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Old 06-30-2014, 07:56 PM
 
2 posts, read 3,704 times
Reputation: 10

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Hi Guys,

I live in the United State. I recently got a job and had a opportunity to either do 5 months training in Belgium, Charleroi Gosselies or Dallas, Texas. I told my boss that I would like to go to Gosselies for the experience.

After doing more research, I am starting to regret, and I still have a chance to reverse my decision.
Seeing article saying Charleroi is the most depressing city in Europe really doesn't help. I also do not speak French or Dutch.

So...
What is it like living in Charleroi Gosselies?
Is it really as bad as it seen?
How is the transportation?
Can I travel to other city very easily with the public transportation?
What is your advice?

Thanks alot!
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Old 06-30-2014, 09:46 PM
OHW
 
Location: Portland, OR
102 posts, read 126,553 times
Reputation: 250
It's only 5 months, do it. From there you can take weekend trips to London, Paris, Amsterdam, Dusseldorf, etc...

What are you going to do in Dallas? Eat at the same style of food, consume the same media, experience the same weather, bleh.

GO!
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Old 06-30-2014, 10:27 PM
 
2 posts, read 3,704 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by OHW View Post
It's only 5 months, do it. From there you can take weekend trips to London, Paris, Amsterdam, Dusseldorf, etc...

What are you going to do in Dallas? Eat at the same style of food, consume the same media, experience the same weather, bleh.

GO!
Thx for the reply.

I want to ask if you ever been there? Do you think it is easy/convenient to go on weekend trips from Charleroi? I know it is Belgium, and it is close to everything, but I don't know how is the public transportation in this city.
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Old 07-01-2014, 02:01 AM
 
Location: The Netherlands
292 posts, read 831,255 times
Reputation: 419
You either start learning French now or don't go (or prepare that you won't have any out of work human interaction, most people in Charleroi can't tell English from Japanese). Its good that you dont speak Dutch, it seems like the only thing worse than not speaking French in Charleroi is speaking Dutch in Charleroi.
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Old 07-01-2014, 06:46 AM
 
Location: Gorgeous Scotland
4,123 posts, read 4,840,220 times
Reputation: 3273
Go!!
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Old 07-01-2014, 10:04 AM
 
Location: Paris
8,155 posts, read 6,940,070 times
Reputation: 3430
As FrankCostello said, I'd advise you to pick up some French so you won't feel isolated while there. Charleroi is the center of an industrial region that has seen better days, so it can be depressing, especially if you get homesick. Speaking the local lingo definitely helps in this case. Apart from nearby France, Netherlands, Germany and Luxembourg, there are plenty of interesting cities to visit in Belgium. I don't think there will be a shortage of weekend trips. Charleroi is on the Paris-Cologne HSR line, so there are direct trains to these cities (also Aachen, Düsseldorf and Liège). Another train takes you to Brussels in about 45 minutes. There you have transfers to Amsterdam, London, Bruges, Ghent, Antwerp, Rotterdam, The Hague and Lille among other cities.
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Old 07-01-2014, 01:34 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
9,031 posts, read 8,962,019 times
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Charleroi really isn't very nice, but Namur is lovely and Dinant even more so. Each is about 40 km from Charleroi.

As everyone else has been saying, do learn as much French as you can. If you happen to speak Italian, that might come in slightly handy too, since Charleroi has many people of Italian descent. At the very least you'll have access to some good Italian food.

In Gosselies you'll be close to the airport, from which low-cost carriers fly all over Europe. They market it as the "Brussels South" airport but it's really in Charleroi.
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Old 07-01-2014, 02:29 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
47,957 posts, read 38,544,569 times
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Oh, you really should go! Belgium is a fascinating country with so much history! Beautiful cities, lush green countryside...you shouldn't pass up this opportunity to travel and experience different cultures. And you'll be so close to so many other European countries and landmarks.

