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Brussels info groups

(25 Posts)
chinasprout Fri 08-Sep-17 00:15:59


Possibly relocating to Brussels with my family. Spent hours (days!) trawling for information online for the usual (where to live, monthly cost of living, schools, mumsnet! etc)....but I know the best (real life) info comes from (mumsnet obvs) parents blogs, fb groups. Can anyone recommend or introduce me to some? I know from threads on here there are some VERY knowledgeable and helpful Brussels mum's!

Thanks so much! 

catmack16 Fri 08-Sep-17 10:41:03

Search for BCT Facebook group - Brussels Childbirth Trust. Also English Speaking Mums in Brussels Facebook group. There are also a couple of school specific FB groups for Brussels. Hope that is useful.

RapunzelsRealMom Fri 08-Sep-17 10:50:09

When we lived near Brussels I made most of my friends via BCT. Also, Stonemanor, the British Shop in Everberg was great for meeting people - they had/have a notice board for clubs etc

lifeisunjust Fri 08-Sep-17 21:36:10

Where is exactly is work? That should be reference point for giving advice.

chinasprout Sat 09-Sep-17 09:24:25

Thanks - I will look at those!

I think we would be living in the east of Brussels as our children would likely go to BSB.

lifeisunjust Sat 09-Sep-17 21:13:20

Why Bsb? How old are the children?

chinasprout Sun 10-Sep-17 16:57:18

Kids would be in years 7 and 10. The are currently in a British international school and BSB looks like the best fit for them.

Bluntness100 Sun 10-Sep-17 17:00:55

My daughter went to BSb for five years, senior school, it's a great school and she loved it. They push the kids hard though. Is one of you relocating with work? Do they provide a relocation service to assist you?

Bluntness100 Sun 10-Sep-17 17:03:25

Also have a look at overijse for living, much more house for your money than in terverun. However many of the kids are in terverun so you need to be willing to drive.

MarciaBlaine Sun 10-Sep-17 17:12:55

There is a Benelux Mumsnetters FB group. I can't work out how to PM you from the App. Lots in East Brussels.

chinasprout Sun 10-Sep-17 17:25:29

Thanks guys. Yes relocating with work. Relocation service doesn't have the best reputation though so hoping to give them an informed nudge by arming myself with info.

Is Benelux mumsnet fb group by invite only? Or could I search for it and join (when we have passed the - "it is all top secret" stage).

MarciaBlaine Sun 10-Sep-17 17:47:36

I think you can search for it and ask to join

lifeisunjust Sun 10-Sep-17 18:15:03

If you value autonomy and work is in Brussels, overijse would be the most dreadful choice. Bsb now has an after schools programme nearly all included in fees unlike all rivals, so teenagers would appreciate being able to get home alone with ease. That would mean central tervuren, wezembeek, kraainem, wsp, wsl.

lifeisunjust Sun 10-Sep-17 18:17:00

PS compared to public Belgian schooling, there is no pushing the students, in fact many have to take on private tutors.

Bluntness100 Sun 10-Sep-17 18:24:11

Hmmm we disagree then life. BSb we found to be excellent and the schooled push the kid much harder than uk schools, to the extent that they don't even permit uni applications if they don't think the applicant will get in. None of the kids I knew of had to get private tutors and many of the teachers are head of their subject for the country.

Did or do you have a child there? Your experience seems to differ from my and my daughters friends.

And yes in overijse you need to drive as said, but you do get a lot more house for your money. It's a judgement call. Also they run an excellent bus service, so unless your kid is in a club every day, then they will be dropped back at home.

I'm confused, it seems you want to start an argument, which is kinda weird,confused

lifeisunjust Sun 10-Sep-17 19:37:37

As someone who knows many Bsb parents and Belgian secondaries, I can tutoring is very common for secondary students and compared to Belgian public schools, the students have it easy. I did not say Bsb was not an excellent school.

You get a bigger house in many areas I listed too and you can also get to Bsb by public transport easily and after school opportunities are far greater. I cannot think of a worse area for a teenager than overijse.

cannotseeanend Wed 25-Oct-17 22:21:58

Note there are 3 primaries that do English national curriculum, not just BSB. There is also BJAB and BISB which are both in Brussels, BJAB is next to Montgomery roundabout, BISB is next to Meiser, both are much better located than BSB if you are working around the EU area. Most children staying beyond primary in Brussels then transfer to BSB for secondary, BSB is 22 minutes by tram from Montgomery roundabout and many children use that tram to go to school.

scaryteacher Thu 26-Oct-17 00:23:31

Have to agree with Life about BSB, it is a glorified comp, and our children were in the same year.
BSB has no right to restrict uni applications, as it is not in their remit to do so. Some of the teachers were good, but many were coasting and it showed. BSB was years behind in terms of best practice when ds was there, and I paid for private tutoring for French, Dutch and Chemistry in Year 11.

You fail to mention* Bluntness* that the BSB bus service is not free, and many find it too expensive. BSB exists on parental ability to cough up, or that of the parents employer. It is a business, first and foremost.

cannotseeanend Thu 26-Oct-17 08:30:53

BSB bus service is now run more to cost levels and has almost halved in price, before it was run at quite a profit. They do this to keep as many kids out of their parents cars and less traffic, plus of course the health benefits.

The tram costs 50 euro for the entire year, a bargain.

scaryteacher Fri 27-Oct-17 16:43:31

I know it was run at a profit - I'd have driven ds to BSB every day for half the cost and still been quids in! Can't say I've noticed any diminution in the amount of BSB mummies cars parked in Carrefour at pick up time, and the traffic doesn't seem to be any less either (lived in the 3080 postcode since 2006).

The tram was no good to us, we were in Tervuren anyway.

Oinkyoinky Fri 27-Oct-17 17:42:06

I lived in Overijse a few years ago and was wowed by the massive house....and that the relocation agent said it was only a 15 min drive to BSB. Regretted it almost immediately. DCs had no local friends and the drive to school was usually 30 mins in rush hour. Amazing house, but as Phil & Kirsty say....location, location, location! And Overijse itself is a pretty soulless place, with a big main road going through the middle. Once you're in a house it's hard to move, so we stuck with it. but it was the wrong choice for us. Some days I clocked 3 hours driving, with all the activities & different pick up times for kindergarten / reception / primary. However, loved BSB - best experience for my DCs ever - amazing ethos and facilities. Mind you it was primary, so easy to fill in any 'gaps' when we got home.

lifeisunjust Fri 27-Oct-17 19:56:26

The cars in carrefour should have increased because now there is no one allowed to pick up inside Bsb in evenings except pre booked parents of under 4s. Previously parents drove onsite to pick up.

lifeisunjust Fri 27-Oct-17 19:58:46

The bus numbers have no increased significantly. The school was 1050 in 2008 and in 2018 should pass over 1450 so a significant increase in students.

cannotseeanend Fri 27-Oct-17 22:51:03

Oinkyoinky, the Reception end finally was made same as rest of school 15.50 about 3 years ago, indeed it was a pain for parents. The kindergarten class can also stay on now to 15.50 if willing to pay 18 euro extra per day for after-school care - mind you that care is excellent (chuckle chuckle I have to say that).

scaryteacher Sat 28-Oct-17 11:01:17

Life I don't think I ever drove on-site to pick up unless it was for Scouts or Explorers or the return from the school journey. Even when doing my weekly stint in the parents office, I parked in Carrefour.

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