Lucia-Sanziana Penescu is a student from Romania. She lived and studied in Brussels for 1 year at the EPHEC – Haute École Économique et Technique. Throughout this year she fell in love with Brussels. Now it’s time to leave. Thanks to her teacher, Professor Pascal Goergen, Lucia wrote to Brussels Express explaining why she will miss Brussels.
I was in love with this city before arriving here. I don’t have a certain explanation, it was something personal, something I felt from the very beginning. And after all, I was right. It was the most astonishing experience I had so far, I cannot even imagine leaving the city in five days, it feels like I belong here, but who knows after all, maybe I will return someday and then it will be more than just an experience, maybe it will be my home.
I had no idea at first how it was going to be, I let myself be carried away; besides the photos I saw on internet, not even a single clue about the city, people, their lifestyle and routine. I was only familiar with the fact that the whole idea of Europe is concentrated here, and that was kinda fascinating for me. So I started my adventure here, in a big unknown city, where I discovered in five months more things than I discovered in 2 years of staying in the capital, in Romania; Why? Because of my willingness of finding more and more, the more I discovered, the more I felt in love with the city.
I would say I integrated quickly, maybe also because of the culture, which is also not that different from mine; but even though here you can find a nice way of combining multicultural identities, in the end everyone is being part of the same family that bounds us all, as individuals, everywhere.
I was impressed. Not only with the beautiful city center, the European Union Bubble, or the things that everyone wants to do while being in the city; For me Brussels was more than a nice taste of chocolate and beer, crispy fries and a nice plate of delicious mussels, and all that because I discovered the ‘inside’ of the city. I met one hundred percent Belgians, I was delighted with their kindness, the willingness they have in helping you, even if it’s just a matter of giving a piece of information regarding a location of a museum. The way they care about the planet, for me was also a strong point of fascination, the way they sort their trash and take part of the ‘sustainable development’ concept; Coming from the East Europe, I noticed all the measures they take day by day in ‘cleaning the planet’, and I don’t think that I speak only for myself, when I say that we should learn how to follow their example and be part of the change.
Being an exchange student here, I had a lot of free time to notice all the small things happening around me. As every other city, of course there are things that could be improved. For example, I would totally like the public transportation to be available also during the night, so we can get home safe, without paying a lot of money on taxi or Uber, and also supermarkets could extend their program and be opened even on Sunday. But things will fall into their place eventually, and there is no need to hurry small things, but to get concentrated on important ones at first.