Pre-Departure Post: Brussels

Bonjour, tout le monde!

My name is Isha and in 10 days, I will begin my journey to Brussels, Belgium. In the coming weeks, I’ll be writing about the adventures (and misadventures) that are an inevitable part of international travel and living abroad. I will be in Brussels for seven weeks, from May 22nd- July 10th.

I am a third year double majoring in International Studies and French while I pursue a certificate in EU Studies. That sounds like a mouthful, but what it really means is that Brussels is the perfect place for me to study. I chose Brussels because it’s the Capitol of Europe. Brussels is no more than a few hours from some of Europe’s most beautiful cities and I plan on taking advantage of that and traveling to Amsterdam, Paris, and wherever else calls to me (with the siren song of a cheap bus ticket). Not only is the city centrally located within the European Union, but it is also a cultural and political hub. I have been studying French for seven years and plan to improve my French skills while I’m there. Because Belgium is called “le pays de mauvais francais” (the land of bad French), I’m hoping that my American accent will be forgiven.

I’m a seasoned traveler (the first of my many international journeys was to India when I was four and I traveled to Europe without my family when I was 17) and, as a result, have become a pro at packing for long trips. I spent days shopping for the perfect European wardrobe, which I’m sure will still look completely out of place, and packed it all days ago. With my 21st birthday coming up only days before I board the plane, I chose to minimize the stress and focus on my favorite day of the year. So, I am happy to report that I’m all packed and ready to go!

As prepared as I feel, I know that I will encounter unexpected twists and turns during the journey and I’m excited to share them with all of you. While in Brussels, between my class and legal marketing internship, I plan on eating copious amounts of the city’s famous chocolate and waffles and, hopefully, walking them off on the cobblestoned streets. I know that I’ll learn a lot about food, culture, and fashion while I’m there, but I hope that, somewhere between eating waffles, drinking beer, and trying not to get pick-pocketed, I will learn a few things about myself.