Finally, our third new program: the History of Belgium Integration course.
“It was so tempting to limit my connections to the other expats already there… it’s a welcoming community. But after a while, it feels strange: as if I lived in a parallel world from my neighbours.”
Sara Reyniers, Freelance Translator, Language Specialist and Journalist specialized in EU policy, about her own expat experience(s)
If you are an expat in Belgium, you might feel the same way. Maybe you never expected Belgium to be as complicated as it is. You feel puzzled by the country, your Belgian colleagues and friends, and you don’t really understand what all these problems about languages are about.
Maybe you work in an international organisation or in diplomacy, maybe you work in an international company and most of your colleagues are expats. Maybe it’s the opposite: you work in a Belgian company, and you don’t connect to the Belgians. Or you don’t work, but you came here with your partner. And while your partner can connect to people through work, it’s a lot harder for you.
So you stay in your expat bubble, only to discover that this can be isolating as well. You tried to make Belgian friends, you tried to get information, you tried to read up on Belgium, but there is not enough information in your language or there is too much information to take in on your own. Integration is difficult. Besides, where should you start?