Bright Festival

One of the many advantages about living in Brussels is to be at the heart of all the activities the capital offers. This was the case from 13 to 16 February during Bright Brussels, a light festival. This festival follows a guided road by the various street lamps of the city, each covered with a pink sheet. It consists about fifteen artistic and interactive light installations. 

The Bright Festival has been for me the chance to wander three times, from the historic heart of the upper city to the lower part of the capital. An opportunity to discover the heritage of these districts from a whole new angle. Indeed, we were all bewitched by the magical atmosphere offered by the play of sound and light. It is not difficult to imagine the amount of work and the technical means mobilized for the staging of these animations.

To mention only my favorite animations, I would first choose the light and sound composition of Notre-Dame De La Chapelle. As churches are usually silent places, this immersive experience particularly caught my attention.

Notre-Dame De La Chapelle

I was also transported by the poetic universe of the bird-shaped Luminéoles. One could admire these birds of light floating above the Parc du Mont des Arts; a fascinating aerial show.

Finally, I was able to take a new look at the famous Grand Place in Brussels, which is fully illuminated. The architecture of its monuments was sublimated by the sequence of different colors that were reflected on its ornaments. 

Alexa SIMONI

Practice course : presentation about a course

Today I’m going to present you one of my course I chose and which I’m interested in. First of all, I will explain you as quickly as possible, how we chose our courses for IHECS.

Before leaving France, we received a course list in link with the second semester. We could choose our courses, which we preferred and were interested in (at least 3). Then, we could test those courses during 15 days and finally sending our Learning Agreement about all the courses we going to have for 5 months.

I’ve chosen 4 courses and I really like one : Practice video and TV. This one, as you can understand, is about practice in video, shooting and setting. 

It is separate in 2 parts:

  • The first :  I will do, with my team, a shooting and setting about a “Pulp Fiction” scene (by Quentin Tarantino). We will be graduate about the setting, our shooting and the originality. During 2 months, the teacher will give us pieces of advice and will following our work in the setting. Some material can be borrow during all the year : camera, tie-micro, light… Everything is here to help us.
  • In a second part we will do a portrait about someone or a group. We will be graduate about the setting and the sound. Now I don’t have enough information to talk more about this part.  

 I like this course because it is a practical course and less theoretical course and it is in English. I chose the French programme and I thought it could be good idea to keep English course to practice the language and improve my English. Also I could be with my Erasmus friend so it is just a benefice course for me. This course learns me how shooting, setting, manipulate the sound the light …

I am excited about sharing you our project, improving in this section and one day, using this abilities as a competence.

Amélie

Let’s take our marks !

Hey, everybody! 

I’ve been in Brussels for two weeks now. And I’ve started to get my bearings! 

First of all, I’m going to tell you about my departure and the integration week before telling you about the habits I’m starting to develop in Brussels.

I left La Rochelle (where I live) by train with my mom (because carrying two suitcases, backpacks, duvet and pillows, alone I would never have made it!) in the direction of Brussels. On arrival, we went in our AirBnB for two nights because my accommodation only became available on January 28th. 

We were able to take a tour of the city and eat in different restaurants that our host had recommended to us: the “Nona” pizzeria (you have to be patient because by 6.30 pm the restaurant is full), “Frites Atelier” (fries that are not Belgian, they are Dutch and really exquisite, the best I’ve eaten so far), and the “Café Georgette” (where the Belgian fries were very good). We also went through the inevitable step of the waffles… 

Monday, January 27th was my first day of Integration Week. We had a small presentation and then we visited the city thanks to a guide who spoke very quickly in English with an Irish accent. It was a lot of fun to listen to. 

Tuesday morning, introductory course on Europe and in the afternoon, demonstration of chocolate making at the “Concept Chocolate” in Brussels. I was able to get to know my room which I rented as a flat share in an apartment 30 steps from the school. I’m very happy with my accommodation because it’s big, right in the city centre and my flatmates are really nice.

Wednesday, introductory course in culture and in the afternoon a visit to the Magritte museum. I wanted so much to see the real painting “This is not a pipe” but after a google search, it is exposed in a museum in Los Angeles. It’s a shame. But I still had the opportunity to see the other paintings of the series. 

Thursday, introductory course on Belgium and in the afternoon, visit of the parlamentarium. 

On Friday we had a meal with all the ERASMUS in the restaurant “Le Roy d’Espagne” on the Grand-Place to eat chips! And yes, again and again. 

The following days we had our first lessons. Some of them I like a lot, others less, and I discover new ones that I intend to add to my list. 

We went to a cool HYPER bar, the Ebrius, where the atmosphere is crazy, young with an alcohol level that I’d rather not reveal. I was able to meet my buddy (godfather of the IHECS), a very nice guy who is part of the IHECS BDE.

