Embarking on Academic Adventures: Fulbright's Leaders in Entrepreneurship at Virginia Tech - Week Two Insights – Part II

By Beatrice Lühring

Published on: September 20, 2023 | Reading Time: 6 min | Last Modified: September 20, 2023

Virgina Tech
Cultural Exchange


Our Fulbright journey’s weekend was a blend of camaraderie, insights, and cultural immersion. It began with a spirited Mini World Cup tournament and interviews for our academic pursuits. In the evening, some experienced American football’s electric atmosphere. In the second week of our Fulbright adventure, our focus shifted to academic pursuits and cultural immersion. We explored the Pamplin College of Business Entrepreneurship Seminar 2 at CID, delving into innovation and entrepreneurship. This week also introduced us to the vibrant entrepreneurial culture at Virginia Tech. Our cultural exploration continued with “Entreprelooza,” a lively Entrepreneurship Festival where Diar Khal’s $1000 prize win highlighted our group’s entrepreneurial spirit. Week two was characterized by academic depth, cultural immersion, and an ongoing journey of discovery within the Fulbright program.

VT Logo at North Main Street

Weekend #2: Sports, River Adventures and Movie Discussions

Day 9 - 09/02/23 – Saturday – GAME DAY

As the weekend rolled in, we were in for a dynamic and culturally enriching experience. The day started with a Mini World Cup tournament alongside the Mozaiko intramurals team at the Lower Recreational Fields. It was a fantastic opportunity to engage in friendly competition and celebrate the spirit of sportsmanship. Later in the day, we took on a different kind of challenge—interviews for our class. These interviews would be instrumental in our academic pursuits, offering insights and perspectives that would enrich our studies. In the evening, many of our fellow participants, as well as Virginia Tech students, headed to the American Football game between Virginia Tech and Old Dominion. While some reveled in the electric atmosphere of the crowded stadium, a few of us, including myself, opted for a more relaxed experience. We decided to watch the game from the comfort of our hotel beds, which not only provided a different perspective but also allowed us to learn about the advertising culture in the United States. The spirit of American football was palpable throughout the weekend, creating an unforgettable experience for all.

Soccer match at the lower recreational Fields.

Group picture with the Hokie Bird at the Inn.

Lane Stadium on game day.

Day 10 - 09/03/23 – Sunday – Tubing

Sunday began with a hearty breakfast, setting the tone for a day of outdoor adventure. We made our way to the New River for a tubing excursion, accompanied by a delightful picnic. Floating down the river amidst picturesque surroundings offered a unique and relaxing experience, allowing us to appreciate the natural beauty of the region. In the evening, we continued our cultural exploration with a visit to the B&B Theatre. Divided into groups, some of us watched “Oppenheimer,” while others enjoyed “Barbie.” These cinematic experiences were followed by engaging discussions, providing diverse perspectives and insights into the films.

Tubing in the New River.

Week #2: Academic Engagement, Entrepreneurship Festival, and Retreat

Day 11 - 09/04/23 – Monday – Labor Day – U.S. Federal Holiday

Labor Day brought a break from our academic pursuits, as there were no classes scheduled for the day. It was an ideal opportunity to wrap up our customer interviews, a vital component of our ongoing academic projects. This weekend was a rich tapestry of experiences, from sports and outdoor adventures to cultural explorations through film discussions. It underscored the diversity and vibrancy of our Fulbright journey, leaving us eagerly anticipating the adventures that lay ahead.

Day 12 - 09/05/23 – Tuesday – Game Changer Week

The second week of our Fulbright adventure kicked off with a busy Tuesday. We began our day with breakfast at Turners, fueling ourselves for another round of academic exploration. Our “Foundations of Entrepreneurship” course met at the Apex Center for Entrepreneurship, where we delved deeper into the world of entrepreneurship. In the afternoon, we attended the Pamplin College of Business Entrepreneurship Seminar 2 at CID (Creativity and Innovation District). This session included an “Innovate tour” where we had the opportunity to explore the CID and enjoy a productive lunch. The day concluded with an engaging event, “Game Changer Events,” featuring insightful talks and introductions to key figures in the field.

Game Changer Pitch competition at CID.

Day 13 - 09/06/23 – Wednesday – Entreprelooza at APEX

Wednesday started with another delightful breakfast at Turners before our “Foundations of Entrepreneurship” class at the Apex Center. Following the morning session, we took a break for lunch. The afternoon allowed for some practical matters, including laundry—a reminder that while we embarked on this academic journey, daily life continued. In the evening, our cultural exploration continued with “Entreprelooza,” an Entrepreneurship Festival held at the Apex Center for Entrepreneurs. The highlight of the evening was Diar Khal winning a prize of $1000, a testament to the entrepreneurial spirit among our group.

Group picture with the winner of the Entreprelooza Pitch Competition Diar Khal.


Diar Khal is the managing director of NewStarters and is dedicated to IT tasks as a trained software developer and student of cyber security. This innovative platform, available in eight languages, is dedicated to helping refugees from Eastern Europe find jobs and achieve long-term integration into their host countries. By providing equal access to essential services like education and healthcare, Diar and his team are making a meaningful impact on the lives of refugees. NewStarters is a beacon of hope, demonstrating how compassion and innovation can create positive change and foster a more inclusive society. For more Information visit: https://www.newstarters.de/en/mission/

Day 14 - 09/07/23 – Thursday – A short visit at CELLINK

Thursday began with breakfast at Turners, followed by our “Foundations of Entrepreneurship” course at the Apex Center. A hearty lunch provided sustenance for the day’s activities. In the afternoon, we embarked on a visit to a startup site, specifically the satellite lab of CELLINK at CRC. This visit offered valuable insights into the world of startups and innovation. The day concluded with a well-deserved dinner, allowing us to relax and reflect on the experiences of the day.

Day 15 - 09/08/23 – Friday – Final Pitches at Game Changer week

Our final day of the second week brought some logistical changes. We had to check out of our rooms at the Inn and load the vans for a retreat weekend. This change in accommodation was due to the hotel being fully booked because of a major football game. Before leaving, we enjoyed a breakfast together, setting the stage for a day of unique experiences. We had the opportunity to watch the final pitches of the Game Changer Week, where Diar also delivered a pitch.

Final Pitches at the Lyric Theatre.

Later in the day, we attended the International Café Hour: Germany, where we indulged in traditional German cuisine, including “Kaiserschmarrn”, “Schnitzel”, “Rotkohl”, and “Apfelschorle”. This was accompanied by informative presentations about German culture.

Finally, we departed for our retreat weekend from Harper Hall to the Alta Mons retreat center in Shawsville. The day ended on a sporty note with a visit to the Salem Red Sox Baseball Game and a delightful dinner in Salem, VA.

Baseball game at Salem!


Week #2 was a blend of academic engagement, cultural exploration, and bonding experiences, further enriching our Fulbright journey.