“I wish I could buy ALL THE CHOCOLATE”

Confessions of a foreign student in Belgium

Janne Vanhemmens

How do foreign students experience Belgian culture? BILL is on a mission to find out. This month: The Netherlands

FOOD 

 "Pickles sauce = SO WEIRD! Chocolate makes up for anything weird though. I looooove chocolate. Chocolate <3. Choco- choco- chocolate. Did I mention I love chocolate?"

PARTY

 "Belgians like to dress up more than Dutchies do for partying. I really like the fruit beers here, but it’s a pity that going out in Brussels is pretty expensive."

MONEY

 "I wish I could buy ALL THE CHOCOLATE. Unfortunately, I can’t afford to get the well-known brands often."

STYLE & ATTITUDE

 "I am really open and direct, which can confuse those introvert and not very straightforward Belgians. Oops!"

LANGUAGE

 "Brussels is pretty frustrating if you only know "bonjour" and "merci". Getting by with Dutch? Nah-ah. The different words and accent can cause quite the misunderstandings. Like when I discovered the word “poepen” means “pooping” in Dutch but “having sex” in Flemish. Awch."

FRIENDS & LOVE

 "The Belgians that I’ve met so far are really nice and easy to connect with. They are friendly and helpful. Thanks <3"

STUDIES

 "Here in Brussels, we have two semesters with exams at the end of the semester and resits in the summer. While in Groningen, I was used to four blocks per year with exams four times a year and resits and the end of each semester. Needs some getting used to for sure!"