From Butler to Belgium


It was just another Tuesday until sophomore Meg Talley and the rest of her classmates visited the Council of the European Union in Brussels, Belgium.

She sat in the seat of the Irish minister and listened to a guide explain the role of the Council in the EU.

Talley has been to three different countries this semester as part of Butler University’s Global Adventures in the Liberal Arts program.

The trip to Brussels is part of her Global and Historical Studies course about European history.

The course focuses on the French Revolution and the European Union.

Antonio Menendez, her academic advisor and a sociology professor, taught the course.

“It was a sense of comfort to have him there,” Talley said. “I already knew him really well, and I could talk to him about future plans with my career and maybe going to grad school abroad. He grew up in Europe, so it was interesting to see his perspective as a citizen of the EU.”

As an international studies and criminology double major, Talley said she was inspired by the visits to the different parts of the European Union.

“I didn’t know much about the EU before class,” Talley said. “Then we were in Brussels where it is all located and we got to visit all of them.”

From an academic perspective, Talley said the class would be beneficial to her future if she were to pursue a career in international relations.

“I am interested in international law,” she said. “So learning about how the EU and the U.S. interact was fascinating, and I could actually be using this one day in my life and my job.”

Menendez even told Talley about an internship she could have with the EU as an American citizen.

“I want to do it so bad,” Talley said, smiling. “It would be so cool to live here and work with them, especially as an American.”

She said Brussels also appealed to her with more than its political prominence.

Talley appreciated the diversity in the city, from the people to the architecture.

“I feel like no one stood out because everyone was so different,” she said. “It was different from the other cities we have gone to where everyone looks the same. I love seeing all the different nationalities coming together.”