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Brussels Summer

Spend your summer abroad in Brussels

Welcome to the vibrant city of Brussels! Embark on an enriching journey of education and cultural immersion with SIS Intercultural Study Abroad. Whether you’re looking to enhance your academic studies, explore a new culture, or expand your horizons, our program offers an unforgettable experience in one of Europe’s most dynamic capitals and cities .

Brussels shines at its best during the summer months, offering a perfect blend of pleasant weather, vibrant cultural events, and outdoor activities. With mild temperatures and extended daylight hours, the city comes alive with festivals, terraces, and cultural immersion experiences. You’ll also have the chance to live with welcoming host families, contribute to local service projects, and earn valuable university credits through our diverse range of courses that span multiple academic disciplines. Don’t miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Join SIS Intercultural Study Abroad and make your summer in Brussels unforgettable.

Overview

For those students who can’t leave their home campus for a semester or full academic year, SIS offers two summer study abroad opportunities from mid-May until the end of June. These programs not only allow students to study French language and culture in a more condensed period, they will also include interesting and fun activities in Belgium and Brussels during a remarkable time of year. 

All programs include airport pick-up, program orientation, a series of activities and excursions, family homestays and the opportunity to perform community service in a variety of areas.

 

Upcoming program dates and options

SIS Intercultural Study Abroad offers two main options to spend a remarkable summer in Brussels. These include: Maymester and a 6-week option. 

Maymester (3 Weeks)

2024 Dates: May 17th – June 7th

Available credits: 4 (3 credits content course, 1 French language course)

Immerse yourself in the heart of Brussels for an intensive three-week academic experience. Explore the city’s cultural landmarks, engage with local communities, and delve into your studies in a dynamic international environment. Our Maymester program offers the opportunity for students to focus on Belgian culinary history and taste the most famous Belgian delicacies such as: beer, chocolate, and Belgian fries (that’s right – they were never French).

Summer Semester (6 Weeks)

2024 Dates: May 17th – June 26th

Available credits: 10 (3 credits French course, 3+3 credits content courses, 1 credit Service Learning)

With this program option, students can extend their stay and deepen their understanding of the intercultural dynamics of Brussels, its connection to and European (European Parliament, European Commission) and international (NATO) institutions but also delve into the diversity of the nuances of Francophone culture and the French language.

Summer course descriptions

Although course offerings for summer study abroad are fewer, there is still a choice selection for all majors. Our summer programs in Brussels are open to students who don’t have prior knowledge of the French language as all classes are taught in English. Depending on the length of the program, the students have the possibility to choose among a short list of courses. Below is a brief description of each program.

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Maymester

Students take 1 credit (15 hours) of French Language and one academic course (3 credits) instructed in English. The course at the core of this program is Belgian Food and Ingredients. Have you ever heard of pralines, abbey beer, and fries? What better place to discover their secrets than in Belgium, where most of these things were invented? During this course, students will learn all about the recipes behind these delicacies, and of course they will also be able to taste their secrets with many tasting activities. More information can be found in the course description at this link:

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Summer 6-weeks

Students enrolled in this program are required to take 45 contact hours of French Language (3 credits), 2 content courses (3 credits each), do Service-Learning activities and follow a Reflection Seminar (1 credit). Thus, the total number of credits that can be acquired through this program is 10 credits.

 The summer program is divided into two 3-week phases (the first of which combines with the Maymester program). In the two phases of the program, students can decide between two pairs of courses.

First 3 weeks of the program (May 17th – June 5th)

Students can choose between:

45 total contact hours – This course integrates structured discussions on contemporary global and local issues with a focus on preparing students as future global citizens. It begins with a historical and philosophical examination of the concept of hospitality and its evolution over time, prompting students to consider its changing nature. The course then explores the notion of otherness and provides an overview of human rights. It further delves into the history of European institutions and their role in promoting intercultural dialogue, while analyzing recent European developments in democracy protection and competence development.

45 total contact hours – The course explores the origins and global influence of Belgian culinary delights like fries, beer, and pralines. It delves into cultural and historical aspects, including Belgium’s colonial past and the importation of cocoa from the Congo. Chemical aspects of unique Belgian products, like Lambic beer, are also discussed. Classes are interactive, with excursions to breweries, beer factories, fries museums, and chocolatiers for guided visits and tastings. Students engage in cooking lessons to make their own pralines and beers. Readings cover historical and cultural perspectives, offering a comprehensive understanding of these culinary treasures.

Second 3-week program (June 5th – June 26th).

Students can choose between:

45 total contact hours – This course is a combination of classes taught by SIS Intercultural Study Abroad faculty in Brussels and a series of meetings with key stakeholders at the European level, civil society and NGOs representatives that will provide students with the possibility to learn about the current drug situation in the EU in an engaging and participatory way.

The course covers EU fundamental rights protection and its relations with other systems like national frameworks and the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). It also delves into EU drugs policy, discussing measures against drug trafficking and health concerns, along with the role of the Council of Europe Pompidou Group in developing evidence-based drug policies.

45 total contact hours – The course explores the global history and evolution of the French language, aiming to deepen understanding of cultural diversity and intercultural connections within the Francophonie. It examines how French-speaking countries collaborate to preserve and transform the language, leading to diverse accents and usage. Students will learn about the linguistic evolution’s influence on over 80 countries and its enduring connections. The course specifically highlights Brussels as an example of linguistic richness. Theoretical analysis and discussions are complemented by examples from various forms of French, and students are encouraged to conduct independent research to enhance their understanding of these cultural aspects.

BROWSE THE BRUSSELS COURSE CATALOG TO LEARN MORE 

Service Opportunities

Service learning is an integral part of studying abroad even in the summer.  Participants in all SIS Intercultural Study Abroad programs are encouraged to perform service in or for the community in conjunction with our local partners. Service can range from 1-5 hours a week and opportunities are in a variety of different service sites. Students might assist in services to refugees with other volunteers, visit with the elderly, or distribute meals to the homeless people. Volunteering in the community is an unparalleled way to improve language skills, get involved in the local social fabric and make a genuine contribution to the host community.

Inquire with us for the latest service options in Brussels!  info@sisstudyabroad.com

 

Activities and Excursions

All participants in Brussels summer programs will go on an overnight (TBC) trip that includes visits to Antwerp and Bruges, in the north of Belgium.

 

Course Related Excursions 

Excursions included in the program are offered to all students. Some are organized primarily for students taking certain courses.

Here are some examples:

  • Visits to European Institutions and NATO,
  • Visits to museums that focus on the history of Brussels, particular neighborhoods and the history of its migrations
  • Organized tastings of traditional Belgian foods
  • Visits to EU NGOs and local associations.

 

Local activities

During the summer Brussels hosts many festivals, special openings, concerts, cultural events and celebrations that make life in the city effervescent and dynamic during this period.  Some examples below:

May:

June: