Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Excitement for Year Abroad Part 2: Interning in Brussels!

A generally excitable snapchat may have been sent today...
So, it's my final day in the UK before heading back to the continent for another six-month European adventure. This time, I'm off to Belgium to see if I can still speak French and intern for BBC News at their Brussels Bureau!

I'm not sure if I've ever actually mentioned what my internship is before, but as you can imagine, I'm really excited. This morning I got a haircut (chopping off the straggly ends in the above picture). Some people may call my new style 'newsreader-hair-length.' Others just a' long bob'. Say what you will, it seems appropriate.

For aaaages I've been asking the world, 'Can I just be a journalist already?' And now I get to actually try my hand at doing it for six months! Ok, not exactly. I get to help the amazing people who actually do it for six months, but that's still beyond exciting for me.

Lambs in the field
This four days at home has been delightful and oh-so-necessary: chilling with my parents, countryside dog walks, shopping, a cinema trip and much eating has occurred.

If fact, I've tried to pack in as many of my fave British foods as possible, and have done pretty well, I'd say: Fish & chips, Sunday roast, sausages & mash, bananas & custard, Mini Chocolate Weetabix, Creme Eggs, hot cross buns... It's been a deliciously British few days.

Can't beat Mama's roasties!
Chicken is my roast of choice, with TONS of veggies. Mmmm (Pre-gravifying.)
And how chuffed am I to have been home for Pancake Day?! Answer: very. (Happy Pancake Day, everyone!)

I do kinda miss Germany already though. It's strange.

In comparison to how I was feeling the day before moving to Germany six months ago (remember this post?), today I am positively chillaxed about Year Abroad Part Two. Ok, chillaxed is not the right word. I'm really not chillaxed.

I'm nervous, excited and a little stressed about getting everything ready in time, but I certainly feel a lot more comfortable about managing it all. I guess it's true what they say about doing a Year Abroad: you really do grow up, grow as a person and grow outwards.

OK, they don't exactly say you grow outwards when selling the year abroad but you definitely do! And I mean, HELLO! I'm off to a place famous for its chocolate, waffles and chips. I absolutely LOVED Lottie from Lottie's Little Kitchen's foodie guide to Brussels from the other week, but am now reasonably concerned about the prospect of coming back to the UK in September morbidly obese.

Love-hate relationship with food aside, I am SO excited about starting my internship. Y'all know how much I love doing media work placements, so the opportunity to do one for a whole six months is like a dream for me.

Working all day all week is going to be a massive shock to the system having spent two years as a uni student followed by six months as a language assistant, but from what I've experienced in my short stints thus far, I love working life.

I'm so excited to get stuck in, to learn, to listen, to work with such amazing people whom I admire and respect so much. (Must try to act cool upon meeting idols.) This really is the most incredible opportunity in my eyes, and I can't believe it's finally time.

Equally, I'm so looking forward to exploring a new city and getting to know a new culture. I just love newy newy newness! Everything is interesting when it's new, don't you think? There's so much world out there that's totally new to me and just waiting to be explored.

Stocking up on Creme Eggs...
Truth be told, I know rather little about Belgium. Sure, I study French, but that's just it: we learn about France. I've done exchanges in France. We've always gone on holiday to France.

For a while I sort of had it in my head that Belgium basically is the same as France. (Sorry, Belgies, don't hate me. I know that must offend you as much as a Scot being called English.) More recently, however, I've realised that Belgium really isn't France.

Of course, I know the whole language situation isn't uniquely French in Brussels - Flemish aside, it's SO international - so we'll have to see how hard I'm going to have to work to make sure my French does improve.

Brussels may not be the biggest capital city, but it IS a capital city (not to mention the capital of Europe!), and compared to Bayreuth (love ya longtime), I know it's going to seem really big and exciting to me. I can't wait to meet new people, try new things and visit new places.

Do I have somewhere to live? No. Am I totally freaking out about this? Surprisingly, no. Look at me go! So easy-going, laid-back, free-spirited, spontaneous, just going with the flow! (Did I get carried away?)

So, lovely people, I hope you enjoyed reading about my German adventures and will stick with me as I embark on a new one. Of course, everything I write on here will be my own views and nothing to do with those of the BBC.

I'll endeavour to keep you up-to-date with any exciting happenings which may occur, but for now, this gal needs to go and see how much orange squash and tea she can fit into her suitcase.

If you have any recommendations or tips about Brussels or Belgium I would absolutely LOVE to hear them. Wish me luck!

How do you leave this face!?
PS. Did I mention I'm excited?


  1. Good luck Rachel!! You will have the best time! I have one recommendation for you - get one of the alternative maps of the city (they're in all the youth hostels, and probably shops too!) which has loads of recommendations from the locals! Me and my friend stopped in Brussels when we were interrailing, and randomly picked up one of these, and it was so good! here is the website for is http://www.use-it.travel/cities/detail/brussels/
    Good luck - you'll have a blast!
    Rachel xxx

    1. Thanks Rach! Great tip, I shall definitely make sure to get myself one of those, thank you xxx

  2. Definitely make sure you visit Bruges! There'll be lots of tourists, but the whole place is just gorgeous, so it's worth the trip :) Also try and learn a bit of Flemish - Belgians like it when you attempt it and you'll be able to use what you've learned if you ever travel round the Netherlands!

    Love Tamsin xx (A Certain Adventure)

    1. Thanks Tamsin, I definitely will. X

  3. Really good luck!! I bet you will be absolutely fine and I cannot wait to hear how it goes, & let us know if you find any cool places to visit! I'm actually doing a day or two in Brussels in August when traveling round Europe for a few weeks!

    1. Amazing, thanks Caitlin. Hopefully I'll have found some good places to tell you about by August! X

  4. Good luck, hon! How exciting to be off on a new adventure so soon. Looking forward to reading all of your new posts :)
    Lottie xxx

  5. Congratulations and good luck! Wish you the best in your new adventure!


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