Solving the World’s (Simulated) Problems

Students travel to Europe to engage in a simulation of the European Union and test their diplomatic skills with college students from around the world.
Brockport students recreating the Beatles' infamous Abbey Road photo

For four days in early January, students transformed into European diplomats and policymakers. And they got to travel across the Atlantic Ocean to do it.

Students from 12 European and six American universities convened for EuroSim (European Union Simulation) 2023 in Newport, Wales. Each was assigned a role to play, assuming an “alter ego.”

“Simply put, Model UN is the minor league, and EuroSim is the major league,” said Political Science professor Steven Jurek. “Students bargain, negotiate, compromise, and build coalitions in a live real-world setting for four days to solve political issues. They develop life-long connections and are challenged to compete with international peers.”

Brockport students at the 2023 EuroSim conference held in Wales

Brockport students at the 2023 EuroSim conference held in Newport, Wales

EuroSim was created at SUNY Brockport by Political Science professor Dr. Bill Andrews in 1988. It is an annual international and intercollegiate simulation of European Union policy-making. Students role-play existing European politicians to simulate the passage or failure of real policy initiatives. Political Science major Isabella Defeo was assigned Bas Eickhout, a member of the Green Party and Vice-Chair of the Environmental Committee.

“As party leader of the ‘greens,’ my job consisted of making sure the party was working well together and with other parties, helping the Chair of the Environmental Committee keep things moving smoothly, and voting and crafting amendments for the Social Climate Fund,” said Defeo.

Political science major Justin Brewer earned the “Best Delegate Award” for his negotiation efforts as Prime Minister Mark Rutte, marking the first time in five years an American student has won an award at the conference.

“Justin’s preparation gave him the confidence necessary to become an active negotiator at the conference,” Jurek said. “Even though so much of what he was ready to debate never saw the light of day, his background knowledge earned him respect from his peers and boosted his resolve to make an impact at EuroSim.”

EuroSim students outside Buckingham Palace in London

EuroSim students outside Buckingham Palace in London

After the conference, the EuroSim club visited various parts of the United Kingdom before traveling to Ireland to experience Galway and Dublin.

“Traveling is something I have always enjoyed, but getting to do it with a group of people your age and with all the same interests is the true highlight of the trip,” Defeo said. “It was great to experience the world with these people outside of what we learn in the classroom together at Brockport. These are memories that we all will share for the rest of our lives.”

EuroSim comes home in Spring 2024 – returning to SUNY Brockport. Students from all over Europe and the United States will visit campus to simulate the European Union and policy-making related to Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Two students taking part in EuroSim at Brockport

Interesting in Taking Part?

Eurosim is open to all majors. Reach out to Dr. Steven Jurek if you are interested in joining the club.