We still keep walking around the city, and we pass by all the unmissable places in Brussels: the Galleries, the Grand Place, the Manneken and many other places that we discover during our many visits (bars are one of them). 

For the moment, I haven’t really had the opportunity to discover the districts around Brussels like Ixelles, Saint-Gilles, etc. but I plan to visit them in the coming weeks.

XOXO

Marie

AGORA PLACE

Picture by Clara Serrano

It’s been one week and a half that we are at Brussels and I did not think feeling that good.  The atmosphere in the streets, the different languages and the waffle’s smell in the street give me the best Brussel landscape. This is not a legend, in Brussels, it’s smells French fries and waffles. By the way speaking about waffles, I have to introduce you a little place that I particularly like when a waffle and a glass of hot win are in my hands. This place called “Agora place” and on an extern point of view, this place could be a crossroads close to the “Grand place” the museum and  the “Royals Galleries”. Three time I’ve been there, seating at the “Waffles and churros” table (wich is the best Waffle maker ever) and looking at people. The atmosphere is in here between an opera woman singer, some instruments players (that I already don’t know the instrument’s name), an atypical dancer, we are feeling like in an other place than Brussels.

So, if you wanna taste a waffle and drnk a glass of hot win in the same time than being behind the “Royals Galleries” ( which are fabulous), I invite you to walk through this place, taking your time and looking at people, painter, music players….Here we are, welcome to Brussels.

Amélie

The Parlamentarium

« Belgique – Bruxelles – Parlement européen » by saigneurdeguerre

The first article on our experience at the IHECS, it’s time to immerse yourself in the context of our arrival! 

We got off at Brussels train station on Saturday 25 January. The following week was devoted to our integration and the one of all the new Erasmus students at IHECS. Loïc Hennemont, who works in the school’s international relations department, had prepared a week of lessons and visits for us to discover Belgian culture and the city of Brussels. 

It was an opportunity to meet our classmates who come from all over the world. All continents are represented (except Oceania) through the sixty students who arrived this semester. 

Every morning we had a class. One on the European Union, another on cultural specificities and a last one on Belgian institutions. The afternoons were dedicated to visits. We visited the historical centre of Brussels, a chocolate factory and the Magritte museum for example. But today I would like to tell you about our visit to the Parlamentarium: the museum of the European Parliament.

The museum itself is not particularly more interesting than any other, it makes us rediscover the history of the European Union through an interactive exhibition. 

What was interesting, however, was when we went there. We were indeed on the eve of a historic event for this political organisation: The Brexit! 

On 31 January 2020, the United Kingdom left the Europe of 28, which will now be called the Europe of 27. 

We felt that a special atmosphere reigned in the European district of the Belgian capital. The museum was also in the middle of preparations for the event, which prevented us from accessing part of the exhibition. 

If we go back there in a few years, you can be sure that this day of 31 January 2020 will be mentioned there. We will be able to play the elders by saying that we visited this museum at a time when the European Union was still made up of 28 countries! 

Louison

Brussels : discovering a new place

For this first week in Brussels, I had the opportunity, during my integration week, to discover beautiful places such as bars, historical monuments, museums…

One place caught my attention, the “Celtica”. It’s a bar, on the Rue Marché aux Poulets, an unusual name I grant you! We met there one evening with some erasmus students for a drink.

This warm place in addition to offering beers at the modest amount of 1 euro allowed us to get to know each other better. 

I discovered a sociable character, indeed I really like to exchange with people coming from different continents than mine.

It is very interesting to be able to compare the different habits and customs between each culture.

However, it’s not easy to make yourself understood in a noisy place when you don’t speak very well English (lol), but with Amelie and Louison by my side, I was able to exchange easier and have a good time. 

Alexa SIMONI

Atacama

We went for 3 days to the Atacama Desert in Chile. What is impressive in this desert is that the landscapes can change in a very short time.

1st day: We landed in Calama at 9:00 am to reach San Pedro de Atacama 1:30 am later to arrive at our hostel.

We stayed a few minutes to put down our bag and visit the inn, which was very pleasant.

We walked all day in San Pedro, which is the tourist city of the desert. First, we had to book our tours, i.e. our activities with a guide, for the next two days. Among all the tours offered we had to compare prices and choose the most attractive places.

Then we walked around and inevitably came across the tourist shops.

Day 2: Raised 7am, direction the Arcoiris Valley accompanied by our guide Antoine, a Frenchman who has been living in Chile for 8 years now. If by any chance you would like to have his number for a possible trip to Atacama send me a message. We had a good laugh and he’s very nice!

After an hour’s drive in a valve we arrive in front of this magnificent landscape. Impressive colours. The green, red and yellow rocks take us away in a real painting.

The colours show the great richness and different concentrations of clay, salt and minerals. On the other hand, there are also interesting rock formations resulting from erosion.

