For students interested in increasing their proficiency of French, there is now an option to study abroad during the Spring semester at Université Libre de Bruxelles through the Département de Traduction et Interprétation (ISTI - Cooremans), in Brussels, Belgium. This exchange is open to undergraduate students who have advanced proficiency in French, as the primary language of instruction is French. Classes are not conducted in English.
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The department has a student population of nearly 1,000, and offers university-level programs in translation and interpreting.
ISTI-Cooremans is located in the commune of Uccle, a green, residential area of Brussels that borders the Bois de la Cambre and is easily accessible by tram or bus. The Université Libre de Bruxelles, which is but a few blocks away, and the nearby Place Flagey, a meeting place for the city's music and art lovers, make the area a favorite among students and young adults.
Foreign exchange students particularly appreciate the unique experience of studying French in the heart of Europe, in a multicultural, safe environment that is only a few hours away from Paris, London and Amsterdam.
ISTI-Cooremans has been training language specialists for some fifty years and has maintained its reputation in Europe for offering one of the most challenging programs in the field. In addition to pursuing careers in translation, a number of our students go on to earn advanced degrees in education, history, international relations, communication, and cross-cultural studies.
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Rightly nicknamed “the Crossroads of Europe”, Brussels is a truly cosmopolitan city of more than one million people.
Brussels is one of the most international cities in the world. Twenty-seven percent (27%) of the population is made up of foreigners, not including those who have taken Belgian citizenship. In following with its status as the Capital of Europe (the seat of the European Union), Brussels is the location for 40,000 EU employees, 4,000 NATO employees and hosts about 300 permanent representations: lobby groups, embassies and press corporations.
Brussels is also a center of European culture, officially nicknamed ‘the European Village', with almost 90 museums, beautiful parks, fascinating walks, restaurants boasting cuisine from about every country imaginable and bars. There is a lot to learn about the history of the city, the architecture, the Belgian obsession with comic strips, and the art of chocolate and beer.
Brussels has a fascinating and old history that dates back to the 11th century when it began as a small dukedom the size of the current downtown area.
In 1830 Belgium became independent and Brussels became the capital of Belgium under a new king and parliament. The Kingdom of Belgium has a population of 10.5 million and is separated into 3 regions mainly due to differences in language – French and Dutch speakers. The regions are Flanders in the north (Dutch), Wallonia in the south (French) and Brussels in the center (Bilingual). There is also a small German-speaking area close to the German and Dutch borders in the Ardennes but it is not an official region.
The partnership with ISTI-Cooremans was developed for students to become immersed in French language and local culture. The courses that students enrolled in at the university will reflect this idea. The program, “Programme de Français langue étrangère”, offers classes in French as a foreign language and a number of courses on Belgian art, literature and government all given in French, but tailored for foreign speakers. Students will be able to participate in the Spring semester.
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Webster University students who study abroad on exchange at ISTI-Cooremans will receive academic credits at Webster University for all courses. Depending on the type of program, and the students' major, these credits may vary and are subject to review by individual departments.
Students will register locally. Students will not see the final grades on their home institution record until the official transcript arrives from Belgium and is entered onto their record. Due to a difference in academic calendars, this happens several weeks after program completion.
Please consult the website for a full description of the program (in French).
ISTI-Cooremans offers a 9-hour a week French program specially designed for international exchange students, who are typically French majors at their home university or who have a solid background in French. Students take a placement exam to determine their language proficiency level in French.
The program also includes a class on Teaching French as a Foreign Language, which may feature an individually-designed research project.The dates listed below provide a general time frame of the program duration. These dates should not be used to secure flight reservations. Exact program dates will be provided in the program handbook that you will receive after acceptance.
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The dates listed below provide a general time frame of the program duration. These dates should not be used to secure flight reservations. Exact program dates will be provided in the program handbook that you will receive after acceptance.
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ISTI-Cooremans has no residence halls, but can assist in finding housing. Students are also given information via the ISTI-Cooremans website with updated URLs upon acceptance. ISTI-Cooremans has an agreement with a residence located in Forest close to school. If interested, students can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
If this is your first stay on your own abroad and if you are somewhat apprehensive about finding a room, Claudia, ISTI's BRI admin, has an apartment that she rents to students. You can contact Claudia Trignani (email@example.com).
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As ISTI-Cooremans is a relatively small school, with a student body of roughly 1,000 housed in one main building, incoming students quickly feel at home. All international students are welcomed by an academic coordinator who meets with them on a weekly basis, and as all of the coordinators are instructors, they are closely attuned to each student's academic needs and personal situation. More specifically, the coordinators assist students in registering and choosing classes, and also guide them on practical, everyday matters to help them get comfortably settled in Brussels.
The school is surrounded by several snack-bars, cafés, and grocery stores as well as banks, laundromats and pharmacies.
Each year, ISTI-Cooremans welcomes about 150 French majors from all over the world. In addition to Erasmus European links, ISTI has exchange partners in Russia, Japan, China, Taiwan, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Morocco, Canada, and USA.
There's usually a one-day excursion offered by ISTI-Cooremans to exchange students a few days after their arrival in Brussels. This excursion is free and not mandatory. Students sign up if they wish to take part.
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