Sarah Hartley is a student at the University of Tulsa and an ISA Featured Blogger. Sarah is currently studying abroad with ISA in Brussels, Belgium.
Just two more days until I depart for the adventure of a lifetime! Thankfully, I think I’m finally ready. Preparing to go abroad can be quite the process. In my case there was paperwork, a visa application, lots of reading about Belgian languages and culture and of course, packing. Maybe I’m the only one, but packing to go abroad for four months was actually kind of fun. I don’t normally feel that way about filling a suitcase, but there is so much excitement associated with this trip, that packing became exciting for me too.
I made an extensive and specific packing list (I’m a big fan of list-making) and then got to work solving the 45 pound jigsaw puzzle that now lays inside in my suitcase. Its a web of rolled up clothes, jackets and rain/snow proof boots and I can’t wait to untangle the mess and settle in at my home stay on Monday.
Going abroad also means saying bye to the familiarity of home. My wonderful friends at the University of Tulsa threw me a going away party last week. We had some pretty delicious Belgian waffles with whipped cream and berries. I’m curious to see how those measure up to the “real deal” in Belgium. They also served fries, or frittes, with mayo and “Belgian” chocolate (not really, it was Hershey’s).
Although I’ll miss my friends, I look forward to meeting a bunch of new people this semester. I’ve already connected via Facebook with most of the other students in the ISA Brussels program, including my roommate and another girl on the same flight as me. I think we’re going to make a great group and help each other adjust to life in Belgium. I’ll keep you posted!
Enjoy your life abroad. These are lasting experiences that I wish every young person could have. Thanks for sharing.
BTW the REAL Belgian waffles are outstanding. Try also the moules frites (mussels and French fries, I never understood why we call them French because the Belgian people make them really well). It’s a must. They eat them with a beer. I’m not a beer person but I agree that it goes well with this dish.