If you’re thinking about living in Brussels, Belgium, don’t miss the following interview where we will tell you about how to start your new life in the country of waffles through the experience of a Venezuelan girl.
A Venezuelan girl in Belgium
- Basic information: My name is Veronica Balza, I’m 25 years old and I’m from Venezuela. I’m a nails beautician.
- Where do you live and why did you choose this country to live in? I live in Belgium. From time to time I like to move abroad to be able to know different places and cultures until I’ll find the perfect place to live. I chose Belgium because, thinking about my daughter, this country offers a good and also free education for children. Also I like the fact that it’s a very multicultural country and that wages are really good too.
- How long have you been living there? 2 months.
Procedures for living in Belgium
I didn’t need any visa to enter in Europe, my passport was enough; also previously I was living in Portugal and I still have my residence there.
At the moment I’m following the procedures to be able to stay here.
One of the first required thing, as for every country in Europe, is that you need to study or work to live in the country. Sometimes, depending on the area, you can find a job even before the departure. As for me, I’m looking for a job to be able to obtain the residence and live here. (I read that Venezuelan, Syrian and people from other countries can apply as refugee, but I know nothing about it).
How was the adaptation to the local languages?
In Belgium people speak at least 3 languages: French, Dutch and German. I’m learning French at the moment to adjust better to this new country and because I really like this language. Anyway I didn’t have any issue in communication speaking English, even if, obviously, it’s always better to learn the local language (it’s not difficult to find also public or free language lessons here).
If you want to have a good job in your area, at least in Brussels, I recommend you to learn French and Dutch.
What is like living in Brussels?
Generally, I have always been treated gently. There’s a big cultural mix here due to the many immigrants living in the country and I really like this.
How and where to find job in Belgium?
I have to mention that if you’re found working illegally in the country, you can be fined 800€ for it. You can look for a job online or you can also deliver your resume by hand, in addition to your cover letter.
If you already have an ID or a work permit there are also recruiters agencies that helps you during the whole process like VDAB.
What’s the minimum wage in Belgium?
The minimum wage in Belgium is (in January 2021) is 1625€ according to Countryeconomy.
Cost of living in Brussels, Belgium
A room in a shared flat can cost 500€ and an apartment around 700€. Food for 2 people is around 400€ per month.
Where to rent a room or an apartment?
I used Immoweb that has many offers and good prices.
You can also look for rentals on Facebook Groups or Airbnb.
Tips and upcoming projects
I don’t know if I will remain here in Belgium or if I’ll look for different opportunities, but I know one thing, that I’ll enjoy this country the most I can.
One important thing to remark about Belgium is its position that allows you to visit other neighbors countries on weekends. Also Belgium is a really secure country.
But there are some cons too: the weather, for example, is pretty harsh , but with the right equipment you can deal with it.
As far as I’m living here I’d like to visit Paris, going to the electronic music festivals of the neighbors countries, maybe go to see the Aurora Borealis in Sweden and fly in a hot-air-baloon, but we’ll see it.
In short if you want to live in a multicultural country, known for its Renaissance-style-arches, for its sweets (waffle and belgian chocolate) and for its beer and, apart of this, you want to learn to communicate in different languages, Belgium is the perfect place for you.
Interview conducted in January 2021 with @vero.nica.balza
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