When i decided that i wanted to Study Abroad, i immediately started to research different destinations to travel to that i thought looked interesting. On the top of this list was Brussels, Belgium. Not only is Brussels the capital of the European Union, but it is also known for its modern style and beautiful architecture. I had looked at many Pinterest boards that were filled with photos of wonderful looking chocolates, waffles, and french fries. I had researched all the popular destinations such as the Atomium and Grand Place and planned on spending my afternoons exploring. Most importantly, i had found an interesting program through Alabama that combined not only education but traveling to other cities outside of Brussels as well. So far i have had a great time but there have been a few things that have thrown me for a loop while being here and also a few tips for anyone traveling to the area:
1) I don’t actually need a metro pass… but i do?
-The part of Brussels we are staying in runs on a trust method. We all bought metro passes but couldn’t figure out where to use them at first because we did not see anyone else using them!
2)If you’re going out to eat and want to split the check….you better have cash!
-The restaurants here are not like American. The service is slow and they do not split checks for more than two people.
3)Traveling from Paris to London to Brussels to Amsterdam is a shorter distance than traveling across the state of Texas. So do it because its very easy.
-Although we are stationed in Brussels, my group and i are going to Paris and London together. The train tickets are very reasonably priced and under $100.
4)Your credit card MUST have chip in it.
-Brussels and a lot of London would only take our credit cards if we had the chip in them. It is a good idea to call your bank before coming to make sure you will be able to use this method of check out when you come to Europe.
5)You might think your French or Dutch is good…but people know you’re American and will respond in English.
-No matter how hard we try to speak french people will always respond to us in English. Hopefully they appreciate the effort!