Fun, Friends, and Facts in the Most International European City! Past Review

By (International Relations and Affairs, Brandeis University) - abroad from 08/17/2014 to 12/12/2014 with

CIEE: Brussels - Business, Communications and Culture

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot about the culture, adapting to new environments, living in the moment, and trusting myself. It was amazing and worthwhile and I would do it again!

Review Photos

CIEE: Brussels - Buisness, Communications and Culture Photo CIEE: Brussels - Buisness, Communications and Culture Photo CIEE: Brussels - Buisness, Communications and Culture Photo CIEE: Brussels - Buisness, Communications and Culture Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The classes possessed the ability to be very interesting and engaging, but the caliber of education was relatively subpar compared to my home university. Additionally, the school was supposed to be "American style," meaning that a lot of the assigned coursework involved open ended questions that would generally be open for argument, but I found that a disagreement in opinion between myself and the professors negatively impacted my grade, regardless of the logic and reasoning behind my answers.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The program staff were incredibly knowledgable and made the experience amazing!!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I made a lot of amazing Belgian friends!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

The pharmacies are easily accessible and on just about every street corner. They are also able to provide medicines such as antibiotics over the counter, which I needed at one point. Everything worked out even though I was initially hesitant about going to random pharmacies for help.

* Safety:

I felt perfectly safe most of the time, but I lived in a very nice area. Also, I've grown up in cities so I'm accustomed to holding my own.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Food is expensive and I'm a coffee addict.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $150
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Budget from the beginning!


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? French 20
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Use it as much as you can!! Ordering food, getting directions, etc. Also try reading, watching, and listening to things in the language!

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • Other
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The excursions
  • The people
* What could be improved?
  • Living closer together
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? To plan my trips earlier! Even though you might not know who your friends will be and who you would like to travel with, don't let that hold you back from booking a trip! Also, there are other study abroad programs at the school. Get to know those students as well! Some of my best friends were from the other program and I wish I'd gotten to know them sooner.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.