This year our students participated in our second European Parliament Internship program spending three weeks in Brussels learning the workings of the European Union and furthering their understanding of international relations and politics.
Over the course of the program the students listened to a number of debates, committee meetings and other parliamentary activities on a wide range of topics. We learned about the importance of "Ethics Dumping," Cultural Heritage and the early detection of cancer of unknown primary. The students listened eagerly as they heard esteemed speakers, experts and Members of European Parliament shared their views on topics such as the economic impact of joining the EU for Azerbaijan, reform in the education of young offenders and nuclear deterrence. Throughout the week the students learned many valuable skills which will carry them well through the remainder of their high school careers and beyond. Importantly, the students showed an appreciation of engaging critically with what they were hearing and learning and our dinners each evening would feature heated and knowledgable debates on the day’s proceedings!
In addition to attending European Parliament the students spent time exploring the many cultural institutions of Brussels, including the Royal Museum of Fine Arts and a night at the opera at La Monnaie. The trip also allowed the students to develop a range of skills outside of academics which will set them well for college - each evening the group would prepare dinner together. Over the duration of the trip we shared cuisine from many of the students' home countries and many of the group showed great leadership in the kitchen and in keeping our living areas in tip-top condition. We strongly believe that these skills are also vital for a strong transition to college and independent living.