GT in the EU

An extraordinary education

TTIP, Ukraine, and Art Nouveau

Today was by far the busiest, and enriching day of the program thus far! We started out the day bright and early with a simulation to create compromises between the US and EU regarding TTIP (Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) and the Ukraine crisis. There were 4 teams, broken up between both US, and EU perspectives and again regarding TTIP of Ukraine. Each team prepared topics of contention to discuss before the simulation. Then each team gave an opening speech addressing what they wanted to get out of the agreement. Next came the negotiations. The US and EU teIMG_3047ams from each respective topic got together and worked towards finding a compromise so policy can be passed to solve the issues. This was a great experience for me to practice my skills of persuasion, as well as to learn when to bite my tongue, or speak up to put the information out there that needs to be said. After each topic came to an agreement it was typed up, and formulated into a speech to present to the whole class. Below are some pictures of the simulation in progress. They mIMG_3048ay not look like much but I promise everyone’s brains were working full speed ahead!


After the simulation was over Dr.Birchfield brought the class a delicious catered lunch in celebration! We didn’t waste much time at all before we jumped straight into a lecture given by our very own Prof. Cottle. He lectured us on common art movements throughout Europe, especially Art Nouveau in Brussels. It was interesting to see the connections between pop culture in the time, and how it reflected in the art movements! Post lecture the class took a waIMG_3053lking tour around the city of Brussles. On this walk we meandered through the streets looking at town houses that were built during this movement. Art Nouveau in architecture is when materials such as plaster, wood, and metal are all used in the façade of the house in unique and expensive composition. This was one of my favorite houses we looked at!

It is absolutely gorgeous! Now most of these houses are owned by the city, or art societies so they can be restored and preserved for the public to admire for years to come. To end our walking tour, on one of the hottest days we have had in Brussels thus was, we went to the Horta house museum. Horta was a famous architect during this art movement. He actually built his own house, that is so heavily decorated and beautiful I could barely believe my eyes! Unfortunately pictures were not allowed, so I guess everyone reading this will just have to go there in person one day! Going to the museum was a great, and super interesting end to a jam packed day. After finishing the museum at 7 I promptly went back to my house for some much needed water, and a long nap!




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  1. Suraj Sehgal

    It was unfortunate that we could not take photos in the Horta house museum, because it truly was beautiful and very well planned. It was amazing to see how he had thought about every little detail from the material and style of the door knobs to the light fixtures!

  2. Brandon Liu

    I thought the most interesting part of the day was the architecture lecture, especially when he was talking about how society’s anxiety can be expressed through stylistic representation. Continuing on the topic of style, he also pointed out how society tends to see style as a form of classification. It is an interesting point because it begs the question ‘Does style lead to inequality,’. By classifying things under style, you are inherently creating a division between one person’s way of thinking and another. Naturally, this will create complexes by which people will then judge other people’s works based upon their own understanding of what is ‘in style’ and thus inferiority is created. Since style is arguably a product of creativity, then could it be that humanity’s ability to think creatively is the world’s greatest hindrance to true equality?
    I can already see holes in this thinking, but I thought it was still an interesting point to raise.

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