Ashley Baker

In Brussels, I took two of my classes at Vesalius College (VUB) – a small private international college – French and International Business Negotiations. In International Business Negotiations, there were students from Portugal, Italy, Belgium, India, United States, Canada, France, Spain, Latvia, Germany, and the list goes on. Collaborating with students from these diverse countries and cultures is truly a learning experience in itself. Since our class is a simulation of former international negotiations, we are constantly exposed to each country’s ideas, prejudices, and goals. This is certainly an opportunity one would only have while being in the minority in an international setting, so I’m appreciating this opportunity to learn and grow. While it’s enlightening to hear opinions from my peers, it’s even more interesting to gain perspective on what the EU is trying to initiate in respect to these topics versus the US. I am gaining a completely new sense of the world we live in and the responsibilities of being global neighbours.

Of course, things in an unfamiliar country are never perfect, but always interesting. Regardless of what happens in Europe – it’s a constant adventure, testing you in simple and complicated ways. After two months, I’m beginning to notice how my peers and I are adapting to our new ways of life. It has become second nature living in a large urban city, using public transportation, being at least bilingual, interacting with professors and other students who have strong opinions about our home country, along with balancing classes, internships, travels, and communications with family and friends back home. It’s no easy feat, but we are all making the best of every moment growing with each step.

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