As a student since the age of eighteen, I have always thought that taking part in conferences and other kinds of extracurricular activities is an essential part of our multifaceted development, both for academic and non-academic life. While studying at Tartu University, frankly speaking, the studying process is quite intense , which I like, definitely, but that makes even hard to find suitable time for activities other than classes.

However, even this won’t discourage the students full of energy and desire to come out of their comfort zone and gain new perspectives to look at their surroundings. Just a few weeks ago, I  decided to take a week off from the university life and engage myself with a simulation organized by Brussels Model European Union. BMEU is an annual simulation on European politics and decision-making process. This project, which lasts one week,  helps students from different parts of Europe and beyond discuss contemporary issues that are on the EU agenda. It is quite fascinating to see intelligent and smart youngsters coming from different backgrounds for communicating,  making cultural exchanges and trying to find best solutions and come to a consensus.

The students take the roles of Members of the European Parliament, Heads of the State, Ministers of Council or Journalists. I took the role of MEP from EPP. Representing Ireland, I confess, is not an easy job. The tricky part is that the participants are supposed to present not only the fraction’s position on specific issues, but also the position of the country they represent. These might differ, making it difficult for the members of the parliament and so on to make democracy work. The opportunity to explore these ambiguities give the participants hands-on experience on how the EU works and makes decisions concerning various pivotal questions.

Another thrilling point for me was the meeting with MEP’s from the European parliament. It is not often that you have the chance to catch them and have a fruitful few minutes conversation!

Besides doing intense simulations every day, we also had time for socializing and walking around the beautiful city of Brussels, also known as  “the heart of the EU institutions”.

Taking a stroll through the Heart of the UnionLast but not least, how could I miss the chance to visit the EU institutions and Parliament? Of course not!

If you are every eager to see the institutions and appoint meetings, you will find time for that too. I managed to visit the Parliament, where the multimedia guides accompany us to the heart of the European Parliament, explaining the path to European Integration step by step. The guide also explained to us how the European Parliament works, and told us about many other prominent historic events related to EU formation, obstacle and integration.

European Parliament

European Commission