Illinois Business Council

Study Abroad Sunday: Nathan Gaertner

By Brigid McCann

1) Why did you decide to study abroad in Leuven, Belgium?

I know Leuven isn’t a typical choice, but I wanted to be somewhere that would push me outside my comfort zone. It turns out that Leuven is basically a huge college town and the Belgians know how to have a great time!

2) What has been your most fun or interesting experience so far?

One of my favorite experiences so far was picnicking on a hill overlooking the Hapsburg Palace in Vienna with BC members Kevin Maxson, Paula Wangadi, Noelle Busch, and Elisa Ambrose. Also, Amsterdam was an amazing city!

3) What is the most exotic food you have eaten?

It’s not that exotic, but the Belgians are known for their waffles, fries, and chocolate and that pretty much sums up my whole diet while I’ve been here.

4) What is your favorite part of being abroad?

All the traveling! It’s pretty much Spring Break for a whole semester and it’s crazy that each weekend you are in a totally new country.

5) What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced while abroad?

Fear of missing out on campus! As much fun as abroad can be, it’s hard seeing everyone still having fun on campus without you.

6) Do you have any funny stories from being abroad?

On one of my first trips, I get back to the airport and take a train to Louvain (which is the French translation of Leuven). When I get off the train I start wandering around the city and I’m super confused because I don’t recognize any of the buildings. Turns out that Louvain is the name of a totally different city in Belgium and that I’m nowhere near my University.

Study Abroad Sunday: Nathan Gaertner

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