EuroSim 2024 - Brockport, USA

Blog: Brockport bound - preparing for EuroSim 2024

Chris Burden EuroSim 2024

Written by Chris Burden

11 April 2024

We’re all landed, safe, and checked in at Brockport after a mammoth journey across the Atlantic. We started our journey from Heathrow, ready to join universities from across Europe and the US for the 2024 edition of EuroSim, with a jam-packed schedule. One connecting flight from Boston to Rochester, and a coach with our Dutch colleagues later, there will be four days of debate, networking, and crucially, socialising ahead of us.

Bringing together so many people from across Europe and America to discuss some of the biggest issues in the world brings a lot of character, and it’s great to make the most of it and see how everyone else sees the world. But let’s not forget that it’s not just about the fun and the debate, it’s also a competition. Here’s hoping that Team Aston are here and ready to continue our winning streak! For the last few years we’ve brought back numerous prizes for all sorts of categories, and I’m sure we are all in the spirit to bring back more than ever! 

This is my third-year as the European Student Director. While at Aston University, I’ve accompanied our team to a digital session during the pandemic and also to South Wales. Every single year has been totally different, so I’m really excited to experience my first American edition of the week. From what I’ve seen and discussed so far in the planning meetings, it’s going to be an amazing experience up in Brockport.


As I’m one of the two student directors, I’ve already been working with the American teams to get the conference all ready, negotiating with all the other teams, and gaining great experience in organising international meetings of students and staff. It’s always a great challenge, but it is also fantastic opportunity to see the back room elements of planning, and seeing where all the magic takes place behind the curtain. Because of EuroSim, I feel so much more equipped to react to fast-paced environments, and negotiate with multiple conflicting stakeholders. The module at Aston University was challenging enough, but the EuroSim experience at the full conference is so much more intense!

EuroSim 2024 team in Brockport


The topic this year is really important too. We’re not only gaining a great insight into European decision making, but we are also bringing our own fresh thoughts and ideas onto the importance of artificial intelligence and the effects it’s going to have on European society. To be taking part in such an important discussion at such a prestigious event is a genuine honour, even if I will be watching from the sidelines while the team does most of the arguing. I’ve already seen some of the fantastic proposals coming in from the European teams, who have been refining their proposals for weeks. It’s been so difficult knowing what’s coming without telling the team! Luckily I’m confident we’ve all got the skills to react to whatever is on the way without having any tips!

On top of all of that, this is my first time to ever visit the U.S., and I’m excited to experience it. Even when we were landing, I was blown away by the size of Boston. But it isn’t just me that’s new to the country, most of our team also hasn’t been to America, so today was a huge day for all of us. Aston participating in this conference has given me so many opportunities and really changed my university experience. Three years ago I was doing the EuroSim module myself, so to have had the opportunity to still be a part of that story is amazing.

But less about me, and back to the conference. Tonight, me and the American student directors will be making the final tweaks to the schedule to make sure everything is ship shape, and even though the conference doesn’t start for another day, Team Aston are already engaging in some lively debate and getting their arguments in order. This is a team ready to go for gold. It’s great to see them practicing their speeches and comparing notes already, but I’m sure there’s also going to be plenty of time to go onto campus and into town and experience the local culture.

Speaking of local culture, I’m really excited for tomorrow. Brockport has organised a trip down the road to Niagara Falls, which has been an absolute lifelong dream for me. For me this experience is always so much more than a module or just a conference. Taking part in EuroSim has made the world feel so much bigger, and I’ve seen so many things I never would have done otherwise. I can’t even count the people I’ve met, and there’s so many that I’m still in contact with from previous editions. I’m sure that tomorrow's blog will speak about the trip in much more detail so I’ll stop there! I just hope the team remembers to get in some last minute prep to make sure we are on top form!

Blog: EuroSim 2024 - embracing culture, cuisine and collaboration

Muqueet Qaiser EuroSim 2024

Written by Muqeet Qaiser

12 April 2024

My morning began with a very early start at 2:30 AM due to jet lag and time zone differences, giving me more time to consider my role within EuroSim and prepare my action plan. Later, breakfast began at 7 AM, where I ate waffles with chocolate sauce and a canned omelette that was refried and served to us. As such items do not exist in the United Kingdom, it was a culturally enriching experience to see how America differs from us. Yes, to new experiences!

