Student Blogs/Larisa in Brussels

Bonjour tout le monde!

I’m Larisa and I am currently studying at Université Libre de Bruxelles. I’ve been in Belgium for two months now, which is CRAZY! I feel like I just started classes. I’m absolutely loving every minute of my exchange and can’t wait to share more details with you!

Laura in front of Grand Place in Brussels

One of my first days in Brussels in an empty Grand Place, which is very rare but I was lucky enough to be there at 7:00 a.m.!

Choosing Brussels

For me Brussels was an easy choice, I knew I wanted to do my exchange here when I was applying to Carleton, but why Belgium? This country has so much to offer and it is conveniently located in central Europe. It takes two hours to get to London, one hour to Paris and one hour and half to Amsterdam, all by train. Flights are also really cheap depending on where you are flying and the main airport is located only 15 minutes away from the city centre by train! Belgium also has amazing beer and chocolate, so that obviously influenced my decision too!

Brussels is the capital; it’s a big city but with a small town feel. My first impression was that it looked similar to Paris on a much smaller scale. All the buildings are old with a lot of charm and they don’t surpass six stories, except for a select few downtown.

Brussels is home of the European Parliament, so it is very international. Walking down the street you are likely to hear at least three different languages, probably French, Flemish or English. The Flemish region is Northern Belgium, which is the Dutch-speaking community. The south is the French-speaking region. Brussels is bilingual but French is the main spoken language.

School

So I decided I wanted to go to Brussels, but what is the school like? The Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management is known as one of the best Business schools in Belgium and has a very wide selection of courses open to exchange students. Solvay receives a lot funding and is easily the nicest faculty at the University. I’ve noticed in my classes that the funding doesn’t go to waste. Solvay hires professors and speakers from across the globe to come and teach at the school! In my marketing class alone we’ve had the AIRBNB marketing director of Belgium, a LinkedIn professional and a manager from Deloitte Belgium present for the class. So all this to say that I am very happy with my choice!

I hope this was able to give you a little insight on Brussels. I would go on about my life in Brussels and school in general but I think that deserves another post, so until next time!

– Larisa

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