Everything you want to know about Brussels in new online course


A series of free online courses will talk about all things Brussels, from its history to its traffic

A capital city

Have you ever noticed on those expat Facebook groups that some people absolutely love Brussels’ quirky personality traits and others hate them? That drivers and cyclists are always at each other’s throats? That the one thing everyone agrees on is that construction projects are endless?

Let the Brussels Studies Institute (BSI) give you a little perspective on all this with BrOOC: Brussel Ontcijferd, a series of six online seminars covering major issues that define, explain and challenge Brussels. The courses are free, part of the MOOC platform – Massive Open Online Courses. So they’re calling it BrOOC, get it?

BSI has put together the course, which launches on 21 September, with professors from Brussels universities VUB and ULB, so it’s available in Dutch and French. The first course looks at what Brussels means to Belgium and to Europe, and the second looks at the many, many, many opinions about the capital among its residents.

Other subjects include how quickly Brussels has become a city of internationals, mobility and the traffic situation, its reputation as one big construction zone and whether or not it is really a nest of spies and espionage. A new lesson will be released every two weeks.

“BrOOC is made up of six parts that each take on a Brussels cliché,” says VUB in a statement. “We’ll take on its history, geography, population, politics, economy, the character of its administration and its mobility.”

But if we’re so international, why no English? you might ask. No worries, an English version of BrOOC is coming early next year.