At half-past 8 AM, the coach arrived to take us toward Niagara Falls. During the ride, I was able to catch up on some missed sleep. The excursion to Niagara Falls was great as we explored the surrounding area, venturing into Goat Island. Despite the rainy weather, the trip was educational, fun, and a great experience in a place I had never been before. Furthermore, I interacted with students from Colgate University (USA), and we got along well. I also shared experiences of traveling to the United States with teams from the Netherlands and discussed how we hoped EuroSim would go, including how we could assist each other.

After this, I went to the Hard Rock Café and ordered a typical American milkshake. The workers there were very kind and made sure it met my dietary requirements, ensuring that the chocolate and whipped cream were suitable for vegetarians. The chocolate milkshake was incredible and fit the retro diner aesthetic of the United States. So, the whole trip was not only about learning about the place but also about venturing into its cuisine. 😊


After returning to the hotel, we had roughly 25 minutes to prepare for the opening ceremony at SUNY Brockport. However, due to scheduling issues, we were late. Yet, we still looked fashionable. We sat through the speech and began eating dinner, which consisted of rolls, mac and cheese, broccoli, roasted potatoes, and salad. At our table, we enjoyed discussing the event and our shared situation. After eating, we discussed stances and plans for our assigned roles.

Afterward, I met with my respective partner roles in a meeting room. I discovered that the group was evenly split with different stances, leading to instances of spying on each other. It was a fun and educational experience to understand different roles and interests. Likewise, I also went to different rooms to listen in on discussions and take notes for information relevant to my work as a journalist. During this time, I also spoke a lot with students from Virginia Tech and Brockport, as well as European universities including Antwerp, Saarland, and Twente. It was an interesting experience getting to know cultures different from our own. The Americans and the Dutch were all very friendly, and we got along well. After the first day ended, I went back to the hotel with the Americans and the Dutch.

Overall, it was a productive and mobile day consisting of a mix of various events and enjoyable experiences. The EuroSim event was fun, and I really enjoyed the entire day. I strongly support the continued existence of EuroSim as a unique learning platform unlike any other learning module. Likewise, utilizing different skills and engaging with new people across the world is a useful trait, and Aston University must continue to support EuroSim.

Aston University EuroSim students 2024 at Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls EuroSim 2024

Blog: Albino squirrels, American McDonald's and controversial debates

Ashley Keenan EuroSim 2024

Written by Ashley Keenan

13 April 2024

Did you know that I have seen half of Brockport’s albino squirrel population? On our first day in Brockport, a local student told us that there were approximately two albino squirrels in the town, and today I was fortunate enough to see one of them. This rare sighting will definitely be one of the highlights of my trip. Today comprised our first full day of negotiations, and it’s safe to say that as a group, we have all been feeling the exhaustion – but in a good way, as we are all having such a good time! In my role in the European Council, I am representing Malta’s Head of State, Robert Abela. We started off the morning meetings by continuing yesterday’s negotiations surrounding the European Union’s stance and contributions concerning the Ukraine-Russian conflict.

We then moved on to the second point of the agenda, which was to discuss AI. Various points were brought up by different members of the Council, resulting in us debating numerous aspects such as its use in the military, whether or not the private sector would be allowed access to people’s biometric data, and the technology in relation to cybersecurity. I would say that the topic of biometric data caused the most controversy, as some countries were initially completely against private sector usage, but after continued discourse, we managed to agree that we, as the heads of state, would allow it only in the instance to support the public sector. It was fun and exciting seeing everyone embody their appointed character, but as the negotiations continued, it was clear to see that some people became overwhelmed by it. But this is the fun of simulations – having to step into characters and advocate for arguments that you may not personally agree with.


For lunch, we got to try Brockport University’s canteen, and honestly, it was very good. It made me incredibly envious to see the vast selection of food that the Brockport cafeteria offers its students – I love Aston, but our canteen cannot compete with their unlimited fizzy drinks dispensers and salmon! The various social breaks throughout the day were genuinely some of the best parts of the experience, as it allowed time to really get to know the students from other universities outside of the simulations. Some individuals who exhibited a tough, competitive negotiation approach revealed surprisingly open and accommodating personal traits outside of the simulation setting.

As the day's proceedings drew to a close, we convened for a plenary session, where leaders from each group took the floor to deliver insightful updates on their progress thus far and outline their strategic agendas for the upcoming negotiations. It was a moment of collective reflection, offering valuable insights into the diverse approaches and priorities shaping our collaborative efforts. I highly enjoyed getting to hear about what the other groups were discussing, as it further bolstered my understanding of EU proceedings and how the different entities interact with one another.

