On 1 December, Clingendael Academy waved goodbye to 20 alumni of its annual and renowned 12- week training course on international relations (‘Leergang Buitenlandse Betrekkingen’, or LBB). After an intensive course that joined knowledge of international affairs with practical skills training they are ready for a promising international career. Previous alumni of the training course have gone on to work at the World Bank, international NGO’s and as government policy advisors.
This year’s programme had a festive character as the LBB celebrated its 50th anniversary. Historian and established public commentator Maarten van Rossem gave a sharp but hopeful opening speech about the state of affairs in the world and many alumni returned to Clingendael to mark the occasion.
Participants – a combination of recent graduates and professionals – experienced first-hand what has been making the LBB unique for over 50 years. It combines solid expertise with insights from ‘on the ground’ experience from practitioners. Additionally, the programme is filled with working visits to acquire first-hand information about the working of organisations and businesses that are active in the field of international affairs. Furthermore, participants to the course are challenged to develop their practical skills. The course comprises of presenting skills, negotiation, intercultural communication and policy writing, amongst others. This combination between knowledge and skills has proven a successful combination in preparing participants for the demands of a future job in international relations.
EU Council simulation – as good as it gets
In a 2-day simulation and the apotheosis of the 12-week programme, participants successfully negotiated a challenging EU agenda. Simulating an EU Council meeting, participants had to reconcile their country’s interest with the European Union’s collective interests. In what has been deemed ‘the smoothest EU simulation in the history of the LBB’, the group agreed on a final communique twenty minutes before the midnight deadline. Topics on which agreement was reached included the migration agenda, the new budget cycle and the EU’s neighbourhood policy.
“Proud to be an alumnus”
After the formal closing of the intensive course period, participants proclaimed they were “proud to be alumni”. Keen to find out what makes the LBB such an unforgettable experience and what the training entails? Are you interested in enhancing your personal skills and deepening your knowledge about international relations in all its aspects? Take a look at our webpage to learn more about the next edition of the LBB which will take place from 12 September – 30 November 2018.
For more information about the ‘Leergang Buitenlandse Betrekkingen’, contact Suzanne Oosterwijk.