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CWES/EUC and World Affairs Council bring the Eurozone debt crisis into classrooms

September 9, 2016

The Center for West European Studies and the EU Center partnered with World Affairs Council (WAC) to facilitate a mock Euro Challenge at the International Community School of Kirkland (ICS) on September 8th. Over one hundred students came together to discuss economic issues surrounding the euro-crisis and financial stability within the 19 member states of the Eurozone. The workshop was led by Maggie Archbold (WAC) and Tess Ames (CWES/EUC).

University of Washington PhD students Andreu Casas Salleras, Kevin Aslett, and Travis Nelson, along with Alexander Kegel, a WAC intern and recent Jackson School graduate, facilitated the group discussions, in which students were posed with difficult questions like how to solve the rise of unemployment in Italy and Ireland or the aging workforce in Belgium.

The high-school students actively participated and left the workshop empowered and excited about the project. “I think I have a new passion for economics and political science!” one student exclaimed during the final discussion, going on to say that she is excited and wants to be part of a student group that will compete in the upcoming regional phase of the Euro Challenge, open to all 9th and 10th grade students in Washington State.

This national competition, which takes place in spring, asks teams of students to think critically about issues facing the Eurozone and how countries can address or solve these problems. This year, the Center for West European Studies, WAC, the Ellison Center for Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies, and the Global Business Center will host the regional competition at UW’s Seattle Campus on Saturday, March 11th, 2017.  Teams from across Washington State will compete for a chance to present their policy analysis in New York, with the winning team getting an opportunity to show their presentation to their regional embassy in Washington DC.

“The goal of this competition is to help students recognize the significance of the global market, and to be creative about how to address economic issues across the region.” Archbold explained. “This provides the resources for them to do that.”

If you are interested in having a mock challenge at your school, contact the Center for West European Studies and the EU Center at or Maggie Archbold (WAC).