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30 posts categorized "Berlin Global"

Weekend 2: Fußball, Flea Markets, Fun!

Our students had a busy second weekend in Berlin! Instead of heading out of town to one of Germany's smaller cities we stayed near our home base to take some more time to explore the city!

We started the weekend off Friday afternoon with a trip to Olympiastadion, the site of the 1936 Olympic games and the home stadium of Berlin's Hertha BSC team.  We got a tour of the grounds, the VIP, section and learned a little more about local soccer culture and the history of the stadium.

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Saturday we continued our immersion in Berlin sports and traveled to a smaller stadium to see another local soccer team play.  The game was rained out, but we still had a great time, since the weather did not deter the great attitude of the Berlin Union fan's  and their love for their team! WhatsApp Image 2017-07-24 at 9.22.47 AM
WhatsApp Image 2017-07-24 at 9.22.47 AM
WhatsApp Image 2017-07-24 at 9.22.47 AM

On Sunday we switched gears and had a museum morning at the Jewish Museum.  We spent a few hours exploring the history of the Jewish people in Germany from the Roman period, through the Holocaust, up through today, and could have easily spent more time with the museums extensive exhibitions. WhatsApp Image 2017-07-24 at 9.22.40 AM

Afterwards since we had good weather we went to Mauerpark, a Berlin Sunday staple to explore the flea market, crafts, food stalls, graffiti artists and public karaoke in the park!

Everyone is excited for one more week here in Berlin that will be packed with cultural and historical excursions and of course the final entrepreneurship presentations! 

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Business Presentations and Winners

As mentioned before, the students conducted both primary research (first-hand surveying) and secondary research (reviewing articles, statistics and outside sources) to inform the Bonial staff about the potential market for their two digital products in Berlin, a voice assistant application and a coupon-collecting feature in their retail app.

Along with working on their projects, the students had a very busy schedule of being active tourists and visiting Berlin’s most famous sights. Despite their busy schedule, each group worked diligently, overcame inter-group struggles and differences in opinions, and successfully completed fantastic presentations.

Overall, they learned how to conduct market research, understand target markets, review competitors, create competitive advantages, and work collectively as a team. They learned a lot and after a week long of hard work, our students were ready to contribute their findings to Bonial.

Please have a look at the presentations below and check out who the second place and grand prize winners were.

From right to left: Benjamin Filio, Joseph, Stella, and Pat


Donia, Georgia, Jullit and Brandy

Dominique, Natalie, Amelia, and Yuyang

Tyler, Joshua, and Florian

Grace, Benjamin F, and JosephIMG_8195

Second Place!!
From right to left: Max, Ethan, Michael, and Jeremy


The Winning Team!!!
From right to left: Yuyang, Dominique, Amelia, Natalie, Will


Congratulations to the winners!! And thank you all for your hard work! We are very proud of all of you! -Robyn

Student Takeover -- Berlin

Hello out there! We have been having great fun here in Berlin. Today, we allowed a student to write the blog post. Have a look into one of our activities from an inside view! Thanks a lot for reading. -Robyn

Here is Ben with friends! (far left)

Unnamed (1)


Hello! Guten tag! My name is Benjamin Filio III, and I’m a global navigator currently in Session 2 of Global Entrepreneurship in Berlin. 

So far, it’s been a great experience balancing between learning about the definition of an entrepreneur and also being a tourist in Berlin (albeit constant texts from unsatisfied family members back in the US demanding constant updates). From the Brandenburg Gate to the Mall of Berlin and even to the border between Germany and Poland, I’ve managed to check off several things on my bucket list.

Monday, July 17, 2017, after an intense morning of presentations for Bonial, we went off on a tour revolving around the condition of Syrian refugees in Berlin. Unfortunately, the U-Bahn (the subway system) broke down, so we had to take taxis and walk to the location, taking off precious time.  Prior to this tour, I’ve only read about the Syrian refugee crisis, but today I met a Syrian refugee face-to-face.

Our tour guide used to be a businessman in addition to managing a factory in Damascus. During the Arab Spring in 2010, he decided to stay in Damascus, but after 5 years of living in the midst of the Syrian Civil War, watching his business and factory decompose, and losing everything, he finally decided to escape the country as a refugee.  

