes were held that first day. Simultaneously, most of the school is trying to register for classes in person at different offices and I learned the hard way not to ask other students where to go because it led to a wild goose chase all around campus until the matriculation office closed at 1pm (another thing to get used to in Spain, everything closes a little inconveniently early). Eventually I came to my senses and decided not to be perturbed. While it may not be as efficient as America, I came here to immerse myself in their culture and this is how they live. I must embrace it! As a result, the DOL-like waiting times were bearable.

The campus feels about the size of the main parts of UW’s, minus 80% of the buildings. It takes 5-10 minutes to walk between the most popular buildings, and about 15-20 for most people to commute to campus on foot each morning. So each day is kind of like having a class in Condon but with a much prettier walk because UNAV’s campus is meticulously maintained. Half of my tuition must go towards watering the place ;)  The new Business building is much adored by faculty and students alike because I hear it’s a major, major upgrade from before. I’d describe it as a dabble in modernism gone awry and eerily reminiscent of a psych-ward. It’s just lacking the details to make it homey and welcoming. But the best part? There’s a garden planted in the middle of the bottom floor. I joke about picking strawberries on my way to class.

 

Let’s talk about the great things, the reasons anyone would want to live here. First off, it’s full of so much history. And that by itself makes this city absolutely stunning. Right behind my apartment is what’s called the Ciudadela which is a large pentagon shaped system of walls that used to defend the city when Phillip II constructed it in 1571. Now, the whole structure is a grassy park so you can walk along the tops of the walls, wander through the maze-like moats, or go for a run around it (it’s a perfect 1.5 miles around making it easy to plan out how far you want to run). From here, you can wander up to Casco Viejo (or the Old Town) full of winding cobblestone streets, delicious pintxo bars (pintxos are like tapas in the rest of Spain, which are a typical appetizer you eat at a bar before going home for dinner), quaint mercados y tiendas of all sorts, and of course, the route through which the bulls go thundering each July. You’ll encounter buildings of old all around, including cathedrals, hospitals which are now museums, and Pamplona’s City Hall (which is where they fire the rockets daily during San Fermin). There’s a large plaza called Plaza del Castillo with many restaurants, including Café Iruña, the favorite of Ernest Hemingway. One thing Pamplona will never let you forget is that Hemingway loved this place. He has a street named after him, a statue outside of the Plaza de Toros, and Café Iruña has more or less changed its named to Hemingway’s Café. Branching off from Casco Viejo is the street Carlos the Third. This street and a couple other that surround it comprise the shopping center of Pamplona. Here you’ll find banks, government buildings, clothing stores, restaurants and cafes, and more. Another thing you quickly realize upon arrival, is that Spaniards, and especially Pamplonians, love their parks. Pamplona is home to at least 5 parks big enough to run in, and countless other little guys. One of them even has deer, peacocks, hens, and swans living in it. Spaniards also love their plazas. Nearly every apartment complex has a large plaza included in its design where people lounge on benches, kids play on playgrounds, and others just pass through.

 

One of the best things about Spain is how laid back everyone is. Now, this can also be frustrating when you really just want to get something done, but it’s always a great reminder to slow down, breathe, and enjoy the life you’ve been given. Don’t stress, it adds nothing to your life. Spaniards have a keen awareness of this idea, and it’s apparent in the way they conduct themselves. For most things we Americans tend to be nervous/stress about, I’m pleasantly surprised when Spaniards say “No pase nada tijo”, it doesn’t mean anything, bro. It carries with it an ethos of “don’t worry about it, you needn’t worry, nothing will happen, it’s all okay”. I find it to be one of those beautiful expressions in Spanish that captures so much more than its literal translation and sounds better than our English expressions. This phrase, among others, will no doubt be part of my vernacular and slip out when speaking English for years to come.

In a nutshell, this is Pamplona. Of course there are hundreds of other things to write about, so my next post will include more about the experiences Pamplona has provided.

But in closing, this is really important: peanut butter can be found here! And peanut butter is the gold of international students all across Europe.

 

Technology, Business & Students in China

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

Written by Kathleen Hatch, Assistant Director, Global Business Center

Huskies on the Great Wall

Each year during the month before the University of Washington starts, groups of students led by UW Faculty travel to all parts of the world to explore a topic and a world region. This fall, I was really lucky to co-lead a program focused on how internet and technology businesses are transforming in China. We spent three and a half weeks meeting with companies and learning about Chinese culture in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guilin.

