Living in Belgium

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Belgium is a cosmopolitan country located in the heart of Europe. It shares some boundary portions with the North Sea and the rest with countries of The Netherlands, France, Luxembourg, and Germany. So wondering what it feels like living in Belgium, then hope this article will help. As through this article we will give you an insight into how it is living in Belgium. So without any further delays, let’s begin.

Capital – Brussels       Currency –  Euro (EUR)      Population – 11,420,630        Number of Universities – 17  

This small & thickly populated place is renowned for myriad things. Firstly, its Renaissance architecture, beautiful landscapes, and medieval towns are world-famous. Furthermore, it is also home to the NATO & European Union headquarters and of course the delectable Belgian Chocolates!

  Some of the important cities are –

  • Liège: the regional economic and cultural capital
  • Namur: capital of the administrative region Wallonia
  • Charleroi : city of commerce and industry
  • La Louvière: a burgeoning metropolitan center
  • The Borinage: an area of high population density 
  • Antwerp: this ancient city is the second-largest in the country
Beautiful View of a medieval town in Belgium
Beautiful view of a medieval town in Belgium

Some Significant Port Cities include –

  • Ghent (historic university town)
  • Zeebrugge
  • Brugge
  • Louvain

Belgium has been a much-favored destination with international students for Higher education. Are you interested to know what the Belgian culture and lifestyle have in store for you? Then read-on the following article to find out –

Cultural Scenario in Belgium

This low-lying country with coastal areas, hills, forests is home to the very famous Ardennes plateau. You can expect mostly pleasant weather with rain-showers every now and then. It has mild summers with average highest temperature going up to 71 °F (22 °C) in July and average minimum just below 32 °F (0 °C) in January.   Belgium is also home to many immigrants from North & Central Africa, the Middle East, and Southwest Asia, aside from the majority of EU-origin citizens.

Recreational Activities in Belgium

The place is buzzing with a host of activities that everyone can find things of their interest-  

  • Firstly, Some of the regional festivals of Belgium are carnivals of Binche and Stavelot. Festivals like the procession of Giants, dragon battle in Mons, and the Festivals of Cats are not to be missed.
  • Secondly, it is an artist’s paradise with numerous museums and art galleries throughout the country. Most significant being Art Nouveau architecture in Brussels
  • Furthermore, Musical Concerts, events, and jazz festivals are worth seeing.
  • In addition, splendid Gardens are famous for ornamental plants like azaleas, tulip, roses, and begonias.
  • Also, there are war monuments to visit for History buffs
  • Finally, Sports and recreations like Soccer, cycling, and swimming are common

Food

Any words for the fine Belgian cuisines will fall short for their quality and uniqueness. In addition, local food grown here includes sugar beets, chicory, flax, potatoes, cereal grains like barley, oats, and even wheat.

Famous for –  

  • Dairy and meat products
  • Moules Frites (is a favorite throughout the country restaurants)
  • Truffles
  • Belgian chocolates
  • Beer & Breweries

Although you would be delighted to eat out in restaurants, it will be an expensive affair as a student, if you do so frequently.  Rather, some cheap options could be soups, cold meats, salads, cheese platters, and patisserie.  Also, supermarkets make for a wide variety of groceries to shop from. So with a few cooking skills, you can make a perfectly home-cooked meal.

The famed Belgian Waffle
The famed Belgian Waffle

Language

Capital city Brussels is bilingual with the majority of people speaking French. In fact, Belgium has an interesting mix of languages –

  1. Dutch(Netherlandic)/Flemish-speaking Flanders in North,
  2. French-speaking Walloons in South &
  3. German-speaking people in East

One can also find Bruxellois dialect among the locals, influenced by the Flemish & French language. Besides the local & official languages, people speak good English and it won’t be a problem if English is your first or second language.

Security

Although incidents of violent crimes are not common but one needs to exercise vigilance in public places. The Government maintains a public alert system to communicate threat level through local media and online. 

Traveling too is very safe and easy with the extensive transport systems of railways, expressways and inland waterways. Students pass for public transport can make life very convenient to travel by train & buses. Hiring a cab is also another option for within-the-city trips.

It goes without saying that you will enjoy an excellent quality of life here. This multicultural country is loved not just by tourists but by foreign students too. There is no reason why you should not choose this land of opportunities as your study destination!

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