The Extraterrestrials

Good morning from Uccle! Ema and I have made a joyous move to our new new home here in Brussels. We are now living with Becca and our new host mother,Bérengère, to whom we are so grateful for taking in both Ema and I. Erica and Dome are also in Uccle, as we have all been relocated, and we will most definitely be seeing them again (Dome is right across the street!).

This past week was a long and interesting one. One in which we began classes at Vesalius College, moved to a new home, learned a few life lessons, and ate some good food — of course. Schoolwise, I am taking European Energy Security Strategies in Global Perspective, Humanitarian Law, and Elementary French as a courseload, plus I will be starting my internship at Jane Goodall Institute Belgium this Monday.

One of the aspects that I’m really beginning to appreciate at Vesalius is the diversity. In my Humanitarian Law class, our professor asked each of us to explain why we were taking his class (I hope/plan to go into Environmental Law and thought it’d be smart to at least experience one undergraduate law course before jumping onto such a career path). Every single person in the class looked normal… and by that I guess I mean you would know nothing about them by just looking at them, but once each person spoke, you could hear a variety of accents and assume where every individual might be from (Australian, Engish, American, African, Italian, and so on..). This will most definitely keep all of the classes interesting, though I doubt any of my classes will be boring. I am very excited to learn French — even at a minimum — as I always want to know what everyone around me is saying! Regarding European Energy Security Strategies in Global Perspective, this course is new and unlike any course I’ve ever taken before. We will have a couple of field trips and class speakers from different energy companies about every other week.

Wednesdays, I plan to be working for my internship, but because my internship won’t start until this week, I took this past Wednesday to go sightseeing on my own. The featured image of this blog is the Royal Palace of Brussels and below is myself in front of the Palace gates (kindly taken by a stranger — don’t worry, I am prepared to chase down anyone who attempts to run off with my camera).

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One of my goals for this past Wednesday was to find the remains of the old city gate wall (second series of walls built around the expanding city of Brussels to protect it). There are only bits and peices remaining around the city, and on our tour with the school, they pointed them out. So I came back to see for myself and snap a pic.

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Upon finding my way to the wall remains, I also saw the towering Palais de Justice (Law Court of Brussels), which sits up above the valley. We were told that there was a lift built to take people up, so I followed the thin and winding streets in the direction of the Court and found the lift, which was free – thank goodness. It was a freezing cold day with a hazy white sky, a day just like today, so all of this was enjoyable, but I hope to go back to these places with some sunlight.

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I love this view because way off in the distance, you can see the Atomium. It is to the right center of the photo between the two towers.

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I also stopped for a lunchtime snack and cappuccino to warm up and gather some wifi at Café du Sablon, right across from the beautiful 15th century Catholic church –Eglise Notre Dame Du Sablon.

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It was from here that I ventured on towards the Palais de Justice, the Tour D’angle and finally, Parc du Cinquantenaire — the arches I’ve wanted to go back to since our tour last Saturday. Last Saturday? It already feels as though we’ve been here for a month. Anyways, I was pleased to find how easy it is to get to this beautiful park — a stop right on the 1 and 5 metro, you come out of the station and there it is right behind you!


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Then, I went home, made myself a nice lunch, and ran for the first time in about 3 months! I will be taking it slow and listening to my body (hips) as to not hurt myself again.

On Thursday night, Erica, Ema, Dome and I went out for a relaxing dinner at Chez Valerio and each got an individual pizza (very inexpensive)!


Friday night was the Vesalius College pub crawl, which was a fun and interesting experience, but I have learned that I prefer to stick to two places at most when going out.

Today, Sunday, is dedicated to schoolwork and travel planning. Yesterday, Ema, Becca, Zane, and I went to the chocolate factory again for a tasting.. lots of planning going into which chocolates to bring home (Mom and Erin)! Tomorrow I will be going in to meet my internship supervisor, Ingrid and the two other interns I will be potentially working with for the semester.  On Tuesday, Becca, Erica and I will going to see Hozier in concert!!! The concert is right here in Uccle and was only €35 per ticket, plus all is general seating so we may be able to get right near the stage!

I will report back later in the week on news of the concert, internship, and travel plans!

Au Revior! Off to do my French homework 🙂

Hello! My name is Katie, I am an English major and double minor in Environmental Studies and Law and Politics. I am very excited to be living in Belgium with a host family for four months! I will be studying politics, law, and French whilst abroad and I hope to discover Europe and more about myself in the process!

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