On the way back we stopped to say hello to lamas. We tried to get closer but a lama spit at us so we found that we were too close.

After a break, back to our hostel, we leave for the Valley of the Moon.

A true lunar landscape, which has been shaped for millennia by water and wind erosion. The ground is made up of canyons, sharp ridges, ravines and mounds of grey and ochre colours that give it a moon-like appearance.

This valley is characterized by the absence of humidity, flora and fauna. Its desert and high altitude climate gives it a wide temperature range between day and night.

3rd day: We got up at 4:00 to see the geysers. Under -12 of temperature, the landscape was spectacular. Geysers sprang from the ground at a temperature of 30 degrees. It was possible to swim.

In the afternoon we went to a salt desert to see the lagoons. The predominantly white landscape makes it so peaceful. We walk on salt for about twenty minutes, the time to pass in front of different lagoons, to reach the last one in which it was possible to swim. Being full of salt, we are therefore carried by the water in the middle of the desert. This salt comes from the dissolution of salts from the volcanic soil of the surrounding region, by precipitation waters on the nearby Andean range.

If you taste the salt, you can see that it is very salty because it does not contain iodine.

Then it’s time to get back on the road to the hostel, and fly back to Santiago with lots of pictures in mind.

Marion

Stuttgart 2019: our assessment

Angeline

With a lot of emotion, I am coming today to make a summary of my Erasmus, but where to begin? These 5 months abroad made me grow on every level, in my mind but also in an academic way. I’ve been dreaming about doing this program since middle school, especially for studying in English. That is why I chose to leave for Stuttgart! At the beginning, I was a bit worried to go to Germany, because of the language I didn’t know a word of and because I wasn’t very attracted by Germany. But it seems like German people talk really well English, as well as staying attached to their traditions. In 5 months, all my biases on Germany disappeared as I discovered this heart-warming and festive culture.

At school, German students and the teaching staff welcomed us warmly. I lived in a dorm full of international students coming from all over the world. Parties, mutual support, sharing: the key words of this international community. There, no one is left alone and everyone found his/her friends. When you leave far away from your pairs and in an unknown town, that is reassuring. I was travelling already through all the people I’ve met. But I also had so many free time to actually travel in Germany and other countries, you must know that if you followed us on social media.

The Erasmus experience is enriching in many points because it makes you go out of your comfort zone to travel and learn at the same time. It is a real opportunity to be immersed in a culture and study in a new school for a semester, so I wanted to thank the IUT Bordeaux Montaigne and Ms. Blot for the organisation of those international partnerships that open our minds and make our academic journey stronger. Even if it can be intimadating at the beginning, all the memories I’ve made during 5 months will stay in my mind forever. I am so proud I’ve realised all the projects I wanted during this semester abroad, something I would have never be able to do by staying in my comfort zone in Bordeaux. Erasmus is a life adventure, an adventure I will continue to tell in 20 years, stars in the eyes. I realised my dream and I wish you all to go and live this amazing experience that you can only live once!

Angelina

I came back to my small French countryside one week ago, so it’s time to make an assessment of this Erasmus experience that has made me grow up and evolve.

We all experience the Erasmus adventure in a different way. Some make dozens of friends and go out in the evening very often, others immerse themselves in the courses, others take the opportunity to travel and discover the heritage of their host country and those in the surrounding area. I am in the third category. In love with travel, these four months gave me the opportunity to go to Copenhagen, Munich, Athens, Berlin and Crete, in addition to visiting the cities around Stuttgart. My favorites? Esslingen, Tübingen, Heidelberg and the gardens of Ludwigsburg.

If at first sight Stuttgart didn’t seem like the perfect city for me, taking the time to visit the surrounding cities and certain districts was the best decision. Germany is a beautiful country if you take the time to discover it and it is full of varied landscapes, between the countryside plains, the black forest in Bavaria, the wild and almost rebellious rhythm of Berlin, the beauty of the gardens, all the castles, etc. It is also very easy to travel from Stuttgart because the airport serves many countries and cities, and Germany is a border country for many others. 

Erasmus also means meeting people who will leave their mark on you among the fifty or so international students who are here at the same time as you and the German students at the university. People who push you into your projects, who become your pillars for some of them, who allow you to hold on when it gets difficult. A real atmosphere of support prevails between all Erasmus. 

But the Erasmus adventure is above all about growing. These four months abroad have changed me and allowed me to evolve, to define and to build myself. As in any experience, there have been ups and downs, but each event has allowed me to learn about myself and others, to know what I want and what I don’t. I feel that I am more independent than before, that my vision on certain things has changed. I discovered who I was, and I don’t regret having tried the Erasmus adventure. If you have the opportunity to experience it, go for it.

Thank you for following our adventures, hoping that we made you travel with us!