Our group at Microsoft's campus in Beijing

China is moving fast. Walking around in Beijing for just 8 days is enough time to notice that the whole city seems to be lurching forward. Our hotel was located near the center of Beijing, and when we arrived they were remodeling a store on our block – the sidewalk was completely torn up and the store was gutted. By the time we left Beijing to take the high-speed train to Shanghai, the store was open for business with merchandise hanging in the window. The growth and development of the city is not just something that you can feel, you can actually see it happening.

This was my first trip to China, and it was an incredible experience to meet with company executives and hear firsthand about their challenges and opportunities. We met with Sina Weibo, a microblogging platform that has taken off in China and is now expanding internationally. Our group visited Microsoft’s Asia-Pacific Research and Development Group in Beijing – the second largest Microsoft campus next to Redmond. Their mission is “Innovation in China, innovation for the world.” Each year Microsoft invests two billion dollars just in Research and Development. Our speaker, Sam Zhong, Group Program Manager of the Strategic Partnership Group, talked with us about how innovative and entrepreneurial the Chinese are. He said Beijing feels like Silicon Valley in its height.

We received a presentation and toured the manufacturing floor of Tektronix. We toured UPS – their Shanghai offices are the largest in China, and they are located right next to DHL. When asked about their competition, our speaker responded that they embrace the competition and hope that this will help to further develop the system of logistics in China. Our group visited Lenovo which represents 36% of the PC market share in China with HP and Dell as their major competitors.

Visit to Hyundai in Shanghai

We watched cars being assembled at Hyundai, and our group crammed into the apartment of the founder of an internet start-up called Wodache.com, where computer programmers sat at the kitchen table on their MacBooks. Between all of our company visits we also found the time to attend a National Chinese Orchestra performance, hike the Great Wall, and eat a lot of delicious noodles and dumplings.

Over and over again, we heard about the culture of innovation, the challenges of growth, the new trends in technology, and the need to respond to consumer demands quickly. I could not help but think that China really is the place to be – things are happening here, fast. The whole country is growing quickly with enthusiasm, a strong work ethic, and a passion for technology and innovation. All of our company visits also made me think about how important it is for our business students to come to China – it is not enough to read about it. China is really something to experience.

3 Skills I Learned Abroad

Friday, October 5th, 2012

Written by Curtis Howell, Foster School Undergraduate Student

Independent

Living in Copenhagen was a drastic change for me. In Seattle, I live with 50 guys in a giant house where we have a full-time cook working for us. I usually take my laundry to Kirkland (because it’s free, not because mom helps! But that’s nice too). In Copenhagen, I lived in an apartment by myself, 20 minutes by bike and 30 minutes by public transportation away from my friends. For the first time in my life, I shopped and cooked for myself. To do my laundry, I had to put my clothes in my backpack and bike 10 minutes. When it was washed, I would bring it back to my apartment and hang it on the rack to air dry to save money on drying costs. Life in Copenhagen has been a drastic learning experience for me, especially because I made this transition to greater independence in a foreign country.

Flexible

Several times I got very frustrated with the Danish culture. For example, my primary mode of transportation was my bike, like most people living in Copenhagen. One Saturday evening, I was riding home from the bars and got a flat tire. All the shops in Denmark, including the bike shops, are closed on Sundays. Because I wouldn’t get my bike back from the shop until Monday afternoon, I had to be flexible and figure out a different mode of transportation until I got my bike tube fixed.

Awareness of global, economic, and political issues

Copenhagen Business School did an excellent job of incorporating current events into their coursework. I learned a lot about the world economy and current topics of interest in both my international business and organizational behavior courses. I was most impressed with the organizational behavior class. The professor and TA related all the organizational behavior theories to the global financial crisis so in addition to learning organizational behavior theories, I learned a great deal about a pertinent current event that had never been discussed in any of my Foster courses!

My friend, whom I know from Seattle but now lives in Copenhagen, connected me to the Danish entrepreneurial community. I am very grateful for this, as it certainly enhanced my study abroad experience. I am interested and involved in the Seattle entrepreneurial community, so meeting people with similar interests and aspirations in Denmark was a treat. It made me realize that while we are separated by a big blue pond, we are working on solving several similar problems. In addition, I confirmed that work location is becoming increasingly unimportant in the technology field. A great example of this internationalization is Google’s small team in central Denmark developing what they hope is the next client-side web programming language to replace JavaScript. In this spirit, I will likely be able to choose where I work for the duration of my career.

