Hidden Histories of the Second World War
The EU Internship Programme is an unique opportunity for students to gain an experience and understanding of the European Union through internships and supplemental programming. Students will participate in a three month internship with leading international organizations in Brussels. The internship includes academic lectures and seminars, a battlefield tour and career advice for aspiring young professionals.
This programme goes beyond an analysis of formal competencies and decision-making procedures and look behind the scenes to discover what really determines the course of EU policies: which actors have the real power and influence, which networks and coalitions are formed, which interests are at stake, how are they balanced, how do member states and European institutions interact.
This programme is currently only available to students under arrangements with a recognised educational institution and is not arranged individually. Educational institutions wishing to take part in the programme should contact Alastair Ross by email or by phone on +32 2 641 1721.
If an individual would like to learn about Politics and the EU including learning about getting a job with an EU institution; then our Summer school programme in Brussels may be of interest as an alternative.
Beyond an internship
During their internship, students will spend one day per week at the University of Kent's Brussels School of International Studiesfor a series of guest lectures, seminars and debates delivered by academics, policy-makers, diplomats and European civil servants. Each week will have a specific theme, for example ‘Europe and the Global Economic Crisis’, Britain and Europe’, ‘Europe and Emerging Powers’, ‘EU-China and EU-US Relations’, ‘Visas, Borders and Global Mobility’, or ‘The Future of Nato’; these themes are currently in development and as soon as the curriculum is ready, it will be posted on this website. As part of the experience, and instead of one of the guest lectures, there will be a history component that will include a tour of World War I battlefields, such as Langemark, Tyne Cot, Hill 60, Ypres and the Menin Gate. There will also be two dinners to which policy-makers, business leaders and diplomats will be invited so that students can interact and network with them in a social context.
Students will also have the opportunity to spend a day involved in a series of interactive career advice workshops designed to help prepare themselves for the job market and their internship. Topics will include helping students look at themselves critically, evaluating their strengths, values, interests, skills, so that they can then embark on a successful job-hunt; perfecting their CV for the international and European markets; interview tips and tricks; understanding the art of networking and advice on how to get the most out of an internship.
The aim of these internships is to provide students with a 360 degree view of how a political communication agency works. The work here varies from administration (i.e. collation of information for business development proposals) to creation (i.e. layout of publication materials) and from external relations (i.e. liaising with external experts and partner) to research (i.e. identifying trends in communication, advertising and PR).
Internships in the office a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) involve working closely with the MEP’s Political Assistant. Students will gain a valuable insight into the workings of the European Union, ranging from routine office tasks to the intricacies of the Brussels decision-making processes. Traveling to Strasbourg for the plenary sessions may be possible but is not guaranteed.
These internships vary hugely according to the type of NGO but in most cases the type of work involves looking for new funding opportunities, analyzing calls for proposals, helping with compilation of newsletters, conducting research as well as undertaking some administrative tasks such as helping with the logistics for events.
Here we are targeting an immigration think tank where the intern would assist in the preparation of a publication on European immigration policies as well as working on the presentation of qualitative and quantitative data on research carried out on all EU Member States. Again the tasks very according to the think tank but mostly involve research work.
These internships allow students to get an idea of how companies represent their interests before EU institutions and other stakeholders at the EU level. The intern would support the teams responsible for evaluating government relations initiatives, planning and developing key strategies, and implementing actions vis-à-vis EU institutions and regulatory agencies in a wide range of areas including international trade, energy, healthcare, financial services, environmental regulations, and intellectual property.
The internship is designed to offer students the opportunity to gain valuable work experience in the institutions, international organizations, representations and companies in Brussels. It provides students with the opportunity to:
- Make connections between the skills and knowledge learned in their academic programme and the working environment.
- Develop employability skills to make them more attractive to employers.
- Experience first-hand the business and working culture of an organisation.
- Gain confidence and develop a stronger set of personal and professional skills.
- Develop more effective written and communication skills.
- Extends commercial awareness of the context of decision making.
- Expand business networks.
- Develop self-awareness to enable them to make the successful transition between academic study and their chosen career.
Will I receive credit for the internship programme?
The University of Kent will award students 10 ECTS credits for successful completion of the EU Internship programme. It will be up to the student’s institution to decide whether the credit is integrated into their educational programme.
What do I have to do to receive credit for the internship?
Students have to write a 1500 word Placement Report, which will require them critically to assess their personal development over the course of the internship and their ability to make connections between the knowledge and skills which they are developing in their degree and how they apply them in an organization. This placement report is to be submitted within 10 working days of the end of the internship contract. Additionally the organization where the student is placed must write a report on both the personal and professional performance of the student during the internship and submit this to the University within 10 working days of the end of the internship contract. Based upon a satisfactory performance recommendation and a satisfactory Placement Report, the student will be awarded a Pass. The assessment is Pass/Fail only.
Do I need a visa to attend the Summer School?
If you are not an EU resident and require a visa to travel to the Schengen area, you should apply for a short-term tourist visa from your nearest Belgian consulate. Although the University of Kent is recognised a higher education provider in Belgium, the summer school is not of sufficient duration to justify the issuing of a student visa. To support your application we are able provide you with confirmation of your place on the Summer School if you write to request such a document from firstname.lastname@example.org
Do I need to speak another language?
All the teaching and excursions will be conducted in English and the working language for all internships is normally English. However, students who speak another language may find it easier to secure an internship. English is widely spoken in Brussels on a day to day basis and students will be able to get by without a good knowledge of either French or Dutch.
Do I need to purchase any teaching materials?
Students have access to large array of online resources and all other resources are provided free of charge. Although students do not need to buy books for the programme, they may benefit from further reading. Once registered, students are given a reading list which contains titles can help to familiarise themselves with the core subjects in advance.
Is accommodation made available or would I have to find this myself?
Accommodation can be arranged for students in advance of their trip but this must form part of the negotiations with your educational organisation.