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EuroSim 2016

Global Awareness

Junior Kyle Purchase admits he was a bit nervous taking on the role as the prime minister of Romania at this year’s EuroSim meeting in Antwerp, Belgium.

“It got me out of my comfort zone,” the political science/international relations major said of the EuroSim experience, which simulates the governing process of the European Union. “For some roles it can be difficult especially if they are more radical to the left or right.”

Widener is one of only 22 schools in the world that participates in the four-day simulation. Students assume a variety of roles such as heads of state, party members, and leaders in parliament with the goal of covering current and ongoing issues in the European Union.

This year’s focus was on the Dublin IV immigration and asylum regulation, said Dr. Becky Jones, associate professor of political science.

 “The timeliness of this year's topic couldn’t have been better,” said Jones, who has been involved in EuroSim since 2001. “They were talking about real world issues that were constantly in the news and they could frame arguments based off that.”

Jones remarked that through the simulation students learn how to become leaders and good communicators. They also learn skills like negotiation and compromise, which can be applied across all disciplines.

“It is a good way to expand cultural awareness,” said Elizabeth Cohen, a junior political science/international relations major. “If you want to evolve as a student or evolve as a leader at Widener it is definitely something you should get involved in.”

Students also conduct rigorous research on the topic, their roles, and on the countries they represent. Participants take their assignments seriously and face plenty of curveballs.

Freshman Aidan Hostetter recalled how he was suddenly asked to run a few meetings as a member of the Greens-European Free Alliance party, a responsibility he was not expecting in his first year. But instead of shying away from the experience he embraced it.

“That was a little shocking being thrown into something completely unexpected,” said Hostetter, an international relations/French major. “But I wouldn’t be doing EuroSim as a freshman if I wasn’t up for the challenge.”

Purchase said the entire EuroSim experience, which also included some sightseeing through the cobblestone streets of Antwerp and the quaint chocolate shops in Brussels, falls in line with Widener’s mission of providing a global education.

“Understanding what it means to be civically engaged in the world around us – you can’t learn that in a text book,” said Purchase.