Brussels is an international city that is well suited for American students. Past Review

By (International Relations And Global Studies, Bridgewater College) - abroad from 08/19/2013 to 12/13/2013 with

ISEP Exchange: Brussels - Exchange Program at Vesalius College

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot about the EU and NATO during my classes here, and it was great to have a European perspective on world politics. The location of Brussels is perfect for traveling, and it's a huge international hub in Europe. This experience was extremely worthwhile, and I loved being able to see so many different parts of Europe during my semester abroad.

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.

Vesalius College is academically rigorous, and the classes are taught by very qualified professors in International Relations and Business.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did not have any direct experience with healthcare, but it is difficult for study abroad students to receive good medical treatment without having to purchase Belgian health insurance. Their system is very different from the U.S.

* Safety:

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)

Most of my expenses were spent on traveling over the weekends.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $40
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? If you're planning to travel a lot like I did, book your tickets in advance because they'll be much cheaper. Also make use of your host family's kitchen and cook for yourself as much as possible--you'll save a lot of money.


* 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

All classes are taught in English, and they offer French and Dutch classes.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
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? 400-level French literature class
How many hours per day did you use the language? 0
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? If you want to practice your French, it would be good to already to be advanced or fluent before going to this program. You will not need your French in classes, and if you want locals to respond to you in French, you'll need to be proficient when speaking to them. Hopefully you'll have the opportunity to use French with your host family.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • Host Family
* 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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Small classes
  • Classes taught in English
  • Lectures and conferences with highly qualified speakers
* What could be improved?
  • More assistance from the study abroad coordinator with registration at the commune
  • More upper-level French classes
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Vesalius College is an extremely small school with only a few hundred students, and the school itself occupies parts of two floors of one building. The majority of students are American study abroad students, so it is difficult to meet people from other places in the world.

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 Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.