Discovering Brussels: our integration week

After a week of transition in Bordeaux to prepare our trip, we finally arrived on Belgian, with some difficulties (see below), for five days of integration in this beautiful capital.

To make us discover emblematic places of Brussels in 5 days, that was the challenge of our school, the IHECS.
We started our integration week on Monday morning with the discovery of other Erasmus students from all over the world: Peru, United States, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Russia,… A beautiful cultural diversity! We were also informed about transport, where to hangout, administrative papers and insurance. In the afternoon we walked around Brussels with a Belgian guide who gave us the best addresses in the city.

After this visit, in the rain, wind and hail, we went to warm up with hot chocolate at Laurent Gerbaud’s house. According to the guide, the best hot chocolate in Brussels, we validate!

During this week we had three courses to understand a little more about the country in which we do our Erasmus : a course on Europe, a course on Belgian political life (very complicated…) and a course on the Belgian media.

For our second day, we had the opportunity to visit the Belgian Radio-Television of the French Community (RTBF). Finding out what’s behind the TV sets was really amazing!

We also visited the Belgian Parliament where we had the privilege of sitting in the seats of deputies and senators.


We couldn’t visit Brussels without going to a chocolate factory! We were able to observe (and also taste) how chocolate is made at Concept Chocolat.

Finally, the visit to the Magritte Museum was a wonderful discovery! A guide was able to transmit to us her passion for this Belgian surrealist painter, explaining to us his way of working and thinking.

In addition to chocolate, Belgium is also famous for its French fries! We were invited by the IHECS to Roy D’espagne, a real Belgian institution with a view of the Grand-Place, to taste some good “French Fries”.

On Friday afternoon we were able to discover our schedule. We now have two weeks to test and definitively choose our courses for our erasmus. To finish these 5 days of integration, IHECS made us discover Viavia café, a café with a crazy charm (and good beers), very good address to note!

This integration week was an excellent introduction to our life in Brussels, already rich in encounters and discoveries.
Just find here our integration week in pictures.

Have a nice week !

Maud & Jade

What to do in Bordeaux ?

Bordeaux. Also known as the beautiful asleep or the little Paris, the city of Bordeaux is overflowing with things to see and to do ! Keep reading and begin a tour of this tiny piece of paradise !

Where is Bordeaux ?

Located 2h30 by train from the capital, Bordeaux is situated in the South-West of France, the place where people say “chocolatine”. The city is cut in two parts by the Garonne, that’s why we talk about Right Bank and Left Bank. The closest cities are Arcachon, Angoulême, Royan, Périgueux and Agen, places to visit if you came here !

The 5 most beautiful locations ?

It’s difficult to quote only five location but we are going to try !

-Place de la Bourse and the Miroir d’eau : We don’t present this mythical sight worldwild anymore, but this is not a tourist trap at all ! During summer to cool off and talk next to the fountain and during winter to admire the light’s reflections on the Miroir d’eau, the Place de la Bourse is different each season.

-Darwin ecosystem : If you like street art, to drink and to eat good things, but mainly to listen to good music, this is THE place to be. From reassigned barracks to colored walls by dozen of artists, Darwin is one of the most iconic street location in Bordeaux.

-The Cathedral of Saint Andrew : Biggest cult monument of the city located square Pey-Berland, the Cathedral Saint Andrew is a pearl of the beautiful asleep. Its architecture is iconic, from the outside to the inside, through the cloister.

-Place de la Comédie : Gathering the Grand Théâtre of Bordeaux and the prestigious restaurants of Gordon Ramsay and Philippe Etchebest, this square is even more beautiful at night. The Opera Houses’ illuminations and the one from the builgings around make it a privileged sport for night walks.

-The botanical garden : Lovers of nature or aspirant to calm, the botanical garden of Bordeaux, located Right Bank, is a true heaven of peace. Every year, the garden blooms according to a theme, to impress you even more.

I allow myself to add one more because this is kind of hard : the stone bridge (or “Pont de pierre” in French). Emblem of the city, it’s impossible to came in Bordeaux without admire the stone bridge, by day and by night !

What about culture ?

Bordeaux is a privileged place for museums : the city has no less than 15 of them ! Whether you like Renaissance’s art, history of Humanity, architecture, wine or contemporary art, each museum has its own specificity.

Performing arts also have big space for the city. The iconic auditorium of Rocher de Palmer has seen hundreds of artists since its opening and continue to surprise ! With the Arkea Arena’s recent construction, French and international artists now come in Bordeaux to play for 11,000 people, just for our pleasure. For the most intimated people, you can also find your happiness at the Femina Theater, at the Rock School Babrey or in the movie theater Utopia.

Some others iconic cultural locations are also to mention, as the Cité du Vin, unique site based in wine and leisure time in the world. The submarine base or BETASOM offers innovated exhibitions in a cultural center with a unique industrial architecture. The many doors are still symbols of the city, in memory of the past. Porte Cailhau, Porte of Bourgogne, Porte of Aquitaine, they are required passages.

What’s for evening outings ?

The beautiful asleep is not as asleep as we can think ! Whether you are more interested by cultural trips, to have dinner in a great restaurant and to go to bars and clubs, that’s not something that missed here.

For the restaurants, dare to get lost in the small streets of the city and let you surprise by gastronomy from the Gironde but also from elsewhere.

Place de la Victoire and its surrounding streets are your best friends if you want to go out in bars with different styles and various entertainments. To continue the evening, the city counts dozens of clubs, including the iconic IBoat, ship/club with emblematic theme nights.

I could have written a lot more about this beautiful city that is Bordeaux, but let’s stop here for today !

Have a beautiful day/evening,

-Angelina

IUT Bordeaux Montaigne

With its atypical concrete architecture, the IUT Bordeaux Montaigne looks, at first sight, more like a prison than a university establishment. However, once the stairs have been climbed, a spacious and bright hall welcomes us, enough to change our rather negative first impression.

As large from the outside as from the inside, this imposing building houses several poles. Indeed, the IUT Bordeaux Montaigne prepares students for the professions of Information and Communication, Social and socio-cultural animation, Urban management, Cultural mediation, Multimedia and Internet. In addition to these, there is the IJBA, Institut de Journalisme Bordeaux Aquitaine, which allows all other building sectors to benefit from a TV set, generally used for oral project presentations.

Our communication channel for organizations greatly appreciates the fact that we can benefit from it. This platform really allows you to express yourself in a professional context, and thus make the situation more realistic. The formation is based on theoretical or practical courses, with teachers or interveners, allowing different approaches. In addition, several weeks of projects are planned throughout the year. They represent a real challenge for students in a real professional situation. Although intensive, these weeks are very enriching and professionalizing for each of the students.

In addition, located in Place Renaudel in the Saint Michel district, its location is perfect for students. With a maximum of 10 minutes walk, you will find the Capuchin market, the Sainte Croix tram stop, Place Saint Michel, the station, the Victoire and the city centre in its surroundings. Pretty easy to access, right? In addition, for the lunch break, the choice is wide and diversified, there is something for everyone. For example, just by going to the Capucins, you can enjoy yourself according to your desires of the day at totally accessible prices.

One of the wonderful advantage of the IUT Bordeaux Montaigne is its international mobility offer via Erasmus+ program. Teachers and students explain you more about it in this video !

-Anaé