Why create a Semester Abroad experience in Belgium? Quite simply, because it is the heart of the European Union. And why Antwerp?
Antwerp, chosen in 1993 as the "Cultural Capital of Europe," is a city with a distinctive character, one which combines the charm and tradition of a rich history with the vigor and progress of a modern industrial center. The city boasts many excellent museums and historic monuments, as well as a fast-paced nightlife, fine shopping districts, and a booming commercial center.
Antwerp is the home of outstanding art museums, which offer the lovers of art a comprehensive survey of masterpieces, from the Old Flemish Masters to the contemporary avant-garde. Ruben's home, now open to the public, holds a superb permanent collection.
In addition to these indoor galleries, Antwerp itself is a museum of sculpture and architecture. From the eleventh-century Castle on the river Scheldt (the setting of Wagner's Lohengrin) to the Gothic cathedral and the Renaissance Town Hall, the visiting student is surrounded by magnificent buildings and monuments.
Historic but not asleep, Antwerp is renowned for its nightlife and entertainment. All interesting spots are within easy walking distance from the University of Antwerp, where you will be staying. Dozens of student pubs, clubs and discos, the largest movie complex in the world, the Royal Ballet, the Opera and Philharmonic Orchestra, and all pop, rock and jazz concerts can be enjoyed at a reasonable student price.
Learn more about Antwerp by visiting this site: www.trabel.com/antwerp.htm
Antwerp is a major cultural crossroads. The citizens of Antwerp (or "Antwerpen," as they call it) speak Dutch but English is spoken everywhere. The city is the home of a large international community and it is perfectly feasible to get around with English only, but you will certainly have plenty of opportunities to practice your French, German, or Spanish.
From Antwerp, you can quickly and at a reasonable price reach Amsterdam (2 hours), Luxembourg (3 hours), Paris (2 hours), London (4 hours) and many German cities, such as Cologne. Weekend travel is a real possibility. Visit the Eiffel tower in Paris, attend a play in London, visit the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam, or go where your imagination takes you.
There is a train terminal not far from the University of Antwerp that will open the European continent up to you. Take advantage of your time in Antwerp to visit other historic cities in Europe.