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!


Weekend In Luxembourg And Metz

When registering for this program, we were told that we would get two excursions throughout the semester with lodging and transportation paid for. I’m not too sure what’s going on, but we keep getting free trips thrown at us.

This past weekend we enjoyed our third excursion, a trip to Luxembourg, Luxembourg and Metz, France. Saturday was a long bus ride to Luxembourg. We stopped along the way at a truck rest stop to have some lunch. Since the Europeans love their meal times, we had over an hour to relax. We hopped back on the bus and were soon at our hostel.

After we unpacked in our rooms we jumped back on the bus for a tour around the town, the first half on the bus, the second walking around the breathtaking scenery.



After the tour, we were off on our own for free time and discovered Centre Ville. I was told that Luxembourg was a rich country and, boy, did I believe it. The architecture was incredible and the views were unimaginable.

One of my best friends fro Michigan, Tyler!

One of my best friends from Michigan, Tyler!


We all met back at the hostel for a dinner of salad, chicken, potatoes and vegetable stew. They spoil us. Soon after, we headed back out into the city to enjoy the clubs. They were everything you would imagine a wild European club would be. We tired ourselves out dancing the night away and returned to our rooms for some sleep before our next busy day.

The next morning, they served us breakfast and we were off to Metz, France. Our first stop was Le Centre de Pompidou. At first I did not expect to enjoy this modern museum because I am the last one to find meaning out of abstract shapes, but to my surprise I thoroughly enjoyed the trip. Reading the captions and absorbing the atmosphere helped me enjoy the artwork.

You have to stand back far enough in order to see the figure

You have to stand back far enough in order to see the figure

Gillan and Diva in front of what looked like a very texturized wall

Gillan and Diva in front of what looked like a very texturized wall

Illuminated Trish

Illuminated Trish

We then went to the fourth floor for the “Paparazzi” exhibit. Upon entering, you have many cameras flashing at you, microphones moving, and a recording of a crowd nagging you. It was a simulation of the red carpet that I’m sure is not nearly as bad as real life. They then had tons of racy photos of female celebrities, which I learned that the Paparazzi follow some of these women for years before getting a truly suggestive and inappropriate picture. Though this exhibit made me extremely angry and disgusted, I really enjoyed the experience.

After the museum was free time in Centre Ville. I found myself in La Cathèdrale Saint-Étienne de Metz on Palm Sunday, the cathedral with one of the largest expanse of stained glass in the world. The only way to truly appreciate it is to see it in person, photos don’t do any justice.

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Trish, Gissel and I enjoyed lunch at an Italian restaurant afterwards where they ate tortellinis and I had pizza and fries, which I did not think went together until I arrived in France. The meal was extremely delicious and satisfying and afterwords, we walked around the town seeing the park, games in the street, and Le Graoully, the legendary dragon of Metz. Unfortunately when we saw him, a leg was missing.

Le Graoully

Le Graoully

Soon after, we had to catch the bus back home. The day went by extremely quickly but we were definitely exhausted and ready to go back home. It was a great weekend and us New Paltz students were told we have another prepaid trip for the day to Germany. So many things to look forward to!