Make The Connection

Theory-to-Practice Grant, ‘Brussels: The De Facto Capital of the European Union’

October 7, 2015 – by Cole Hatcher

Erica Shah ’16

Learn how OWU’s many academic, research, and travel-learning programs prepare students for leadership and global citizenship and help them … Make the Connection.

Erica Shah ’16 traveled to Brussels over the summer to study the European Union using an Ohio Wesleyan-funded Theory-to-Practice Grant. (Photo courtesy of Erica Shah ’16)

Erica Shah ’16

Name: Erica Shah ’16
Majors: Economics and Pre-Law
Hometown: Mumbai, India
Experience: Theory-to-Practice Grant, “Brussels: The De Facto Capital of the European Union”

In May 2015, Shah traveled to Belgium to study how the European Union works and how it sustains its aims with such cultural, economic, and political diversity.

Lessons Learned: “The biggest struggle (Europe) is facing now (is) of ‘more Europe’ or ‘less Europe,’ and thus commitment to the European Union. … Given the current deficits of political, economic, and cultural dynamism across the continent, the most important motivating force will probably not be internal. Rather, the force is likely to stem from the necessity of responding to external challenges, to the various forces of global competition for prosperity and influence that press on the European future from the outside. …

“Words can’t describe how positive this experience has been for me. I have become more curious, and am really seeking experiences and opportunities where I can learn, grow, and become a good global citizen and try to learn from everyone and every situation.

“It was interesting to compare and contrast American and European standards, society, and laws. I have definitely come to appreciate the differences they both offer and how some practices can be adopted only by certain types of countries.”