As promised…a glance into my first Belgian school getaway

We had our “Opening Session” for the part-time MBA program this Monday and Tuesday.  It was a full 2-day event that included the ‘Communication and Interaction Styles’ course and a nice dinner party.  The hotel, Het Godshuis, was about 45 minutes away in Sint-Laureins and was very nice!  Apparently it is also a nice getaway for the weekend – has a spa, very nice restaurants, etc.

So, I should start off by saying, I really had no idea what to expect.  Obviously, I’ve been to various conferences through my other jobs in the USA, but never one in Belgium.  I won’t bore you with the similarities (i.e. – same conference rooms, break snacks, small talk, ice breaker games, etc).  I think the most interesting are the differences:

#1: We had to share rooms – that in and of itself is not too different.  However, the beds in the rooms were 2 single beds pushed together.  Yup, together.  So, I was shocked by this and was going to propose separating, but then she didn’t so I was afraid to be rude.  So, yeah.  (Note – the sheets and bed spreads were separate).

#2: Lunch on both days included wine.  Enough said.

#3: A wake-up call was previously arranged for every room (see dancing party below…).

#3: The dinner party – oh so many things here!  The dinner came and went with no surprises – a very nice cocktail hour followed by a delicious 3 course meal of salmon, white fish, noodles, and an amazing chocolate pudding with berries.  (Sorry, no pictures of the food – wasn’t about to bust out my camera in front of everyone)!  The real differences started with after-dinner festivities…listed below.

Trivia Game:

  • You were picked to be on a team old-school style.  In other words, I felt as thought I was standing on the field at TW in Tosa hoping to not be picked last.  Thankfully I was not – but per my previous post, there are only 5 girls in the group of 50, so we were picked fairly quickly.
  • The questions included “name that tune.”  Well – they were all foreign…sorry team, not scoring any points for you there.
  • One of the tasks included head-banging.  Yes, who could head-bang the best.
  • Pictionary – You’d think this would be the original, but no!  I still don’t get it, but it went something like you drew an animal for the other teams and then they gave you points????
Dance Party:
  • DJ booth was setup with disco lights – hahaha.
  • Techno played long into the night (free alcohol until way past my bedtime).
  • Almost everyone danced!  I did not expect this…but it was great.  (Another side note – the dancing formation is the same in every culture – people all dancing in a huge circle with those brave enough or those who’ve indulged in a few cocktails going into the middle to show off his/her ‘moves’).
I know there were other things worth mentioning, but I’m drawing a blank.  Seriously, it was a REALLY great time and it was so nice to get to know each other outside of the classroom.  Obviously, I had quite a few laughs!  Honestly, the Belgians do know how to have a great time!
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