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AU Brussels | Field Trips

Experience the EU in Action

Students tour a memorial to the genocide at Srebrenica

AU Brussels students at the Memorial to the Genocide at Srebrenica.

Travel is an integral part of the European Union in Action Program. As a group, the program travels to places like Luxembourg, The Hague, Geneva or Strasbourg to visit non-Brussels-based EU and UN institutions. During these visits, we learn from experts on the ground about how the EU operates and how it interacts with other international organizations. We also spend time having fun on the weekends in interesting places like Trier, Maastricht, Reims, Han-sur-Lesse, Leiden, or Kandersteg.

Students in front of Ataturk's tomb in Ankara

AU Brussels students at Ataturk's tomb in Ankara.

The AU Brussels Center cultural activities help you learn more about Europe and get better acquainted with Europeans. We tour Brussels to show you the wealth of architectural and historical treasures that the city has to offer. We visit and tour historic Belgian cities like Antwerp, Bastogne, Bruges, Ghent, Ieper, or Leuven. We’ve also visited the brewery museum to show the contribution of Belgium to other aspects of European culture.

Depending on the interest of the students, we can arrange for a program night at the opera or a classical concert. We can arrange visits to Belgium’s wealth of art museums. After all, Belgium was at the heart of the Northern Renaissance, and painters like Hans Memling, Hubert and Jan Van Eyck, Peter-Paul Rubens, Hieronymus Bosch, Peter Breughel, and many others lived and worked here. In the twentieth century, Belgian painters were among the leaders of the surrealist movement, with stars such as René Magritte and Paul Delvaux.

Belgium’s violent history has also bequeathed it with many historical monuments, and the program has visited sites like the battlefield of Waterloo, the Battle of the Bulge, and the former Nazi concentration camp at Fort Breendonk.

Students on a field trip Northern Cyprus

But that’s just the beginning. The highlight of the semester is our twelve-day trip to countries in Central and Eastern Europe. The destination of this trip varies from semester to semester, depending on events that are important for understanding the EU. For example, we visited Turkey during the semester that the EU decided to open membership negotiations with the country. We visited Bosnia-Herzegovina during the semester that the EU took over the peacekeeping operation there. We have frequently visited Cyprus (pictured above), since the ongoing division of the island poses special problems for the EU and its relationship with Turkey. During these trips, we learn from local officials about their perspective on the developments in their countries. We take tours to learn about the history and culture of the places we visit. No two field trips are the same. Each group of European Union Program students has its own unique field trip experience, tailored to its semester.

Being able to go to places that most Americans and Europeans never visit gives perspective on what it means to talk about a broader Europe.

-Student Evaluation

Students visit Haut Koeningsburg in France
Haut Koeningsburg castle in France

Over the past five years, previous field trip destinations have included:

  • Austria
  • Bosnia-Herzegovina
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hungary
  • Italy
  • Kosovo
  • Luxembourg
  • Macedonia
  • Montenegro
  • Netherlands
  • San Marino
  • Serbia
  • Slovenia
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey