MECHELEN, CITY OF CULTURES – Michaella Osswald: ‘The one thing that I love in Belgium is safety, coming from Africa, I had to be in a bubble’

The story of Michaella Osswald, a 20-year-old international student from South Africa who found her way to Mechelen to study communication and media at Thomas More. For her, transitioning to this city was an adventure in itself.

“I knew that I didn’t want to live in South Africa after I graduated. When I moved here I found people boring and the food bad. But, I have made a lot of Belgian friends so my perspective changed about that. Here, I felt a sense of freedom”

Michaella’s journey to Belgium was guided by her father’s professional commitments. When her father had to work here, the entire family decided to join.

“My dad got a work opportunity to work in Belgium, so my entire family integrated to Belgium”

Despite her fondness for beer and her social nature, Michaella quickly found her place in Mechelen. She enjoyed spending her free time with friends, savoring a good glass of beer while soaking in the local atmosphere.

“I had a cultural chock when I moved here because in Africa there is a lot of food. Here it is just friends and wafels. After a while it gets boring”


Watch the TikTok-video below:


Text: Oumaima El Harchi
Pictures: © Lenny Druelle and © Kosmo Jezierski
TikTok-video: Oumaima El Harchi