Studying Europe during Brexit

Studying Europe during Brexit

An interview with Lucas, Summer 2016
  • Lucas, a 2016 Summer School student in the social sciences trackLucas, a 2016 Summer School student in the social sciences track

“Everything seems to be happening right now in Paris, as if the world spins around you.”

Lucas is currently pursuing his Bachelor’s in International Studies and German at Johns Hopkins University.  We interviewed him in June 2016 about studying the European Union at the Summer School during the Brexit referendum.

Why did you want to attend the Sciences Po Summer School?

I saw that the Summer School offered a course called “The European Union at a Crossroads” - a topic that really fascinates me. I think Europe is a project that has a lot of potential and momentum to change. Since I am young and looking for something to do, I want to learn more about the legal and political framework of the EU and figure out what tools I could use in the future to get involved.

The Brexit referendum happened during your time at the Summer School.  What is it like to study history as it happens?

On the morning after the referendum, I woke up to numerous messages saying “they left!”  It’s amazing to talk about Brexit over breakfast with your friends, then to go to class to learn about the EU and discuss the results, while living in Europe. I felt very much in the center of it all.  Coming into the classroom knowing that everyone knew the result and was talking about it showed that people from my generation really are engaged about Europe.

How do you hope to benefit from this experience back home?

I’m leaving with a much greater understanding of the European Union and that’s going to help me with my own personal projects and ambitions. With the Brexit you realize that there is an energy and tension at the core of Europe that is constantly evolving, and I’m excited to bring this awareness back home with me.  I’m currently the president of a think tank at my university that focuses on transatlantic and European issues and I feel that I am now able to voice what I’ve learned and bring the excitement and energy that I have from the Summer School back to my campus.

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