Following the plenary, the spotlight shifted to the eagerly anticipated question time. Those who were representing media outlets and non-governmental organisations seized the opportunity to engage directly with the group leaders, posing probing questions and seeking clarity on pressing issues and ‘scandals’ that had been mentioned throughout the day. This interactive segment added a dynamic dimension to the event, allowing everyone the chance to connect and engage outside of our designated groups. Among the standout moments of the day, Muqeet's adept handling of the question session deserves special mention. His insightful inquiries and skilful moderation of the ongoing proceedings ensured that he had incredibly interesting and compelling questions that got everyone’s attention. While I may be slightly biased, there's no denying that Muqeet emerged as a standout journalist, elevating the quality of discourse and leaving a lasting impression on all participants.

The day wrapped up at around 5 pm, and we had our evening free, so Eman, Freddie, and I decided to do some exploring of the area around our hotel. For dinner, we decided to satisfy our curiosity by visiting an American McDonald's. Our main agenda? To compare portion sizes with those we were accustomed to back in the UK. Surprisingly, not only was the meal more budget-friendly, but the "large" servings were notably larger than what we were used to, and we were left pleasantly surprised.

We ended the evening back in the hotel, socialising with other students and sharing stories about our home countries. The diversity of our group was truly remarkable; who would have imagined finding oneself in upstate New York engaged in a lively conversation on who has the best bread alongside an American, a German, and a French individual? Yet, there we were, each offering passionate arguments in defence of our culinary heritage. Although I had to, of course, defend us Brits, I did have to concede that the nation with the best bread is France.

Aston University EuroSim 2024 students sat in cafeteria


EuroSim 2024 student Chris Burden delivering speech


Group of all EuroSim 2024 students

Blog: From vision board to reality: my EuroSim 2024 journey

Eman Mowatt EuroSim 2024

Written by Eman M.

14 April 2024

I always envisioned myself attending the EuroSim 2024 Conference before starting my Final Year. I placed it on my vision board and knew that if I worked hard and did my best in the exams, I would secure a place. Over 6 months later, here I was at SUNY Brockport, New York, participating in the most anticipated international youth conference with university students from across Europe and the United States.

For me, day 4 was one of the best days at EuroSim. It was the penultimate day before our concluding trialogue (a meeting with the European Council and European Parliament to come to an agreement on our legislative proposals for the AI Act). It was also the day when we could release our stress and celebrate our hard efforts in the evening at the Delegate’s Banquet. I represented Malta, the smallest country in the European Union, and was assigned the role of Minister of Economy Silvio Schembri, who is an avid believer in cultivating the use of AI in everyday life and envisions Malta as the ‘Ultimate AI launchpad’ - where local and international companies can ‘develop, test, and scale AI’.


The day started with our meeting with the TTE Council (Transport, Telecommunications, and Energy Council), my assigned group, where the contentious issue of whether AI should be used for offensive military purposes continued from the day before. We concluded that AI should not be used in this way and instead should be recommended to test its own defences against security threats (i.e. vulnerability assessments). During the negotiations that week, I was surprised at the depth of knowledge my fellow delegates had on issues such as biometric data/use of ‘real-time’ remote biometric identification systems and foundation models. At times, I found it hard to grasp the complexity of these phenomena; however, I would conduct research and make use of the unmoderated caucuses to seek further clarification from potential allies and even from state representatives who held different positions to mine. Throughout the penultimate discussions, the reality of representing a smaller country became obvious: there was only so much I could pledge to support financially, and expressing Malta’s zeal for becoming a frontrunner for AI usage sometimes felt challenging to convince others (and myself at times). This was outside of my comfort zone, as I have previously played the role of dominant countries, so adopting an accommodating and collaborative strategy was challenging, especially when some of the legislation passed did not fully align with my alter-ego’s views. Another way I was able to seek allyship was through the use of non-verbal communication: I would nod and maintain eye contact with delegates whose proposals I aligned with, such as Denmark, Greece, and Portugal, and then pursue discussions for further understanding.

