The European Commission, European Parliament and European Council, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), European Committee of the Regions (CoR) and NATO are all big names that sit at the table of the fast-paced political epicentre that is Belgium.
Belgium is one of the six founding members of the initial political group that eventually formed the European Union, and today is often referred to as the “heart of Europe.”
The Belgian capital of Brussels is unofficially the capital of the European Union, as the city hosts the headquarters of the most important committees and councils, as well as Belgium’s own national political headquarters.
Official government bodies are not the only areas where politics play a central role; NGOs are also strong contenders, as they focus on a wide range of politically-related initiatives depending on current events. From economic development to foreign policy, from policy research to political lobbying, whatever is happening in the world will help to shape what NGOs need to do.
Political Science Internships
Political placements are not only housed in Parliament. Political Science interns can expect to experience the field from a variety of different sectors, including:
- Not-for-profit organizations
- Advocacy groups
- Political consultancies
- Lobbying groups
- Research organizations
These placements can provide a unique insight into not only Belgian’s political system, but that of the EU as well. Interns can expect to utilise and build upon a wide variety of skills, which may include event planning, marketing, PR, research or press monitoring. Placements within government bodies may include work within political parties or local constituency offices, lobbying or information bodies, with a focus on the activities of parliament and government.
With a population of 90,000, 40,000 of which are students, there are few towns in Flanders that appeal to the imagination more than Leuven. Interns will be immersed in history, culture, architecture, gastronomy and modern science all at the same time. From the Gothic Town Hall and the Great Beguinage, to the student atmosphere of the Old Market Square and the home of Stella Artois, Leuven has it all. Irish College Leuven is within a short walking distance of all of these landmarks, and more!
Most people get around by bicycle (Fiets), foot or bus – the choice will be yours! Being such a small town, you can cover all of it by foot in a single day, which will allow you to treat yourself to one of Belgium’s sweet treats at the end of the day.
Leuven is also only 20 kilometers from Brussels, which is well connected to neighbouring countries Germany, The Netherlands, Luxembourg and France.
Speaking of food, Ireland wasn’t short of amazing places to eat and enjoy night life. I’ll never forget the evenings I spent watching performers dancing in pubs, streets and restaurants just to entertain us! The way the performers interacted with one another and the crowd really made for a genuine and friendly vibe in Ireland. I think about the six weeks I spent in Ireland almost everyday.
It has changed the aspirations I have in life and made my desires more meaningful. It is remarkable how big of an impact this country and program has had on me. I would not change it for a thing."
Airfare, materials for placement, visa, transport, mandatory health insurance, some meals and spending money aren’t included. Please budget accordingly.