By Lacey Nemergut
Bentley has often impressed the collegiate community with its unique opportunities for short term trips abroad, but in this instance, it’s extended the realm of possibilities. This year’s May intensive offering, “Case Studies in Transforming Economies of Europe,” presents a unique collaboration between Professor Joel Deichmann and eager student, Shivam Senjalia.
The team began work for the trip in 2012, following Professor Deichmann’s long-standing history with the Balkan course, dating back to 2007. The two co-authored a scholarly article entitled Public Perceptions of Political and economic Transformation in Croatia and BIH: A Pilot Study, published in the Regional Science Inquiry in 2013 and supported by Shivam’s Valente Center Student Research assistant grant.
“Recognizing from working with Shivam on our co-authored project that he is an exceptional student, passionate about the Balkans and one who is extraordinarily eager to explore and learn, I asked him to take a student-leadership role in the 2013 course offering as well,” said Professor Deichmann. “Knowing “the basics” of how my STPs are run from the previous year, Shivam was instrumental in assisting with our rather large group of 15.”
Professor Deichmann initiated this class under the title “Transforming Economies of Europe” beginning in 2001, escorting students to the Czech Republic and nearby nations. The course at this time focused on the transition economies of Yugoslavia, caused in part by the country’s civil war between 1992 and 1995.
“We try to balance government visits, company visits, university lectures, cultural/historical activities and free time for students to pursue their own interests,” said Professor Deichmann. “The rule of thumb is two group activities per day (one in the morning, one in the afternoon), with free time in the evenings.”
The trip this year offers a unique insight into the country of Serbia. Students are provided with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet and converse with Serbian students, gaining a fresh insight on first-hand experience throughout their parents’ ordeal through the civil war and economic prospects.
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