Most courageous, mind-blowing, learning experience. Past Review

By (Global Studies, Bentley University) - abroad from 01/13/2013 to 05/17/2013 with

Vesalius College: Brussels - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Belgium is not the city for me.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

It was manageable.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Though there is someone if you need them, you're basically on your own.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The distance from the school was perfect, but I felt the housing person did not read my application. That was fine, but there were some issues with my roommate and the host family which put me in between two walls constantly.

* Food:

Food is great! If you don't like the food at home there are plenty of cheap places you can grab something and from different countries too.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I didn't like that most of the students were from the United States, if not, they were from a nearby country and not truly Belgians. Then, you realize that even the Americans are different since they are from the south of midwest.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I never had to go even the nurse at school.

* Safety:

I never felt like the city was dangerous at any moment. I was never alone either; using the buddy system is a great idea.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No


* 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)

If you manage your money you shouldn't have any issue, especially if you're not at the bars every night. The biggest expenses should be traveling expenses.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? On average 40 euros a week.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? You have plenty of time to try everything your host country can offer you, so don't go crazy first couple of weeks/month trying to see and experience everything. Also, don't buy clothes or go shopping too much.


* 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? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? elementary course (101)
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? Practice with the host family if you have one and definitely the local people.

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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Traveling and Culture
  • Experience
  • People
* What could be improved?
  • Language
  • Living situation
  • Expenses
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? You need your own grocery bag.

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 Networker
An active student leader, it was important for you to network abroad as well. Once overseas, you sought out student clubs, volunteered with local organizations, or attended community events. You encouraged your friends join you, and often considered how you could reflect your international experiences in a resume.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

French 101

Course Department: Language
Instructor: Caenen
Instruction Language: Caenen
Comments: This course was a little challenging because I find it a bit difficult learning a new language and it's not easy either. Yes, I learned some French and if I had any questions I could ask in class, but I don't think a language courses should be mandotary for us take. First of all, because we learn the language more interacting with the local people, buying things,and speaking with our host families. I felt we wasted a lot of time in class and learned a lot about Belgian culture and the life of our professor, but I wanted to learn French. Also, the French we learned in class was way to proper and yes we had to participate in class every day. Though the professor is knowledgeable and well-prepared the course can be improved. There was homework everyday, exams every week and a half, and small presentations in French.
Credit Transfer Issues: There should be no issue with my credits transfering to my home institution.