Before I came to Antwerp, all I knew was that it was the diamond capital of the world and it was in Belgium. Unfortunately, that is more than most Americans know about Antwerp. After spending several months there studying, or rather partying, I can now give an informed impression about the university and city.
Everyone told me the same thing, that Antwerp is famous for its nightlife and party scene. So this was something I had to see for myself. Yes, it’s true. I’m here to tell you that Antwerp students can party like nobody’s business. My first Saturday night out started at some really fancy European lounge Hangar 26 or something along those lines. We went out around 11pm, which is pretty late by some US standards. After an hour or so there we went to Industria.
Then around 3am, way past my bedtime, I ended up at a bar called Nano. Finally the evening concluded with me coming home around 7am in the morning. Really drunk and smelling like an ashtray in a coffee house. Not bad for a first night. Pretty much every night since then it developed along the same lines. The travel guides did not lie, Antwerp was not only a breathtaking Flemish city during the day, but also a city busting at the seams with nightlife. I need to pay homage to the Belgian beers. I’m used to drinking water (i.e. American beers). Belgian beers on the other hand are a whole new level of alcoholic beverage. You can classify beers into two types, Belgian beers and non-Belgian beers. Anything that isn’t a Belgian beer should have its own label, like Heineken, that’s a good word for a bad beer. It is no wonder students in Antwerp are so good at partying; they have those awesome beers to help them.
So what about these party animal students? Outside of the bars and off the dance floor, they are some of the coolest kids I’ve ever met. They are friendly without being too overbearing. They are inquisitive without being too probing. The students, however, love to talk about US foreign policy and our beloved President. They can be overbearing and grilling sometimes about it, but thankfully they keep politics and friendship on different lines.
When I go back to the US, I am making it my personal mission to tell the rest of my country about this great city called Antwerp, full of nightlife and awesome fashion. Most Americans knows Flanders only as the last name of Homer Simpson’s ultra-religious neighbor, Ned Flanders. No longer, I am putting this great city on the map! Ik zal Antwerpen missen, zij heeft een plaats in mijn hart. Oost, west, Antwerpen best!