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A study abroad program took sixteen SoHE students through three cities in Europe this summer. Prior to leaving, students were required to complete two weeks of online coursework on trend theory and principles to prepare for their hands-on learning experience abroad. Dr. Nancy Murray, Faculty Associate in Retailing & Consumer Behavior, teamed up with Robyn Waters, former VP of Trend, Design & Product Development at Target to lead the program.
The trip started at the Dalkeith Palace in Dalkeith, Midlothian, Scotland. This historic building has been leased to the University of Wisconsin system for study abroad programs since 1986. Dalkeith Palace stop allowed students to adjust to the new time zone and to get to know one another. It also provided classroom space to prepare for their trend research in London and Paris.
After exploring Edinburgh, the group headed for London, England. The students started their projects on analyzing current offerings of varying product categories. While in London, the students visited Trendstop, a trendforecasting service. Here they learned methodology that went into the forecasts and were given examples potential emerging trends.
Finally, the students traveled by train to Paris, France. They visited many large and small retailers while continuing their trend research. Final trend projects created by the students were due shortly after the group returned home from their trip, and a few examples of their work can be seen online (1, 2, 3).
To see more pictures from the trip, take a look at this recap presentation here.