I used my PGA funding to go to Belgium to present research from my PhD at an international conference on forensic mental health in Antwerp. I was not worried about anything relating to my travels to a new country, but was more focused on practicing my presentations, and hoping they would be received well. Through my whole trip around Belgium and the conference, I did learn a few things. Aside from learning about the history of Belgium, I was reminded that meeting people from other countries and cultures is one of the most amazing experiences you can give yourself. Because the conference was international, I made friends from all over the world who have the same interests as me, and in the short time that we were all together, we were able to talk about differences between our cultures, the food we love (and hate), realize that we all love similar music, and ultimately came to the realization that we are not all that different! Having the opportunity to not only travel to other countries, but to really get to know the culture, is priceless. Before hitting Antwerp though, a friend and I decided to see as much of Belgium as we could, and some of our adventures are below.
First, we took a train from Brussels to explore Bruges, which is definitely one of my favorite places!
Then we took a train to Ghent, which is also so beautiful and lively.
The following day, we explored Brussels, which was also beautiful.
Finally, we took a train to Antwerp where the conference was held.
Not only does Belgium have delicious waffles and frites that we enjoyed almost daily while there, but it is full of beautiful old buildings, so much culture, and really lovely people. I had a great time, and my presentations both went really well. I am so grateful to have received the PGA fund to help make this trip possible!