Euroscola 2016. This year 23 sixth form students from Durham participated in the Euroscola programme in Strasbourg. The students came from Framwellgate School Durham, Teesdale School, Durham Johnston Community School and Consett Academy.
The European Parliament set up the Euroscola programme in 1990 and every year since, thousands of students aged between 16 and 18 from all 28 European Member States have participated.
Euroscola lets students experience how it is to be a Member of the European Parliament. They get to engage in decision-making debates in the hemicycle, negotiate with their “colleagues” and vote on topical European issues.
By bringing all these students from different countries together, it helps them to learn and experience foreign languages, but also about the importance of cross-cultural cooperation. The students are given the chance to introduce their school and the region they are from. This is meant to highlight the cultural diversity and enriches the cultural dialogue.
About 20 Euroscola sessions are held each year and it is the European Parliament Information Centres (EPIC) that are in charge of choosing the students that gets the opportunity to go to the programme. The EPICs chooses the students through organising competitions in their member state.
The Euroscola programme is an important tool for the European Parliament to reach out to the young people.
The 23 students from Durham that went this year had a day planned that involved:
08.30 – Day begins and breakfast is served
10.00 – Introduction to the EU, school presentations and opportunity to ask questions
12.45 – Lunch
14.00 – Split up into committees to debate a given topic
16.00 – Present the committee report in the plenary
18.00 – The day ends
Here are some of the thoughts of the students from Durham about the day in Strasbourg
“We really enjoyed:
- Speaking with people of different nationalities- we counted 17!
- Learning more about how the EU works and is structured.
- The Eurogame- although we thought having it over lunch was a little chaotic.
- The session in the morning with the opportunity to direct questions towards a real MEP.
- The live translation and exposure to other languages and culture.
- The fact the teams in the afternoon debate were made up of people of different nationalities.
- The presentations (introductions to each country) and felt the pace was good.
- We enjoyed the chance to socialise over our evening meal with the people of different nationalities we had met earlier in the day.
- Amazing vegetarian/vegan food.”
Do not miss the opportunity to be the next group that gets the chance to participate in this exciting programme! You can get more information and read all about Euroscola by clicking this link – Euroscola.