Our Lady’s Bower students enjoying a live EU interpreting session.

Think Languages trip to Brussels

As part of their prize for being crowned #ThinkLanguages National Champions by Minister Norma Foley earlier this year, Teresa Detoche, Ella Scullion, Mia Daly and Éilish Breheny, accompanied by teachers Ms Quilty and Ms Mooney, jetted off to Brussels to enjoy an all-expenses paid trip to the home of the EU.

On day one of their trip, the girls enjoyed a walking tour of Brussels, where they became acquainted with the history and culture of the city and explore some of its most famous landmarks. Following this, the girls were treated to a Belgian chocolate-making workshop, where they learned all the secrets behind what makes Belgian chocolate so tasty, and even got to make some chocolate of their own.

On day two of the trip, the girls received a guided tour of the European Parliament, visited an EU history museum, the National Bank of Belgium and to finish off the day, they took an elevator to the top of the renowned ‘Atomium’, the most iconic structure in Brussels, where they took in breath-taking views of the entire city of Brussels from a height of over 100m.

Day three of the Brussels trip proved to be the most special, as the girls were honoured to meet some very important people working in the EU. In the morning, the girls had a coffee with Morag Neath, head of the English interpreting unit at the European Commission, and Genoveva Ruíz Calavera, overall head of EU interpreting and their team of interpreters, where the students discussed the role of EU interpreting in great detail. Following this, the girls were invited to attend a live EU press conference where they could take in the conference from the interpreters’ booths.

After lunch with some more EU interpreters at the European Commission, the girls were met by a representative from the Department of Foreign Affairs who took them to the offices of the Irish Permanent Representation in Brussels. Here, the girls had the honour of meeting the Irish Ambassador to Brussels, Aingeal O’Donoghue, and discussed potential future EU careers with her.

The trip proved to be an exciting, educational and enriching experience for Teresa, Ella, Mia and Éilish, who are most certainly future linguists in the making. Many thanks to the Department of Foreign Affairs, Languages Connect and Post Primary Languages Ireland for sponsoring this amazing prize for the students.