As of Monday, September 15th, I am happy to say that my internship with European Youth Forum has started. As I have touched on previously, having an internship abroad and gaining some professional experience was another one of the many aspects of Brussels that piqued my interest. At the University of Denver, being in the Social Justice Living and Learning Community (along with Kirsten, a fellow DU Blogger!) helped me discover a newfound passion for human rights advocacy.
The European Youth Forum is an NGO that has many pledges and platforms, which they discuss with many European organizations in hopes that institutions like the European Parliament will take notice of and institute new laws into the European Union. Though a very serious topic surely when considering workers' rights, education, and fostering democracy for the young population, Youth Forum happens to be quite laid-back and friendly in the office. When I came in the first day in a sport jacket and dress shoes, I was happily relieved to find out I'd never have to wear them again unless I was partaking in a meeting with one of the many commissions in the EU. A button down shirt, slacks or jeans, and clean shoes will suffice.
Currently, my work involves editing and drafting letters to chairs of the various committees in the European Commission. There are many committees with different areas of interest, so at the moment, I am requesting meetings between the European Youth Forum and the Culture and Education, Civil Justice, and Development committees among others. It is a very hard system to grasp unless you immerse yourself in it for an extended period of time. Having to learn about it in class and then again at work is a good crash-course.
Just a short update for all of you, but I'm excited to continue working for such a dedicated, well-rounded, well-known, and successful organization in a friendly atmosphere.
Stay tuned for more!