Students are expected to participate in one international excursion as part of this degree program as it is a compulsory module worth five ECTS-credits.
The aims of the excursion include visiting a foreign country where students will gain real-world exposure to the economic and policy issues in the life sciences principally along the food value chain by visiting, inter alia, private and or public institutions, firms, non-governmental organizations, politicians, and lobby groups thereby gaining insight as to how theory meets practice.
Students are expected to work in teams researching one topic related to the excursion, which they will present to the class prior to the excursion. Students will use the excursion to gather current inforamtion about their topic. Each student will hand in a written report being her/his own work after the excursion. Guidelines can be accessed HERE.
Excursion 2016 to Brussels
The 2016 excursion was to Brussels where MLSEP students met and learnt from representatives from business and government what the most important policies are currently having an impact on their activities and they are being managed. An overview of the itinerary follows:
Monday 3 October: departed by bus from Freising for Brussels. Midday stop-over at an organic farm at Klimmen in The Netherlands. We heard from the farmers why they converted to practicing organic agriculture and the challenges that they face.
Tuesday 4 October: hosted at the Bavarian Representation to the Europena Union, representatives from the following addressed the group: the Bavarian Government, FEFAC (European Feed Manufacturers' Federation), Dow AgroSciences, and IFOAM (International Foundation for Organic Agriculture).
Wednesday 5 October: visit to the offices of: FoodDrinkEurope, Edeka, and Monsanto, where a wide range of current topics were discussed.
Thursday 6 October: visit to the European Commission where we heard about the greening component of the Common Agricultural Policy and partcipated in a role-play "game" demonstrating how the decision-making process works at the EU. In the afternoon we visited the European Parliament.
Friday 7 October: on our return trip to Freising we stopped over in Mannheim to visit John-Deere, where we learnt about the company's history and current activiteis and regulatory challenges it faces. We were also given a tour through the factory.
Excursion 2015 to Brussels
2015's excursion was to Brussels, the European hub for political decision-making and influence. The objective of the excursion wss to learn first-hand from actors along the food value chain what the most important current regulatory challenges they are facing, and how they are overcoming them. Our itinerary was as follows:
Monday 29 September: departed Freising travelling by bus to Brussels via Mannheim, where visited the John Deere factory.
Tuesday 29 September: visited the European Commission in the morning where Mr Marco Lapriore informed us about the role of the Commission as the executive of the EU, and Mr Maciej Kuczynski gave a presenation about the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). In the afternoon, Dr Filip Cnudde of Dow AgroSciences addressed us.
Wednesday 30 September: in the morning we were addressed by Mr Pedro Narro of the European Economic and Social Committee, and thereafter by EuropaBio. In the afternoon we visited Monsanto's offices where we were addressed by Dr Ivo Brants, Jonathan Ramsay, and Brandon Mitchener.
Thursday 1 October: visited the European Parliament in the morning. In the afternoon we visited the offices of EDEKA where Mr Ludwig Willnegger addressed us.
Friday 2 October: departed for Freising. En route, we visited Heinrich Gerhard's vegetable farm "Herrnbühler Hof" near Darmstadt.
Autumn Excursion 2014 to Brussels, Belgium
The international excursion for 2014 took place from the 6th to the 10th of October 2014. The destination was Brussels, Belgium. This year's excursion also included students following degree programs other than the Master's in Life Science Economics and Policy.
On the way to Brussels, the group visited John Deere's plant in Mannheim. The Bavarian Representation to the European Union made their facilities available to the group. This enabled speakers from: the European Feed Manufacturers´ Foundation (FEFAC); International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM); COPA-COGECA (COPA represents the European umbrella organization of farmers ("European Farmers' Association"), while COGECA forms the European Association of Agricultural Cooperatives); EDEKA; DowAgroSciences; and EuropaBio to address the group in a central location. A high-light was a visit to the European Parliament, where the group was addressed by a young, dynamic Belgian politican, Dr. De Backer. The group also visited the offices of Monsanto in Brussels. On the return trip, the group visited BASF's agricultural research facility in Limberhof near Ludwigshafen.
The excursion report can be accessed HERE.