Settling into Manchester

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

By: Travis Rind, Foster Undergraduate

Before arriving in Manchester, I took a month to travel elsewhere in Europe. For anyone doing an exchange in the future, make sure you set aside time either before or after the program to travel, even if only for a few days. It was a nice icebreaker to get me introduced to Europe before arriving in the UK. I’ve only been in Manchester for a little less than two weeks, but I’m already adjusting to the city fairly easily. Despite the business school being a 40 minute walk away from my dorm in south campus, I enjoy the walk back and forth every day – rain or shine. It really isn’t so bad as most people make it out to be, plus I save money not paying for the bus… or a gym membership. The international society and business school made sure that during the first week all the international students became well-acquainted with one another. Already I have made friends from all over – Australia, Sweden, Norway, Austria, Japan… And, already, a group of us have a trip planned to Scandinavia for reading week.

The learning style here is different than what I’m used to at UW. Lectures are only once a week, and some classes also have seminars once a week. The low contact time with professors means that a lot of actual learning is reliant on self-study through reading. I hate to admit it, but it is really hard to find the time to sit and read when there is so much going on! Fortunately, assessments for exchange students are essays submitted at the end of the semester. Hopefully I’ll have enough time to catch up on readings by then!

As the UK is an English-speaking Western country, I didn’t expect to experience so many cultural differences. From the food (it’s true – it’s awful), to the colloquialisms (“cheers” instead of “thank you” – already adopted that one) Manchester has been surprising me in (mostly) good ways. The most difficult adjustment has been paying attention to the traffic. I’ve had several close calls with many more to come I’m sure, but I am proud to report that I’ve escaped unharmed so far. My least favorite part of living here has to be the cost of living. Everything would be normally priced… if it were in US dollars, but since it’s in pounds you add 60% to everything. Needless to say, checking my bank account is never the highlight of my day. However, it’s definitely been worth it. The experiences I’ve had so far are priceless.

When in Manchester

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

By: Amy Imus, Foster Undergraduate

I have been in the UK for a full month already but it has gone by in the blink of an eye. Luckily I have already had some memorable experiences and learned new things about myself and the new city I live in.

I initially spent about a week in Scotland before I moved to Manchester and I would recommend a trip there to anybody. Although I stayed in Stirling, I was able to make trip to Edinburgh and some of the surrounding countryside. I was lucky with the weather most of the time but Scotland is gorgeous rain or shine. The castles, old streets and buildings, and friendliness of all the locals really gave me a wonderful experience and I look forward to returning as soon as I can.

Moving on to the main event, I was finally off to Manchester to begin my study abroad at the Manchester Business School which is part of the University of Manchester. Manchester is known for being one of Britain’s largest cities but you wouldn’t know it just by looking at it. There we only a handful of buildings taller than 10 stories and most of the buildings looked like they were from the industrial revolution era, not from centuries past. This disconcerted me at first but the more time I spent exploring and learning about the city, the more I came to love its unique character and admire the reasons it was the way it was. Now I couldn’t imagine studying anywhere else!

Housing: I was very happy with my rooming arrangements and feel very fortunate to have ended up in Oak house. Although it is a fresher’s dorm, it is so easy to meet new people and there is a good mix of local and international students. 99% of the locals in my dorm are freshmen so it’s nice to have other exchange students so I don’t feel too old! I live in a flat of 3 girls and 4 guys, we each have our own room and all share a kitchen. It might not be the prettiest or the most spacious but it already feels like home. The 7 of us have a family dinner every Monday since we all have busy school schedules and like to cook together at least once a week.

School: Academics here have some similarities to UW but are very different in terms of assessments. Lectures and seminars (quiz sections) are the same style and size and the professors are all nice and knowledgeable. However, the reading requirements are much heavier here and they only grade you on a single essay at the end of the year (about 3000 words). I am taking 5 classes which keeps me busy but allows me time to take trips on weekends and go out during the week.

Nightlife: Being 20 years old, it is so nice to live in the UK! Since there are so many universities in the area, Manchester has one of the best nightlife scenes in the UK. There is always something going on every night and there are too many bars and clubs to count. It can get a bit pricey on the weekends but a lot of students go out on weeknights when there are good deals. The first week of school, known as fresher’s week, was exhausting but so much fun! I managed to make it out 10 days in a row before I finally couldn’t stay awake another night.

Also, just as a side note, if you are a music lover, Manchester is the place for you. I couldn’t believe how many bands/singers/Djs come here! From Armin Van Buuren to The Band Perry to Trey Songz they have so many concerts at decent prices.

I guess to sum it up, you’re never short on things to do here.

Spring Break in Australia!

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

By: Graham Brew, Foster Undergraduate

One benefit about spending August through December in the Southern Hemisphere is getting a second spring and a second summer. And with a second spring, comes a second spring break!  I rented a van with four of my European friends, threw four surf boards in the car, and took off on a giant ten day road trip up the coast of Australia.

