Student Profile: European Summer Research Award

Studying Brexit in the UK and Brussels

Summer is certainly a busy time for CES EURO Majors! This May, Lucas Fernandez, a rising sophomore, traveled to the UK and Brussels with a European Summer Research Award (ESRA). The double Contemporary European Studies and Economics major conducted research on current impacts of Brexit on UK universities. Lucas is an aspiring Kenan-Flagler business student, and a member of the UNC Fencing Team.

Lucas in Brussels at Le Petit Sablon Park

Q: What was the focus of your research this summer?

A: This summer I travel to England and Brussels, Belgium, to study Brexit’s impact on British universities and research. I conducted my research by talking to university students, professors, and administrators, and I was even able to talk to someone who worked in the European Commission.

Q: In what ways did the European Summer Research Award enrich your research on the EU?

A: The ESRA allowed me to better understand how the EU helps connect Europe on an intellectual, academic, and innovative level, through programs like Horizon 2020 and ERASMUS+.

Q: What was your favorite part of your trip?

A: For me, being able to explore Oxford and Cambridge has been my favorite part of my trip, though Brussels was also amazing.

(L) The Houses of Parliament in London; (R) The Radcliffe Camera in Oxford, England
(L) Lucas in the UK national mall; (R) A mural in Brussels

Q: What are your career aspirations, and how do these relate to Europe?

A: My goal is ultimately to become a corporate lawyer, perhaps dealing with transactions between American and European companies.

Q: What advice would you give to students interested in applying for an ESRA?

A: The ESRA gives you a unique opportunity to study Europe first-hand. If you are truly intrigued by a challenge facing Europe, this award is perfect for you. Though it was a lot of work to put together, this award allowed me to spend three weeks in Europe, and it was one of the best experiences of my life so far!

Thank you Lucas for the great interview and photos!

To learn more about where CES grants send students, visit the Student section of our blog.

For more information on the European Summer Research Award (ESRA) and how to apply, visit CES’s website. ESRA is generously supported by Betsy Blackwell and John Watson.

This post was written by EURO Major Brett Harris.