Jake Bolinger ‘ 14 – Wabash College has provided an abroad immersion trip opportunity for 16 students. For some students, like me, it is their first time overseas, and are enjoying every second of it. I want to start this by thanking Wabash College for giving students these opportunities, and also the Rogge Fund. These trips are once in a lifetime opportunities for students, and are much appreciated.
Today was our second day in Frankfurt, Germany, and we started out the morning by going to the Frankfurt stock exchange, which is the largest of the seven in Germany. We were able to see and take pictures with the bull and bear outside (these are terms used to describe good and bad markets). As we entered we were given a presentation teaching us about the stock exchange and the people trading. The coolest thing I learned at the exchange is that their software can verify a trade in less than one millisecond. Technology has become truly amazing. We went to the trade floor after the presentation, which was not what I was expecting. Most think of the trading floor as a chaotic, stress filled room like it is portrayed in films like “Wall Street.” This was certainly not the case. Because technology has grown, the trade room is now a quiet room with the employees sitting at computers.
Our second portion of the day was visiting the money museum. We were given a tour and were able to see many interesting things. My favorites were the first forms of money, including a giant stone, bricks of salt, and miniature axe blades. We saw the first coin with a face on it, which is one of two left in existence. The coin is worth 500,000 Euros! After the tour we played games that taught us more about money and how it functions in the economy. It was a very structured museum, and a wonderful experience.
Another great experience is the food. Although they do have Burger Kings and McDonald’s, we have been exploring more cultural places to eat. I have had the Turkish form of a gyro, currywurst, and an Italian pizza. Tonight we are going as a group for dinner at a place that is referred to as a “carnivorous feast,” so it should be very delicious. Frankfurt has been a great time, but I must admit I am very excited to head for Brussels tomorrow evening. Make sure to look for blogs the rest of the week discussing our experiences in Belgium! It has been a great time so far and there are more great times to come.