Allo mensen ;),
First of all, for those who have stayed in Namur, we hope that your semester was fine and that you have enjoyed your holidays. For the others who have left our beloved university, we suppose that your experiences were interesting, instructive, and that you have had lots of opportunities to meet people and improve the language of your respective country.
Now let's speak about our stay in Brussels. Even though some renovations have been done, the VUB keeps her "oldish" style. Nevertheless we have been impressed by the efforts made to keep the students healthy. Indeed, a large sports complex has been built, where it is possible to practise any sports you can imagine. Personally, we have opted for a occasional run on the quite big race course.
We have discovered several sympathetic places to hang out. The two closest to the VUB were the "NEWS CAFé" and the "CONFRATOR". Having a drink in those places were nearly the only one moments (except during classes) when we could meet Dutch-speaking students. As a matter of fact, we were really disappointed by the large number of french speakers, even around the VUB.
Concerning the courses, we didn't have lots of classes (10 hours a week) but the the work expected at home was quite large: many books (mostly American literature), papers, besides the usual expectation to prepare the courses. The study period seems never-ending: 3 weeks entirely spent to study and then nearly 3weeks of exams. By the way, we have just taken an exam today and our last exam is on Wednesay.
Finally, it's a bit a shame that as Belgians we didn't really feel like Erasmus students because of course it wasn't the first time we have been in Brussels and we have missed the excitement of discovering an unknown town. As a consequence, we didn't get involved in Erasmus activities.
Despite those negative aspects of our stay, we have found it positive to see how things work in a Dutch university and to meet new people.
ps: we leave you to go back studying... ;)
Sybille and Julie