Groeten van België

Hallo!!

I am Meghan Murray writing to you from the heart of Europe!  I am studying at Group T International University College in Leuven, Belgium.  While here, I'm taking engineering courses, a course in Dutch (any Dutch you read in this blog may or may not be grammatically correct), and courses in management.  I've been here for about three weeks, and have done so many amazing things that will not fit in this blog entry (see my personal blog for more info).  Some highlights:

  • I'm living in Leuven, 20 minutes outside of Brussels (by train) and completely a student city.  It is home to KULeuven, a university of 37,000 students.  The city is also nearly 10% international, so I've met people from everywhere.

UniversiteitbibliotheekThe university library on the Ladeuzeplein,
200 meters from my front door. Gorgeous!

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  • I moved into an all girls' student residence, Steenberg.  This
    may not seem like much of a highlight, but I was quite excited about
    it.  Group T does not provide its students housing like Olin does, so I
    had to find my own.  Not only did I find something, but it's absolutely
    fabulous!  There are about 20 really interesting and friendly girls,
    mostly from Belgium but also from Spain, Russia, Slovakia, and the
    Netherlands.  Plus, the house has a chapel!!  I've had a lot interesting
    discussions and reflections on faith, which I enjoy.
  • Chocolate:
    is so delicious.  The cook in our house makes delectable desserts.  I
    buy very well priced and very yummy chocolates (and chocolate waffles)
    at Aldi.  I've started collected yummy recipes (like the phenomenal
    Nutella Pie I made with friends). Watch out Olin. I will return with so
    many good recipes that I'll have to try out in the EH kitchen!
ChocolateYum! Some friends
and I went to a chocolate bar in Leuven
and got the best milkshake
EVER and brownies. So good!

  • Excursions: since
    being in Belgium, I have ventured to: Tongeren, Belgium's oldest city
    where there are still Roman ruins and a fabulous antique market on
    Sundays; Maastricht, the southernmost city in the Netherlands; Brussels,
    Europe's capital; and Houtave, the countryside near Bruges.  It's been
    great!  I have many more trips planned.  I love being in the center of
    Europe!
Meghan in MaastrichtA pose on the Maas
River in Maastricht, The Netherlands. I waited
for a "Welcome to the
Netherlands sign when I crossed the border,
but there was
surprisingly nothing!
  • Running: I love running,
    and I love running in Belgium even more.  The winding streets,
    historical architecture, and beautiful parks are such nice places to
    run.  I've actually found myself running much farther than my legs can
    handle because the sights are so gorgeous and I want to see more. 
    That's how it should be!

Now, to keep score on the Leuven
vs. Lima score board
.  I give Leuven +3 for being in the center of
the universe, +2 for the best chocolate ever!, +3 for a chapel in my
house, +2 for endless runs, +1 for being an international college town,
+1 for deals at Aldi.

That gives us (drumroll): Lima 12, Lueven
12 (so this may or may not be rigged, but we did say the points are
arbitrary).

 We'll see how many points Erika can rack up in Lima
next week.  Tot straks!

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