|In front of Manneken Pis|
Studying abroad is quickly proving to be a challenging, yet extremely rewarding experience. It is not easy to come to another country to attend school for the semester, but CIEE and the members of the program have made it so much easier for me! During orientation week, we went on tours of the city, we learned how to use the public transportation, we took a tour of the university, we worked with Belgian students to select the best courses for our majors, and we also had lots of fun! It was very comforting to have so much advice and information readily at our finger tips. I can't imagine what it would have been like if I would have had to learn everything on my own. It was even nice not having to decide where to eat lunch and having experts to make suggestions on what beers to order.
|Hot chocolate on a rainy Belgian afternoon.|
The program director, program coordinator, and housing director for the CIEE Advanced Liberal Arts Brussels program spent their entire week helping us adjust and doing everything they can to make sure we are prepared for the semester. My favorite parts were the introductions to Belgian culture. We went to a bar for Belgian beers, a French film, two delicious restaurants and a brasserie.
There are two interns who work for the program who are Belgian students at the ULB. They have been so helpful at preparing us for university in Belgium and for student life in general. Also, there are two students in the program who were here last semester as well. I am so grateful for them, they are selfless and extremely kind. They have planned dinners for the group, invited us to markets, and planned soirees! I went to a market in Ixelles to try Moroccan crepes and tea, an indoor vintage market which was amazing, and a very cool night club to celebrate one of the program member's birthday!
|Moroccan crepe and tea at the Ixelles market.|
|The vintage market of Brussels.|
Making friends is much easier than I thought it would be, even though we only speak in French together. Everyone in the program is very patient with us as we practice our French, and they are very willing to help with directions if you are lost (I have been lost twice and was so thankful to have help). Each day I fall more in love with Brussels and I am convinced that this is only possible because of all the guidance I have received from CIEE and my new friends!