European Union Studies Internship
The Program in European Studies with the Leuven Institute offers students an internship in Brussels with the European Parliament or Commission as well as up to five academic courses in Europe's culture, economics, politics, history, and law. While knowledge of French or Dutch is helpful to get around in Belgium, it is not required for the internship or coursework.
Approximately 15 miles from Brussels, Leuven is the seat of one of the world's oldest Catholic universities, dating back to the 15th century. The older part of town, where the Irish College campus lies, is lined with old stone buildings and dozens of cafés. St. Peter's Cathedral, surrounded by the Old Square, acts as the town's center and provides a quaint, old European atmosphere.
Students reside in dormitories provided by the Irish College in Leuven. The accommodations are quite large and spacious, each comprising three floors. Students generally share triplex rooms with three to four students per room. Student living quarters are on the top and bottom floors. They entail a bed, a desk with an overhead lamp for study purposes, and as storage space for clothes. The middle floor comprises shower and toilet facilities.
Rooms are serviced by accommodation staff regularly while bed linen, which is provided, is changed once a week. Towels are also provided and are changed regularly. Coin operated laundry facilities are available for student use. All rooms have telephones with direct dialling facilities, message recording, and wake up call. The bedrooms all have internet access, and there is free wifi in the reception area.
Students are provided with breakfast each day, as well as lunch Monday through Friday and dinner Monday through Thursday. On internship days, lunches are packed to go. All meals are prepared by the Institute’s full-time chef and his staff. Breakfast and lunch consist of a buffet with a range of cooked food as well as fresh produce. Evening meals have three courses offering meat, fish, and vegetarian options. Most produce is sourced locally.
In addition to the internship, students may take up to four additional courses (3 credits each), for a total of 15 credits. Students usually attend classes on Mondays and Thursdays, while completing their internship on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Course options include
- European Parliamentary Internship (required)
- History and Development of the European Union
- European Union Law
- Economics of European Integration
- European Culture
- Comparative European Politics
Study visits are factored into the Program as part of the academic coursework. Students visit SHAPE, the military headquarters of NATO while a spokesperson from Turkey’s Permanent Representation to the EU normally gives a briefing to students at the Institute on Turkey’s bid to join the EU.
Ask Liz Best
about her experience in Leuven, Belgium!