You are here: Programs

Explore the Options

Browse through the programs offered in Brussels below. Click on each program title for more detailed information.

Don't attend American University? You can still participate in one of our programs! Undergraduate students are eligible for the European Union in Action and Brussels Summer Internship programs.

At this time, the only program in Brussels that is open to non-AU graduate students is the European Public Affairs and Advocacy Institute (EPAAI). In fact, even working professionals who are not earning a degree at a university participate in EPAAI each summer. Therefore, if you are a graduate student or working professional interested in studying how to lobby and influence the European Union, join the EPAAI and learn with a unique group of people!

If you are a student at another US institution and would like to participate in one of our programs, then we welcome your perspective and participation in our programs.

Students at the European Parliament, standing in front of flags.

Be at the Center of Decision Making

The European Union in Action Program puts you at the center of transatlantic decision-making. Brussels is the headquarters of the European Union and NATO, and it plays host to dozens of other official international organizations. Thousands of international corporations, associations, and non-governmental organizations call Brussels home. It truly is the place where the international community meets. The European Union in Action program puts you at the center of this global decision-making environment through:

  • Courses and seminars with guest speakers that give you expert knowledge of the European Union, NATO, and global political, security, and economic challenges
  • Field trips to see the European Union and NATO in action outside of Brussels
  • Internships that give you real-world international experience
  • Homestays that enhance your appreciation of Europeans
  • Continental-wide travel opportunities to enrich your understanding of Europe
  • A university campus with opportunities to meet European students
  • A capital city environment that brings together people from all over the world
Students on the stairs of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe.

The European Union in Action program is a semester-long, undergraduate study abroad program. To be eligible to participate, students must be an advanced undergraduate enrolled at a college or university in the United States.

Don't have time to spend a semester in Brussels? Learn about the Summer Internship Program or the Graduate Summer Program.

"I think this is the best valued program for the money. Through the travel and classroom experiences, you receive an education that almost no one else in the world can come close to matching."
-Student Evaluation

The European Union in a Nutshell

Students listening to a lecture by the director on a city tour

The Brussels Summer Internship Program offers you a seven-week opportunity to learn about and experience the European Union through:

  • An internship that gives you a four-day per week real-world international experience
  • A class that gives you an overview of what the European Union is and does
  • A Field Trip and Travel Opportunities to learn more about Belgium and Europe
  • A homestay that enhances your appreciation of Europeans
  • An international capital city environment that brings together people from all over the world

The Brussels Summer Internship Program is a seven-week undergraduate study abroad program. To be eligible to participate, you must be an advanced undergraduate student enrolled at a college or university in the United States.

Class

You will take a three credit hour course on the institutions of the European Union. This course offers you a brief overview of what the European Union is, how it works, and what it does. The purpose of the course is to help you understand the European Union better so that you can apply this knowledge in the internships.

The course meets in the evenings once or twice each week for seven weeks. Your grade is determined on the basis of a final examination, a learning contract exercise, and the internship supervisor's evaluation of your performance.

Internship

After an initial week of orientation and interviews for internship placements, you will be at your internship four days each week (Monday through Thursday) over six weeks.

The internship opportunities in this program reflect the nature of Brussels itself. Previous students have interned for Members of the European Parliament, EU lobbying and advocacy organizations, consultancies, multinational corporations, law firms, trade development offices, and non-governmental organizations. For more information about the internships and the internship placement process, please see Internships.

Field Trip & Travel

Students in front of a military shrine

You will participate in a weekend field trip to several Belgian historic cities such as Antwerp, Bruges, Ghent, and Leuven. This trip will help you learn about Belgium's rich history and see some of its architectural and artistic treasures first-hand. Moreover, except for that weekend field trip, every Friday of the program is free for your own independent travel.

Homestay

You will stay in a homestay during your summer internship program. For more information, see Program Components.

"I learned more at my internship than I ever thought possible." -Student Evaluation

Are you a graduate student who wants an inside perspective?

A yellow waffle truck parked on a city square.

Graduate Summer Programs

Comparative Law in Europe

The American University Washington College of Law (AUWCL) London-Brussels-Paris-Geneva Summer Law Program introduces law students and attorneys to evolving legal concepts and structures in Europe and in the international arena. For more information, see the Comparative Law in Europe program website.

European Public Affairs & Advocacy Institute

This unique course will introduce students to the art and craft of lobbying in the European Union. During a week in Brussels students will be immersed in the strategies, tactics, methods, techniques, regulations and ethics of lobbying in Europe. For more information, see the European Public Affairs and Advocacy Institute website.

Key Abroad Program

Students enrolled in American University's Key Executive Leadership Program can engage in a week long intensive study of public administration in Brussels through the Key Abroad Program. This program examines the system of governance in the European Union and the United States in order to understand how policies and legislation are adopted, implemented and enforced. Students evaluate and identify what is the same, what is different, and why the respective systems have developed as they have. While they are in Brussels, the students learn from high-ranking officials from the EU Parliament, Commission, and Council, and from staff members of various governance entities. In addition, the students visit NATO to learn about public administration in an intergovernmental organization, and how that administration deals with the security issues facing the alliance.

The Key Abroad Program is only open to students enrolled in American University's Key Executive Leadership Program. For more information, see the Key Abroad Program website.

"[The program] gave me an insider's perspective of the European Union and exposed me to several different areas of administrative work that I may not have initially considered to be a part of my professional future. ... I recommend the program to everyone, especially those majoring in International Studies and focusing on Europe."
-Student Evaluation