Welcome word

Dear Erasmus/exchange students,

Congratulations on choosing our small but wonderful country for your exchange! We promise you lots of amazing experiences during your stay in Louvain-la-Neuve! But before your arrival in Belgium, let us provide you with some useful information.

Before starting, allow us to introduce ourselves: we're the Kot Erasmus. For all those who don’t know what a “kot” is, it’s a form of students accommodation which consists of a flat with multiple private bedrooms and shared common areas (living room, kitchen, toilets, showers). As a specialty of Louvain-la-Neuve, there are also some kots called “kot-à-projets”(also called kaps). These kots are meant to unite students not only through a common living space but also through a common project. The nature of this project may vary a lot between the 78 KAPs but they all seek to enrich and serve the student’s life in LLN.

Our kap, the Kot Erasmus - consisting of 8 Belgian and 10 exchange students- aims to help the Erasmus/exchange students and organize activities for them at their arrival in Belgium and during the rest of their stay. At the beginning of each semester (in September and January), the Kot Erasmus offers the possibility of temporary accommodation in our dormitories and sanitary facilities. You're very welcome to spend a few nights in our dorms IF:
·You don't find any accommodation before your arrival in Belgium? You will then have the possibility to spend 3 nights in our dorms to go directly to the UCL housing service buildings (6, rue de la gare) to try to find a room in a UCL kot or in a private kot.
·You've already found an accommodation but you won't be able to receive your keys the day of your arrival in LLN? Especially if you've found an UCL accommodation, don't forget to check their opening hours :)
·You don't need our dorms? Yes, you should come to the kot Erasmus anyway, because we are hosting our Welcome Week ! Actually, we'll be cooking a delicious cheap dinner (3€) and organizing small parties every evening of our Welcome period (from 27 January to 1est February ). All the exchange / Erasmus students of LLN are thus welcome to join to have fun and meet each other. Moreover, we'll be very happy to answer any of your questions about our university, our country, our traditions and the way we celebrate here in LLN.

To book one of the 28 beds of our dorms, you can send us an email to our special email address dormskoterasmus@gmail.com . The dorms will be open from the 27th of January and you can stay a maximum of 3 nights (unless we have enough available beds). The price is 5€ per person and night. We also have bedding kits with sheets if you don’t have your own. You just need to pay a deposit of 50€ to rent one and you'll get your 50€ back when you give the sheets back. If there are no beds available on the days that you need,  no worries, we always have beds for everyone, we won't let you sleep in the street, just email us or come by upon your arrival :)

And now, let's talk about the real stuff ! The kot Erasmus is composed of 8 Belgian students and 10 Erasmus students. We will soon be starting our application process so let us know if you are interested in being a member of kot Erasmus and we'll send you all the details for how to apply!
Throughout the semester/year, the kot Erasmus organizes various events to promote friendship, demonstrate Belgian traditions, and just have a good time. For example:
·      Welcome week
·      Theme parties: Halloween, Valentine's Day, Saint Patrick
·      Country presentations by natives
·      International dinner
·      Farewell party
·      Paintball
·      Erasmus hike and camping
·      Weekend Kot
A very important thing that I really insist on is that the kot Erasmus is not like any other kot. If you want to live in the kot Erasmus, you have to dedicate yourself to the project, which is focused on helping Erasmus students have the best experience they can, by organizing various events. You also have to be willing to live like a big family: have meals together, do chores together, party together, do activities etc. It might sound obvious, but you have to be open minded and to be willing to really spend quality time with your roommates. I have lived and met many Erasmus so far, and for a lot of them, living in the kot Erasmus has made their stay in Belgium amazing and unforgettable. This is a one of a kind experience that you’ll probably never find anywhere else, and it’s totally worth it, but you have to be ready to put effort into it.
To live in kot Erasmus, you should be someone who:
·      does NOT need to have a good French level (even though it’s a plus)
·      likes life in community and spending time with his/her roommates
·      likes meeting new people and cultures
·      wants to discover the (really) crazy Belgian student's folklore
·      likes being in an international environment
·      likes sharing his/her own culture (especially typical food :) )
·      likes organizing events and helping people
·      likes partying with LOTS of people
·      doesn't get crazy if all the dishes are not done or if the floor is a bit dirty
·      doesn't mind too much if the place is a bit noisy and crowded even after 10pm
More information on our website : http://koterasmus.be/AboutKot.php
Don't forget that if you are not interested in the kot Erasmus and simply want a regular accommodation, the UCL housing service will provide one for you. It's obviously a completely different experience, and only you can know which one is best for you. If you think this is the right place for you, please fill the form located here :http://koterasmus.be/AboutKot.php . We'll then get back to you as soon as possible :-) If you have any question, let us know ! Also, even if you already have a place from the UCL housing service but you would prefer to join us instead, we can do that without any problem, as the Kot Erasmus is owned by the housing service.
To get to know more about us and our project: do not hesitate to
·contact us through our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Kot-Erasmus-759005517541989/?fref=ts
·send us an email at koterasmus@gmail.com
·register on our Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/482242012539344/?source_id=759005517541989 Most of the information about our upcoming events will be communicated on it (and the Erasmus from the first semester, including those staying for a year).
·join our WhatsApp conversation: (link to come) Which is even better to share information and ask questions.
·take a look at our website: http://koterasmus.be
We hope this mail will make you more confident about your arrival in Belgium!  Good luck with your packing and get ready for probably the best experience of your life ever! See you at the Welcome Week :D
The Kot Erasmus Team <3

Kot Erasmus