Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Monday June 11th: Brussels, U.S. Commercial Counselor and Hostel Concert Party!

Our first day in Brussels has brought a reality for most students that we are here to study and not to vacation. I've heard a lot of talk today about how Brussels will be the time to catch up on work and get prepared for the end of the trip and exams. I am personally needing to be more aggressive with my paper.
We met with another U.S. Commercial Counselor today to hear information about the United States Department of Commerce work in Brussels. It's interesting to see how the embassy work can differ so much from one department to another and also nice to know about other avenues for work. Essentially, the Department of Commerce acts as a export promotion agency and tries to provide direct assistance to U.S. companies looking to export items to Europe. I still feel that the tradition FSO job track is more suited for me and would rather be an economic advisor than work in commercial service.
Back at the hostel everyone was working hard and laptops were out everywhere. As the night progressed however people began to relax and settle in to our new home. The group has seemed to get along really well and we hung out and enjoyed some Belgian beers together. Tomorrow I'm hoping to land an interview before leaving for the EU Parliament.