Archive | September, 2013

Belgium Beer Festival 2013

18 Sep

Happy Anniversary!

18 Sep

I know I have been awful about updating this blog, but I am finally getting into the swing of school and finding time to go out and explore. However, today is a super special day because it marks the end of my first month in Brussels! This time a month ago I was desperately trying to stay awake to beat jet lag, as well as get to know my host family. So, in honor of this happy occasion, I’m going to list the top five things I absolutely loved about Brussels for the last month!


5. Such an International Community

You can definitely tell that Brussels is an international community. I never know what language the person next to me on the bus is going to speak. I have people in my classes from Germany, Italy, Turkey, Iran, and many other places! Almost everything is written in French, Dutch, and either English or German. Even the little boy I live with is being introduced to multiculturalism early. Even though their family speaks French, the nursery he goes to is in Dutch, and his parents did that intentionally so that he would be exposed to it from an early age. It is just so fascinating!

4. (Dork Alert) The Educational Opportunities

I know I am the biggest nerd in the world, but there are so many opportunities to get knowledge here! There is history and stories everywhere I look, from the places to the people. My classes are fantastic and my professors are amazing! I am earning an undergraduate certificate in European Peace and Security Studies, so all of my classes are exactly what I’m interested in and exactly what my professors specialize in. There are also opportunities outside of the classroom. Tomorrow I am going to a think tank on the debate between privacy and security in response to the current issues of Edward Snowden and the NSA. I’m going to another lecture later next month given by NATO’s leading representative on all things Syria. How wonderful to get these opportunities!!

3. The Food

Imagine this…walking into a store where you can buy Kinder Eggs without breaking the law. For us Americans, we can’t imagine that situation. Guess what? I CAN IN BELGIUM!! I can also get the amazing Dutch  chocolate sprinkles I love, and stroopwafels, and super fresh fruit, and amazing bread, and the list goes on and on. The street food is even delicious. Last weekend I was able to get a waffle with chocolate and whipped cream AND a thing of frites (French fries) for only 3 euros! And they were both amazingly delicious!!

2. My host family

My host parents are just amazing. Laurence is an amazing cook who always makes us interesting and delicious meals for dinner! The other night we had ground beef baked in a little boat she made out of zucchini, and it was to die for! Thibault is always making sure I have everything I need and don’t have any questions. He also offered me a beer when I showed him my bruises from falling down the stairs (yes, I fell down a flight of stairs). That was too much like my real dad that I just had to appreciate it! Plus, their baby is the cutest thing ever! Little Simon always has a smile ready for me when I see him.

1. Last but not least, my new friends!!

I have been making some AMAZING friends here. We are going out to movies, visiting street markets, and just having a good time exploring the city together! I’m giving a special shout out to Hannah Abrams who even offered to bring me pudding when I was in bed with a cold. Who could ask for better friends than that?! Our next adventure is this weekend; we are going to Amsterdam! I’ll post updates as soon as I get back!