Must-Do Activities When Studying Abroad in Belgium

By Lorena Roberts on January 31, 2019

College students all over the world typically invest at least a semester in studying abroad. In fact, some colleges and universities require a study abroad experience in order to graduate (sounds kind of crazy, doesn’t it?). If you’re a college student and you’re considering studying abroad, there are literally hundreds of destinations. You can study abroad based on your language interest, your major, or somewhere your industry is booming. For example, many film students will travel to Australia because the industry there is booming and English is the main language. If you’ve studied a foreign language, there is often an option for you to study abroad in that country in order to be “immersed in the culture.”

Before you decide where you want to study abroad, you should consider all of your options, including expenses and travel options for several locations. It can be a bit overwhelming, but once you decide on a destination, the excitement really begins.

If you’re stuck on where you should study abroad, let me suggest Belgium, especially if you’re a political science or finance student. Belgium is the center of Europe’s financial scene as well as a main hub for international politics. If either of those things interests you, then Belgium is definitely the study abroad destination for you!

Studying abroad in Belgium might sound really great, but then when you start researching activities, you might start feeling overwhelmed/nervous. So as you look into planning your study abroad trip to Belgium, make sure these activities top your list of “to-dos” while you’re there:


1. Hit up all the craft beer locations!

If you’re into beer (and maybe even if you’re not), the craft beer scene in Belgium is stellar. Regardless of what part of Belgium you’re in, the local craft beer is something you should definitely experience. However, be cautious! Some of the beers in Belgium have much higher alcohol percentages than the ones we have here in America, so you might be taken by surprise. Keep an eye out for the percentage of alcohol and monitor yourself closely. The last thing we need is for an American to make a fool of themselves overseas.

2. Cruise down Bruges.

Sightseeing can be tiring on your feet, so the perfect way to explore Belgium is by boat on a canal cruise down the Bruges. You’ll love crossing this item off your bucket list as you cruise down the canals of a beautiful country.

3. Visit the Grand Place.

The historic buildings in Belgium’s “Grand Place” is unlike any other. If you’re going to study abroad in this country, visiting the Grand Place is definitely something you should do!


4. Obviously, try Belgian chocolate.

There’s nowhere else in the world where chocolate tastes as delicious as in Belgium. The culture of chocolate-making in this country is unlike any other. Much like craft beer, each section of Belgium has its own little local twist on chocolate, so you’ll want to build in a lot of time to be sure you can snack as you travel!

5. Ghent: the Hidden Gem

The elegant city of Ghent should also be high on your to-do list if you’re studying abroad in Belgium. It’s gorgeous architecture, beautiful scenery, and city layout is what qualifies it as Europe’s “hidden gem.” If you haven’t made plans to stop through for a day (or a weekend), you should!


6. The Atomium

Brussels hosted the World’s Fair back in 1958. For the fair, the Atomium was built, a neat sculpture that’s worth checking out if you have time. Though studying abroad can mean hitting the books pretty hard, exploring the cities of Belgium is an education you can’t get from your textbook.

7. Castle Gravensteen

If you’re into old castles, this is perfect for you! It’s a castle from the Middle Ages, and its name literally means “castle of the counts.” You’ll love exploring this piece of history!

8. Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History

Even if museums aren’t your “thing,” visiting this one might be the highlight of your study abroad experience. While you’re stopping through Brussels, Belgium, check out all the military history that’s stored inside this neat museum.

9. Royal Greenhouses of Laeken

Do you have a green thumb? These greenhouses are the mac-daddy of all greenhouses. Once you visit these special places, you’ll want to come back to America and work on the herb garden by your little college apartment.

Studying abroad can be one of the best experiences you have while you’re in college. While there are hundreds of destinations for you to choose from, Belgium is a great pick. It’s often overlooked, as people either want to travel north to Amsterdam or south to Paris, but Belgium is its own little gem snuggled into Europe.

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