The Catholic University of America

 

Top Five Reasons to Select the Program

  1. The Internship: Working at an internship abroad was a great opportunity. You really get to interact with people and learn cultural differences. Interning at the European Union is a tremendous experience because you really get to feel a part of a foreign country.
  2. Centrally Located: Belgium is a country in the heart of Europe. Nowhere is too far to travel to.
  3. Staff Interaction: The place where you stay is staffed by people studying abroad for hospitality. They are from Ireland and are very fun and welcoming.
  4. Hopping on a Bike: In Europe everyone bikes. Leuven is full of students biking everywhere. One of the best parts of being in Europe is getting on a bike and exploring the area. You never know what you will find!
  5. Classes: The classes were very informative. The teachers are all involved with the process they teach. They are very passionate and are willing to answer any questions you may have whether they relate to your topic or are just about cultural things in Belgium.

 

What I Wish I Would Have Known Before I Went

  •  Bring an Ethernet cord that’s long.
  • If you pack more than one bag you have packed too much.
  • Be fearless. Any experience teaches you something so don’t be afraid to have a bad one.
  • Learn about the EU before you go. The class will jump right into it so having background knowledge helps.
  • Plan in advance. Finals and the papers creep up on you.

 

A Funny Story or Situation

2 Countries in One
Belgium has two Catholic Universities, one in Leuven and one in Wallonia. On the way home from the EU one day I accidentally jumped on the train to the one to Wallonia. After realizing I wasn’t passing the same things I normally do I got off the train. I asked a woman on the platform how to get to Leuven. She only spoke French! Knowing very little French I eventually explained where I was going. She was offended I wanted to go to the Dutch speaking side of the country but I eventually got home.

 

An Embarrassing Situation

While in Ireland a group of people from the program stayed with friends from Ireland. We went out one night and at the end decided to take a cab home. In Ireland you stand in a line and wait your turn to get a cab. After waiting for our turn we got a cab and went to get in. As we walked up some woman started yelling at us, calling us stupid Americans and such insults. Our Irish friends ushered us in to the taxi and told us she was just drunk. Even though I did everything right, sometimes people will just be annoyed you are visiting their country.

 

 

The Teacher From Whom I Learned the Most

The teacher I learned the most from was Christophe our European Politics professor. He taught us about the main political systems in Europe but also taught us so much more. He was always willing to answer questions about any topic or culture. Christophe was always interested in things we found odd about Europe and had many strange questions for us to answer about America. It was a good class that we always left laughing. 

 

Housing

The best way to explain our housing was like a hotel. We had dorm style housing but we had people that came in to clean twice a week. We also had chefs that cooked us amazing meals 3 times a day. Sometimes it grew tense because you couldn’t get away from the people in your program but over all it was a great place to be living.

 

 

Student Profile:

Major: Politics

Hometown: Dumont, NJ

ProgramLeuven Internship Program

Term Abroad: Fall 2010

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