The International Relations Society brought 19 JCU students to Brussels for our second study trip. The program included visits to all European institutions, the Belgian Parliament, The International Organization for Migration and a meeting with JCU alumni working in the EU institutions.
Our trip started with a visit to the European Commission, to the Charlemagne building, where we had two our presentation. The first part was a general presentation on the function and role of the Commission, which was followed by a presentation on the economic and budgetary situation in the European Union.
On the second day we had a chance to visit the Belgian Parliament, where we had a tour of the House of Representatives and the Senate with a short presentation on the function and hierarchy of the two. We also had the chance to visit the oldest Committee room in the Parliament. In the afternoon we visited the Council of the European Union. There we had a very interesting presentation by Mr. Fernando Criado Alonso, General Secretariat of the Council, Directorate-General C – Foreign Affairs, Enlargement and Civil Protection. He talked about the legislative function of the Council and the recent developments in the enlargement process, more specifically in the Western Balkans, Ukraine and Turkey.
On our third day we visited the International Organization for Migration, where we were introduced to their newest projects regarding migrants and refugees. The group had the chance to ask questions and discuss the recent developments in the refugee crisis. In the afternoon we visited the European Parliament. Again we had a presentation on the functions and role of the Parliament in the more general framework of EU institutions and then we a guided tour of the building.
On our last day students had the chance to explore the wonderful city of Brussels with its amazing holiday atmosphere, Christmas markets and ice-skating rings. In the evening we had dinner with Michela and Leonardo, two inspiring JCU alumni, who shared with us their success stories and gave practical advices to the students on how to plan ahead their careers.
The International Relations Club is very happy that so many students trusted us to come with us to Brussels and experience firsthand how the capital of Europe works.
Stay tuned for our exciting events next semester and our next study trip.
We wish you Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!