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College students learn about European politics firsthand

Six East Stroudsburg University students traveled to Poland to participate in a simulation of the European Union.

The undergraduate students took part in "Euroism 2012", a four-day international replica of the world's largest economic and political union.

This year's event was held Jan. 5-8 in Wroclaw, Poland, and attracted 200 students from 24 universities in Europe and the U.S.

Dr. Leif Johan Eliasson, associate professor of political science at ESU, organized this year's trip.

"The simulation is designed to enhance the students' understanding of Europe and international politics, while sowing seeds of transatlantic understanding and friendship among participants. Learning about the world's largest economic and political union of states is crucial to the exercise," Eliasson said.

Students assumed the roles of real policy makers (heads of government or ministers). As part of the role, they extensively researched policy issues and negotiation strategies before the simulation. They then applied their knowledge and negotiating skills in negotiations with other countries, represented by other schools.

The following ESU political science majors attended "Euroism 2012:"  Zachary Marshall, a senior from Pemberton, N.J.; SueAnn Otto, a senior from Hellertown; Mercedes Villagran, a senior from Stroudsburg; Jonathan Gavilanes, a junior from Effort; Frederick Ackerman, a sophomore from Nazareth; and, Zachary Niles, a sophomore from Sellersville.

"This year's group of ESU students performed exceptionally well, honing their knowledge of European law, international negotiations, and diplomacy with students from across Europe and the U.S. in an intense learning environment. The students also enjoyed the social experience of engaging with their peers from across two continents," said Eliasson.

ESU has been chosen to host the spring 2013 international European Union simulation.

It will be the largest and most diverse gathering of students and faculty ever at ESU, with some 200 students and 30 faculty members from 25 universities.

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