CIEE Paris Study Tour - Fall Block II
About the Destination
The Brussels-Capital Region is a region of Belgium comprising 19 municipalities—including the City of Brussels, which is the capital of Belgium. Both French-speaking and Flemish-speaking people live in the Brussels-Capital Region, but the region is separate from Flanders (in which it forms an enclave) and Wallonia. The capital region has a population of 1.2 million and a metropolitan area of over 1.8 million, the largest in Belgium.
Since the end of the Second World War, Brussels has been a major center for international politics and has become home to numerous international organizations, politicians, diplomats and civil servants. Because it hosts a number of major EU institutions (the other administrative centers being Luxembourg and Strasbourg), Brussels is the de facto capital of the European Union. The secretariat of the Benelux Union and the headquarters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) are also located in Brussels.
A linguistic shift towards French has occurred in Brussels since the late 19th century. Today the dominant language is French, but the Brussels-Capital Region is an officially bilingual enclave within the Flemish Region. All road signs, street names, and many advertisements and services are shown in both languages. Brussels is increasingly multilingual, with the number of migrants, expatriates and minority groups speaking their own languages on the rise.
This study tour will introduce you to a rich, multi-layered city. We trust that you will enjoy exploring what Brussels has to offer and that the weekend will enhance your academic experience here with CIEE.
SAMPLE ITINERARYClick to Open
We’ll take the subway together to the European Commission for a visit to understand the history, role, and sphere of action of this institution. The European Commission (EC) is an institution of the European Union, responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the EU treaties and managing the day-to-day business of the EU. Commissioners swear an oath at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, pledging to respect the treaties and to be completely independent in carrying out their duties during their mandate.
GUIDED WALKING TOUR OF BRUSSELS
We’ll enjoy an instructive walking tour of the city center on our way to our first dinner in Brussels! This will allow everyone to get their first bearings in the capital of Belgium (and Surrealism) and pose questions to the guide about the way the people live in this city of many neighborhoods.
DINNER IN A TYPICAL BRUSSELS ESTABLISHMENT
The tavern-restaurant La Rose Blanche offers Belgian dishes with a range of beers to accompany them. The building, a bourgeois residence in the 17th-century Flemish style, is located in Brussels’ iconic Grand Place.
VISIT THE HEADQUARTERS AND STUDIOS OF THE RTBF
The Radio Télévision Belge de la Communauté Française (RTBF) is the public broadcasting organization of the French Community of Belgium, the southern, French-speaking part of Belgium. The organization’s headquarters in Brussels are sometimes referred to colloquially as Reyers.
GUIDED VISIT OF THE MUSÉE DE LA MÉDECINE WITH A FOCUS ON THE CHANGING PERCEPTIONS OF THE HUMAN BODY, ITS ILLS, AND WHAT WAS DEEMED APPROPRIATE CARE OVER THE CENTURIES
The permanent exhibition of this unique museum documents milestones in the history of medicine, beginning with the first attempts of care based on a mix of magic and religious practices. The theme of the exhibition is oriented around the oath of Hippocrates, the father of medicine. The meaning of medical progress is presented chronologically, accompanied by the illustration of certain techniques and certain remedies. Another part of the exhibition is devoted to non-European medicines (pre-Columbian, African, etc.) in order to compare the methods of care and appreciate the benefits brought by cultural exchanges. The last part of the exhibition is based on the presentation of nearly 300 “Spitzner” anatomical waxes. This nineteenth-century collection illustrates skin and organ diseases, displaying some medical and surgical techniques of the time. Please note that a room mainly featuring sensitive material on venereal diseases may not be appropriate for all visitors.
Chips, beer, and chocolates... surely there is more to Belgium than that? Democracy, prosperity, solidarity, pluralism, migration, languages and Europe: these are the themes used by the Belvue Museum to help you discover Belgium. Each one is developed through present-day testimonials and then traced back to its historical roots. This is an original way of gaining a fuller understanding of modern-day Belgium.
