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IEM Project Travel Stories

Writing this story is a great time to look back and take you back to our trip to Montenegro with the IEM-Project. This two-week trip is the last activity of the largest project for master students of Industrial Engineering and Management; the IEM-Project. I will shortly explain what this project entails, for the ones that start reading and do not know about this project.

The IEM-Project is organized once every two years, during this trip IEM master students perform case studies at interesting companies like YellowChips, GasUnie, Roelofsen, AkzoNobel (Nouryon), VDL, or Enexis. These consultancy cases demand 140 hours of work per student, which is spread over a time period of 14 weeks. This means that as a Master student of IEM, you get the opportunity to conduct an internship at a big company, which offers not only experience and interesting contacts, but also 5 extracurricular ECTs. As if that was not enough already, the project is concluded with a ‘free’ study trip that takes the complete group to a destination normally outside of Europe for 3 weeks. This trip is earnt by performing the case study at one of the participating companies.

Like many other activities, COVID-19 has influenced this project which meant that unfortunately, we couldn't travel to the destination we had in mind, namely Mexico for three weeks. Despite this major setback, we are still very happy that we were able to travel with the entire group to Montenegro, a small country with a lot to offer.

With a group of both first and second-year master students, we started our journey on August 5 in the capital of Montenegro, Podgorica, at the Hilton hotel where we had a luxurious dinner. In addition, we also explored the local atmosphere at a small festival with music and some drinks. After this luxury, we started our trip on a Jeep through the mountains the next day, which lasted three days. In these three days, we explored the mountains and nature of Montenegro on off-road roads, hikes, and slept at local and basic lodgings. In the first shepherd's village, Vranjak, we had a very tasty shepherd's lunch between dogs and horses. The first night we slept with a lovely couple who cooked delicious food all night long for us. The next day, we set out for our first hike with our guide over the highest peak of Bjelasica, from Crna Glava (2139m). Despite this hike lasted a bit longer than predicted, we were able to enjoy the views and we took a dip in a cold but beautiful mountain lake Pesica. Then we continued our trip through a national park, and we saw one of the most beautiful views of Montenegro, with another dive in another lake and some necessary beers. In the evenings we slept in small houses without electricity which enhanced the experience of the mountain huts. With the third and last stage, we go to the lodges of Stavna on a beautiful shepherd's meadow in Komovi. In the afternoon some of us climb the peak Kom Vasojevicki. With 2460m this is in the top 10 peaks of Montenegro. The other of us relax with some games and a nice lunch at the lodges.

After our Jeep adventure, it was time for something different, namely mountain biking. After this big, warm, and tough trip we slept in a luxury ski resort in Kolasin where we recovered from this fun but tough day. After enjoying a buffet we started the next day with a five-hour rafting trip in the Tara gorge. Due to the heat and drought, rafting was not that challenging, but we still had a lot of fun with each other on the raft boats. In the evening we stayed in the Durmitor National Park at the Pod Gorom lodges. Durmitor is the most famous national park of Montenegro located in the far north, against the Bosnian border. The compact Massif is bordered on the east and north by the immense gorge of the river Tara. On the seventh day, a big hike through the national park was waiting for us. Unfortunately, due to the weather conditions, the route had to be adjusted, but this did not make the nature and the view any less beautiful. In the evening we reunited to have a nice meal together around a campfire prepared for the next day where an exciting activity was planned for us: paragliding. . Fortunately, the weather was good, and we all enjoyed a flight at altitude in the oldest ski area of Montenegro in Durmitor with the best views and even some stunts.

The following days we have a little more relaxation and we started our journey towards the coast from the mountains. During this travel day, we have planned a boat trip in Rijeka Crnojevica, where the prosecco flows freely and we can all cool off in the lake. After this, our journey continues, and we have a wine tasting in the village of Godinje, a beautiful medieval village surrounded by the oldest vineyards of the region. Here we tasted homemade white wine, rose, and red wine. The following nights we slept in Stari Bar, an old citadel, which was once a Venetian fortress on the coast of Montenegro. Inside you will find traces of the diverse civilization that once lived here: Venetian villas, Orthodox churches, mosques, a bathhouse, and residences of people of all origins. The citadel is surrounded by deeply carved gorges, streams with crystal clear water running down. Here we did the canyoning trip Medjurecki with a few hefty jumps (up to 8m), tough abseil passages under the waterfalls, and a series of long slides: in short, a decent adrenaline level. During this trip, some of us overcame a lot of fears and were accompanied by three firefighters. After this trip, we did some relaxing and visited the old town, sat on the terrace, and bought some souvenirs. On the eleventh day, it was finally time for some sun, sea, and beach, and we went to the Sveti Nikola island, also called Hawaii of Montenegro. Here we rented some beach beds and sunbathe with some beers, snacks, and cocktails.

We ended the trip in a beautiful villa. Here, we had five complete apartments including a swimming pool and BBQ for ourselves. With the villa, we had rental cars that allow us to move around the surrounding towns of Kotor and Tivat. Many of us visit the old harbor town and bay of Kotor. Kotor is a network of ancient alleys and intimate squares. Additionally, the boys organized the Beer Olympics in the afternoon, consisting of some games and of course cans of beer. The girls went out for dinner in Kotor. One of the last day we spent at sea, sailing around the Porto of Montenegro between the mega yachts in this luxury marina. We also visited an oyster farm where we ordered oysters and white wine which we enjoy. On the last day, we had a working visit to the Porto of Montenegro, the largest real estate project in the country. Here we had a tour of the port, and the history and future plans were also told. We also visited the accompanying museum and an old submarine. The last evening, we closed with an extensive BBQ in our villa. A lot of time was taken for cooking and preparing the meat, fish, and salads, and vegetables. We all enjoyed the food, the drinks, and we looked back on the last two which were filled with challenging activities and a lot of fun! In short, a trip we will never forget.

Did you get excited and do you want to organize this amazing trip yourself? The applications for the IEM-Project board 2022-2023 are open until the 29th of October. Do you have questions about what organizing this project entails, what the workload is, or just want to talk with someone from the former board, don’t hesitate to contact one of us!

Check out some of the pictures here

Kind regards,

Jasmijn Bak
IEM-Project 2020-2021


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