I have been in Belgium about... 36 hours as of now and it is going very well. Yesterday was a tough day. My plane arrived early to the airport any my host family was late to pick me up haha, so I'm sure everyone can imagine how stressed I was that I had no family and would have to take a taxi to the school haha. Luckily, my fears were not true! My host mom Evelyne, her daughter Alice, and son Nathan all came to pick me up. With a bit of effort my huge bags fit in the car, I think I am going to have to mail stuff back or something before I return because I will definitely do some shopping here. But anyway, I went along with the mom and kids to drop the kids off at school. Then Evelyne took me back to the house where I saw my cute room and unpacked. After I unpacked my host dad, Jin, showed me how to get to the metro and buy a ticket. Then we came back to the house, where I had a little bit of an emotional breakdown just from being tired and scared, but that was aided by talking to some friends :-) I also took a nap while watching Avatar, so that definitely helped! Dinner last night was good, I'm not sure what the meat was, green beans, and rice. We ate around 9:30 because Evelyne doesn't get home until late. The kids eat earlier and are in bed by 9ish depending on when Evelyne gets home to say night. Last night I went to bed ready to see what today would bring and I was not disappointed!
Today was orientation day and it started at 9:15 am. I left the house around 8:10 to get there in time. The day started with general info, then campus tours, lunch, info on studying abroad, internships, and living with host families. It was a lot but it went really well! There a ton of study abroad students, most of whom are from the United States. Everyone was really nice and super excited to be at orientation. After orientation I went and bought a cell phone after I was given directions by some very nice people. I bought my phone without any problems and then went back to the university where there was supposed to be a little get together at one of the campus café/bars. I went but when I got there not many people were there and it got cold pretty quickly. I met some really nice new students to Vesalius and talked with them for a while before leaving. A girl I met at the get together helped me to buy the 10 ride ticket for the train and then I came back to the house. Last night I just spent time in my room and then had dinner with Jin and Evelyne. I talked to them about meals and registering with the local town hall. Evelyne offered to take me to town hall Thursday morning and I quickly accepted, the school said the process of registering can me pretty daunting.
Thursday morning: Thanks to Evelyne the registering at the town hall was no problem. She spoke with the lady and explained the process to me. After going to the town hall Evelyne dropped me off at the metro and I left for school. I go to school about 10 but didn’t have anything to do until 11. Luckily I ran into a student and he and I got a snack before activating our computer accounts. Computer registration went well and we were able to actually print from our printing money today! After that some girls and I went to get a sandwich before I had to leave for my internship. Today was my first of two internship opportunities. Today’s’ interview was with an NGO called AGE Platform European, they work on protecting and expanding the rights of the community who are 50 yrs old and up. The people that work here are so so so nice and love their jobs a lot! I thought the interview went well and left feeling like they liked me and I liked them. We hear back about the interviews sometime next week. Tomorrow I have my registration at 9:30 am and then a break until my second interview at a law firm in Brussels.
It’s been a great week so far and each day I am growing to discover Brussels more and more and to like even more! Saturday is our tour of the city and that should be great!!!