Tuesday, February 22, 2011

First Week in Louvain-La-Neuve

The next morning started our first day of classes. Of course, the university was still in exams so they weren't "real" classes. But they were REAL intense :D

We started out with five days of intense French classes which I was dreading. They turned out to be great! They were really enjoyable, fast paced, and full of games. We would listen to songs and she magically figured out what level of French we were at. I am so sure I have the lowest level of French experience but I got along just fine :)

The girls who live by me near Le Centre Sportif have started going to the bakery by us. We haven't really settled into apartment life so we will pick up a pain au chocolat in the mornings. Its sort of similar to a croissant but a little less messy and filled with chocolate. :) The owner is really nice and seems to genuinely be interested in us and where we are from.

Our nights we spent exploring.

On one of the some of us checked out this British pub. They have an English speakers club that meets there. We got some delicious fondue and I got to try the famous Rochefort #8. Rochefort is a Trappist Abbey. Some of the best beer in the world is brewed in abbeys by monks and the Trappist are the best of that kind. There are only SEVEN in the world and SIX of them are in Belgium. At the Rochefort brewery, they don't name their beers, they merely give them a number.

That night the entire group was out together, exploring Louvain-La-Neuve at night. On our way back a group of us were being very loud and rambunctiousness (this is totally normal and okay in LLN where drinking on the street will get you a smile and a "bon soiree" from a police officer) when the guy walking in front of us turned around. Quizzically he asked us if we were American. We were so excited and told him yes. Turns out he was an American too! His name was Sebastien and he introduced us to some of his friends who are Erasmus students. Erasmus is the European program that allows students to travel abroad in other European countries.

One of his friends, Eric turned out to be my voisin, or neighbor. It's funny because when I look out of my window underneath it is a giant painting of the cheshire cat. Turns out he painted it and he lives in the humor kot. Some kots, or apartments, are special Kot-a-projets. Their entire kot works on one project the entire year, and he happens to live in one!

There are a ton of foreigners to meet here!

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