Public services students from Coleg Sir Gâr have represented Wales and the UK at the Your Europe, Your Say event in Belgium.
Three students and their lecturers joined 27 other schools from different countries to attend a European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) event for young people where each school or college presented their ideas for a more democratic European Union. This is the first time that a Welsh college has been represented at the annual event.
Students met other students from the EU and dignitaries such as the secretary-general of the European Youth Forum and campaigners for Democracy International. “I have a better awareness of how other countries feel Europe can progress in the future,” said public services student Anthony Wildsmith from Carway. “I also met students from all over Europe and worked in groups simulating the creation of EU policies.”
Student Karol Knach who is originally from Poland, said: “This was a great political experience and a test of strength of my personality.
“To stand up in front of all these amazing people was both stressful and exciting.”
The three-day trip has also resulted in a possible exchange programme for Carmarthenshire students in the Netherlands and the Czech Republic. “Being part of this event makes you realise how valuable it is being part of a wider community and the career opportunities it opens up,” said public services lecturer, Amanda Morgan.
Karol Knach added: “The knowledge I have learnt is more valuable compared to learning from books, the internet or TV as it’s a first-hand experience talking to people who live in Europe but in countries very different to the UK.”
Pic: Public Services students Anthony Wildsmith, Karol Knach and Sophie Fry pictured with their lecturers Amanda Morgan (far left) and Vaughan Davies with Brian Curtis (second left), UK member of EESC.