Lunchtime was always a highlight of the day because I liked that we were integrated with Brockport students in the canteen; seeing their confused faces at the wave of EuroSim students in suits and business attire always amused me. Plus, the surreal feeling of being on an American university campus was something I had always wanted to experience. I also enjoyed all the food and drink options; Ashley and I joked that we were obsessed with Dr. Pepper, while I was obsessed with Mountain Dew. I would sit with my colleagues from Aston University (Ashley, Freddy, Muqeet, James, and Chris), and we would share our insights on the conference so far and some of the people we were getting to know during discussions and leisure time. The camaraderie and trust that we fostered during EuroSim were evident: I was grateful for the people I traveled with and how close we were becoming.

After lunch, we were rounding up our discussions ahead of the plenary session with both the Council of Europe, European Parliament, and the press representatives. These sessions were good, as I was able to make notes of key legislative progress and how it could best serve Malta in our regional discussions and with the Council of Europe. I was always enamored by the conduct each student representative showed when they took to the floor: their confidence and knowledge of legislative procedure were commendable. We concluded the need for interstate collaboration within the public sector for national research, while the amendment of our article 14 included measures to prevent and control (cyber) security attacks. During press questions, Muqeet delivered amazing questions, one of which caused a comical reaction from a few members in the room! He did great; we even said he should consider a career in journalism. Amidst that buzz and tiredness as the week was coming to an end, you could sense the excitement for the Delegate’s Ball.

EuroSim 2024 Brockport cake

EuroSim 2024 Aston University team


It was a night to remember: the sunset made the venue look dreamlike, and every student was dressed in their best. The detail that went into this event made it feel more rewarding: think cheese charcuterie board, complimentary cocktails/drinks of choice, a plethora of food, and a white dance floor! It felt like prom, and as a former class member of 2020, it felt good to experience that. To see everyone celebrating, socialising, and dancing made it a great way to end our penultimate day!

Now recovering from jet lag, I grin at my vision board because I believed I could pursue one of my academic dreams, and it happened! There were physical challenges I faced that highlighted to me that career paths like this can feel inaccessible, but I know that my determination to excel in anything I put my mind to will always exceed those limitations. I know what I signed up for, and I hope that I can reflect on this blog post one day, knowing that I am still defying the odds.

Blog: Diplomacy, legislation and unexpected adventures - reflecting on EuroSim 2024

Fred Henry White EuroSim 2024

Written by Frederick Henry-White

15 April 2024

Today is the final day of the simulation and follows on from a banquet dinner the night before. We had salmon, potatoes, and lots of butter. Muqeet lucked out and, as a halal meal, was brought a personal mixed grill and naan. The food was delicious, and the event served as a formal send-off before everyone has to leave. The trip has flown by so quickly; it barely feels like we have arrived.

This morning we finalized the AI proposal and worked to pass it officially. My understanding of AI, its implications, and how legislation may foster future growth in the industry, but also protect the rights of citizens, has grown immensely. We agreed to pass legislation that would help cultivate growth in tech sectors, such as the Benelux countries and the Baltic states, to make sure that Europe can compete with the giants of the United States and China. Legislation also banned the use of live biometric tracking of people, except in rare circumstances of serious crime, such as kidnapping and human trafficking. Furthermore, we decided that live biometric tracking could be developed by the private sector but could only be used when in conjunction with governments and never in private spaces. The act passed today is similar to the real one passed by the European Union. I gained real insight into how the EU functions, which when looked at from the outside can sometimes be confusing.

I personally enjoyed the debate process. The friendly competition and the challenge of making and defending statements really helped me grow my public speaking and debating skills.


Diplomacy is at the heart of EuroSim. I found that even if someone knew everything in great detail about the subject of discussion or had a unique angle worth exploring, they would struggle to gain support unless they approached the room in a diplomatic way. The language of diplomacy doesn't always come naturally, and by taking part in EuroSim, you can get the chance to develop and learn how to not only make important points but also to gain the support of your peers.

EuroSim came to an end, and we managed to win two awards! Muqeet was the best journalist of the simulation, after becoming infamous with the Commission. Aston also won overall as gaining the most votes per team member. After saying our goodbyes, we headed back to the hotel ready to start the long journey to New York City.

We were due to take a bus to Rochester, where we would then get another bus all the way to New York City itself. However, the buses meant to pick us up in Brockport never showed. Other teams also heading to Rochester began booking Ubers for themselves so that they could make it; however, there were not enough in the local area to take everyone in time. Chris and I managed to find two students, one from Brockport University and one from Maastricht University, who were willing and able to take the team to their bus on time. Due to their generosity and help, the team was able to catch the bus to New York City on time and hold it long enough that other teams were able to make it too. Six hours later, after visiting the highlights of the region such as Syracuse and Scranton, we finally made it and had a quick pizza slice before heading to our hotels.

