Last semester, Hobart and William Smith added Belgium to its long – and ever growing – list of study abroad programs. The highly selective program afforded students the opportunity to study at Vesalius College in Brussels, while living and working in the city. Belgium is home to both NATO and the European Union headquarters, making it the ideal destination for international relations, political science and economics students.
Denise Arroyave ’13, Allison Bresnick ’13, Kristen Faughnan ’13, Kylie Hart ’13, Emily Shelden ’13, Krissy Stoner ’13 and Christopher Swan ’13 were the first HWS students able to participate in the study abroad experience.
Shelden, a double major in political science and Africana studies, chose to study abroad in Belgium because it is considered to be one of the most important centers in Europe.
“It is a key location in international politics, and there are many great experiences that allow you to get involved through internships or attending open meetings at the European Parliament,” says Shelden. “It is also a very interesting and unique country linguistically, culturally and historically.”
Shelden took advantage of her time in Brussels to participate in an internship at the External Relations Department at The British School of Brussels.
Faughnan, economics and public policy double major, also held an internship. She worked closely on public relations matters with Minerva Consulting and Communication, a company that works with EU-funded research projects. Faughnan said that not only did she enjoy her time at Minerva, but she also found it to be an amazing learning experience – she was able to assist with rather unique public relations projects.
Stoner, a double major in international relations and ancient Greek, held an internship with the European Centre for Research in Asia, Africa and Latin America, a research institute that works to incorporate third world countries into the European sector. Stoner felt that she gained much due to the research institute’s close proximity to the European Commission, and that she also prospered under the tutelage of her supervisors.
Upon arrival, Stoner felt immediately at home in Brussels, exploring the historic city, participating in an internship and forming a close relationship with her host family. “My first weekend in Belgium, I went with my host family to Paris and that just started off an amazing time there,” says Stoner. “I also did choir with my host mom and went to her yoga classes so I really grew close to her.”
Stoner took advantage of every travel opportunity offered, and as a result had a truly unique abroad experience. “I went to World War I trenches, stayed in Abbeys, met people from all over the world, played in a soccer tournament, sang at a Christmas market, made a music video in the metro, walked the city with close friends and just absolutely loved it,” says Stoner.
In the photo above, Emily Shelden ’13, Christopher Swan ’13 and Krissy Stoner ’13 attend the Human Security and Responsibility to Protect Conference at the European Parliament in Brussels.