Studying in Brussels

Hello! My name is Daniela, I am 23 years old and I am doing a master degree in Brussels at Institut d’Etudes Europeennes, Universite Libre de Bruxelles. I am really happy to have the occasion to study here, because that was one of my dreams that came true. I had my bachelor degree at Academy for Economic Studies from Bucharest, Romania, where I succeed to achieve competences in my domain (Economics), theoretic knowledge and to improve my qualities and know better my capacities and my personality.

So, in order to know myself better and people surrounding me and aiming to find out what I really like and want to do in my life, I tried to participate at different conferences, competitions, projects, where I had the occasion to meet new people, new cultures, new food and mentality. I started to be more open minded and more anxious to socialize and know many things about many cultures. The projects that I’ve participated and the fact that I was taking part of an NGO of young people helped me a lot in my personal development and in the accomplishment of my goals. I participated at very interesting contests such as: la Chasse au tresor, Junior Commercial, conferences, projects about democracy and European integration in Moldova, Romania, Hungary, France.

So I decided to go on. I tried to get in the College of Europe but taking into account that they had many demands and a big competence, I wasn’t accepted, but I never gave up. All this time, my family supported me a lot, first of all by giving me since I was little a good education and after that a lot of encouragements. So, now, I am studying in the capital of Europe, a cosmopolitan city were I have many things to learn and see. I am in the heart of the European matters and I really want to take the next step and to find more about this and to interact with different personalities in order to try to help myself in solving some of the problems that EU is confronting with.

The hows of it all

Hello Daniela, good to meet  you! This is all very interesting, and good to see you managed to get into a University you wanted.

You do not say, however, how you did it: what did you do, if anything, to get accepted after the initial rejection. Was there any special trick?

And another question, also a how: how do you link studying in Brussels to solving EU problems? Do all University of Brussels graduates find jobs in EU institutions?


Hello, Alberto. It is very nice too meet you too and thank you for reading and reacting to what i wrote. Thank you for your appreciations.

Well, I want to say that there are no special tricks, you just have to show you’re motivated enough. First time when I applied I had no experince, but when I applied in Brussels I tryed to put more attention on how to write a motivation letter, how to improve my CV and so on. So, there are some standards that you have to take into account but also you must prove that you really whant to do this and what are your qualities. But you know how we say, it’s easy to get in , the more important is to get out succesfully. You have to show your interest, to keep up with what your professors says etc.

About the jobs, again it’s your motivation. Of course it’s not easy to find a job and the studies that I am doing are good for the profile that employers are looking for, but there are not enough. You have to be involved in different activities, know people, make yourself known, be active. Me, for example, I try to participate at debates, conferences at European Parlament, I try to know better the situation from inside. Plus you can start with an internship. And if you study hard enough you can try the competition for EU institutions. But I repeat, the informations are transparent for everyone, and it depends on your perseverance.

Let me give you an example, recently I participated at a very interesting seminar for me about how to build your own business (this is one of my other goals, I want to have a family business) and I found out many interesting things about it … for example there is an Erasmus program for that (like internships in different firms from different countries), there are special founds for women who want to begin an affair etc.

Another example is a seminar about democracy where we debated the problem of Moldova and the possibilities to entry the EU, I tryed to expose the problems that Moldova is confrunting with and the possible solutions.

Few days ago I went to a projection of movies that accentued actual problems, like women discrimination or poverty and how to change it.

Meanwhile, I found a student job and I am working periodicaly (but this is after sending more than 30 CVs )

But nobody says to you, hey, go there and say that. It depends on you and your motivation, really. Everyone have equal chances, but not all use the given possibilities.

Hope I answerd to your questions. If you have other, write me, I will be glad to answer.

Have a nice evening!


This is not at all surprising, obviously it makes it easier to succeed knowing where you want to be and channeling your energy towards that. I’ve always been terrified of applying to university abroad, so much preparation and in a way overestimating all that one has done or is, even the idea that grades matter so much when we know that really they dont reflect the actual knowledge one has, although they may be a proxy for placing students in a hierarchy, but they’re not really accurate - in Romanian context I mean and in my humble opinion.  But then of course, some of the brightest young people do get into good universities abroad and this is viewed as a real success… so congratulations!

