I have a very special relationship with the Centers. After participating in almost all their student programs, I started working there as an administrative assistant a year ago! As I am graduating this June, I am sad to leave such a wonderful organization. I greatly appreciate the student-focus of the Centers and their drive to increase knowledge about West Europe and the European Union in our Seattle community and abroad. Entering the University of Washington, I was unaware that my studies would evolve to center on the European continent. The Centers encouraged my curiosity and provided opportunities for me to gain academic and professional experience in the exciting field of European Studies.
I was fortunate enough to participate in the EU Visit Program in the summer of 2014. In Brussels, my group of twenty-something students and teachers visited various EU institutions – and gorged ourselves on Belgian waffles and chocolates. The World Cup was unfolding that summer, so we celebrated Belgium’s victory over Algeria in the Grand Place, the city’s central square. I also served as co-president of Model European Union in February 2015, right after returning from the European Student Conference at Yale University. Tasked with reforming the Common Security and Defense Policy, heated and interesting debates ensued. In the end, we were able to compose a coherent resolution – after writing several special clauses for the United Kingdom.
While I am only a European Studies minor, I have grown greatly fond of Europe during these four years of my undergraduate experience. I was honestly quite surprised at the amount of opportunities for European Studies, including funding. For those even vaguely interested in Europe, I would encourage you to check out what the Centers offer. You will be amazed!
After graduation, I am leaving on an eight-week trip to England, France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, and Denmark. Upon my return (pending my survival of unpleasant European summer heat waves), I will be living in Los Angeles before heading to Reims, France to teach English at the secondary-level for seven months. What’s next? Maybe the Peace Corps, or graduate school…