The EducationUSA Advising Center in Belgium hosted its thirty-fifth annual Brussels College Night on Monday 30 September 2020 at the International School of Brussels.
Now in its thirty-fifth year, Brussels College Night holds the distinction of being the only U.S.-focused college fair in Belgium. The annual event provides Belgian students, parents, and teachers with the opportunity to meet with representatives from over colleges and universities across the United States and to learn about the U.S. higher education system. The event is hosted each year by an international school in the Brussels area; this year, the International School of Brussels provided a warm welcome to the EducationUSA team and the over 350 students and parents in attendance.
The event kicked off with a panel discussion on Studying in the United States. Moderated by EducationUSA Adviser Marie-Aimée Ntawukulityayo, the panel introduced students and parents to three important aspects of pursuing a bachelor’s degree in the United States.
Christie Culp from Loyola Marymount University first spoke to students about the importance of finding the right fit and paying attention to an institution’s academic profile as well as the overall experience it provides. Bryant Priester from Purdue University then spoke to students about completing an undergraduate application and the holistic review process used by U.S. colleges and universities. Finally, Steve Thomas of Rhodes College provided an overview of financial aid, distinguishing between need- and merit-based scholarships and loans.
The panel discussion provided a general overview to students and families, no matter their interests or current place in the EducationUSA process. Throughout the evening, students and parents had the opportunity to learn more about particular topics related to the Five Steps to U.S. Study.
A particular highlight from the evening was a workshop on Athletic Scholarships moderated by EducationUSA Adviser Sonny Willems and led by Chenelle Goyen of the University of Georgia. As a former student athlete with several years of professional experience in international admissions, Chenelle shared her own experience and perspective with students and parents interested in obtaining athletic scholarships.
Of course, the main attraction of the evening was the college fair itself. Over fifty institutions participated in the fair, including colleges and universities from across the United States.
Representatives traveled from as far away as Los Angeles, California, and Albuquerque, New Mexico, to share information about their school with interested students. Others came from U.S. universities with campuses abroad, like the American University of Paris, Saint Louis University – Madrid, and New York University – Abu Dhabi. Other guests included the U.S. Embassy to Belgium’s Consular and Public Affairs Sections, who responded to students’ questions about visas and exchange programs, as well as standardized test-focused organizations like ArborBridge, British Council, ETS, and UES London.
While more and more universities turn to virtual recruitment to reach Gen-Z students, the enduring enthusiasm of representatives for Brussels College Night is proof that American colleges and universities continue to recognize the value of recruiting students from Belgium and from the international, multicultural Brussels Capital Region.
We would like to thank all of our representatives, international school faculty, and volunteers for their help in making Brussels College Night 2019 a success. To learn more about attending a university in the United States or Brussels College Night, visit educationusa.be or www.brusselscollegenight.be.