EuroSim is an excellent experience, and I hope that future years’ teams are able to also have as much fun as we did.

Aston EuroSim 2024 team eating dinner

EuroSim 2024 awards

Blog: An action-packed day in the Big Apple

James Humphris EuroSim 2024

Written by James Humphris

16 April 2024

Today marked my first full day in New York City, an event I never thought I would be able to experience. With the conclusion of the 2024 Euro Sim the day prior, my morning began relatively later than I had become accustomed to of late, with me waking up at around 8:30 am. Although my fellow roommates had been up for a little while before I rose from my slumber, we still scrambled to get ready in time for our action-packed day in the Big Apple.

Once all showered and ready, my hotel roommates and I ventured out of our accommodation into the bustling streets of New York to ensure we arrived on time for our 11:15 tour of the UN building. Having predetermined the route we would take the night before, we soon found ourselves navigating the busy New York streets and pavements towards our first port of call: the New York subway. Although in theory not too dissimilar from the London tube system which I had experienced before, the New York metro system was a pleasant and relatively swift experience in comparison, going off without any incident, minus missing our intended stop.

Once we finally exited the subway system, we continued our way towards the UN building, passing countless skyscrapers, foreign embassies, and locals in due course. Realising we had some time to spare before we passed security, the group decided to enter a local deli for some food and refreshments. Upon entering, we were overcome by the aroma of the freshly prepared meats and treats before us. After finally deciding what we would like, each member of the group slowly made our way to a shaded area to enjoy our breakfast and to avoid being burnt in the 27-degree New York sun.


Once finished, we soon made the short walk over to the two-step check-in system for our UN tour. During this time, we bumped into the team from Saarland University and reminisced over the experiences we shared and the skills and lessons learned from the past week. After passing through security, we were soon to embark on our hour-long tour of the UN. Thus, led by a knowledgeable guide, we learned about the organisation's mission to promote peace and security around the world as well as about the UN charter and their current sustainability goals. Furthermore, within the UN building, we were given the opportunity to enter a series of Assembly rooms including the iconic General Assembly Hall, where delegations were discussing cultural traditions and heritage. Standing in the same room where history has been made time and time again, I felt a profound sense of reverence for the ideals of unity and cooperation that the United Nations represents.

Still energised from the deli breakfast, we broke into smaller groups and were ready to delve deeper into the city. My first stop was the iconic Central Park. Although baking in the unexpected heat of the New York daytime, I was still able, granted with a number of stops, to explore much of Central Park, passing countless tourist attractions and hidden routes along the way. Eventually, it was decided that much of the group would reconvene at the National History Museum, which would be our next port of call.

Stepping into the grandeur of the museum, I was immediately captivated by its vast collection of artefacts and exhibits. From towering dinosaur skeletons to ancient Egyptian relics, each display offered a glimpse into the rich tapestry of human and world history. As I wandered through the halls, I marvelled at the intricacy of the natural world and the ingenuity of civilisations past, while taking the occasional photo or video to help remember the displays. Nevertheless, following a couple of hours walking around countless displays, fatigue soon caught up to us, and we decided to make the trek back to the hotel to take some time to relax.

As we boarded the subway yet again, I was swept up in a whirlwind of sights and sounds, surrounded by the diverse tapestry of New York City life. However, as the train rumbled on, we soon realised that we had lost track of our intended destination. Despite our best efforts to navigate the maze of subway lines, we found ourselves disoriented and unsure of which stop to disembark. However, in the midst of my confusion, I took the opportunity to embrace the unexpected and explore new corners of the city, eventually returning back to the hotel room where, after ordering some Mexican food, I was ready to settle down for the night.

In the end, my day in New York City was not just about visiting landmarks or ticking items off a bucket list. It was about embracing the spirit of adventure and immersing myself in the vibrant tapestry of urban life. From the halls of museums to the depths of the subway, every moment was an opportunity to uncover something new and exciting. Overall, I can comfortably say that without the enriching experience of EuroSim, I would never have had such a memorable time in the US. Furthermore, I hope that all future members who undertake this module have a similar opportunity and experience to enjoy.

UN building New York

Hudson River Little Island

Brooklyn Bridge

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