The European Summer Institute is an experience that every political science student should take advantage of. It will absolutely change your perspective on European politics and society, whether you are an avid globetrotter or someone who has never had the opportunity to leave North America. Personally, I had only visited Spain prior to this trip, and in my naïveté I believed that spending 10 days in Spanish lands had given me the full European experience. However, visiting Germany and getting the opportunity to learn not only about the beautiful landscapes, but also the economy and government, was truly eye opening.
From my experience with the ICDD, the courses I was able to take with the available professors were informative and engaging. I was given the opportunity to learn about Germany’s economy, and how German politics play a role in shaping that economy. It was interesting to learn how Germany’s capitalistic economy compared to that of the United States, as well as the rest of Europe. I feel confident now that I understand what problems currently inhibit EU economic growth, as well as how to go about improving some of those issues. Our trip to Brussels was also an invaluable experience, as we were given the opportunity to meet with a large number of European officials ranging from EU Parliament to the European Commission. It was a surreal experience to visit some of these places, then later hear or read about these institutions in news media and think, “Wow, I was just there.”