Welkom in België

The moment has finally come – I’ve finally reached Brussels! It took about seven hours to get here from JFK to Brussels Airport, which I didn’t think was too bad. As we were preparing to land, my excitement grew more and more. The man next to me seemed to be extremely nervous, and I think I was scaring him even more by recording our landing. When I got off of the plane, I honestly did not know what to expect from Brussels. So far, the city has not disappointed.

As I was riding on the train to get to our hotel, the Ibis St. Catherine, it was really starting to hit me that I wasn’t in the States anymore; I was in an entirely different continent and country. It may sound ridiculous, but that’s what was swimming through my head after a long and sleepless flight.

Due to the terror threats here in Europe back in November, our group had to relocate from a hostel to the St. Catherine hotel. The rooms aren’t very big, but they are not horrible. Once I checked into my room, I decided to break the rules and take a nap. In all honesty, I felt refreshed after getting some rest! I’m going to cross my fingers and hope that jetlag won’t hit me.

Once I was settled in, myself and other students from New Paltz participating in the program explored the area. We ate dinner at Amadeus, a restaurant that is popular for ribs (thankfully they had vegetarian options), and walked around Brussels for a little bit. Christmas lights still cover some of the cobbled roads and it was absolutely stunning to see.

The highlight of my night had to be when we found a waffle place. I personally am not a breakfast food fan and never eat waffles at home. But because literally everyone talks about how amazing the waffles are here in Belgium, I decided to give it a go. Needless to say, if I memorize exactly how to get to this place from my hotel, I will be there at least four times a day until I leave.

Pre-Departure to Belgium!

I honestly cannot believe that I will be on a plane to Brussels, Belgium at this time tomorrow! In High School, I went on a school trip to Italy and was absolutely amazed. Since then, I knew that I wanted to go abroad again. Who knew that three years later I would be embarking on another journey to Europe?!

I am an undergraduate student at SUNY New Paltz, studying both Finance and General Business Studies. This past summer I worked two jobs and saved the money I made so I could experience life abroad again. Even though it’s only for two weeks, I’m still as excited as ever!

When I started looking for Winter Intercession programs, I had no idea where to start. It is thanks to my many trips to the Study Abroad Office that I was able to discover this awesome program. The program I will be participating in is the SUNY Model European Union Simulation and the 3-credit Study Mission.

The Study Mission is political science related, which will be interesting to me since I’ve never really pursued any courses in that realm. I’ve always been interested international politics; however, since I am not a Poly Sci or IR student, I wasn’t sure if this program would be the one for me. After speaking to an advisor and getting more insight on the program from Professor Dowley, I knew that this was exactly what I wanted to do. I cannot wait to see what this trip has in store for all of us.

Au revoir, America! #npabroad