Columbia, Mo. (Nov. 1, 2010) — Journalism graduate students Brian Jarvis and Rebecca Wolfson voyaged to the European Union in Brussels, Belgium, in October to participate in the 2010 European Union Press Visit for U.S. journalism students. The week-long trip is aimed to boost awareness and improve EU-USA relations.
Along with 13 other students from around the country, Jarvis and Wolfson attended presentations, networked with speakers and contributed dialogue during seminars and conferences.
“We talked to experts in each of the fields. Not just press secretaries, but people who are important at the EU and making a real difference there,” Wolfson said. “I learned a ton about European history, institutions and political structure. The challenges are really interesting, based on cultural differences and trying to create one face for Europe.”
One highlight was a speech on Pakistan relations delivered by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who shared a press conference with EU High Representative Lady Catherine Ashton. Other speakers addressed topics that included climate change, NATO, terrorism, xenophobia, the global economic crisis and the upcoming midterm elections in the U.S.
“As an exercise in EU awareness-raising, I think it went very well,” said John Holland, project manager of the European Journalism Centre. “The seminar gave participants a chance to engage at a very high level with EU policymakers and shapers. As complex as it may often sound to U.S. ears, the evolution of the EU is important to understand if many of the world’s most difficult policy issues are to be effectively addressed by both sides of the North Atlantic.”
Jarvis and Wolfson are both former producers of the multimedia show Global Journalist and said the press visit helped broaden their perspective.
“They put us right in the thick of the action. You could really feel the energy,” said Jarvis, who will be returning to Brussels in January to complete his master’s project as part of a semester-long internship. “Seeing the EU up close and meeting the movers and shakers is a chance that doesn’t come along every day.”
“What a wonderful opportunity for a group of grad students to go and see something so connected to us,” added Wolfson. “We have such similar histories, so intertwined and yet so different.”
Updated: May 14, 2020