Be sure you check out Ghent. It's one of my favorite Belgian cities and will make a believer out of you for sure! Please keep us posted on your decision.
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Old 07-01-2014, 02:56 PM
 
12,074 posts, read 33,567,209 times
Reputation: 8888
Quote:
Originally Posted by OHW View Post
It's only 5 months, do it. From there you can take weekend trips to London, Paris, Amsterdam, Dusseldorf, etc...

What are you going to do in Dallas? Eat at the same style of food, consume the same media, experience the same weather, bleh.

GO!
^^This.

I used to live in Valenciennes, France--a city very similar and very close to Charleroi--and have visited Charleroi many, many times over the years. Yes, the weather is kind of dreary and the city has definitely seen better days. But for all that is good and holy, GO!!!! Belgium (especially the French part) is such a wonderful place. You're just a quick hop away from Brussels which is the capital of Europe. Amazing city. You're also close to Mons which has a beautiful Medieval center but has precious few tourists.

The food alone is worth the trip. It'll take you 5 months just to eat all the different foods over there that we don't have in our everyday American burgs. Revel in the CHOCOLATE. Those Belgians definitely know how to do chocolate. If you like beer, you'll be in paradise. Even if you don't drink, you'll still be in a foodie paradise with all the cheeses, various sausages, breads, pastries, different vegetables (you'll learn 101 ways to prepare endives), and, of course, LES FRITES!!!! When you come back to the US after spending 5 months surrounded by the best French fries on the planet, you'll want to cry. You'll also roll your eyes at what we Americans call "Belgian waffles" after you've had the real deal in Belgium, especially the ones made hot for you from a sidewalk vendor. Be sure to look for the "liégeoise" variety; they're what we tend to think of as Belgian waffles although much more dense and with a heck of a lot more flavor:

http://static.canalblog.com/storagev...s/IMGP2558.JPG

Surely you'll make friends at work who will love to show you around. Don't go with an American attitude; go with the attitude that you're excited to be there and want to learn more about the local culture. Ask them sincerely to help you with your French. They will love you forever and will take you to places that tourists don't normally get to see. It's what I did in the 6 months I spent in Valenciennes, and to this day when I go back to Europe, I have to go back there even though it's a flat industrial city like Charleroi. But in my mind, it's the most beautiful place on earth because I grew to love it and its people as if I'd lived there my whole life (and they, in turn, loved me right back).
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Last edited by JMT; 07-01-2014 at 03:09 PM..
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Old 07-01-2014, 09:30 PM
 
Location: God's Gift to Mankind for flying anything
5,388 posts, read 11,354,984 times
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You may be working in Charleroi or somewhere on that neighbourhood, but you do not have to live there ...

What kind of accommodations is being offered for those of you *in Training* ?
Will you have some kind of transportation available ?
What will be the working hours and which days of the week will you be working ?

I am sure you will have some time off to do some exploring and
your co-workers would be happy to show you around !

Since Charleroi has a good airport you can go almost anywhere form there on a weekend.
Ryanair goes to a lot of places --- You get what you pay for ... !

Unlike some people saying that Charleroi is a so-so city,
they do have some places worth seeing or visiting.

The best thing is that you will be only there for a very short time !
Apparently you have never been to Europe ?
So just go for it, have a great time, look at the bright side.
Even living for 5 months in one of those (they call them *Batiment*) concrete blocks
with holes in it, that people call a place to live ... ,
is not that big of a deal !!
After all, you would only be sleeping in those things !

Who knows, you may not want to leave that soon ...
I just hope you will not be going in the winter ...

Two more things, many places are closed on Sundays,
so be prepared to go somewhere else on Sundays,
and see if you can wrangle a week more off after your training.
Then go on your own and tale mmore time to explaore Belgium
(Brugge, Ghent, Brussles, etc),
The Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland or France.
Do not make a whirlwind tour but choose one area and spend a couple of days there.

Last edited by irman; 07-01-2014 at 09:52 PM..
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