So, what can I finally say about Liège? I think over the past 4 months you have had more than your fair share of my rantings, ravings, rejoicings and everything in between, so I thought the best thing to do was to ask others what they thought of Liège.
There were some a bit less encouraging suggestions, such as “If you like LADYBIRDS, Sart Tilman residence is the place to be!”; and “keep spare water bottles to hand for the days without water”; but these are more to do with the Sart Tilman residence, rather than Liège itself.
As for the city, many Erasmus students said similar things about taking a day or two just to find yourself in Liège – even getting lost just to find your own way back! As for food, the Sunday markets near the university as well as cheap supermarkets like Delhaize around the Place Saint-Lambert were mentioned more than once.
Useful ideas came up regarding studying, such as “Stay on top of your workload, so you can enjoy every aspect of your stay, from the lessons to the partying :)” which ties in nicely with another suggestion: work hard so you don’t become too stressed later on.
Of course, many of these suggestions are much easier in theory, turning down travelling or parties to study isn’t the most fun way to spend your Erasmus séjour, but trust me, it helps in the long term!!! There have been, however, some pieces of advice that I really would suggest taking on board, as I think it will really improve your Erasmus experience.
1. Try everything at least once.
2. Have something to distract you from stress (films, books, English tea… something from home that can bring you back to sanity slightly.)
And finally, regarding living arrangements:
3. Try and find somewhere with French/Belgian students.
While I love the people I live with, I speak English 80% of the time in the Sart Tilman residence, and I feel that my French hasn’t improved as much as it could have (well, if someone wants to speak English to me, it’s very difficult to refuse!). A lot of people, including the 2 other native English students here, have made similar comments, and so here is the perfect solution:
Stay in Sart Tilman for the first couple of weeks of your stay in Liège, make friends and connections, but go looking for a flat (or kot) in the city centre for the majority of your séjour. That way, you can still go on the fabulous student nights out, and still make the amazing friends I have, without the issues we have discovered at the university residence.
I have found the experience an amazing one, in all aspects of life, whether it be academic, cultural or social. Erasmus has been one of the oddest, craziest and influential experiences of my life, and I have certainly benefitted from it.
I must also admit though, I am kind of also excited to be going home to English speakers, English cuppas, English TV and English breakfasts!!!