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University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
College of Letters and Science
800 Algoma Blvd.
Oshkosh, WI 54901-8660

Nursing Education Building
Room 101

Phone: (920) 424-1222

2018 Viessmann Academy • Student Seminar in Sustainability

 Apply by Friday, December 1, 2017! Students can apply for the Viessmann Academy through the Office of International Education. Visit the OIE website to learn more and to apply.

Student Seminar in Sustainability

The Seminar in Sustainability is part of a two-week study abroad trip to Germany. During the first week, student experience German culture and history with visits to the Bundestag, the Berlin Wall Memorial at Bernauer Strasse, the Brandenburg Gate, Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, and many other historical sites. In 2018, we will add a visit to Viessmann Digital, the Berlin-based offices of the latest Viessmann strategic initiative.

During the second week, spent at the Viessmann headquarters in Allendorf, Germany, UW Oshkosh students learn about the Viessmann group’s history and sustainability initiatives through tours and lectures and participate in a three-day Design Thinking Workshop.

The Design Thinking Workshop brings together UW Oshkosh students from COLS and COB and German students studying business and engineering in teams, with trained facilitators, to design a new product or service for Viessmann than enables sustainable living using Viessmann’s energy systems and the new power of digitalization.

The Design Thinking process captures the experience and knowledge of people from diverse backgrounds and is the current “best practice” for innovation and entrepreneurship. The Viessmann Academy Seminar in Sustainability provides UW Oshkosh students of all backgrounds with the opportunity to experience the Design Thinking process and build skills and experiences valued by many potential employers.

The Viessmann Group also provides support for UW Oshkosh student’s travel (airfare), making this study abroad trip particularly affordable.

Two UW Oshkosh faculty members will accompany you and serve as mentors throughout the on-campus sessions and the international travel.

Where will you be and what will you do?

On the UW Oshkosh Campus

Your Viessmann experience will begin with four Saturday sessions on the UW Oshkosh campus. During these class/orientation sessions your faculty mentors will introduce you to the major themes of this program: the history, geography, and culture of Germany. the history and strategy of the Viessmann Group, and the basic ideas and principles behind the business practices of sustainability, digitalization, and design thinking.

In Berlin, Germany

The first week of the international component is set in Berlin, the capital city of Germany. Led by a UW professor who is a native of Germany, you will visit major tourist and historical sites such as the Brandenburg Gate, the Bernauer Straße Berlin Wall Memorial, Checkpoint Charlie, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, and the Bundestag. You will also have some free time to explore the city on your own. During the time in Berlin, you will stay in a youth hostel, sharing a room with other members of the group.

In Allendorf, Germany, at the Headquarters of the Viessmann Group

The second week of the international component, the Viessmann Seminar in Sustainability, takes place at the Infocenter facility of the Viessmann Group in Allendorf, Germany. During the Seminar, you will stay at the Viessmann guest house, which is about 15 minutes from the Infocenter. You will join German business and engineering students affiliated with Viessmann for lectures about Viessmann’s history and sustainability strategies, tours of various Viessmann facilities, and the Design Thinking Workshop. You will also have time to socialize with the German students.

Dates for the 2018 Academy

Orientation/class dates in Oshkosh will be April 7 (9 a.m.–Noon), April 14 (9 a.m.–3 p.m.), April 21 (9 a.m.–noon.), and April 28 (9 a.m.–Noon).

We plan to leave Oshkosh on May 28 or May 29  and return to the United States on June 10 or 11, depending on flight availability and cost. We will announce final dates as soon as possible.


Two UW Oshkosh professors will serve as your instructors while in Oshkosh and Berlin and your mentors while at the Viessmann Academy:

Dr. Monika Hohbein-Deegen
Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures
Clow Faculty 328

Dr. Monika Hohbein-Deegen is Associate Professor of German and International Studies and has been at UW Oshkosh since 2003. In addition to teaching German language, literature, culture, and German for business courses as well as a Quest I course on Germany, she serves as the German Program Coordinator within the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures. As a native of Germany, she has previously taught students about contemporary Germany and post World War II German history in Berlin as part of UWO’s semester-long study abroad program European Odyssey.

Dr. Nathan Stuart
Department of Accounting
Sage 1459

Dr. Nathan Stuart is an Associate Professor of Accounting and has been at UW Oshkosh since 2009. He worked for six years as an engineer for two Fortune 100 companies, including roles as an environmental compliance engineer and a production department head. He now teaches cost accounting and cost/benefit analysis for strategic decision-making. He served as the College of Business mentor to the Viessmann Sustainability Academy in 2016 and 2017 and is excited to return to Berlin and Allendorf in 2018.

Class Credit

The Viessmann Academy is offered as a three-credit hour class. You can enroll in Business 494 (COB International Study Tour) or Interdisciplinary Studies 350 (COLS Special Topics).  Class requirements are the same for both class options. Please see below for a tentative syllabus. The class will count as a spring 2018 interim class.


We anticipate that the program cost (excluding spending money and OIE and passport fees) will be around $1,200.The Viessmann Group graciously supports students in the Sustainability Academy by subsidizing the airfare and providing lodging and meals during the Viessmann Academy time. Exact program costs will be announced as soon as possible.

Academic Expectations

Your course grade will be based on four components, each weighted 25%:

  • Participation and professionalism in all facets of the course
  • Final pitch of your team’s product/service from the Design Thinking workshop
  • Cultural reflection paper, due after returning to the U.S.
  • Business practice reflection paper, due after returning to the U.S.

Specific information and requirements for all components will be available in the syllabus at the first on-campus orientation session.