As my UA in Belgium trip quickly approaches, I can’t help but fall in love with the preparation process. I love Europe and the French language, and this trip has given me a good excuse to keep up with European Politics (Boris Johnson’s recent resignation omg) and expedite my French study (Quelques temps mon parlent Francais est tres mal, mais c’est d’accord). 

Leading up to my trip, I’ve religiously read every Foreign Policy newsletter that hit my inbox, listened to various podcasts about European politics and the international economy, and began the required readings. I’m positive that building a solid background in international politics/world history will provide the context needed to thoroughly appreciate Brussels. 

As a senior graduating in August (yea, four days after I get back to the U.S.), I’m determined to make my “last major UA experience” worthwhile. During my sophomore year, I applied and received a Gilman to study abroad in South Africa. Shortly after, COVID hit the U.S. and my plans were delayed for two years. Initially, I was disappointed, but now, I’m so grateful it worked out this way. 

In the past two years, I’ve had incredible summer opportunities that have contributed significantly to my personal and professional development. Similarly, my interests developed, so I opted for Brussels instead of Johannesburg. In 2019, I had no focus – just a budding curiosity in political science. Today, my intellectual curiosity is fully-fledged and ready to soar. I’m hoping my peers will (also) be willing to engage fully with European culture. 

views from the plane!!