Some impressions from her STSM to Brussels – before Corona hit us all

Marianna Lovato of the University College Dublin sent us these impressions from her STSM:

I arrived in Brussels in the evening of Sunday March 8th to start my two-week Short Term Scientific Mission. The following day, I was warmly welcomed by Dr Tom Casier at the Brussels School of International Studies (University of Kent). I was provided with a desk in the graduate research office and the administrative staff, faculty and the other PhD researchers were all extremely friendly and welcoming. I was also encouraged to take part in the weekly PhD seminar, the public lecture series as well as invited to drop in some of the module being taught this semester.
Given such a favorable work environment, I could immediately start working on the main aim of my STSM, that is, carrying out preliminary elite interviews with EU officials and national diplomats posted at the EU for my PhD project, which focuses on the negotiation dynamics of EU Foreign Policy. I have already conducted an interview this week and was able to secure more since coming here. 
My accommodation is based in the Ixelles neighborhood, which offers a very convenient location, close to both BSIS and the EU institutions, where the interviews are taking place.
In short, my first impressions from my stay at BSIS and in Brussels could not be more favorable and I am sure this will be a most productive and fruitful research experience!