Brussels, Belgium Report of what it's like to live there - 04/30/21

Personal Experiences from Brussels, Belgium

Brussels, Belgium 04/30/21

Background:

1. Was this post your first expatriate experience? If not, what other cities have you lived in as an expat?

Brussels was my first post.

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2. What is your home city/country? How long is the trip to post from there, with what connections? How easy/difficult is it to travel to this city/country?

USA and travel was easy before 2020.

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3. How long have you lived here?

Three years.

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4. What years did you live here?

2018-2021.

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5. What brought you to this city (e.g. diplomatic mission, business, NGO, teaching, retirement, etc.)?

Diplomatic Mission.

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Housing, Groceries & Food:

1. What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?

Three bedroom apartment.

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2. How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?

Very easy and simple. Grocery stores are on every block.

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3. What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?

Numerous restaurants as well as services from Uber eats, deliveroo, and takeaway.

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4. Are there any unusual problems with insects or other infestations in housing?

No issues.

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Daily Life:

1. How do you send and receive your letters and package mail? Are local postal facilities adequate?

Either by Bpost or through USPS locations through the embassy.

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2. What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?

I lived in embassy funded housing.

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3. What kinds of gyms or other sports/workout facilities are available? Are they expensive?

Basic Fit gyms.

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4. Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?

ING.

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5. How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?

Getting around with just English is doable but of course it couldn't hurt to pick up some french. I used lessons on youtube as well as attended a class at a local commune's school for a short time.

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Transportation:

1. Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?

Yes.

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2. What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?

I recommend and small to mid-sized hatchback.

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Phone & Internet:

1. Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?

MobileViking

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