Student reflections on the visit to Bruges

Bruges Reflection by Dominika

on the boat trip in BrugesThrough the DLAB project I was able to experience the culture of other countries as well as providing me the opportunity with improving my cultural competence. Having experienced cultural competence when I first moved from Poland to England, I had some existing knowledge on how to adapt to a new culture and be able to appreciate it. In addition to this, now being older I was able to appreciate experiencing a new culture a lot more than I would have when I was younger.  This experience has allowed me to see how differently I now view experiencing new cultures when first visit a new country as well as meeting new people from across Europe including Belgium, Norway, Denmark and Spain.

The DLAB students in BrugesBeing able to experience a boat excursion on the canal in both Dutch and English allowed me to not only learn about the architecture in Bruges but also educate myself about the surrounding buildings in a new language, even if I struggled a little to understand it. However, being bilingual allowed me to pick out some words occasionally which sounded familiar. From this I was able to learn that I am capable of picking up a new language quite quickly, not necessarily be able to speak it but certainly to be able to understand a lot more than I originally thought.

In addition to this, being able to go on an international trip with a group of people that I was lucky enough to meet through the DLAB project has not only made the experience more fun and enjoyable, but it also made me feel more comfortable as I knew that we were all experiencing everything together for the first time. Personally, this made me feel more at ease as we were all exploring together and finding our way around a new city as a group. It also allowed us to get to know each other better.

sunset on the canals in BrugesDuring our free time we were able to go out and explore by ourselves. This allowed me to view the city of Bruges as well as the culture in Belgium both during the day and the night. This has allowed me to explore both sides of the culture during this trip and see how it differs to both England and Poland.

The experience was very enlightening and has allowed me to develop my cultural competence even further. The international trip has allowed me to learn more about both myself and being able to meet new people and learn about their cultures.

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