The purpose of studying abroad is to have learning experiences that we cannot get from staying on our university's campus. I went on the International Business study abroad trip so hearing from the locals in Prague and Berlin was the point of the trip. Just seeing people in their work environments in Europe is so different than the typical US office. At each company we visited, we heard from people that are extremely passionate about their work. 

Seeing people passionate about their work, made us as students interested in their work. We would often run out of time as the questions asked, would provoke long conversations. We visited larger companies like Budweiser Budvar, Nike, and Skoda (a car company owned by Volkswagen). Along with a local glass-making company, a German-focused PR firm, and a Czech chocolate store. Each one of these people had their own story personally and professionally. While the larger companies were exciting, the passion in the people at smaller companies was truly inspiring. 

Getting to know people in everyday situations can be equally as interesting. The German and Czech people are not as keen on small talk as Americans, so when they do start a conversation it is so special. When we would go out as a larger group, waiters would ask us about why we were there. They were fascinated by us coming to visit companies in their cities. 

If you're lucky, the locals may open up to you! In the company situations, we got to hear much more about the people, as they would often give a brief personal history. While out one night, we met people our age who were traveling from Russia, Israel, and even others studying abroad from other parts of the US.