Once he left Syria, there was no going back. Smugglers would kill anyone who attempted turn back because they were witnesses to their illegal smuggling. The refugees had no choice but to press on the perilous route. When they reached the coast, the smuggler crammed 47 people into a small raft made for 20 people, and set them off on their own without any guidance whatsoever. He was one of the lucky people that managed to reach the shores of Greece, but others did not have much luck. At this point, I thought about how similar this was to the Vietnam War, where masses of people were leaving the country. I remembered one of my friend’s mom reminiscing about how she knew countless families that did not survive the journey out of Vietnam. In this conflict, we see several news articles about rafts containing refugees sinking, leading to the deaths of thousands of people attempting to escape their country, one notable example being the young Syrian toddler who washed upon the shores of Greece.

The tour guide then asked us to describe a refugee in one word. Hope. Desperation. Terrorist. We realized that there were so many negative connotations with the word refugee, that we pin so much hatred toward people who are just looking for a better life, who are just trying to escape persecution and death, who have physically and emotionally lost everything. They had only two choices: to take flight or take death.

As we moved along the tour, we started to learn about how Syrian refugees live once they reach Berlin. Until they receive residence from the German government, they are placed in refugee camps throughout Berlin. In my tour guide’s case, he was sent to the camp in Tempelhof, which was known as a “bad camp.” He stayed there in horrible conditions for 5 months before receiving residence, when he was finally allowed to get a job and buy food outside of the facility. When many people claim that refugees are only dead weight, let it be known that they do not choose to be unproductive. The government prevents them from making a living.

After that, he handed us some cards written with Arabic words, and we were led to Sonnenallee also known as “Arabic Street” where we were asked to identify store names. My particular card could be romanized as “Foto Farid,” but the only way we could identify it was to compare the store name against the card. The activity was intended to help us realize how hard it was to adjust to a new setting, having to familiarize yourself with a new language let alone a new writing system, and just how lost one can feel.

Despite this, our tour guide offered us words of hope. The Arabic street in Berlin existed as a result of many Arabs coming together to feel a sense of home, to act as a familiar meeting place for some and a place of comfort for others that are away from home. If anything, it bears resemblance to Chinatowns, Little Tokyos, Little Athens, and other places where people can experience home away from home.

Our last stop on the tour was a refugee café, where both refugees and local Germans come to communicate and coexist with each other. The tour guide left us with one final note: that people create discrimination and separation with their own minds. It is up to us to erase those prejudices, to break those pre-existing barriers that prevent us from peace.

When the tour concluded, my group decided to go back to Arabic street for one last stop: a restaurant called Yasmin Alsham for some Syrian food. While Yasmin is just a name to differentiate the restaurant, the tour guide told us earlier that Alsham was another name for Damascus, which insinuated that this restaurant was designed to cater to both those missing the tastes of their homeland and for those wishing to try Syrian food. A few of us decided to get Schawarma, a toasted chicken wrap with sour cream and other vegetables. Based on my tastes, I would definitely go back to the restaurant and eat it again. Just not too much, Syrian food has a way of getting you full quickly.

With satisfied stomachs, we found our way back to G-27, just in time for curfew.

Albeit the earlier inconvenience (the U-Bahn breaking down), this tour was a complete change of pace from the usual day of scurrying around trying to do as many touristy things as possible. This refugee tour further opened my eyes to the crisis that is ongoing not only in Syria, but in other parts of the world where people are fleeing persecution en masse to conditions which may oppress them even further. Although my voice is not yet loud enough to reach everyone, I implore everyone reading this post to not condone refugees just because of their status. Because before they were forced to move, they were regular people living regular lives. Just like you and me.

I’ll end this blog post with a famous quotation. 

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view … until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” - Atticus Finch, To Kill A Mockingbird

Danke schön, and find me later photobombing posts from the Global Navigators Program! Tschuss!

