Erasmus+ Erfahrungsbericht: Gent

My semester abroad in Ghent, a city that surprised me:

Dank je wel, Gent!

I spent the summer semester 2023 in Ghent, Belgium and I want to give you an insight in this awesome time of my life. This city was not my first choice but now I’m very happy that it was my home for half a year. The city is maybe not so popular, but I think it’s an insider tip for a perfect semester abroad.

The start of my journey was tough. I got sick a few days before my flight, my doctor banned me from flying and I missed my night train because of a snowstorm. After a long trip I finally arrived in Ghent in my small room on Friday. On Monday university started and I met the people I called family for half a year. Even though I had a difficult start, this time became something very special, and I recommend everyone to do a semester abroad.


I studied at the Artevelde University of Applied Sciences, and I decided to join the international semester program “Bridges in Education”, which fitted in perfectly with my studies at home. It is a perfectly organized program especially for Erasmus+ students, which made everything very easy for me. The entire program was in English, and I had many courses to choose from. My choice fell on:

· School experience (3 ECTS)

· Global awareness – Erasmus (5 ECTS)

· Creative skills in ECEC (6 ECTS)

· Culture in context (3 ECTS)

· Democracy and citizenship in class (3 ECTS)

· Dutch language beginner (3 ECTS)

· Early language acquisition – English (3 ECTS)

· The reading environment (3 ECTS)

The courses were well designed and there was a lot of group work. The professors expected attendance in almost every class. The workload was ok. I had some group presentations, and I wrote some papers to finish the classes. The campuses were spread all over Ghent, but all could be reached within 15 minutes by bike. I adapted to the Belgians and rode my bike in all weather conditions. The campus Kantienberg has a very nice library and a student restaurant. You can study there the whole day and you get good and cheap meals. I can also recommend you to study at the new library “De Krook”. It is very modern and a great place to do some work. The university offers a lot of services: medical assistance, accommodations, and cheap sports facilities. Visit their website for more information.

School practice:

It was a great experience to do an internship in another country. In Belgium primary school lasts six years and my class was mixed with students from fifth and sixth grade. I did my school experience in a Freinetschool each Tuesday. This school type is specialized on a relationship with the nature and on independent work. My classroom teacher was very nice, and he let me try anything I wanted. I taught them English, German, a dance, knowledge about Austria, Europe and the EU and many other things. Normally the language in the classroom is Dutch. However, I taught in English. Since the children in my class were

between 11 and 12, they already understood a lot. One day I even had the chance to lead the class alone with another student because the teacher wasn’t there. The communication worked out. It was a very educational experience for me. I was in a classroom where only Dutch was spoken, and it was very hard for me to understand something because of the Flemish dialect. From time to time, it became easier for me and I understood more and more. But I noticed how exhausting this situation is and what helps me to understand more.


Most of those who applied for a room got a room in my university’s dorms. I got a room in the Poort House, and I really recommend it. The location is great as you can cycle to the city center in 5 minutes and most of the campuses are nearby. It is a modern room with a sink and fridge, which was important for me. There were many other Erasmus students on my floor. I shared the kitchen and the bathroom with the other students from my floor, but I was there alone most of the time. You can also use the garden or a party room to celebrate with friends. I can also recommend the dorms “Savaan” or “Bro Upkot”.


Belgium is divided into a French and a Dutch part. Gent is in the Dutch part. The train connections are cheap for students. With a multi-ticket you pay 6,70 € per trip and you can choose any destination in Belgium. I can recommend the cities Leuven, Brussels, Bruges and Antwerp. You can also visit the seaside and watch the sunset. What I liked about Belgium was that it is in the heart of Europe. It was easy to reach many different countries and to make unforgettable trips. From Ghent you can travel to Amsterdam, London and Paris in just 2h30. There are so many different beers in Belgium, and you will surely love them. Belgium is also very popular for fries and waffles, and they are really amazing.


When I first walked into the city center, I immediately fell in love with the beautiful architecture of this lovely small city. So can find rivers almost everywhere, what makes the city especially beautiful. The size of Ghent is very similar to the size of Graz, so you can easily reach everything by bike or public transport, and you get to know the city very quickly. I definitely recommend you to rent a bike because bicycles are the primary way of transportation in the city. As a student I only paid 60€ for 6 months for my bike. Ghent is a student city with a vibrant nightlife, many cafés, bars, restaurants and culture.

Social life:

As I mentioned before, at university I met great people who felt like home. Almost every weekend we went on trips, went out or had a drink together. We cooked, had sleepovers, and enjoyed our beautiful new home. All Erasmus students are in the same situations and that’s why it’s easy to make friends. I’m sure some of us will stay in contact forever. I also had visitors from home, and it was very nice to show them my new home.


To sum it up, it was an incredible time. It was interesting to study at another university, get to know another culture and find friends from all over Europe. I’m sure that Erasmus changed me positively and that it helps me to become a good teacher in the future. I would highly recommend Ghent to everyone who considering t a semester abroad as I could not think of a better destination. The city felt like home.


My university: https://www.arteveldehogeschool.be/en/homepage

Cheap bikes: https://fietsambassade.gent.be/en

Public transport: https://www.delijn.be/de/

Train: https://www.belgiantrain.be/en

Tot ziens, Ghent!

Sandra Schusser

Foto & Text: Sandra Schusser

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