I moved to Brussels
At the university, I taught English and Italian, went to a red diploma, but did not particularly feel craving for the profession of a translator or teacher. In parallel, I actively participated in university cultural life, I became the chairman of the Student Council of the Faculty and satisfied the events of various formats, participated in theatrical productions and from childhood danced in the choreographic group. I realized that I like the sphere of enterrettenia and public relations. During study, I went to Italy for internships to school and university, so the decision came in itself – to continue the highest training in Italy with a degree in Scienze Della Comunicazione (Communication), in the oldest university in Europe in Bologna.
So coincided that I left in the summer of 2014, when sad events took place in my hometown and the region, which, of course, had strengthened my determination in moving, but also forced the rest of my family to go to another country. I moved on a student visa of a special sample: the entire submission of documents is closely collaborated with the Embassy of Italy. Filed an application in early June. The embassy creates lists of those who want to do and transfers them to universities, since they have their own quotas for foreign students for the course, even special agreements with countries. Gathered documents for a scholarship, transferred documents on education from jury translators, found housing and issued a contract, prepared a certificate from the bank about the status of the account and carried all these papers to the embassy.
I was invited to the official submission of documents to the embassy, where I talked in Italian, told why I chose a university where I plan to live and so on. In early September, universities spend the Italian test for foreigners, and since I did not have a Dante or Plida certificate, I spent the first month in Italy, working and dealing with pieces. It remained to attribute documents to the University himself and in Quest, the official register of the inhabitants.
Almost immediately, as I moved to Italy, I met a young man who went to an internship in Belgium three weeks after our dating. The first year of relationship we came to each other and traveled a lot. He liked to live in Belgium, and he returned to short periods. After one and a half years of such movements, we decided to live together in Belgium, and I left the university. Another reason – Italian universities give a lot of theory, and since it was my second higher education, I lacked practice. As a result of my profession, I learned myself, working a lot and at first, so, in addition to the fun student life, I don’t regret anything.
Italy was very comfortable. When you speak a language like a native, you know the culture and country, everything is much easier, even with cons. In Belgium, it is difficult because of the language barrier and the storm of the state, bureaucracy, even the weather.
We are with that guy who is now my husband, travel a lot – we try water, so to speak, because we feel it is time to change the situation. The next point on the map is Amsterdam, from more long-term – New Zealand. And we also really like in London.
Italy I studied and knew before moving, so the cultural shock did not happen. I knew that the Italians are very relaxing people, work can wait, and strict deeds even for public institutions can be moved. It was hard only by the heat (Bologna and Florence – the hottest and cold cities of Italy, since they are relatively closed and made of stone), the absence of the sea (I am from the seaside city) and the belief of my neighbors of Italians about the fact that even if 40 degrees in May, wear sandals can not be worn, because not summer. I spent a lot of time with classmates from the CIS, colleagues and neighbors from various countries. I miss this time insanely, although it was and a rather difficult period.
About Belgium I never thought about the country of possible accommodation, did not speak French, because the first months were given hard. This is a country of infinite and heartless bureaucracy: if you can find a job in Italy and apply for a residence permit with a working contract, in Belgium, the other way around – you have to have a residence permit already when searching for the work itself, because otherwise the company should apply for you, pay money and explain why they hire you, not Belgian. Such difficulties arise from everyone who is not a citizen of the European Union or a member of his family. We had to make out the official cohabitation so that I could work.
In Belgium, many foreigners, Brussels – one of the most international cities in the world. Our friends are Spaniards, Belgians, Portuguese, Chinese, Netherlands.
Long had to get used to the short hours of shopping: on weekdays, any clothing stores, cosmetics, household goods close no later than 7 pm, on Friday can work up to 7.30-8. Supermarkets close at 8-9 pm, on Sunday everything is closed, except for a pair of small stores in the center. Therefore, here are full of night stores with alcohol, simple set of food "on a black day", cigarettes that open in the evening and work up to 2-3 nights daily.
Advantages and disadvantages
And in Belgium, and in Italy is difficult with transport. Last time Belgians are constantly brave and public transport stands. Brussels metro consists of four branches, two of which go in one direction, and buses often stand in traffic jams. In Bologna, buses run once every 15-20 minutes, can even skip one approach, no metro. In both countries, a good railway link. Brussels is very well connected with the world through the airport.
Italian food, perhaps, do not even talk, is so wonderful. Belgians love elderly and plain – beer, potatoes, mussels, meat carbonads, waffles, chocolate. Even here are very popular food delivery of international cuisines and healthy food restaurants.
In Italy, of course, hot and dry, I really miss the Italian spring, when heat is already since March. In Belgium, three seasons – cloudy and rain, overcast without rain and weather week.
I will not say that Belgium is much more expensive than Italy. Bologna is a very popular student city, and prices are reflected. I spent 250 € a month for accommodation in a two-bedroom apartment with two other girls in the room, just five in the apartment, a 20-minute walk from the university and the center. Approximately 100 € per meal went to one, but I really saved. Direct for the month for young people up to 26 years old cost 27 €, many walk or ride a bike. Average salary – about 1000-1200 €.
In Brussels, a studio apartment near the university, but 20 minutes by bus to the center, went out 700 € for two, food – 600 €, ticket for buses, trams and metro – 49 € per month (if you include trains in the city zone, then 55 €). Minimum salary – 1400 €.
About local residents
Belgians are not the most running nation. It is difficult for me to be called very punctual or ambitious, in addition, the lion’s share of the working force of Brussels is foreigners with their habits and ways of work. Perhaps, here people are quite diligent, there are always a lot of work and enough for everyone, but there is no culture of work late, and if you can merge early, they will do it.
The word that comes to the head of Belgians – strange. In Brussels, three statues of pissing creatures (a famous boy, also a girl, and a dog), a naked bicycle treary passes here, people really love to talk about the weather, Brussels consists of 19 small commune cities and in each of its state.
Italy – a country of another kind of relaxation, positive, tasty, insanely beautiful. Italians are proud of this and carry their history and culture in the masses at any convenient case. Assimilized foreigners very quickly intercept this mentality – I myself miss it more than in Ukraine.
Before moving, I studied and worked in the student, as well as the translator and the tutor of both foreign languages. In Italy, I worked in a charitable organization, promoter and hostesses at events. With work in the specialty, and in general, it was difficult to work – high unemployment, a certain level of negative to foreigners (working with other foreigners is always easier). In Belgium, when I finally got the documents, I worked in a startup marketer, and then went to the publishing house, where I work now. I am a freelancer and I have my own communication agency, let him also be small.
The main thing
Life in Italy taught me courage and taste for small things. Life in Belgium showed how easy it is to travel. Four years ago I just started to get up on my feet, staggering and fearing jumping above my head. Now I have a favorite job, a loved one, hamster, we live in the center of one of the most important megacities of the world, constantly travel.
Emigration is very serious, you need to understand that everything will change dramatically. Family and childhood friends will be far away and the relationship from this will suffer that you would talk to each other. Money will be very often little, worries will be a bad edge. You will be lonely and scary. It is normal and it should move you forward to the goal, to the fact that all these victims. Because the remuneration will be your commercial dreams, realized ambitions and incredible adventures, which will be stupid to tell grandchildren.