Each year, the Michael Sweetman Educational Trust, with the generous assistance of Education and Training Boards and the support of the European Parliament, assisted by European Movement Ireland and the Education and Training Boards Ireland (ETBI), awards a trip to Euroscola in Strasbourg, France to 24 Leaving Certificate Applied students, attending an ETB School, College or Centre. The 2016-2017 trip took place on 24-27 January 2017.
At Euroscola, these students have the opportunity to spend a day in the shoes of an MEP, learning about the workings of the European Institutions from the inside, discussing democracy and fundamental rights with other teenagers from all over the EU and expressing their personal opinions on Europe in the chamber of the European Parliament.
Click here to view an article on the Michael Sweetman Educational Trust trip to Euroscola that was included in the Leaving Certificate Applied National Association Newsletter in May 2013.
About Michael Sweetman
The Michael Sweetman Educational Trust was established in 1975 in memory of economist Michael Sweetman, one of 118 people who died in an airplane accident on 18 June 1972. An advocate of Ireland’s entry into the then-European Economic Community, Mr Sweetman was a former Director of the Irish Council of the European Movement (now European Movement Ireland).
Following his death, it was decided by his friends and associates to establish an Education Trust in his memory. From 1976, this Trust took the form of an essay competition. The format now embraces the Contemporary Issues Task (with a European dimension) of the Leaving Certificate Applied course for students of ETB Schools, Colleges or Centres.
The competition is open to Leaving Certificate Applied students of ETB Schools, Colleges or Centres. It is based on the Leaving Certificate Applied Contemporary Social Issues Task, as chosen by the student. The student will be required to make an oral presentation to the Sweetman Assessor(s) on their chosen task. The task must either incorporate a European dimension, or have a European dimension relevant to the topic added to it. The presentation of the task (as a work in progress) will take place in or around the month of December.
The selected student will represent their School/College/Centre, their ETB, the Leaving Certificate Applied Programme and Ireland.
Those judged successful will be required to prepare for the EUROSCOLA events in Strasbourg.
The 24 winning entries will receive an expenses paid trip to Strasbourg, France to attend the pan-European Youth Forum, Euroscola, at the European Parliament. This includes return flights to Strasbourg, a sightseeing trip of the city, accommodation for the winners and participation in Euroscola.
This is a great opportunity for students to meet, work and socialise with other students representing each EU country, and also to get a closer look at how decisions are made in the EU.
Each winning student will commit to taking an active part in the EUROSCOLA forum in the European Parliament with their peers, to prepare diligently for it and to forward a report (written and/or photographic) to ETBI after the trip.
Testimonials From Past Participants
The European Parliament was beautiful, it was an amazing experience. In the beginning of the morning, students had to give a short speech about their country and luckily myself and two other friends from the Michael Sweetman Educational Trust got to go up and represent Ireland. It was such an honour and I will remember it forever. The Michael Sweetman Educational Trust was a brilliant experience and I am so happy I entered my name for the competition as it had changed my views on so many things in the world and my views on myself. I gained so much confidence on this trip and so many friends that I will never forget.
– Danielle Kavanagh, Virginia College
Myself and my classmate, Artur, were fortunate enough to win this great opportunity to travel to Frankfurt in Germany and stay in Kehl, a town near the French border into Strasbourg where we would be representing Ireland the Youthreach Progression in the European Parliament. The meeting in the Parliament consisted of debates on issues that affect Europe today and European leaders wanted young people to be heard at this event.
I found this trip very interesting and an amazing opportunity to see some of the world that I’ve never seen. I would advise every student next year to apply and work hard on their task to win this great opportunity.
– Deirdre Garvey, Youthreach Progression, Navan
The European Parliament is a beautiful building. We were brought into the chamber where we heard representatives from each member state introduce their country. My classmate Michelle represented Ireland. After that we were split into working groups. My group looked at the topic of food waste and we came up with a lot of ideas which were debated in the chamber. I was delighted to be picked to go on the trip. Only 24 students from all of Ireland were picked. The experience was great. I would recommend it to all Leaving Certificate Applied students. Thank you to everybody involved in the trip.
– Charlotte Clear, Oaklands Community College
After breakfast we were brought to the chamber where all the debates and votes are held.
I had to sit at the very top as I was chosen to give the opening address for the Irish delegation. I got up in front of 500 people and made a speech in French about Ireland. I was very honoured that I got to experience such a thing, to get up in front of 500 people and represent our country. I was very proud of my achievements. This was a life changing experience for me.
– Michelle Murphy, Oaklands Community College
If you would like more information on the Michael Sweetman Educational Trust, or on the requirements of the competition, please email Loman Conway, on firstname.lastname@example.org.