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International Relations students gain hands-on experience at Foreign Office

International Relations students from University of Gloucestershire became diplomats for the day as they took part in a NATO meeting simulation hosted by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office in London.

The students were addressed by David van Weel, NATO Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges, before collaborating on a NATO response to a mock unfolding natural disaster in the Mediterranean Sea.

Representing Germany and Belgium, the University team was tasked with researching their positions and assets prior to the event and then advocating for the best outcomes for their member states during the event, which proved successful.

The event was aimed at providing the students with an opportunity to learn about how NATO works and gain experience of diplomatic work, in the inspiring surrounds of the UK Foreign Office.

Sin Sin Lo, a second-year BA (Hons) International Relations student, said: “It was my pleasure to be part of the Model NATO, which enabled me to understand intra-NATO diplomacy and to realise the importance of high levels of interoperability with NATO.”

Dr Natalie Jester, a lecturer on the BA (Hons) International Relations course from the University’s School of Natural and Social Sciences, added: ‘It was a wonderful opportunity for our students to visit the Foreign Office and learn more about what it is really like to negotiate within international organisations.”

The University was one of 15 UK universities that took part in the event, which was organised by the British International Studies Association in collaboration with the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division.