Summer Fellowship to Europe

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Thanks to a generous grant from the European Union, the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh is organizing a two-week study tour to Europe from June 27 to July 10, 2009. The tour will provide local educators with an opportunity to experience first-hand the history and culture of France, Belgium, Austria and Slovakia.


While in Europe, the educators will visit such organizations as NATO, the Council of the European Union, and the European Commission, in addition to other historically and culturally significant sites. The tour will also include visits with various national delegations to the European Union. Each day, the groups will engage in discussions about current political, economic, and security issues facing Europe as well as the implications these issues may have on transatlantic relations.


Through a generous grant from the European Union, all tour expenses, including domestic and international flights, will be covered. As a result of the new Delta direct flight, the group will be flying directly from Pittsburgh to Paris, though the majority of the trip will be spent in Brussels, Belgium and Vienna, Austria with a short day-trip to Bratislava, Slovakia. The teachers will be led by the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh President, Dr. Schuyler Foerster, with Christina Unger and Janet Foerster joining as further staff support. Thomas Olszewski, a teacher from Canon McMillan, will serve as an educational facilitator and lesson-planning coordinator.


Congratulations to the twelve educators the Council selected, through a highly competitive process, to participate. The twelve fellowship recipients are all dedicated and creative individuals who will make the most of their time in Europe:

  • Ashlee Beckett, Jefferson Middle School
  • Jeffrey Boggess, Avonworth High School
  • Laura Burns, Baldwin High School
  • Sylvia Fields, Eden Hall Foundation
  • Mary Ellen Jutca, Trinity High School
  • Joe Lander, Oil City Senior High School
  • Megan Pankiewicz, Ringgold High School
  • Thomas Olszewski, Canon McMillan High School
  • Richard Schiavoni, Vincentian Academy
  • Jaimie Sebastianelli, Hempfield Area High School
  • Joann Urbaniak, North Allegheny Intermediate High School
  • Amanda Wetzel, Shaler Area High School 

As the departure date approaches, we will continue to update the blog with some of the resources the teachers have reviewed in preparation for the trip. While abroad, the educators and staff will be posting frequent updates – journal entries, pictures and even video clips of their experiences – right here on the blog. Check back often to see what they have to say!


As excited as we are for the trip, we are equally excited for the group to return home to Western Pennsylvania. Upon the group’s return, the teachers will work to incorporate what they have seen, done, and learned into their classrooms. Their experiences will be a wonderful resource for their students and fellow educators, and their lesson plans will be available through the Council’s website.


For more information, feel free to contact the Council. And if you’ve been to Paris, Brussels, Vienna or Bratislava before, don’t hesitate to leave a suggestion or recommendation in the comments!

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