OLD MASTERS MUSEUM
The remarkable collection of Old Masters, a witness to a rich and creative past, covers a period spanning from the 15th to the 18th century. The bulk of this collection consists of the painting of the former Southern Netherlands, with masterpieces by Rogier van der Weyden, Petrus Christus, Dirk Bouts, Hans Memling, Hieronymus Bosch, Lucas Cranach, and Gerard David. For the sixteenth century, Pieter Bruegel the Elder is magnificently represented with major works like The Fall of the Rebel Angels or The Census at Bethlehem. Finally, for the 17th and 18th centuries, the Flemish School is represented by Peter Paul Rubens, Anthony van Dyck and Jacques Jordaens, the French and Italian schools by Simon Vouet, Philippe de Champaigne, Le Lorrain, Jusepe de Ribera, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, and others.
CHOCOLATE TASTING AT CHOCO-STORY BRUSSELS
We’ll appreciate one of the most popular Belgium delicacies through a visit of the museum, a demo of how chocolates are made, and a tasting to conclude the activity.
Free Time Suggestions
The shape of the Atomium, probably the most famous building in Brussels, is that of a unit cell of an iron crystal magnified 165 billion times. The structure, originally constructed for the 1958 Brussels World Fair north of the city, stands 102 m (335 ft) tall and offers a panoramic view of the Belgian capital from the top sphere. The Atomium is now a museum and features exhibit halls, public spaces and a restaurant.
The MIM (Museum of Musical Instruments)
Located in the heart of Brussels next to the main art museums, the MIM displays its collections of traditional and modern instruments on the four floors of a gorgeous Art Nouveau building. The MIM collection is displayed on four floors, each with its own focus. Besides a history of keys and keyboards in the Western world as well as exhibits on Western classical music from the Middle Ages to the 19th century, visitors can learn about and admire the various versions of instruments in the same family (bagpipes, for instance) from all over the world. The collection of mechanical, electrical and electronic instruments, “Musicus mechanicus”, is another must-see.
The Belgian Comic Strip Center
Located in the heart of Brussels, the Comics Art Museum has been honoring the creators and heroes of the 9th Art for more than 25 years. The regularly renewed permanent exhibitions and a diversified program of temporary exhibitions enable visitors to discover the countless aspects of the art of comics, one that has been identified with Belgium since the post-WWII era. Tintin and the Smurfs lead the way toward further adventures, an encounter with a world where creativity has no limits. Enhanced by an exceptional Art Nouveau home designed by Victor Horta, the Comics Art Museum is just as much a tribute to the pioneers as a glimpse of contemporary comics art.
WHAT ARE THE STUDY TOUR LEARNING OBJECTIVES?
The intercultural learning objectives of the study tour curriculum—delivered in two parts, pre- and post-tour—are to promote cultural self-awareness, cultural literacy, and the ability to bridge cultural gaps. Through activities and exercises, students are encouraged to consider issues of culture, identity, values, beliefs and assumptions. Ultimately, students develop competencies to experience new and unfamiliar experiences without relying on stereotypes and heuristics.
Each study tour should achieve learning objectives in each academic track whereby students can:
ARTICULATE some of their own values and beliefs, and explain how these values and beliefs, as well as their experiences, have shaped their own views surrounding politics and international
relations in general.
RECOGNIZE diversity and difference within the local cultural context, and be able to compare and contrast this with the diversity that exists in other contexts with which they may be familiar.
IDENTIFY at least two ways in which practices surrounding media in the host environment are culturally-influenced and/or ways that media practices in the host environment impacts culture.
EVALUATE at least two ways in which social and cultural factors in the host environment have influenced values, beliefs, assumptions, or practices surrounding local healthcare.
DECONSTRUCT their own assumptions and values and analyze how these shape their views on international business. In addition to achieving learning objectives in the academic tracks a study tour presents opportunities to support students understanding the cultural beings of Self and Other. These include developing abilities to self-reflect and become more self-aware, increase their understanding of the salient values in their previous and current environment, and develop their capacity for the awareness of others in their previous and current cultural context.
Paris, FranceCIEE Open Campus Block Program
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