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BCA’s new Brussels Resident Director, Dr. Frank Billingsly, has been living in Brussels, Belgium for the last eighteen years. We caught up with Frank to learn a bit more about him and the advice he has for students thinking about studying in Belgium.

Interview with a Resident Director: Frank Billingsley

Q:  What do you most enjoy about being a Resident Director?

A:  Showing off Brussels! Brussels is a hidden gem in the heart of Europe. It is a multicultural city that has a rich and unique history. There are great foods, chocolates, beers, and let’s not forget the waffles!

 

Q:  Do you have any pets?

A:  I have two energetic Jack Russel Terrors and a Chartuex cat that thinks he is a dog!

 

Q:  When you go to a café in Brussels what do you order?

A:  Brussels is a café culture! I am quite simple, and I love a double espresso. One of the great things in Brussels is you always get a cookie or a piece of chocolate with every order.

 

Q:  Did you study abroad? If so, where and what inspired you to study abroad?

A:  I came to Brussels over 18 years ago to study for a master’s degree, and long story short, I never left!

 

Q:  What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

A:  Ice cream is something I love, what a great snack on a hot day; while, any day! I again like things simple and love straight up vanilla.

 

Q:  What do you like to do in your free time?

A:  I love to take long walks with my puppies…and I like to go shopping!

 

Q:  What suggestions do you have for the best ways to learn from the local community when you travel or study abroad?

A:  The only way to too genuinely understand a true culture is to immerse yourself in the community. In Brussels, you will have great opportunities to live in a homestay, to do an internship, and get involved in local activities.

 

Q:  Before you travel to a new place what research do you do to learn about the host community, local cultures or the impact of your visit?

A:  It is essential to think of your environmental impact on any local community. I like to visit places off season because there are less tourists and there is less strain on the city and the environment.

 

Q:  Why have you chosen the field of international education and what impact do you seek in your work?

I came by international education, by chance, but I have embraced every minute of the time I have lived abroad. I love the international feel of working with so many different cultures.

I love to learn about new cultures, and it enriches my work day.

 

Q:  Social change means many things to many people, what does it mean to you?

Social change is making impacts on a sustainable future. This includes people, animals, places, and things.

 

Q:  What is your favorite movie, song or book to use as a teaching tool? For students to best understand social justice questions you believe are most relevant to your country-culture, what movie, book or song would you recommend?

  • Movie/ The Nuns Story
  • Film/ In Bruges
  • Book/ King Leopold’s Ghost
  • Article/ The Silence of Belgium: Taboo and Trauma in Belgian Memory

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