Hello! My name is Jacob Lowy, and I am a sophomore at Haverford College. If you haven’t read the about page of this blog my Economics class, Economics of Transition and Euro Adoption in Central and Eastern Europe, is headed to Europe for the week to study both the Central and Eastern European transition from communism to a market planned economy, as well as the intricacies of the current economic crisis and the future of the Euro currency. Visiting Professor of Economics Biswajit Banerjee is teaching the course and leading the program. Director of the Center for Peace and Global Citizenship (CPGC), Parker Snowe, and Professor of History Linda Gerstein will also be accompanying us.
I just finished packing, and I have a few last minute errands to run before we head out at 2:45 pm today to the airport. I think the best thing to do right now would be to tell you our itinerary for the next week. I am going to be posting all week about the lectures we are attending as well as the cultural experience of Europe.
Our plane is scheduled to depart at 6:10 pm today and we will touch down in Brussels at 7:10 am on Saturday. We then have all of Saturday to explore Brussels. I’m really looking forward to the chocolate and the waffles. On Sunday, we will be traveling to Bruges to tour the city. I don’t know too much about Bruges other than that it has a lot of medieval architecture. My Mom also told me that I had to try the mussels there, so I guess that’s on my to do list.
Anyways, Monday we get down to work! From 9-5 we will be attending lectures at the European Commission (EC). The topics include: Role and Functioning of European Institutions; Economic and Financial Crises; Euro Adoption in Central and Eastern Europe; The Stability and Growth Pact 3.0; and Excessive Imbalances Procedure.
Tuesday we head back to the EC to discuss the current economic crisis in Europe. We will be discussing a case study of European Union Countries (EU) with EU/IMF programs to combat the crisis, as well as how to settle the European Financial Stabilization Mechanism.
Wednesday, we will hop on a train and leave Brussels for Frankfurt, Germany and spend the rest of the day touring Frankfurt. Thursday we will go to the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management to learn about Microfinance. Specifically we will be focusing on the role and functions of microfinance institutions during a financial crisis.
Friday is the capstone of our program. We will be heading the European Central Bank (ECB) for another full day of lectures on: the Role and Functions of the ECB; Euro Area Enlargement; EU and Neighboring Regions; and Euro Area Imbalances and Adjustment.
We will depart from Frankfurt Saturday morning and arrive back at Haverford in the afternoon.
It’s actually my second time going to Europe (but the first was when I was 6 months old, so that doesn’t count), and I am really grateful to the CPGC, the Provost’s Office and Professor Banerjee for providing this opportunity. This week promises to be exciting and educational, and I am really looking forward to applying the theoretical discussions we have had in class to real world situations.