T Minus 1 Week Til Home

Hello again! I have returned my laptop since my last post, hence the further delay in updating you all on my adventures! Since last post, I have finished some of my papers and continued to prepare for the model EU simulation. I only have one paper left, then I jump into finals tomorrow (Sat 9). I have a relatively kind finals schedule, but I’m spending all of my time studying and writing for now.

I think our model EU simulation is a really interesting and unique part of my program, so I figured I’d share some of what we’re doing for it. Like I mentioned last post, the program is split into two parties: Heads of State and foreign ministers. I am the Prime Minister for Greece, which has been very interesting so far. Each group discusses four topics within their council. In the Commission, or the meeting of the heads of state, we are addressing the freedom of movement concerns between the EU and the UK post-Brexit, the possible expansion of the competencies of Frontex, which is an EU organization that helps with border control in the wake of the refugee crisis, the possible reform of the Dublin Regulations, which are the rules regulating the acceptance and processing of immigrants seeking asylum, and the gender pay gap. Overall, Greece has some interesting positions on all the topics. As is to be expected, things about immigration are very important because Greece is both a location where many immigrants first arrived into the EU, and also because Greece is still struggling to recover form the debt crisis and thus is already struggling financially. On Brexit, Greece pretty much follows the party line and stands with the EU; ie, the UK needs to continue to uphold the rights of EU citizens living there even after the UK isn’t subject to the same laws. For the most part, we’ve done all the work we need for the simulation, but I’m still looking forward to sitting down and actually talking over every issue.

My final paper, which, to be honest, I’m currently procrastinating on, is for my finance class and is about the interbank market. What I’m learning is very technical, but basically the market is where banks trade currencies. It has been very negatively affected by the debt crisis, and I’ve enjoyed learning what exactly has happened to banks and what reforms have been put in place in the EU as a result.

Earlier in the week, I got the chance to walk through the Weihnachtsmarkt, or Christmas market, here in Freiburg (pictured below with fellow Whittie, Mimi)

Mimi at the Weihnachtsmarkt

It was cold but beautiful and full of good food and fun crafts. I’m going to try to find the time to go back!

Here also, enjoy some German snow and traditional December food. I’ll try to update a few more times before I get back home!