International Business student Harmke Gerritsma of the Faculty of Economics and Business is currently cycling the famous Silk Route form Istanbul to Beijing. She and her team will be studying at 8 different universities along the 12.000 kilometer long route. She started on 7 March, and we talked to her before she left. We can follow her via Facebook and a special website.
Harmke started her cycle journey on 7 March, we talked to her before she left.
"My name is Harmke Gerritsma, I am 24 years old and almost done with my International Business degree at the University of Groningen. Seeking a challenge between my bachelor and master studies, I decided to join the pilot expedition of The Study Road: cycle 12.000 km in 5.5 months, from Istanbul to Beijing, along the original silk route. We will be cycling through Turkey, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and China with a team of 9 students and young professionals and we will also be studying at 8 universities along the route!
After a very long and arduous process of organizing everything – a challenge that first seemed impossible - we now started off with a week of team building from 1st March, and then fly to Istanbul on the 7th to finally start cycling! This is going to be a huge challenge and I bet I won’t always be cycling with a smile on my face. Nevertheless, I am very excited and I honestly can't wait to get started!
We are working away to find sponsors with whose help we would make it to the finish line in Beijing. Do you have any inspiring ideas, or know the right people, or are you willing to yourself donate something, or simply want to share your thoughts?
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The Study Road is an annual talent development program in which participants develop their talents through adventure and experience. This is achieved through a specially designed coaching and learning program focused on building your endurance. The participants cycle12,000 km in 5.5 months, from Istanbul to Beijing, along the original silk route, and they will also be taking classes at 8 different universities along the way. At the university, they follow a number of courses centered around sustainability, international relations from the perspective of the countries concerned, and Big History.
The participating students will attend a summer course in Beijing in Corporate Social Responsibility. The Dutch embassy and several multinationals will provide case studies to the students and they will in turn work on these case studies in teams. For the Beijing part of the program, four universities (including Beijing University) and the Dutch Embassy are working very closely.
International relations courses will be given at six intermediate universities. The emphasis of this being that the teaching will be from the perspective of the country or institution that you’re in. Not only professors of the university itself, but also attaches of the embassy and the local Chambers of Commerce will be asked to give lectures. For students, it’s interesting to learn about the daily practice of entrepreneurship in Turkey or China, for instance, and hence, a large number of leading multinationals will be visited during this stiff expedition.
Finally, each participant has a personal blog on the website of The Study Road that can be followed. The participants will conduct research for a company or institution related to the silk route or on a topic related to their studies.
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