Exchange Slovakia October 2016: “The Key to Successful International Entrepreneurship”
The second exchange including students, teachers, municipality representatives and companies’ representatives took place from 09 - 14 October 2016. The evet was hosted by Obchodna academia Martin. The programme for this week is enclosed as a separate document (Annex 1). This document provides a short description of each day and records the agreements that were made.
On Sunday the 9th of October, delegations from the Netherlands and the Czech Republic arrived in Martin. Students/teachers/municipalities and companies representatives were present. List of attendance is enclosed as separate document (Annex 2). They were welcomed by Ivana Pisna at Snowland Resort in Valca, 15 km away from Martin where all the participants were accommodated and the programme of the upcoming week was explained in more detail. The students enjoyed seeing each other for the second time, socialized and relaxed after long journey.
On Monday the 10th of October, the entire delegation was received at the City Hall of Martin. 60 students, 14 teachers and 4 representatives were officially welcomed by the mayor of Martin, Imrich Zigo. Pictures were taken and used in news articles released in printed and electronic versions and as a shot in local TV: (Annex 3, 4 and 6)
After the Mayor’s speech, all participants were taken on a city walk through Martin which was organised and led by the Slovak students. They learned more about the rich history of the city, which is considered the cultural centre of the whole of Slovakia and were shown numerous sightseeing of national significance, such as Slovak National Library, Slovak National Cemetery, Martin Chamber Theatre, etc. The Dutch and Slovak delegations were also acknowledged about the current economic situation of the region.
After lunch at Obchodna akademia the group was welcomed officially at the school premises by the Principal, Mrs. Elena Siranova and a cultural programme prepared by the Slovak students took place. The students gave a few presentations about Obchodna akademia, the city of Martin and Slovakia in general, followed by music and dance performances and a tour of the school building. Compared to Alfa College, Obchodna akademia offers limited fields of studies, Business Administration and Leisure studies, as the structure of Slovak educational system differs from the one in NL and vocational schools tend to be divided into several smaller schools, each of them specializing on particular fields. Nevertheless, we were proud to show our partner groups how traditional our school is as its establishment dates back to 1885, when Slovak nation was still part of Austro-Hungarian monarchy.
Later on in the afternoon the students were involved in buddy-system interactive games and they met their buddies in person again. The programme for the rest of the week was presented, company visits for the next day were discussed and presentations were practised by Czech and Dutch students, monitored by teachers with assistance of Slovak students.
Meanwhile teachers, municipalities and company’s representatives were analysing draft version of KSIE website, discussing in detail particular sections, evaluating work which had been performed by the Czech colleagues. Individual sections were brainstormed, completed, further improvements suggested and missing information agreed to be sent by SVK and NL parties, so they might be replenished by the CZ webmaster.
The Intellectual Output on “Global citizenship” was modified and its title reshaped to “Young International Entrepreneur” as after the first mobility and mutual discussions this title seems more appropriate and fitting the scheme of our whole Erasmus + project.
Tuesday, the 11th of October involved company visits for the Business students. Students were paired up with their Slovak buddies or if insisted by the company CEOs by SVK teachers and they accompanied them to the companies in the area that might be interested in the product they would like to sell/export. All students visited 1-3 companies during the two following two days, depending on how suitable the potential business link had been found.
The Tourism students stayed at Obchodna akademia and received a welcome at Forum of Tourism lead by the representatives of five travel agencies operating in the town of Martin and on the regional scene. In turn, the students presented the hotels/restaurants/travel agencies/companies they represent and the travel agencies provided them with detailed feedback and useful tips.
The travel agencies let a drop hint to the Dutch companies it might be more challenging to penetrate Slovak market as the Slovak tourists are not used to camping kind of holidays in large-scale and prefer all-inclusive or package kind of holidays. On the other hand, the market is open and the Dutch companies should use the advantage of originality and unique selling product.
