When I begun studying journalism at Southampton I never planned that two years into my degree I would take a year out to study in Belgium but yet two years into my degree here I am.
In September I moved to the capital of Europe – well a city near Brussels – with my partner and a friend and three months in I have to say, it’s been interesting.
Antwerp, the city which I reside in is only 204.5km² a small city for such a large population, or maybe the fact it’s so small just makes it feels like there are many people here, who knows. Well Google probably does, but if we Googled everything where would the fun be?
The whole experience started badly, being caught up in a scam and losing a flat and money 2 days before you move to another country is not ideal. Fortunately, within a week we’d moved into a new house and were fully settled in.
After an email being lost resulting in not going to induction week – studying communications with a university which had major communication issues – did darken the mood. However, since the sun has never failed to stop shining since summer, moods have remained high.
Antwerp has over 100 shops on it’s high street with several districts all showcasing its own unique fashion trends. One thing they do all have in common is jeans, usually skinny and matched with a waist length top.
Fashion is a key thing within this city but there is so much more to Antwerp than just fashion, there’s waffles, chocolate, beer and more. If anything, there is one major thing lacking from Antwerp; an identity.
Belgium takes influences from France, Germany and The Netherlands, and as a result has become a confused country with French and Dutch languages, French and German food, and Russian architecture.
One thing is clear however, this year is going to be filled with food, shopping and beer.
Words : Amy Taylor