Annabelle

To review this adventure in a few words is not easy, many moments come to my mind. This Erasmus semester has been much more than a change, it is a real evolution in my personal and professional life. These six months were punctuated by meetings, trips, opportunities, and knowledge. Going abroad and experiencing the unknown is an opportunity to learn more about yourself and the world around you. Sometimes you must know when to leave at the right time to come back better. 

Stuttgart is a surprising city, being lost there is sometimes necessary to capture those moments that we will not forget. I was lucky enough to meet some wonderful people, especially my German friends who have successfully integrated me into their own country and their projects. And then my two friends from Singapore, Esther and Enkainia with whom I shared this adventure and now these beautiful memories. 

I am very grateful to have been part of this experience. Thus, I would like to especially thank Mrs Blot for her trust, and to offer us this great opportunity to leave. 

Santiago: our review

Anaé

3 and a half months of immersion. This is an experience that makes you grow. New country, new population, new landscapes, new culture… in short, new what!

I am very grateful to have been able to live this experience. Chile is a beautiful and rich country. Despite a small psychological gap between the French and the Chileans (who sometimes have some problems of logic and speed), they are very kind and helpful people. The rhythm of life is not so far from the French and is closer to them than to the Spanish. Adaptation is therefore done rather quickly. As an Erasmus student, the courses are slightly less intense, which means that you can make many trips inside or outside the country. In small or large groups, these moments bring us closer together and allow us to discover real wonders.

This stay will remain a great memory, due to the many encounters I have had and the beauty of the country.

.

Zoé

Hola muchachos !

As you read our review article, I just got on the plane back to France. As you can see, we’re pretty good at timings at Read and Ride!

My Chilean adventure has just ended, after a little over four months here.

It was really a wonderful experience that allowed me to take exciting courses, realize great projects and meet many people. I learned a lot about Chile, its history and culture.

I even had the chance to take dance lessons and make one of my dreams come true: to see the stars in Atacama!

I would like to sincerely thank the IUT Bordeaux Montaigne and more particularly Mrs Blot, who puts all her energy and will to set up such beautiful partnerships. Thank you for allowing me to experience such an adventure.

So it’s on these few words that I’ll leave you to finish my journey… It’s now time for me to make way for the thesis, the summer job and the pro license… a whole program!

And above all, if you have the opportunity to travel, whether for your studies or for a holiday, don’t hesitate: go for it!

Hasta luego

Balance sheet : Erasmus 2019 Bruxelles

Maud & Jade in Anvers, Belgium

Jade

And that’s the end of those wonderful five months. A brief feedback on this Erasmus experience.

I went to live 5 months in Brussels, the capital of Europe. At first sight Brussels didn’t seem very exotic to me, half of the country’s inhabitants speak French and the culture is similar. Yet I have learned a lot from those five months there, now I know the complexity of this country divided into three languages and three cultures and its traditions.

What I would remember most about this incredible journey is my encounters. An Erasmus is sharing a few months of courses with international students. Ihecs welcomes many different nationalities: USA, Canada, Peru, Sri Lanka, Denmark, Germany, Sweden. It is a chance to be able to interact with all these students and learn by listening to their stories.
Also, I had the opportunity to travel in Europe, discovering the history of each country, traditions, architecture and culinary specialities I really enjoyed.

Erasmus allows us to get away from our daily life and comfort, we live with new people and we develop our open-mindedness. I think this will be a real advantage for working in the communication field.

I am very happy to have been able to participate in this Erasmus programme and if you have the opportunity, I would have only one thing to say to you: leave. It is a real experience to live!

Maud

Thankful, growing, flourishing. These are the 3 months that would describe me after my 5 months spent in Erasmus in Brussels. To experience an erasmus is to discover a new country, a new culture, new people from all over the world and to follow new courses.

I enjoyed the courses I took at IHECS, especially the Marketing course. I realized that marketing and communication are actually intimately linked, and learning the basics of marketing will inevitably be useful for my professional future.

But the Erasmus experience is much more than just new courses. I was able to meet wonderful people from all over the world. Exchanging with them and discovering their cultures has taught me a lot and I would always be grateful for that.

Jade and I have had the chance to travel a lot: Amsterdam, Stockholm, Berlin, Copenhagen, Malta, but also small Belgian cities like Antwerp, Bruges and Gant. I can’t say which city I liked the most because it was a different experience each time. Already a traveler at heart before leaving, this was confirmed!

And I continue my adventure this summer with a roadtrip in Andalusia and Portugal and then in Budapest!
I was also able to discover Belgium and Brussels. It is a very dynamic and student city and the Belgians are very nice!

I therefore recommend that you all have an Erasmus experience at least once during your studies! Leave without hesitation, you won’t regret it!
Personally, I intend to go back abroad if the opportunity arises!
Thank you all for following our adventures on Read and Ride and I hope that the next ones will live this experience as well as we did!

T