KLMBlue From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 267 posts, RR: 0 Posted (11 years 7 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 648 times:
I would like the opinion of the members here for a very important choice that I will have to make soon... I have been givin a scholarship to go to either Belgium or Switzerland(the french speaking parts of the countries) for an entire year. I would like to know what you would choose and your reasons. Right now, I am leaning towards Belgium only because it is possible for me to learn my relatives language, Dutch. Your input would be greatly appreciated!
ILOVEA340 From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 2100 posts, RR: 4 Reply 1, posted (11 years 7 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 631 times:
In my humble Opinion I would say Switzerland. I have spent time in both countries and don't get me wrong belgium is nice too. The swiss are great people I don't have quite as much experience with belgians but they seemed nice aswel. If you like airliners ZRH is the greatest. Its about 1.5-2.5 hours by train from the french part of switzerland. anyways... obviously it up to you but if I were choseing (which I m not) I would say switzerland.
RogueTrader From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 2, posted (11 years 7 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 632 times:
I'm sure people will have opinions about which is better for studying or for business or for jobs or whatever.
These are of course generalizations, perhaps stereotypes, but they are at least in part true. For the following reasons, I'd pick Belgium if I were you.
From a social perspective, I find Belgium a little friendlier. The Swiss are too serious all the time. Swiss people CAN be just as friendly as anyone else, it just takes a lot of ice-breaking to get through their business like exterior.
For a young person, I think being close to Holland is an outstanding opportunity: which is another reason to get to Belgium. Amsterdam and Holland are particularly friendly to younger people, and not just because of the 'liberal' culture Amsterdam is famous for.
Its a great opportunity and either country will enhance your education far more than just staying at home. In fact, I'm a little jealous.
OO-AOG From Switzerland, joined Dec 2000, 1426 posts, RR: 4 Reply 3, posted (11 years 7 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 618 times:
Well being a Belgian living in Switzerland, I would say that the choice is not that easy.
If you choose Belgium, my home town, make sure you end up in the Brussels area. Brussels is a very enjoyable city with a lot of things to do, especially during week-ends. Quality of school is pretty high in both countries.
Regarding Switzerland, I have experience of the french part only. If you like nature, mountain, ski or great landscapes, choose Switzerland without any doubt as it's really a gorgeous country.
Life in Geneva is very pleasant, it's an international city but night life is quite limited though, especially during working days. In any case, whatever you choose Belgium or Switzerland, you can't make a bad choice.
Jwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 20 Reply 4, posted (11 years 7 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 613 times:
IOW, Belgians are nicer people (in general), the Swiss live in a nicer country
Being a Dutchspeaking native you might have trouble in Frenchspeaking parts of Belgium, there is still a lot of animosity between Flanders and Walony.
When we visited Brussels some years ago in some places people wouldn't even look at us until the discovered we were not from Flanders but Dutch (I guess the reverse would go for Frenchmen in Flanders). In Switzerland that's not a problem.
Belgium is of course closer to the Netherlands, which makes it easier and cheaper to go home quickly if needed.
KLMBlue From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 267 posts, RR: 0 Reply 5, posted (11 years 7 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 597 times:
Thanks for all the info!! I really appreciated the info, one small thing though. my relatives live in holland, not me! Can anybody tell me about the school systems? I have tried to find out about them on the internet, but it doesn't give me the information I want(info about the actual school day)
Avion From Bouvet Island, joined May 1999, 2205 posts, RR: 8 Reply 6, posted (11 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 587 times:
What kind of school will u be going to? If its a highschool then i give u some information on how its done in Switzerland. Typically school is every weekday from 8AM to around 3 PM. Wednesday afternoons u dont have school. You can not pick what classes u take. Its the same for everyone, except like 4 weekly lessons that u get to choose what u do during that time.
I can recommend the Romandie, which is what the french part of Switzerland is called. I am sure u will find friendly people since from my experiences they are all very friendly. Plus u can go to Holland anytime with Easyjet GVA-AMS flights.
Scorpio From Belgium, joined Oct 2001, 4969 posts, RR: 46 Reply 9, posted (11 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 573 times:
Secondary schools in Belgium:
School starts at 8:30AM 'till 3:30 PM, Wednesday afternoons are free. Unlike in the US, you can not choose an individual roster, but you choose a 'package', tuned most to your interests, needs and capabilities, e.g. some are more tuned towards learning a profession so you can go to work when you're 18, others are supposed to prepare you for college/university, with focus either on sciences or on foreign languages, etc. Another difference with the States, and a result of you getting to choose a package, is that you will be with the same group of students for pretty much every lesson of the day. You'll also have different classes each day, so no two days are the same.