Sidanth, 24, from India
2 years in Brussels
VUB, Marine Biology

Before arriving in Brussels, my experience wasn’t really good. Getting a visa took a long time, and because of that I arrived 1 month later than planned. On top of that, just before I arrived, my landlord cancelled my reserved room and I couldn’t reach him anymore. The very first days I had to stay in a B&B and heard about Brik through my course teacher. I took one of the kottours with them and eventually found a decent room for a good price.

Now, I love Brussels. I had to get used it, but as soon as I started making friends I felt comfortable. Although I feel like people are not as open as I’m used to in India, there’s this vibe once you get to know them. I have a great class, it really feels like a family. It is kind of mixed, both Belgian and international students, but I get along with all of them.

If you’re looking for a room, it’s a good idea to try and get one close to the centre. I have friends who used to live a bit further away and they didn’t interact really until they moved. To get around, I use public transport all the time. Sometimes I’m so lazy, that I even take a bus for just 1 stop. I’m planning to get a bike for the summer, though. I heard there are different options to rent one and it’s not too expensive.

I like all the options you have in Brussels: culture, nature, sports, events… My favourite parc is Ter Kameren, it has that forest vibe. Closer to the centre the Cinquantenaire is really nice. I don’t really eat out, but my friends tell me the restaurants are great too. I like to check out music related events that I find on Meetup or Facebook. Always lots to do!

As an international student, you experience the city differently. Belgians who live here take it for granted and don’t feel the need to make new friends or explore different cultures. When I’m bored I just walk around and discover new things. I like to make music and I started to perform at open mics and experienced so much growth personally. I got out of my shell, and Brussels helped with that because the city encourages small artists. It’s a great place to grow as an artist.