On the 14th of September, SIB Amsterdam departed from Sloterdijk station for the traditional trip to the capital of the European Union, Brussels. The introduction trip has already an established role inside the association, as it brings together old members with prospective ones, and gives newcomers the opportunity to discover both facets of SIB: the professional and intellectual side, ready to transform bright and curious youngsters into young adults with a deep knowledge about international relations, and the lively and inviting side, unable to say no to a challenge or a good party.🎉
The trip thus began in typical SIB fashion, with a packed group of people hurrying from Brussels North to the first activity on the list, VNO NCW, in formal attire and suitcases sliding rapidly on the pavement. Once there, we were introduced to two of the employees and one intern of the organization, that shared with us the process and challenges undertaken to represent the Dutch businesses’ interests in an international climate. Afterwards, we went directly to another lobbying firm, FleishmannHillard, where we amongst other things discussed more in detail the particular challenges faced when representing a client in the health sector, while also putting emphasis on the ethical side of the dealings. What followed was a walk among the European institutions, followed by a delicious meal at Café Novo and the indispensable beers at famous Delirium bar in the centre of Brussels. What better occasion of getting to know each other?
We started the next day early in the morning, equipped with rich coffees, and headed for a walking tour that included some of the best touristic spots in Brussels, such as the Manneke Pis and Grote Markt. Next, the traditional introduction game brought us to Grand Place, where we separated into small teams and spread through the city, in a quest that challenged our imagination (and French skills😉). We spent the last evening in one of the most fun bars of Brussels, Le Corbeau, and ended the night in Au Quai, an underground club that played a cool mix of electronic music and French rap, that oozed talent and good vibes!
The last day brought about a mix of activities that people could freely choose from, such as a visit to the Parlamentarium, the Atomium, the Palais de Bruxelles, or a laid back afternoon taking advantage of the international comic book festival in Parc de Bruxelles and the sports festival in Parc du Cinquantenaire.
So, if you’re considering joining SIB, you want to visit a city that offers the best mix between professionalism and boisterous activities, or you simply are into meeting a diverse group of people, be sure not to miss “Brussels 2019”!