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Student Blogs/Nicolas in Belgium

By now I have relocated a total of seven times, to seven different cities in six different countries, each with new challenges and significantly different cultures. The one country that especially stood out for me is Thailand.

Living in Thailand was something completely different for myself and for my family. At that time, I was in second grade and honestly the thing that I was most worried about was if I was still going to be able to watch Nickelodeon in this new country I was going to call home.


There are many reasons why Thailand is such a special place for me. One of the reasons is that while we were getting to know Bangkok, visiting all the landmarks, my father placed a camera in my hands and told me to do him the favour of taking pictures of everywhere we went. Since then, photography has followed me from Thailand, to Argentina, Colombia, Canada, and now Belgium. There are many things that change when you move to a new country, but photography has been something that I have taken with me to every city I have lived in or have visited throughout my life since then.

Nicolas as a small boy holding up a camera over his face
Back in 2006 when I was starting to use my first camera.

Fast forward 14 years and I am still taking pictures of anything that catches my eye. Before going abroad, I was mostly focused in taking landscapes and limited myself to just that. Coming to live in Europe has allowed me to visit multiple different cities from this extraordinary continent. It has put me out of my comfort zone not only in academic and personal levels, but also when it comes to my photography. There is no doubt that Europe has some of the most extraordinary architecture in the world and this has led me to take more cityscapes and diversify my photography. I have also started to take portraits of friends that I have met in Belgium and have realized that photography is actually a really good icebreaker. If you travel with me, I will most likely make you visit the same place more than once to get different lighting for the same picture. You will be running around with me to be able to go to as many landmarks as possible and sprinting to be able to catch the sunset at the ideal location. My camera has basically become an extension of my body during my time abroad and it will probably continue being that way for years to come.

Nicolas looking through his camera in to a European landscape
At the top of St. Stephen’s Basilica in Budapest 14 years later still taking pictures.

I definitely don’t consider myself a professional photographer, but it is a big part of who I am and is something that my friends and family know that I love. If you are planning to go abroad or have decided to relocate to a new country, I would definitely recommend taking with you a hobby/passion that you love. No matter what it is, photography, reading, writing, or drawing, doing something that allows you to feel at home will definitely make the transition easier.

You can see Nicolas’ photography on Instagram

Nicolas is a third-year Bachelor of International Business (BIB) student studying abroad in Brussels, Belgium.

Sprott School of Business
Carleton University
1125 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa, ON, K1S 5B6
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