Known as the heart of the European Union, Brussels is incredibly multicultural and home to a rich combination of administrative sectors linked to the EU as well as Art Deco buildings, Flemish art and Gothic cathedrals set in a historical setting.

Santander Universities and Westminster alumni have teamed up to offer students a unique opportunity to experience a taster of the professional environment and culture of Brussels.

Westminster Working Cultures (WWC) is part of the Westminster Employability Award As an optional activity, current 1st and 2nd year students can gain 20 points upon successful completion of participation in the WWC programme.

About the programme

Dates and duration

Sunday 14 June – Saturday 20 June 2020, 7 days (inclusive of travel).

Please note: you must be available for the whole period of time, be in possession of a valid passport with at least six months of remaining validity after the trip end date.

Funding

This trip has been generously funded by Santander Universities and the Quintin Hogg Trust. This means most of your trip costs will be funded, including flights and accommodation.

Trip costs that are covered (and students will not have to pay for) include:

  • Travel to Brussels via Eurostar
  • Accommodation
  • Internal transport
  • Meals that are part of the programme (ie breakfasts and most lunches)

Trip costs that are not covered (and students will have to pay for):

  • A £100 contribution towards the trip
  • A visa and associated costs if you require one
  • Your own transport costs to and from London Heathrow airport
  • Costs associated with free time (ie food and entrance fees)

During the trip

The purpose of the trip is to enhance your employability and develop skills that will help you after graduation. You’ll meet with Westminster graduates and partners in Brussels to explore the professional landscape with a chance to reflect on your experience.

A full itinerary and list of people and organisations you’ll visit will be provided closer to the trip. Please be prepared to research the organisations so you can make the most of your time.

Please note: students will have to do a lot of walking and use public transportation around Brussels. To ensure you make the most during your time in Brussels, the itinerary will include multiple visits and talks a day and may be quite intense.

Sessions will have an employability focus and may include:

  • Seminars and workshops
  • Workplace tours
  • Q&A sessions with UoW alumni

You will also have time to enhance your understanding and cultural knowledge of Brussels.

Travel and Accommodation

Eurostar tickets have been booked to and from London St Pancras International rail station.

Accommodation will be at the Ibis Brussels City Centre.

Please note: you will be sharing a room with another student of the same sex.

In-country support

The visit will be led by members of the Development and College Events Teams, and you will be joined throughout the trip by various members of University staff. The visit will be subject to normal University risk assessments and regulations.

You are required to attend all the programme activities as representatives of the University.

Student testimonials

“The international experience gave me a kind of reality check, understood that way, that when you spend a lot of time in school, the future on the other side of the Westminster walls seems far away and a bit unreal. Meeting people who in some way or another, have been standing in the same place as us, studying at Westminster, and who have also at this point been at the very start of their career, was comforting but most of all inspirational. It gave me a lot of energy to keep up the hard work and gave reminded me that success is possible if you believe in what you do and you go out and do it.”

Stine Bang Hansen, Photography BA (Washington DC trip, September 2018)

“The WWC experience has helped me prepare for graduate employability because it literally has helped me secure a graduate job with a globally leading real estate firm, one which I have always wanted to work at… During my assessment centre and interview, I must say I felt a great sense of confidence as I was equipped with an international experience which helped me standout in front of all the other graduate candidates.”

Sahib Uddin, Building Surveying BSc Honours (Mumbai trip, December 2017)

“In a world where companies are beginning to spread globally, I can use this international experience to show that I am willing to put myself out there to learn about different cultures… This experience will also show that I am open to learning new things, welcome challenges and willing to form partnerships to tackle global challenges.”

Julian Montoya Vallejo, Biochemistry BA Honours (Hong Kong trip, September 2017)

Eligibility

You must be enrolled as a full-time, undergraduate University of Westminster student at the time of this trip.

Agree to the ‘Expectations of trip participants’:

  • Be on time and participate in all activities and meetings
  • Submit photos, videos or write a blog post about your experience
  • Reflect on your experience through the Westminster Working Cultures workbook
  • Be aware that things may change during your time abroad, have an open mind and be flexible!

Students are required to maintain the highest standards of behaviour while abroad on a University of Westminster programme. Students overseas remain bound by the University of Westminster’s 'Student Code of Conduct'.

How to join the programme

In order to be selected you will need to:

  • Complete the online application form
  • Agree to the participant expectations
  • Be available to travel from 14–20 June 2020

Applications will remain open until 11.59pm on Sunday 5 April 2020. Applicants will be notified either way of the outcome as soon as possible after the application period closes.

A selection panel will shortlist the participants against criteria which includes:

  • Academic achievement
  • Quality of your response to the motivation questions for taking part in the programme
  • Previous Outward Mobility experience with the University

Please note: priority may be given to students who meet one of the Widening Participation criteria listed below, however, we strongly encourage applications from students on all courses and years within the undergraduate programme:

  • You are the first generation in your family to go to University
  • You are a first-generation English speaker in your family
  • Your family home is a housing association or council property
  • You are a carer, care leaver or estranged student
  • You are black, Asian or minority ethnic student
  • You are registered with Disability Learning Support

Tips for writing a good application

Stand out from the crowd!

  • Prepare your answers in advance of making the application, ask someone to proofread for grammar and spelling
  • Use the word limit for each question to fully explain and showcase your interest in the opportunity. If you only write a sentence or two for the core motivation questions, you will probably not be selected for this opportunity
  • Clearly demonstrate your motivations with particular reference to academic, professional or personal development. We want to know why YOU want to take part in this opportunity

Further details

The University of Westminster takes the safety of our students very seriously. This employability programme will be supported in-country by a minimum of two Westminster staff members and all students will be covered by the University of Westminster travel insurance (free of charge to students).

All students selected to participate in the programme will be required to attend a pre-departure briefing session which will take place before the trip.

For further advice on security and visiting Belgium, please see the Foreign Travel Advice for Belgium on the government’s website.

You can email with any queries.