In Brussels

Posted on 3rd March 2014

Between 17 and 20 February a group of Media Department students and lecturers visited Brussels on a journalism field trip.

In an amazingly packed programme, the University of Chester group:

  • enjoyed a specially arranged visit to the headquarters of NATO, where they met with Patrick Stephenson, a speechwriter for NATO Secretary-General Fogh Rasmussen, and Damien Arnaud, Head of Media Operations and Media Monitoring;
  • visited the European Parliament to meet with Members of the European Parliament Jacqueline Foster and Chris Davies;
  • accepted an invitation to visit the Council of the European Union, including exclusive access to press and VIP areas and the opportunity to meet with Council press officers;
  • visited the Brussels bureau of the Reuters international news organization, where they spent two hours in discussion with the bureau chief Luke Baker;
  • were invited to a private meeting of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in Europe, where they were welcomed by the former Prime Minister of Belgium;
  • and spent a day at the European Commission, visiting the TV studios, attending a press conference and enjoying exclusive meetings with key members of the Directorate General for Communications and with the spokesperson for Commission Vice-President Neelie Kroes.

Students on the trip – organized by journalism and new media lecturer Dr Vera Slavtcheva-Petkova – have described their time in Brussels as ‘inspiring’.

Journalism student James Walker said: ‘The trip was a blast. It was interesting and informative and I learnt a lot. It also opened up a lot of avenues for the future that I had never considered before.’

Another student, Abby Hydes, added: ‘Seeing how each person showed an interest in different types of journalism during the trip was really interesting. It was a brilliant, funny and educational trip which I surely shall not forget anytime soon.’

 For more details about the trip please visit: