The world is your classroom, and each day is a chapter in the story of your personal and academic growth. If you’re a university student, I’m here to tell you that choosing to spend a semester or even a full year studying abroad is not just an option; it’s a transformative experience that can shape your future in ways you can’t even imagine.
And if you’re wondering where to start your international academic adventure, let me make that choice an easy one by introducing you to a captivating destination that I’ve personally experienced and adored: Brussels!🇧🇪
Here are 10 reasons why you should choose to spend a year or a term in the Belgium capital 👇🏾
1. EU Hub: Brussels is often dubbed the “Capital of Europe” because it’s home to the European Union’s main institutions, plus you can also find NATO’s headquarters in the city. As a student of politics or international relations, what better place to be to witness global diplomacy in action?
2. Multilingual Environment: Brussels is bilingual (French and Dutch), and although around 80% of Brussels population speaks French it is very much a multilingual city. You’ll not only perfect your French but also have the chance to pick up other languages, which is a valuable skill in today’s interconnected world. It’s where I discovered my interest in the Dutch language and now, ‘k spreek een beetje Nederlands (mijn luistervaardigheid is veel beter dan mijn spreekvaardigheid).
3. Culinary Delights: From mouthwatering chocolates and waffles to savoury dishes like moules-frites, you’ll be in food heaven. And in case nobody told you, French Fries are actually not French! They are Belgian!
4. Diverse Cultural Scene: Brussels boasts an eclectic mix of cultures. Explore museums, galleries, and theatres showcasing art, history, and performances from around the world.
5. Student-Friendly: With several universities and a thriving student population, Brussels offers an array of student discounts and somewhat affordable living options. Although we’re all experiencing a cost of living crisis, I’m sure you can still stretch your budget to have as much fun as possible!
6. Weekend Getaways: Brussels is known as the ‘Crossways of Europe’ because it’s perfectly situated for weekend trips to other European cities like Paris, Amsterdam, and London. Imagine exploring multiple countries while you study!
7. Historical Charm: From the opulent Baroque guildhalls of La Grande Place to the Art Nouveau sights of Solvay House and Museum Horta, Brussels is the perfect little city filled with architectural beauties that coexist harmoniously.
8. Global Networking: Brussels attracts diplomats, NGOs, and international organisations. It’s an ideal place to network and build connections that could shape your future career if you’re really looking to work within the world of politics and international relations
9. Green Spaces: Escape the hustle and bustle in Brussels’ numerous parks. The stunning Cinquantenaire Park and Bois de la Cambre (two of my favourite parks) offer serene spots to relax and study, or to have a lovely picnics with friends.
10. Thriving Nightlife: Brussels’ nightlife is so fun, and Thursdays are the best days for it! Enjoy everything from cozy bars to trendy nightclubs, where you can dance the night away with friends from all over the world.
My time in Brussels allowed be to grow academically, culturally, and personally. I had the chance to meet some amazing friends for life, savour mouthwatering cuisine, and explore the richness of Belgian and European culture. Studying in Brussels isn’t just an educational journey; it’s an adventure waiting to be embraced.
So, if you’re ready for a year or a term filled with learning, laughter, and lifelong memories, Brussels is your destination. It’s a place where academia meets adventure, where global perspectives become your daily bread, and where every day is an opportunity to expand your horizons. Brussels is your canvas; it’s time to paint your own extraordinary experience. Bon voyage! 🇧🇪