Max - WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management

M. International Economics and Finance
Semester 2, 2018

Academic experience

I got the opportunity to do some really interesting subjects in comparison to the Econ subjects on offer at UQ. I studied: Strategy Making in Professional Football; Venture Capital finance; sustainable operations management; Industrial organisation for entrepreneurs; and Value Creation in Family Firms. These subjects and WHU in general focused heavily on group work with presentations as assessment. What I liked about each of these subjects is they had so much real life application. For example in the football we got the opportunity to go to Dortmund and pitch an idea to change the fan experience in front of one of the board members along with 6 people from the marketing team at BVB. For the family firm we had to source a family run company, we chose Vogel communications; we drove out there one day and received a 1.5 hour tour and 1.5 hour interview of the 5 board members of a 1000 employee company, was a very rewarding experience. Other math based subjects (accounting, finance) generally comprised of a 100% final exam. WHU offers German language courses throughout the semester with levels: A1, A1.1, A2, B1 and B2, I attended the first 6 weeks of A1 and took a lot from it, it sets you up with a nice amount of vocab. I only stopped because I traveled too much and fell behind.

Personal experience

Gained some very good friends that lived in the same building as me, from all over the world.
Im not sure if much happens in semester 1 however semester two was packed with events including: Oktoberfest; Euromasters; christmas markets; Carnival; and good weather (Sep-Nov).
Everyone at the school is very passionate about WHU, they are quick to put events on an organise activities. They love a drink, to work, and networking; I don't think the local students slept that much.

Accommodation

Winery near Vallendar.

I lived in 34 Höhrer Srtaße. I would recommend this as there is about 80 students living in here with 40 being exchange. The close friends I made all lived in this building and it was very easy being close to other exchange students. I would also recommend Smart flats, very similar set up.

Budget

I probably spent about $18 000 Aud all up, rent was 2100 EUR. I traveled about 30 days of the semester too. This is my second time on exchange and I would recommend taking $20 000 at least. Last time I didn't save enough and was asking mum and dad for money along with watching my friends go off on holiday while staying at uni (everyone leaves uni towns like Vallendar on weekends), very stressful and not enjoyable. This time I easily had enough and it made it so much easier being able to say yes to everything without worrying about money.

Challenge

Lost my phone on the last day so pretty annoying on the way home.

Professional development

Mentioned two in subjects section. German students are very studious so will work hard, they love a group discussion and had many presentations which I think has rubbed off a bit.

Highlight

I went skiing near Innsbruck, was very cool.
At WHU they host these parties in a cellar which is under the university, throughout semester Tauchies (international students) host a night every Tuesday to raise money. With the money we hosted a party towards the end with free beer etc.

Top tips

This university is great for passionate students and great involvement with the university both professionally and socially. Be advised it is in a small town of 8000 people with 1 main road and not a lot else. Vallendar is in an excellent location in Europe to travel to many places so it isn't much of a problem. Also hit up Grill Time if you go, best kebab in Germany.

Max - WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management