International Studies Abroad ®est. 1987

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Wallonia

Location: Belgium

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Wallonia is the French-speaking, Southern region of Belgium, which occupies roughly half the country's landmass and where about a third of Belgians reside. Once a thriving industrial belt for iron and coal production, it now lags behind Flemish Belgium economically. It is known for beautiful scenery and rolling farmland; well-preserved architecture; the Ardennes forests and hills which many still associate with bloody battles fought here during both world wars during the last century; and last but certainly not least--world-renowned Trappist beer.

While on excursion, students explore this fascinating region of their host country, which sometimes exists in the shadow of Flemish Belgium to the north. We will focus on Wallonia's role in European history, on important cultural differences and political conflicts between the regions of Belgium, and on the rich heritage of religious and mythological symbolism still visible in the architecture throughout this area. Our itinerary varies slightly based on weather and time of year but typically includes a visit to the Maredsous Abbey, Chimay Castle, and the Caves of Han.

Available in the following sessions