(post written by Catherine Tuten)
My three-month stint in Augsburg, which is simultaneously the third largest city in Bavaria and one of the top three oldest cities in Germany, is flying by quite quickly—I’ve been here for a three whole weeks now (soon to be four). I’ve always heard that good things come in threes, and as my first month here comes to an end, I wanted to send a transatlantic update to let you know what [good things] I’ve been up to.
So far, I’ve primarily overtaken inquiries pertaining to the US market, the topics of which have ranged from product liability, tax forms, import regulations and requirements, and Visa types. Next week, I’m planning on visiting a member company, and I have some other projects on the horizon, which I may just tell you about some day. My colleagues in the International Department, who cover the rest of the world, as well as in the other departments, have been very welcoming and have shown me what the IHK Schwabenis all about and what their region of Bavarian Swabia has to offer. And I’ve continued to support my colleagues in the Market Entry team with projects back home in Atlanta.
Essential to the IHKs throughout Germany is the goal to support and further the success of its member companies, which it does primarily by offering countless services centered on aspects key to a firm’s domestic operations. These services are wide-ranging, and include (but are certainly not limited to) providing legal and financial advice, generating certificate of origins and forms needed for export, as well as energy efficiency consulting. The IHK Schwaben also organizes various seminars throughout the year and offers a wide range of continuing education opportunities through its “Bildungshaus”.
When I’m not at the IHK, I’ve had time to explore the city, which is beautiful. From the Fuggerei (founded by a member of the wealthy Fugger family, it is the oldest social institution in the world) to the city hall’s golden hall (Der goldene Saal), to the gelato cafés lining Maximilianstrasse and the jogging and biking paths surrounding the Wertach and Lech rivers, there is plenty to keep me busy. And, for all you soccer fans that haven’t heard yet, the FC Augsburg advanced into the 1. Bundesliga a few weeks ago!