“Four jam-packed days of learning, exploring, and making new friends.” That’s how one participant described the annual Fulbright Seminar on the European Union and NATO. This seminar is organized for current U.S. Fulbright Students and Scholars by the Fulbright Commission in Brussels.
Each year, the Fulbright Commission in Brussels invites other Fulbright offices within the EU to nominate one or two distinguished American grantees to travel to Belgium and Luxembourg for a four-day seminar focusing on the European Union and NATO. Over the course of four days, seminar participants explore the structure and function of these organizations and learn how these institutions affect their academic, professional, and personal lives. Highlights of the annual seminar include visits to the European Court of Justice, the European Commission, the U.S. Mission to the EU, and NATO Headquarters. Participants also have an opportunity to learn more about the culture and history of Belgium and Luxembourg through tours of Luxembourg City, Brussels, and Bruges as well as visits to the Bastogne War Museum and College of Europe.
For many participants, the most memorable aspect of the seminar is the unique opportunity to engage with fellow Fulbrighters from a variety of academic backgrounds and grant placements across Europe. At the end of the week, the participants emerge with not only a better understanding of the role and importance of the European Union and NATO but also with a greater appreciation for the scope of the Fulbright Program and the work of their fellow scholars. The annual seminar also marks the only time in which American Fulbright-Schuman students and scholars, whose research takes them across the European Union, will also come from all over Europe to Belgium for their mid-year meeting during the seminar.
Participants are U.S. Fulbright grantees who have been nominated by the Fulbright Commission in their host country. While the majority of participants are younger than 30 years old, participants may be students, teachers, lecturers, or researchers and need not be specialists in the subject of the seminar. If space permits, American grantees willing and able to pay their own participation costs may also register to attend with the approval of their local Fulbright office.
2020 EU-NATO SEMINAR
The 2020 Fulbright Seminar on the European Union and NATO will be held on 4-8 February 2020. (Participants should plan to arrive in Brussels or Luxembourg City on Tuesday 4 February and to depart from Brussels on Saturday 8 February.) European Fulbright Commissions are kindly requested to submit their nomination(s) for participating grantees by 15 November, with a firm registration deadline of 1 December 2019 for all participants. A small number of spaces may be available for U.S. Fulbright grantees who wish to pay their own way with the express approval of their Fulbright Commissions. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
PREVIOUS PARTICIPANTS SAY…
“The EU-NATO seminar provide was so informative and engaging [that] I’m — not joking — considering a career change. The access to — and conversations with — professionals, policymakers, and, of course, motivated and intelligent Fulbrighters from across Europe was unreal.” — 2019 EU-NATO Seminar participant
“The EU-NATO Seminar was an absolute highlight of my time as a Fulbright Scholar. By introducing us to the institutions that create and articulate transatlantic and European policy-making, the seminar put into perspective the incredible importance that our role as scholars and cultural ambassadors plays in fostering and improving these dialogues at a localized level. Beyond that, it was a wonderful opportunity to meet a diverse group of scholars from every discipline imaginable. I will never forget this wonderful experience!” — 2019 EU-NATO Seminar participant
“Just as the European Union is connected, so is the Fulbright community across the EU. How wonderful to have the chance to interact with other Fulbrighters from across Europe while learning first-hand about the importance of the EU and the power in uniting different countries together. Life-changing opportunity!” — 2019 EU-NATO Seminar participant
“The EU-NATO Seminar mixed access to the inner workings of prestigious international institutions and organizations, sightseeing around Europe, and getting to interact with incredible Fulbrighters. It was the highlight of my Fulbright grant and will provide lasting impact and memories.” — 2018 EU-NATO Seminar participant
“Before the seminar, I knew of the European Union and NATO in abstract. However, there is something about meeting the people and going to the places behind the acronyms that transforms them from institutions you see on the news to groups of people that you might be able to work and form connections with — for example, knowing what programs support trans-Atlantic research relationships means I now see my European colleagues more than ever as potential future collaborators. The seminar […] helped turn a passive understanding with the EU and NATO into a more active one.” — 2018 EU-NATO Seminar participant
“This seminar is a major highlight of my Fulbright year! I have made friends for life here, and I mean that in a very genuine way. Thank you many, many times over for creating this opportunity for us.” — 2017 EU-NATO Seminar participant
“I’ve been to many workshops and conferences in my career and this was easily one of the best. Having the opportunity to learn about the EU and NATO through these first hand accounts was priceless, while getting to know so many Fulbrighters from around Europe really underlined how amazing this program is.” — 2017 EU-NATO Seminar participant
“The seminar was an eye-opening experience that taught me what can be accomplished when countries put aside nationalistic differences for the common good. Spending four days with 50 other inspiring Fulbrighters instilled an even deeper sense of appreciation for the program and commitment to strengthening US-European relations.” — 2018 EU-NATO Seminar participant