The Czech companies presented are more likable to enter the Slovak market because of close cultural background and similar holiday preferences. After this, the Tourism students had individual sessions with particular Travel agencies acknowledging students whether there is a potential cooperation possible and if not, they gave reasonable arguments.While students were busy visiting companies or being listened by the Travel agencies, the teachers and representatives met up with Hanneke Smid (responsible for the financial aspects of the project and overall monitoring) and the project and budget were explained and scrutinised. Both SVK and CZ parties took active role in the meeting as they wished to make financial issues clear, too. The following items needed a follow up:
- The length of the KSIE project was prolonged, and agreed by EU office, by 6 months.
- Mrs Hanneke Smid came to new findings at her visit at EU office in Brussels. Due to EU regulations all transnational meetings have to be performed within the participating countries only. Therefore 5th meeting, including teachers and municipality and companies’ representatives will be held, as all three parties agreed, in Prague, CZ, because of its strategic location in September 2017.
- Multiplier events are scheduled AFTER the project ends, within the six months prolonged period.
In the afternoon the teachers worked on the IO’s again. We discussed the KSIE website and Young International Entrepreneur pedagogical module:
- Website KSIE:
Should contain the following
- Basis facts
- Goals of the project
- Study materials
- Interesting links
- Press release
- Pedagogical module:
The module is titled: "YIE", Young International Entrepreneurship. The chapters include following topics:
- (International) Entrepreneurship, what does it entail?
- The guidelines to a solid Business Plan
- Intercultural awareness/differences
- The importance and benefits of social media
- Presentation and communication skills
- Forms of business organisations
- Entrance strategy
- Marketing mix
- Distribution (Transport/Insurance/ Incoterms)
On Wednesday the 12th October, more company visits were scheduled for the Business students. After they completed the last visit, they had to prepare for their final presentation on Wednesday afternoon, they should have resulted in in a GO or NO GO for their companies. The Tourism students continued with their presentations in school premises in front of Touristic information Centre representatives and Martin’s Department of Foreign Affairs representative. Later on after lunch all Dutch and Czech students processed their findings in a PowerPoint/Prezi presentations for the afternoon.
The teachers met up again to discuss the IO’s.
In the afternoon the final presentations were given by the students. Teachers of all three countries gave the students expertise and feedback evaluation. The results of marketing research of the Business students were very good. Most of the students did really well and succeeded in opening potential business cooperation with the companies they presented for. Some of the students were so eager to open up international cooperation for their home company that they took their own initiative and started addressing potential business partners in the region of Martin.
In the evening we went to “Pasaz restaurant” in the town centre and enjoyed a lovely meal. We toasted on a very successful, busy and fun week and enjoyed the whole evening!
On Thursday the 13th October, the NL and CZ groups enjoyed a great day off. SVK party organised a trip to the highest mountains of Slovakia and National park at the same time, called Vysoke Tatry (High Tatras). Its altitude is between 1,300 – 2,600 m a.s.l. Due to foggy weather and limited sportswear of students, the group could go to Strbske pleso walk (1360 m a.s.l). However, the whole group enjoyed the first season snow!
Friday, the 14th October was the final mobility day. The farewell took place in the morning due to early flight of NL group back to Hoogeveen. The CZ group also left in the morning after saying goodbye and final speeches given by the teachers.
To be continued in February in Czech Jicin...
- Programme - Slovak Exchange October 2016
Word doc attached
- List of attandance
Excel doc attached
- Press release – Zivot Turca (print newspaper article)
2 scans attached – Part 1 – Article of April 2016/NL mobility; Part 2 – Article of October 2016/Svk mobility
- Press release – Turiec online (online newspaper article)
- Press release – TV Turiec (TV channel spot) – January 2016 – Mt Mesko – young inspirational entrepreneur giving lecture to SVK students, later on distributed to NL and CZ students too
time – 4.17 min
- Press release – TV Turiec (TV channel spot) – October 2016 (SVK exchange)
time – 12.37 min