- Benjamin Filio III

(P.S. Shoutout to my friends that are either going to or have went on CIEE programs! Ivana is currently in Portugal studying Aquatic Ecosystems & Sustainability in Portugal, and Alexis is learning Spanish Language & Peruvian Culture in Pisac! Adelyne was in Session I of Japanese Language & Culture in Tokyo, and Ivanna was in Session I of Spanish Language & Culture in Spain! Catch them on other blog posts, and thank you for making it this far! :P)


To Görlitz and Back Again!

Liebe Leser und Leserinnen,


Our group just got back from an exciting weekend trip to the city of Görlitz where we were able to experience a very different side of Germany to busy Berlin!  On Saturday morning we headed east, taking the renowned Deutsche Bahn train through the German countryside to our destination about three hours away.  


As we got off the train and walked through the city to our hostel, our students were initially disappointed to find a sleepy town.  However, once we reached to the center of town we found the annual Tippelmarkt or pottery market in full swing, with visitors and locals enjoying food, music, and a celebration of traditional crafts!  We were able to take the afternoon to explore Görlitz's unique history at their Museum, check out the market, and of course sample some German snacks.




In the evening we continued to a restaurant to get our fill of more traditional dishes including beef Rollade and sauerkraut, Spaetzle, for those who were brave enough, blood sausage!  To walk off our German feast we took a final stroll to the Neisse River where from which we could see Görlitz's Polish sister city of Zgorzelec.




After a night in our hostel we were able to begin our leisurely bus ride home, stopping at Bad Muskau Park, a world heritage site that also shares a border with Poland.  We got a great tour from a local historian and learned about the 17th century founding of the park, it's castle and it's eccentric founder, Prince Pückler!



After a weekend of travel we arrived back at the CIEE Study Center for a quiet evening before the student's first entreneurship presentation tomorrow!  


Bis zum naechstes Mal! Until next time!

(All photos by Kate Wheeler)

Berlin Global Entrepreneurship Meets Bonial Post (Continued w/ Photos)

As our last blog post explains, the students here at the Berlin Global Entrepreneurship Program met the tech-savy enterprise Bonial.

Bonial and the CIEE students are working together to form case studies, interviews and assessments on the Berliner consumer market. Here are more photos from this day, enjoy!



Berlin Case Studies Introduction: Bonial

The Berlin Global Discovery students have been introduced to a local entrepreneurial enterprise to begin their in-depth research. On Tuesday, the group visited Bonial to learn about their work, and to begin professional collaboration with this world-renowned business.


Photo by Pierce Callister

Who is Bonial? 

Bonial helps retailers promote their products and increase sales by using the Internet to contact local consumers in their region. Their offices are in the USA, Germany, France, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Brazil, Spain, Mexico, Colombia and Chile. They're a big deal, with over a million partners and customers world-wide! Click here to learn more about how they work.

Bonial professionals spoke about two products they are looking to integrate into the Berliner market: 

  1. The Amazon Echo, the voice-controlled intelligent personal assistant service named Alexa 
  2. A German Version of the Retale Coupon App 

Our students are being tasked to use both qualitative and quantitative research to prove whether or not these products can succeed in Berlin. In understanding why or why not, the students split into small groups and spent two days interviewing at least 20 Berliners per group. This experience proved very useful, as the students learned first-hand what Berliners think of these products. This interviewing experience is a college-level task, and everyone was SO impressive with their results and determination. Once again, this group is proving themselves to be mature and successful entrepreneurs! 


Here are some snapshots from the afternoon spent at the Bonial Berlin headquarters:

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Stay tuned for more! At the moment, everyone is hard at work towards a professional presentation for Bonial employees. If I do say so myself, Bonial is lucky to be collaborating with our CIEE Global Entrepreneurship Students :)



Written by Program Leader Mary Kate Mueller 


Young Berliners: Becoming Locals in Germany's Capital

If yesterday was the day of introduction, then today was the day of acclimation. On the first day, the young Global Entrepreneurs had a busy but thrilling entry into the culture-packed capital. Then Day 2 we were finally able to interact with our bustling neighborhood and get to know Berlin first-hand. 

