We are Vikings!

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The CEBS-mates are parting soon, only to rendezvous in Shanghai (!!). Unfortunately, we will not be complete since the Chinese students will continue their adventure in Europe (Angers and Budapest).

By taking a step back and look back at what we have done this semester, there is this strange sense of disbelief about how we managed.

Let me start by saying this…. Wow, what a semester it has been.

To get into the Chinese theme set throughout the program, we kicked this semester off with a nice Chinese dinner here in China Town Antwerp. As typical in China when having dinner with a group of friends, the food was accompanied with (some) alcoholic beverages.

After this nice, full introductory day, we went full speed with days filled with classes, workshops and seminars. Shortly after, long study nights became a reality when the first exam was due. In the fourth week, language classes started and some were confronted with the complexity of the language. As you can imagine, by adding Chinese to existing differences in English proficiencies and accents linguistic challenges were magnified.

Sleep depravation and facing new challenges were daily struggles as assignments, classes and social activities continued to fill our schedules.

From October onwards, we had the privilege to obtain insight knowledge about the Antwerp Diamond industry and a behind-the-scene visitation of the Diamond polishing process. Furthermore, we visited the European Commission in Brussels where we attended a private, informative session about the central role and responsibilities of the European Commission as well as trade relations with China.

In between the full weekly schedule, leisure trips were planned among CEBS-mates to places such as Brussels, Bruges, Riga, Amsterdam, Warsaw and Ghent. It were trips like these where adventure always managed to find us. In Ghent for example, in a Jenever specialty bar, we were approached by a 60+ year old lady called Anita, who enjoyed the bar perhaps a bit too much, and she asked us with all seriousness: “Are you Vikings!?” And yes, Vikings we are.

We have now come to the point where, slowly but surely, the humongous suitcases are dusted off to be filled with memories.

Leaving this amazing city is a bittersweet ending of the semester.

But don’t worry, we are ready to go 200% in Shanghai, Angers and Budapest and I am confident that all 24 CEBS-mates will be back at AMS to show how it is done: i.e. graduation ceremony 2016!

– Xin

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