Did you manage to find a job in your field of interest or is it just to keep you floating until graduation? I hear Brussels is really expensive…

And the most important thing: what do you plan to do next, are you coming back to Romania, are you trying to get a job in the European institutions…? You’re doing a lot of things and seem really ambitious, you I guess there’s a plan :slight_smile:


Thank you, Noemi!

What could I say, it’n not easy, but it’s not impossible so you shouldn’t be afraid to try to apply abroad if that sounds interesting to you.

I didn’t find a job on my field of interest, I found a student job, in a commercial center because normally we are aloud to work only 50 days per year. I could have find an internship or a part time job, but I didn’t really had time this year, because I started my master degree in Romania last year and here I am doing only one year instead of 2 years, so I am taking the compulsory courses from the 1st and the 2nd year …so it’s pretty complicated beacause i have to do my final thesis and many other things. plus i try also to travel and to see new places , because it’s not expenssive at all to take the train (for example there is a go pass and one ticket could cost 5 euro inside Belgium). but generally, it’s true that Brussels it’s quite expenssive, especially renting an appartmemnt, i am lucky that i am staying at a hall for students , so i have nice neighbours, very sociable and it’s not that expenssive. The food it’s more expenssive than in Germany for example , but there are different chain stores for different people with certain budgets, so you can find also something to afford and by the way, I find that in Bucarest there is almost the same level of prices.

To answer to the second question, I am going to search for a job, a real job :smiley: and if I don’t find something that suites to me, I may come back. even so, I want to work here and make experience and after that to bring maybe something new in our country, i don’t know yet, life is impredictable :slight_smile: But even tho, we have to move forward.

We really have a lot in common

Hi Daniela,

Nice to meet you. Reading your ryde I realised that we actually have much in common. The difference is that you’ve already reached most of your goals and I congratulate you for that. It means that determination and ambition had their result. I’m a student in the third year at the Academy of Economic Studies and just like you did before, I dream to do my master in european studies. I’ve chosen L’Institut des Hautes Etudes Européennes de Strasburg, but l’Institut d’Etudes Europeennes de l’Universite Libre de Bruxelles could be also an option.

So, I’m very curious to know, how is the educational sistem at your university? Is it very different from the ASE’s one? Have you experienced any adaptation difficulties in the transition between Romania and Belgium? Which are the most important things you’ve learned since you are there?

And anouther question. You said something about an Erasmus programe for Entrepreneurs. Could you tell me somethig more aboute it, please? I’d like to have my own business, too. In fact now I’m the vice-president of the business community of a students association of Bucharest and I try to discover more and more sources to learn about business. I didn’t now anything about this Erasmus Program. It sounds really interesting.

Hi, Amalia!

Hello, Amalia!

It is nice to meet you too. I am glad that this way we can meet people with common interests:)

Regarding your questions, the educational system is a little different, but it’s not difficult to adapt if you’re really interested. You just have to be very attentive during the courses and if you read the bibliography given by the teacher, there is no way for you not to succed. One difference could be that Belgian system is more advanced from the point of view of technology and you have teachers from all over the world with larger experience and visions. You have a bigger interraction with other cultures, even with your classmates. The grades are from 1 to 20, but you have to obtain an average of 12 in order to graduate a year. Plus, you are very close to the European Institutions so there are organised visits with your faculty or different conferences that you could participate. My advise, if you have an opportunity to study there, you should take advantage of, because it’s a very nice experience. Because the faculty from Romania helped me to develop some qualities and competences but the faculty from Belgium its a different experience and you will learn many new things.

About the Erasmus program, I am in Romania now, but in few days I will be back to Belgium and I will send you some links that I wrote on a paper, I don’t have it with me, so, talk to you soon.

Have a nice evening and good luck. follow your dreams and instincts;)