e-pal: belgium

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 26 February, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 26 February, 2008, 12:00am

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Name Gertjan Van Speybroeck

Age 17

City Leopoldsburg

Star sign Libra

The weather in Belgium is very unpredictable. In the summer we usually have good weather but you never know when it's going to rain. During the winter, there's always a little bit of snow.

I live in a rural area with a population of about 14,000 people. The nearest city centre is not too far away. My friends and I usually hang out there.

At present, I am living with my host family in Kowloon City as an AFS exchange student. One of the most important festivals in Belgium is the National Day on July 21. We celebrate the country's independence by having lively and colourful parades in Brussels.

In school, I study a wide range of subjects, including science, French, history, geography and mathematics. We are taught in Dutch, but French is compulsory as it is one of Belgium's official languages. I also take English because it is an important international language.

I spend just the right amount of time (about two hours) on my homework every day. My school does not offer many extra-curricular activities. However, I practise fencing outside of school.

During my free time, I like to be with my friends at our youth club. We usually play football or volleyball and go cycling several times a week. I am a member of the Belgian Scouts. Later on, I would like to train at the Royal Military Academy in Belgium. That's where many of the Belgian army officers are trained and educated after high school.

A typical meal in Belgium consists of vegetables, meat and potatoes. Belgians love potatoes - in fact, contrary to popular belief, it was the Belgians who invented French fries, not the French.

My parents usually cook, but I enjoy preparing dinner as well. I do not receive pocket money from my parents - I ask them for money when I need it. Sometimes, I like to go shopping on my own or with my friends, but I don't have to save up my own money to buy clothes.