An Exchange Semester in Belgium: Student Experiences
Fazliddin Giyosidinov, a BBA student at SolBridge International School of Business, was selected to spend the Fall 2017 exchange semester at one of our Belgium partner universities, VIVES University College. He was awarded an ASEMDUO fellowship along with three other SolBridge students. Over the next few lines, Fazliddin shares with us his experience of being an international student in Belgium.
“SolBridge has taken me to places I could have only dreamed of seeing, from South Korea to Belgium through France and Germany, and the list goes on. For the past three months, I have been studying at VIVES University College, in the Flanders region. The time I have spent in Belgium has been truly historical, for I built friendly relationships with different students from all parts of Europe. I have also started learning the Spanish language, and last but not least, I came to experience the differences between the education systems in Belgium and Korea.
During our free time with friends and teachers, we had the opportunity to travel around Belgium and Europe. Those trips served to strengthen our friendships and interpersonal relationships. My Business English teacher voluntarily organized a trip to the historical town of Ieper (Ypres), which is a sacred place for Belgians, where many cemeteries, memorials, and war museums reminisce of the battles of World War I. Flemish people are rather accommodating and big-hearted.
Dutch is the primary official language in Flanders where VIVES University College is located. Except speaking Dutch as a primary language, the residents of Flanders are also fluent in French and English. Every person I met could speak on average three to four languages, and amazingly, some people were fluent in more than five languages. It motivated me to learn Spanish language that was offered by VIVES.
Undoubtedly, studying was the main purpose of my coming to Belgium. Classes of VIVES were closely related to my major. The difference between Belgium’s and Korea’s teaching manners was, according to me, that we studied the same course for two or three days consecutively from morning to evening and had our examination done after a week. So we had one class in a couple of weeks finished, and we were done for the rest of the semester for that particular class.
Thank you to SolBridge International School of Business for selecting me to go to this program, and thank you VIVES University College for allowing me to experience campus life in the heart of Europe!”