Top Ten Reasons To Study Abroad In Brussels

by Annie Bierbower

There are so many amazing places in the world that choosing the perfect study abroad program can be a challenge. But, with this list of all Brussels has to offer the decision can be much easier. The city doesn't settle for second best, and if you study abroad in Brussels you can enjoy everything from the finest in desserts to stunning architecture. 

Chocolates in Brussels, Belgium

1. Chocolate Capital

The sinfully delicious creation has always been regarded as a fine delicacy but Brussels takes the treat to whole new levels. A chunk will accompany your coffee and shops are filled from wall to wall. Watch the creation come to life at one of the many demonstrations or museums. For example, the Maîtres Chocolatiers Belges showcases some chocolate artists creating the goody in true Belgium traditions. Or, visit Chocolaterie Duval and learn all about the history of chocolate alongside demos and tastings.

2. Architecture (Including A Famous Peeing Statue)

The Grand Place is a group of buildings full of 17th century architecture. The site includes the city’s town hall and is one of Brussel's most popular tourist sites. Perhaps the most popular architectural site is the Manneken Pis which literally means Little Man Pee. The bronze sculpture, made in 1618, stands just over 2 feet tall and is a male child urinating into a fountain. The piece has been stolen many times but the original is in a Grand Place museum. Many interesting legends and traditions surround the statue which lead to the cherub adorning many costumes throughout the year.

Atomium, Brussels

3. Waffles

Waffles are a popular food in many areas but nothing is quite like trying a bite where the fluffy delight was born! Contrary to popular belief, the delicacy is different in Belgium and  they offer more variety. There is actually one named the Brussels Waffle and it is the most similar to what is known as a Belgium waffle in the United States but with a crispier outside.

4. Capital Of Europe

There isn't really an official capital of all of Europe but Brussels is often referred to in this way because of its longstanding history as a host. Major world events are commonplace throughout the city. It is used as the seat for many important organizations such as the European Community, NATO plus thousands more.

5. Beer

Brussels is known for their incredible variety and is a samplers dream come true. The Delerium Cafe offers over 2,000 different beers from Belgium and around the world including a coconut beer. Palettes are quickly broadened by trying some of the best and most unique brews in the world.

Belgium Brussels Pubs Bars

6. Comics & Film

The city was and still is a major hub for the development of comics and film. The Belgian Comic Strip Center is a museum that offers a look into the development and current state of comics from the country that brought us Tintin and The Smurfs. There is also a rich cinema history that is shown in the city's culture and museums. There are film festivals year round and from every genre.

7. Food

Many signature dishes have French or Dutch roots but there is also a strong variety of Asian cuisine, Ethiopian cafes and Congolese shops. The city offers great diversity and takes great pride in introducing the world to its specialties such as Belgian fries which are actually fried twice and are often found alongside steamed mussels. Another typical dish is the waterzooi, a rich soup of fish or chicken and vegetables. Whatever the dish, there won't be a shortage of cheese or potatoes.

8. Art & Museums

Art is part of the street in this lovely city which is well known for its Art Nouveau Cafes. The buildings themselves are artistic creations both inside and out. One of the most popular is the Victor Horta House Museum whose endless glowing swirls leave spectators spellbound. The Royal Museum of Fine Arts is actually two museums in one and offers over 20,000 sculptures and paintings. Another popular collection is the Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and of Military History which is said to be one of the best in the world.

Stock Exchange Belgium Brussels

9. Languages

Take your pick of which language to learn while studying in Brussels. The city has large populations of both Dutch and French speaking people. Plus, English is very prevalently spoken so finding some help is never a problem.

10. Day Trips

As amazing as studying abroad in Brussels can be, it can also be nice to get away from the city sometimes. Brussels is an ideal location for day trips with a plethora of castles and unique villages only a short train ride away. Amsterdam and Luxembourg are also easy day trips.