Chocolate. Waffles. Fries and more fries. Although the Belgian capital is well known for its fabulous street food, savvy students also know it as the epicenter of international relations. High school students attending this 3-week CIEE program in Brussels will become familar with the concepts and workings of the United Nations.
For budding diplomats, all roads lead to Brussels. The seat of the European Union (EU) and NATO is an international hub for foreign dignitaries, diplomats, expats… and IR students. Unlike other major cities of its stature, Brussels is small and quiet with a charming, old-world feel. Streets are easy to navigate. While the most common language is French (followed by Dutch and German), most Belgians also speak or at least understand English. Here you’ll be busy soaking up the culture and studying up on current events. Your schedule includes 15 hours a week in World Government class, engaging in lively discussions and learning about the culture, history, people and pressing issues of the country you’ll represent. Over the course of 3 weeks you’ll develop and accelerate your skills in debate, diplomacy, negotiation, critical thinking, compromise, public speaking, and more. As part of your cultural education you’ll also tour historic and contemporary landmarks in Brussels, from the Royal Palace of the King and Queen of Belgium, to the multimedia Parlamentarium at the European Union (EU) visitors center. Once or twice a week you’ll gather with local high school students for cooking activities, pickup sports games, or visits to cultural exhibits and landmarks. You’ll start and end your days gathered around meals with your new friends, and grab lunch on campus. Enjoy French style breakfast (pastries, bread with jam or marmalade) along with traditional Dutch fare, like chocolate sprinkles on toast! Typical Belgian dinner dishes include Waterzooi (chicken and vegetables cooked in cream) and Flemish beef stew (slow cooked marinated beef with fries). Summer is mussel season in Belgium so now is the time to dig in. With fries, of course!