Considering I had never lived away from home before, I felt completely comfortable at Leo XIII Seminarie and it took only a matter of days to feel at home there. After reading the website and noticing it offered a certain community or communal atmosphere, I was hooked. I am quite a passionate, enthusiastic and sociable person, so this sounded like music to my ears – and what a tune it played!
Upon my arrival in Leuven, I was swept away by the beauty of the city and grand architecture – its myriad of churches, the Town Hall and the Central Library - but also with the beauty and serenity of Leo XIII - the place I would call home. I adored my room and the incredible windows that came with it. I spent time sitting at my desk studying whilst the sun bathed my room, it was lovely.
One of my favourite times was a day trip with some Hebron members to Liege in Wallonia. Here we explored the city - its magnitude of steps and hidden passage ways and also experienced the hustle and bustle of market day, where we bought some fresh food and then had a picnic together. On this trip we even experienced one of the seven Belgian wonders together but the best was near the end of the day when we travelled to Chaudefountaine and witness the magnificent, fabulous and wonderful giant PEG!
There were lots of social events hosted in Leo where I was able to meet the wider community – such as, Sunday evening Bar nights in the accommodation, Carnival, The Masquerade Party, Charity events hosted by each community and so on – as you not only form a bond with those in your community, but with Leo as a whole and the members from other fab communities, though in my opinion they are not as good as HEBRON ;)
I really feel I had a full rounded experience of Leo, as I tried to get involved in everything. The community, the spontaneous day trips, movie nights, bar nights etc. The Christian groups it offered, especially Pharos. We had weekly talks and dinners and even a weekend away. The study times, the laughter, the dancing - everything was an absolute Joy.
How can I say in a short write up what Leo and my time there was like. It was fantastic, every aspect of it. The friends I have gained, the fun I had, the birthday pancakes, the beautiful beer, the list is endless - but most of all it was like a family to me.
Leuven and Leo will always be in my heart.
Erasmus Exchange Student – Masters in Christian Theology