Our first stop was a city about 1100KM north of Sydney called Surfers Paradise. The comparisons I’ve heard the most are a mini Miami or Vegas. We stayed at an 18 dollar a night hostel, which was questionable to say the least. I was woken up the first morning with police in the room kicking someone out. The longest resident of the hostel makes sand sculptures for a living. It was quite an experience.  The beaches were amazing though, being so far north of Sydney the weather was also much better.

Stop number two was the beautiful town of Byron Bay. A much different feel from Surfers, Byron is known for being a small, laid back, hipster town. We visited the different surrounding beaches every day and made a hike up the famous Byron Bay lighthouse. It’s the most easterly point of mainland Australia. In Byron we were able to use our surf boards every day. I’m not like the local Australians but I like to think I’m getting better. By the end of the trip, I was standing up on the board at least a few times every surf session. It definitely hurts your ego though when you see the local ten year old boys making it look so simple.

It was a great experience traveling in a group where I was the only American. My group consisted of two Brits, a Dane, and a Frenchman. The diversity made the trip much more entertaining, and in a way educational. My Danish friend made a video of everywhere we went, it’s a little corny but I suggest you check it out.

Its Pronounced “Zed” not “Zee”: NZ

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

By: Jasmine Reliford, Foster Undergraduate

While I am all for quarters over semesters, the one great thing is the mid-semester break. While some stayed in Sydney and others visited the Gold Coast, I decided to visit Australia’s neighbor, New Zealand. I headed to the capital city, Wellington, for fun, food, and freedom from exams, readings and homework. Throughout my 10 day trip I visited the Wellington Zoo; spent a day in the national museum, Te Papa (free access), where I learned about the aboriginal culture of NZ (the Maori); went to see an authentic kiwi comedy (which was confusing to understand the humor); walked along the Waterfront; road the SINGLE cable car in the city; experienced the BEST Indian food and Mexican food I have had since I have been abroad; and really embraced the kiwi culture by relaxing in the sun (when there was sun, Wellington is notorious for being cold).

Many people think that Aussies and Kiwis should be grouped together. But that is like saying Americans and Canadians are the same. While their accents are difficult for me to distinguish between, their cultures are night and day. While Aussies pronounce “Hay-ch” instead of “H”, Kiwis use “keen” and “reckon” 100 times a day. The aboriginal culture of NZ is extremely present as all of their buildings have both English and Maori instructions. Aussies embraces the extreme rivalry between their two nations (think about how Americans feel about Canadians) while Kiwis question the intensity of the Aussie spirit. Kiwis embrace the outdoors by walking barefoot everywhere, while Aussies in Sydney enjoy their professional attire. Though I stayed in a small city there was much to do and see and learn. One thing the cultures have in common is their love for Americans and the US as well as their kind and laid back nature. If you are thinking about Australia, definitely take a trip to NZ (Z as in Zed) because you won’t be disappointed!

 

Being a Mancunian

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

By: Andrea Gagliano, Foster Undergraduate

When I first came to Manchester I was not a fan of the city. It was very dreary, cloudy, and I didn’t feel that I belonged – mainly because I knew nobody. This changed very quickly! I now love every day in Manchester whether I am enjoying a night out, studying in the library, or learning quirky words from my English flatmates. When the school year starts, Manchester fills with university (uni) students and it transforms into a very lively city. There is a vibrant music scene (similar to Seattle but bigger and cheaper), a lot of quaint pubs, and a nonstop nightlife just a bus ride away if you want it.  There are also a lot of ways to explore outside of the city. I joined the hiking club and went out on a beautiful sunny day last weekend to “scramble” my way to the highest peak in Wales. The scramble was a half hike and half rock climb along the top ridge of a mountain. Of course, I also got all decked out in red and went to a football (soccer) game – Manchester United versus Newcastle. Being in an English football stadium is such a different experience than in the US. It’s a very pure showing of football. No glitzy lights, music, or other ways of entertaining the crowd. It was refreshing to just purely watch the game and see the die-hard fans break out into song. And, in the last couple minutes of the game, someone from the stands jumped the gate and ran out on the field in mid-play.

The first week I was here, we had orientation all week with other business students which made it extremely easy to meet other students. I’ve met people from all over the world including almost every country in Europe! In classes, it is really interesting to hear references to the US and to US companies. The class structure here is different from UW, because there are two hours of lectures a week, so you are expected to do a lot of independent reading on your own time. Also, there is just one exam at the end of the semester which your entire mark depends on. Although the classes will be challenging, each one so far seems really interesting.