Continuing my “Promoting Erasmus and studying abroad” pages, I now introduce you to the Vrije University of Brussels! Let’s suppose that you are an Erasmus student or in general a student planning to study abroad for a semester or so. What are the factors that you would take into consideration before choosing your next destination and university? How would you organize your background research? What are the things that you’d love to know about your university in advance? Here’s a short research I did about one of the biggest universities in Belgium that welcomes thousands of Erasmus students every year.
Background info; The university; Vrije Universiteit Brussel is an internationally oriented university in Brussels, the heart of Europe. Through tailor-made high quality research and education, VUB wants to contribute in an active and committed way to a better society for tomorrow. That is our mission. For more than 180 years VUB has helped build a better society as an innovative, free inquiring and critical thinking university. We are linked to the world from within our international capital Brussels. A never-ending quest for knowledge, insights and enlightenment form the golden thread in all we do in education, research and social commitment. At the same time we continue to advance our very personal and democratic approach that enables all the members of the VUB-community to grow, so they can successfully take up their roles in the world of today and tomorrow.
Location; Brussels is a lively city that buzzes with activity day and night. The Vrije Universiteit Brussel, for whom Brussels is its natural biotope, sees it as its duty to participate actively in this animated social and cultural life.
A good example is the Centre for Information, Documentation and Research on Brussels (BRIO). Another initiative through which the Vrije Universiteit Brussel stays in close touch with current trends and sensibilities in society (and in particular the Brussels community) is the Science Shop. Aside from performing research projects, BRIO has also developed this website as a virtual information and documentation centre, a central hub for scientific research, policy information, publications and statistics regarding Brussels. The BRIO Search function helps you filter through the abundance of data to locate the most relevant source of information. This database provides an overview of all scientific data on Brussels: research publications and analyses, but also internal research reports and theses, primary sources and statistics.The BRIO Search function provides quick and easy access to this wealth of information.If a digital version of the document is available, you can download it immediately – in other cases, an external link leads to further information. The BRIO Search function is, in other words, both a bibliography and a virtual library for Brussels.
If you study at the VUB as an exchange student ot traineeship student, you have to arrange your own accommodation off campus. A number of rooms have been reserved for exchange students with a programme managed by the International Relations & Mobility office, (IRMO) in the U-Residence, a privately run housing facility on the Brussels Humanities, Sciences & Engineering Campus. IRMO will send all confirmed students an email with more information on the reserved student rooms.
Although it occupies a rather serious and somber position as the seat of the European Union, Brussels is a lively, sophisticated city that is resplendent with international flair and a cosmopolitan outlook. As a crossroads for Europe, you will find expatriates from all over the world living peacefully side-by-side here and this translates to a fascinating living environment that is culturally rich while retaining the intimacy of a local town. In many ways the spirit and resilience of the people of Brussels is mirrored in their seemingly reserved nature. Once you are able to break through the tough exterior, however, you will be pleasantly surprised by a people with an enchanting fascination with the world of comics, fine food and beer. More importantly, they appreciate a truly high standard of living with strong family bonds and an appreciation of the fine things in life. The fact that the single, most photographed item in Belgium is a statue/fountain of a naked little boy's public indiscretion (Mannekin Pis) goes a long way to explaining the sense of humor and love of art that typifies Brussels and Belgium in general. In keeping with the city’s cosmopolitan stance, the entertainment, dining opportunities and nightlife on offer in this city are varied and energetic. Often regarded as one of the gourmet capitals of the world, the food on offer rivals that of any other major European city and you can enjoy a wide range of delicacies. Mussels in Brussels are, of course, a must.
ESN works in the interest of all international students, not just for Erasmus students. ESN offers a clear introductory programme for all international students to introduce them to the laws, rules and customs of their host country.
Average rent; 442 euros. Monthly transportation subscription; 49 euros. Monthly food cost; 250 euros. Average lunch price at a restaurant; 15euros. Average Fitness subscription; 30 euros. Beer Price at a bar; 3,60 euros.
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