Our students went with program leaders through our neighborhood in the heart of the large city and were shown places from cozy cafés and convenience stores to ATMs and bike paths. They learned how to separate trash into the environmentally-conscious German waste bins, and they accomplished shopping independently for groceries and preparing their own dinners. They would make Momma proud! 

Later, we took a trip to the famous Spree River by subway. Some of the students were new to using public transportation but their program leaders quickly showed them the ropes of catching the correct trains and switching platforms. We took a guided tour along the water, admiring the city's diverse architecture and landscapes depicting its rich history. As global travelers, the students learned useful German phrases such as "Entschulding," (excuse me) "bitte schön" (please) and "vielen Dank," (thank you very much), while we, as leaders, got to understand their entrepreneurial dreams, German culture interests and language and travel wanderlust.  

It was a successful day, and it was great to see our global explorers become Berliners! 

Please enjoy some pictures of downtown from the River Tour below. Thanks to Jackson again for the shots! And to Luis, Tshetrim, and Justin for being models!


Freidrichstraße am Weidendamm.

At 368 meters high, the TV tower is the highest point in Berlin. 

The Global Entrepreneurs (Luis and Tshetrim) listen intently to the tales of Berlin's museums, sights and buildings. 

Justin cheerfully photo documents his experience. 

Let The Fun Begin! CIEE Global Entrepreneurship Students Have Arrived

Monday, July 10, 2017

Today marks the first day of this summer's Session 2 Global Entrepreneurship Program here at CIEE. I know I don't just speak for myself when I say how excited I am to be in Berlin! With a sunny, clear morning, this campus is looking beautiful. These pictures are taken by our group's talented student photographer, Jackson Trager. Thanks again Jackson!



After a day jam-packed with flights, orientations and settling in, I can confidently declare that this group is amazing and determined! We all had a pizza dinner, Abendessen, together as a group.


Even after a long day, I overheard conversations with questions like, "What is culture?", and, "I am in Germany?!". The students are setting the stage to discovering this multicultural and signifiant German city. 

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for more. 

Written by, Mary Kate Mueller


Meet the fabulous Team! (From left to right) Robyn, Mary Kate, Kate, Trudi and Kate!






Meet Your Session 2 Program Leader: Molly Krueger








Hallo global entrepreneurs!

My name is Molly Krueger and I'm excited to be heading Berlin with this year's Global Entrepreneurship Program and happy to share a little more about myself!

I'm originally from New York and moved to Maine for college where I have lived ever since. I graduated from Bowdoin College with a German degree and spent time studying in Berlin in 2012. I'll be moving to California this fall to start my PhD in German where I'll be studying literature and teaching German language!

In addition to my passion for German and Germany, I also have some experience relating to the entrepreneurship side of our trip. I've spent the bulk of the last 4 years working at one of Maine's many craft breweries managing their digital media and marketing. I've learned a lot about small business through my work there, and it has been a fascinating time to be involved with the beer industry in Maine as it grows and changes!

I'm so thrilled to dust the cobwebs off my German and head back to my favorite city with students who are excited to discover it! I am very much looking forward to meeting you all this weekend! Bis dann!



The countdown to Berlin is on! Are you excited?

My name is Kate; I'm a returning program leader for the Global Discovery program in Berlin, Germany. I'm looking forward to getting to know the new group of students, introduce them to the Start-Up scene in Berlin and help them with their business plans! 

A bit about myself....I'm originally from Vermont, but made my way to Europe shortly after graduating from the University of New Hampshire. I lived in Germany for two years, learned the language, bought a dirndl (traditional dress) and ate so.much.strudel. Shortly after my time in Germany I enrolled in a Master's degree in Europe and have spent the last two years studying Education and International Development. My degree is part of an Erasmus Mundus Consortium program where students live and study in a new country every semester. So far I've been in Spain, Holland, Malta and recently completed my dissertation research in Cuba. 

The combination of study and travel has allowed me to dig deeper, going beyond a superficial understand in the countries I visit. Our students should be prepared for this type of full immersion in Germany. Berlin is a city with a unique creative energy and we will keep you busy discovering all it has to offer. Wir sehen uns bald. Ich freue mich!