European Union (EU) 2020

Madrid, Frankfurt, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam

August 30 – September 12, 2020 - POSTPONED

Public and corporate governance in the heart of Europe.

You'll develop your credentials as a global citizen by:

  • Exploring European business culture and corporate governance
  • Visiting European institutions and offices of prominent Pacific Northwest companies
  • Practicing intercultural understanding and communication
  • Developing your professional skills through interacting with business professionals

The transatlantic market between the US and the member states of the European Union is responsible for nearly half the world’s total output and defines the very contours of the economic and business opportunities and challenges faced by the global players who hire Albers graduates. The Pacific Northwest's leading companies - Amazon, Boeing, Microsoft, Paccar, and Starbucks, among others - are very active in the EU, and lately so with considerable controversy and heightened scrutiny.

After Spring quarter hybrid pre-departure sessions to prepare you for on-site activities and post-visit course deliverables, we'll visit MADRID, the capital of Spain, for orientation and initial visits. We’ll then fly to FRANKFURT, Germany's commercial capital and the financial center of the European Union. We'll travel to PARIS, where many institutions of financial governance will be moving to as a consequence of Brexit. Our next stop will be BRUSSELS, the de-facto capital of the EU, where legislation is made that affects the business environment and how companies govern themselves. Our final stop will be AMSTERDAM, the gateway for many Pacific Northwest Companies operating in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA).

Last year's European itinerary included Pacific Northwest companies (Boeing, Costco, DAF/PACCAR, Microsoft, Starbucks, and Tableau), professional service firms (Deloitte, EY, KPMG, and PwC), and public institutions (the European Commission, the European Council, the European Parliament, the European Securities and Markets Authority, the German Bundesbank, and the Office of the German Corporate Governance Code.) In prior years, we’ve also co-hosted faculty and students from renowned local universities, held class at a converted church, conducted team briefings in town squares, and office hours in the luggage compartment of a high-speed train through the countryside.

We’ll run a full working week, with many days having two visits, and one weekend off to explore nearby destinations.

Central Bank in Frankfurt
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Brussels, Belgium


Comparative Corporate Governance
(ACCT 4940-01/5940-01)

Dr. Valentina Zamora

Broadly defined, corporate governance is the study of how organizations balance managerial autonomy and corporate accountability. As such, the corporate governance mosaic of actors, including managers, board members, auditors, financial analysts, and the capital markets, among others, are often cited as both the root causes of and the corner solutions to financial crises, corporate collapses, and individual malfeasance. In your role as future business professionals, you will be expected to uphold corporate governance policies and may have opportunities to add value to current practices. Hence, this course is designed to provide you with opportunities to gain competencies in assessing current practices, analyzing courses of action for improvement, and framing emerging policies within a broader context. It is breadth-based in that we will draw from corporate governance theories to frame why corporate governance plays a role in corporate accountability; and also depth-focused in that we will explore real world examples of how actors and institutions interact and ultimately impact corporate accountability. To demonstrate and document your competencies, you will produce a real world work product – a critical analysis of a U.S. publicly-traded company’s corporate governance mosaic in the context of a proposed European expansion.

ACCT 4940 can count as a Business Analytics major elective, a Finance major elective, or a Management major elective for undergraduates. ACCT 5940 can count as an elective for MPAC or MSF students. For all other students, ACCT 4940/5940 counts as a general elective. Participation in the study tour, whether you take one or both courses, counts as a supplemental activity for International Business requirements.

The European Business Environment
(INBU 4940-01/5940-01)

Dr. Bryan Ruppert

We’ll trace the development of Europe’s supranational structures in fact and in myth from postwar inception to the Great Recession. We’ll make predictions about the stability and relevance of the European Union in a world of many economic poles and whether Frankfurt and the euro will be a partner or a rival to New York and the dollar. We’ll look especially closely at the construction and force of two narratives in a business context: (1) How do public institutions and multinational businesses describe their relationship with and their expectations of each other, with a focus on how this informs behavior? And (2) How do business people in Europe describe and relate to each other in an organizational setting, with a focus on national cultural norms often operating in a multi-cultural environment.

By participating in this course, you'll be building your credentials as a multidisciplinary global player who can engage critically with the European environment in which Europeans AND Americans do business. You'll gain topical literacy, institutional literacy, historical literacy, and cultural literacy.

INBU 4940 can satisfy the INBU 3200 foundation requirement for undergraduates (except for Finance majors). For all undergraduates who have already satisfied their INBU 3200 foundation and for Finance majors, INBU 4940 counts as a general elective. For all graduate students, INBU 4940/5940 counts as a general elective. Participation in the study tour, whether you take one or both courses, counts as a supplemental activity for International Business requirements.

Registration and Cost

Program fee: $3,000


  • All on-site accommodation for program dates
  • Entrance fees for course activities
  • Local, program-related travel on public transportation
  • An allowance that covers the cost of a Eurail pass at the youth rate (25 and under) or may be applied towards the adult rate (26 and over) for travel from city to city as part of the program. Participants may elect to top up this allowance for additional personal travel days
  • The flight from Madrid to Frankfurt (with carry-on baggage allowance)
  • Two program meals

Not included: Airfare, all other meals, summer tuition fees (if applicable). Your advisors can discuss financial aid options with you.

Applications are due at 11:59 p.m. PST Feb. 1, 2020. Applications open in December 2019.