Posted By: PatriciaByrne
Posted On: January 24th, 2019
Attending: Cork Institute of Technology

Last week, the MSc in International Business class took a “field trip” to Belgium for a five-day intensive immersion into “non Irish” culture. The trip focused on the skills required to develop business opportunities in new markets and a thorough understanding of the EU and Irelands place in it.

To give you a better idea to what was included in the trip, below is a list of highlights.


Factory Visits:

Mercedes-Benz Maastricht

DHL Aviation Centre

AB InBev: Interactive tour of the world’s largest brewing company’s European headquarters.

Living Tomorrow – Company that specialises in Future Technologies

European Parliament

Business Europe

Embassy of Ireland, Brussels

Microsoft Innovation Centre




Featured Speakers:

Mr Liam McHale, Director, Irish Farmers Association

Mr Shane Lyster, Senior European Affairs Executive, IBEC

Ms Jessie Fernandes, Adviser, Business Europe

Mr Frederik Lange, Economic Adviser, Business Europe

Mr. Mark Lange: Director, EU Institutional Relations, Microsoft

Mrs. Liadh Ni Riada MEP

Mrs. Deirdre Clune MEP

Mr. Thor Tieleman’s, Mercedes-Benz

Mr. Ciarán Conlon , Director of Public Policy, Microsoft.

Helena Nolan, Irish Ambassador to Belgium


Throughout these visits, we were responsible for a continuous reflection log, as well as a group presentation regarding the benefits of Ireland’s membership in the European Union. So, as one can imagine, this trip was quite exhausting, but as an American student, living in a foreign country, attending numerous European hubs for businesses and politics, in the wake of Brexit, hearing from Irish representatives… incredible all at the same time. The trip reiterated the the importance of being an active and engaged citizen, regardless of what country your passport reads, and further inspired me to make consistent efforts in seeking to make a positive impact both at home and abroad.





You two better be writing stuff down, because you know not everyone gets to do this right?

Coach Pat Price

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