I leave for the United States on the 16th. That’s two days from now! I absolutely cannot believe that this experience is coming to a close. While I’ve been here, I have had the chance to try new foods, explore new places, and meet new people. Another thing I’ve gotten the chance to do is visit some really interesting European institutions.

Since I am participating in the 3-credit Study Mission, I’ve attended briefings at the European Commission, the Belgian Parliament, the Flemish Parliament, and the Court of Justice in Luxembourg. After visiting all of these places, myself and the other students participating need to have a topic in mind that we would like to research and elaborate upon in an ~10 page research paper. I have finally decided on my topic for the assignment – Trademark laws in the European Union.

As I’ve said before, I am not a Poly Sci or IR student. I was a little worried about going to these sites and not having a clue as to what I would write my research paper about, but it ended up being the complete opposite. At every site we’ve visited so far, I have been able to come up with questions that would help me with my research. The Court of Justice in Luxembourg is where I became inspired to write about Trademark laws and its impact on the EU. This does pertain to business, but it also delves into the world of European Poly Sci, which I have grown fond of these past few days.

My favorite institution we visited had to be the Flemish Parliament. We had the opportunity to sit and chat with one of the members of the Parliament, as well as walking around the beautiful building. It was so modern, and futuristic! I can easily say that it was love at first sight.

I’ve attached some pictures from the Flemish Parliament and the Court of Justice! (I wasn’t able to get any at the other sites ☹). Go check them out!


The Journey Continues

Hey everybody! Bonsoir from Brussels, the place I’ve been calling home for the past few days. During this short period of time, I’ve traveled to some amazing places throughout this amazing city. Along with discovering some really cool places, I have also discovered some of the ins and outs of Belgium’s culture – I’ve picked up on some basic French, tried some of their renowned, delicious drinks, and I’ve seen waffles displayed in places that I never thought I would see them displayed.

The only language I am fluent in is English, and I have a basic understanding of Italian because I took it for years in both middle and high school. French is something I’ve never been exposed to and never learned about, until now. I’ve learned how to ask questions like ‘Where is the Metro?’ and I’ve learned how to simply say ‘thank you’ to someone. At first I was extremely confused, but once I started hearing other people use the language (along with using Google Translate) I was able to quickly catch on.

Another aspect of Belgium that interests me is the type of beers they have. After our first day of the Model EU Simulation, all of the participating students went to a Student Mixer that was held at a bar. We were given two free drink slips by the women from Vesalius College who coordinated the entire event, so we all tried some of the drinks that they had. It was so crazy to me that their popular flavors were far different from the ones from the United States. They had Pecheresse, which is peach flavored, and Chocolate!

My favorite thing that I’ve seen on this trip so far has to be the waffle vending machine. I kid you not, there is a vending machine that actually sells waffles! It only costs .90 euro, too!  The machine was at Vesalius College, where the simulation is taking place, and I can honestly say that it was the most beautiful part about the school. It’s great location in the city of Brussels definitely is a close second…


♥ The Waffle Vending Machine ♥