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Europe

Sarah Ihnat Shares Her Experiences in Brussels, Belgium

Bonjour from Brussels!

Grand Place in Brussels

Grand Place in Brussels

The fact that I have been in Brussels for almost two months, and that my study abroad experience is nearly halfway over is hard to believe.  I arrived in Belgium in August and the time has flown by ever since.  In the time that seems to have disappeared, I have been busy exploring the city of Brussels, traveling, and taking classes at Vesalius College.
I arrived in Brussels with few expectations of what the city would be like, because many of the people I know have never even visited Belgium, let alone Brussels.  After two months though I have gotten to know the city very well, and despite its small size, Brussels has a lot to offer.  There are numerous museums, parks, and being the capital of the European Union, several different institutions to visit.  Brussels also has one of the most beautiful central plazas I’ve ever seen, and is home to several cultural activities and festivals that take place.  One of the best parts of the city though, although somewhat insignificant, are the frites.  They are the best fries in the world and I can definitely say that I’ll be miserable without them back at GW.
Aside from Brussels, I’ve been able to fit in a lot of traveling both with my program and on my own with my friends.  My program, CIEE, takes us on several trips within Belgium and in nearby countries, such as to the International Court of Justice in The Hague and to the European Investment Bank in Luxembourg.  The past four weekends I’ve spent traveling with friends though.  We ventured to Amsterdam, Munich for Oktoberfest, Paris, and Dublin, which within just a few hours of touring became one of my favorite cities.
In between the adventures on the weekends, classes at Vesalius College make up the weekdays.  So far, the five classes I take have been great.  We are required to take a French class, which has helped me improve my French quite a bit, and has proven to be quite useful in Brussels.  A course on Belgian history and culture is also mandatory, but I really enjoy it.  I am learning a lot about the country and Brussels in this class that I would never learn otherwise.  The rest of the classes I am taking are all business classes, International Business Negotiations, Finance, and Marketing.  The school is an American-style college, so these business classes are taught in ways similar to GW.  However, being taught by foreign professors and having a majority of native students in my classes allows me to learn business from different perspectives.
My study abroad experience so far has been nothing short of amazing, and would recommend everyone to take advantage of the opportunity.  I can only hope that my second half of the semester abroad is as good as the first.  Au revoir for now!

 

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