In July 2011 the Aston Centre for Europe welcomed 23 Russian civil servants to Birmingham as part of a two-week summer school programme on “EU External Relations: Negotiations with Third Countries in Context”. The participants, all of whom are studying for part-time degrees at MGIMO, the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, followed an intensive programme of seminars, workshops and study visits which took in the House of Commons, the Treasury and the European Commission Representation in the UK.
Students on the summer school were introduced to the high-level teaching which ACE offers all of its regular undergraduate and graduate cohorts. Through a series of interactive seminars, students had the opportunity to find out more about the international relations of the EU, the economics of the EU’s bilateral trade agreements and the role of the EU as an international trade actor. Students were also treated to some of Birmingham’s finest cultural highlights, including a traditional “Balti” curry evening and the musical “We Will Rock You” at the Hippodrome theatre.