My semester at Artesis Plantijn Hogeschool Antwerp.
Prior to my semester in Antwerp, I had never taken a trip to Belgium and knew very little about the country and its culture. For this reason, I had no idea what was to come when I set out on my trip to Belgium in September 2015. It was the first time I had been away from home for longer than two weeks and I was excited to see what would happen over the next five months. During the first week, I was very pleasantly surprised by the Flemish city with its 500,000 inhabitants. The weather was at its best, which was not always the case during the rest of my stay and Antwerp itself impressed me with its beautiful historic centre and lots of shopping streets, restaurants and small cafés.
During my semester abroad, I stayed in a student residence with 43 other people. Most of them were also students spending a semester abroad or completing an internship. There were also lots of international Erasmus students as well as Belgian students on the Applied Law Studies and European Management (ALSEM) programme which I attended at Artesis Plantijn Hogeschool Antwerp. For this reason, it was easy to get to know other people from all over Europe and I made lots of new friends.
During my free time, I tried to travel as much as possible and visited the capital of Brussels, the Flemish towns of Gent and Bruges and the cities of Amsterdam, Paris, Rotterdam and Luxembourg. One personal highlight of mine as a Christmas enthusiast was my trip to the famous Cologne Christmas market.
Overall, I can certainly say that I have never regretted the decision to spend a semester abroad. All the delicious Belgian waffles and Belgian chocolate were worth the trip on their own! In addition to my studies at the university, I also learnt a lot about the country and its culture and was able to develop on a personal level. I had so many unique experiences and will hopefully never forget my time in Antwerp.