Did you miss me? It’s been a while, but I’ve got plenty to share from my Public Finance Core Course Study Tour last week. We split our time between Frankfurt, Germany and Strasbourg, France, so I’ll give each city its own post this week.
The financial capital of Germany, and arguably the EU (sorry London!), Frankfurt has skyscrapers that dwarf Stockholm’s skyline.
Frankfurt’s strong financial sector earns it the nickname, Maimhattan (A clever play on Frankfurt’s full name, Frankfurt au Maim). But the booming economy hasn’t driven out the charm- Frankfurt still has beautiful churches and a lovely park surrounding the city. As we learned on our guided walking tour, this park is the site of a defensive wall Napoleon ordered destroyed upon conquering the city in the 1800’s. The city also borders the Rhine river, a great waterfront for runs, where I ran all the way to the European Central Bank (ECB) headquarters.
The ECB headquarters were one of our several academic visits, all lead by students. Each of us got to present on an organization in class, and lead the group to the physical site once in the city. These responsibilities allow students to engage with the organizations while developing our soft skills and business etiquette. My organization was the Council of Europe, in Strasbourg.
From discussing monetary policy for Euro Area with a Principle Economist at the ECB to learning about local initiatives at Frankfurt’s Economic Development Center, the academic visits really helped build on our in-class work and connect it to the real world.
Fun Times in Frankfurt:
Our 3 days in Frankfurt had plenty of free time and regional dishes at local restaurants. On our walking tour we explored the historic old town square, whose famous Christmas markets have been copied in the United Kingdom.
We also tried Apfelwein, a regional specialty served in a ceramic pitcher. Though an acquired taste, I enjoyed it and the tavern’s impressive array of decorations. We had plenty of free time to explore the city, both during the day and at night. I took a long run along the Rhine and through Frankfurt’s city park (10 miles!) and went to several traditional bars with some of my friends and professor. These were great experiences that brought us together, and brought out our passion for foosball!
All in all, we packed educational visits, cultural activities, and time roaming the city into three full days in Frankfurt. I really feel I got a great sense of life in this important city from speaking with business leaders and interacting with local people. Our trip leaders were fantastic planners and travel partners, and our entire group had gotten much closer by the time we boarded our Tuesday morning train to Strasbourg.
Stay tuned for part 2 on Friday!
Later this Week:
Strasbourg! We spent 4 days in this border-city, and I absolutely loved it (even more than Frankfurt!)
Brisket and green sauce from a local tavern, mmm… Technically this was a second dinner for me (I eat A LOT), and I chose this regional dish off recommendation from Sofie, our DIS staff member. The green sauce is a mixture of sour cream, yogurt, and herbs, and tastes like a more fragrant sour cream (shocker, I know). It paired well with the beef, but it still isn’t my favorite German food (sausages with sauerkraut still reign supreme).