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Study Trip BRUSSELS - November 10th, 2017

For this semesters study trip we took the students of the Cologne Global Study Program to the Belgium capital Brussels.

After an early rise, we left Cologne via train and started our day in Brussels with a small stroll through the European quarter passing several European parliaments´ buildings, before arriving at the House of European History.

The official opening of the House of European History was about five months ago, after several years of renovations and preparations. Besides hosting a phenomenal exhibition, it also offers some quite impressive architectural features. Overviewing the Park Leopold, the museum is located in the historical Eastman building. Built in 1935, it was a dental clinic to begin with, yet over time it was a public clinic, a learning facility and a retirement home as well. Having served the city and society for so many years, it seems quite appropriate, that while displaying European history these days, the buildings´ spirit – namely being a place for all people - is kept alive.

Visiting the museum itself is a very impressive experience and, I dare to assume, not only for a person holding a major interest in historical subjects. Each visitor is equipped with a tablet that can be set to any of the 24 EU official languages. Depending on previous knowledge and personal interests you can design your own tour, as the tablet will adjust itself to the persons´ specific position. With a focus on Europe as an entity, instead of examining nation by nation, visitors are lead through several centuries in such an engaging way, it may as well let you lose track of time.  

By the time we left the museum, our minds were well nourished, yet our stomachs called for input. Being in Belgium, we did not want to deprive the students of a taste of the famous Belgian fries. Madame Antoinette handled the 33 person order quite well, and, quick enough, everyone set off to follow his or her own plans for the afternoon.