As the finale to their Student Leadership Development Programme, our 2016 students visited the City of Brussels in Belgium. Being the political capital of Europe, home of the European Union Parliament, EU Commission and many other political and social institutions – they were in for a treat!
The two-day trip celebrated the students’ completion of SLDP and gave them a chance to pique their interest in social and political affairs.
Hosted by the British Council, day one kicked off with a talk from the Director of the British Council in Brussels, Krzysztof Jurek. Krzysztof discussed the work of the British Council around the world – specifically between Europe and the UK. Students then heard from Anna-Maria who works on behalf of the Mayor of London in London’s European Office (LEO). She gave participants insight into LEO’s mission to influence EU policy on behalf of London and how they seek EU funding for London.
A series of workshops were then delivered by employees from the EU Commission through the afternoon. The first workshop focused on careers and finding opportunities in Europe. The second was led by Labour MEP, John Howarth who spoke about his life, interests and route into politics. He also shared on his current work within the European Union and took questions at the end.
The final workshop was a review of our student leaders’ individual social action projects. Discussions were tailored around looking towards the future and developing their long term goals.
To round up the day’s activities, certificates were presented to our student leaders for participating the 2016 Student Leadership Development Programme. This became a wonderful photo opportunity with Labour MEP John Howarth! Later that evening, our student leaders enjoyed the chance to explore the delicacies that Brussels had to offer. Moules-frites anyone?
On the second day, students visited the European Parliament and the official museum of the European Union. The interactive museum gave in-depth political and social commentary of the EU – from its inception to its current form. The House of European History was next on the agenda. It focused on the long, vast and complex history of Europe as a continent, idea and geopolitical entity.
The last few hours of our trip were spent getting a bite to eat and taking in Brussels for the last time before we returned to London. All in all, the trip was extremely successful and a great way of celebrating all the achievements of our student leaders. #SLDPBrussels