Meet the Regulars
I’ve been organizing the English Evenings for about 8 years now and in those 8 years I’ve met many, many people. What I love about organising the English Evenings is that the events attract such a variety of people: students, young professionals, older professionals, retirees… and these people come from all over: Belgium, the UK, Australia, Morocco, France, the US, to name just a few.
Trip to Amsterdam. Representing Portugal, Romania, the UK, Belgium, France, the US and Australia.
Here I’d like to introduce you to some of the people who make the English Evenings what they are and let them tell you why they come to the events.
I’d also like to say a huge thank you to them. Thanks for being such a regular feature of the English Evenings, thank you for your support - without you guys the English Evenings would not exist!
Hi there! I'm Ciler, I'm from England and I have lived in Belgium since 2010. I currently work as a translator at the University of Mons. Aside from the linguist aspect, the English Evenings allow you to meet people, make friends and socialise in a calm and casual setting. Through these monthly events, I have been introduced to many people of different cultures and backgrounds which, for me, makes life a lot more interesting and fun. One of my most favourite things to do is travel, so I love the fact that the English Evenings organise trips away, both locally and abroad.
From left to right: Chris, Çiler, Amy.
I'm Chris Harper, an American born in San Diego, California. I've been living in Belgium for about 10 years, working as an English teacher, and, by now, I consider Mons and Belgium my home. My life has been enriched by living abroad - befriending so many people from around the world and experiencing customs and traditions in Belgium. It's been a great experience that I wouldn't trade. I enjoy English Evenings because, as an expat, it's important to create a community of like-minded people. English Evenings are a great way to meet people who share common interests and/or backgrounds. Plus, Amy is one of my best friends, and she is dedicated to bringing together the local English speaking community - and it's important to me that I support her efforts.
I'm Megan and I'm from Wales. I came to Mons last year as an English Language Assistant. Being a native speaker, it wasn't on my radar to look for English speaking events when I first arrived, but one of my colleagues suggested that I come along. At this point, I was new to Mons and didn't know anyone, so I thought I may as well go once to see what it was like, and I'm so glad I did! I had thought that the event would involve being made to play games and correct people's mistakes and that it would be forced fun. It wasn't at all like that! It was just a few drinks with people from all walks of life, who just want to practice their English. These people have now become my friends and so it's nice to catch up with them once a month as well as getting the chance to meet new people.
Hi, I’m Damien from Mons in Belgium, working as a banker in Mons. As I’m passionate to discover new people from around the world and speak English, I decided to join the English Evenings. I like very much the friendly atmosphere, the open mind of the people and meeting people in English.
Michaël, 33 years old.
I'm from Mons, I studied mechanical engineering at UMons and now work as a research engineer in a research center in Gosselies. I love to go to the English evenings because it is a great concept for spending a good night with friends while speaking English. Although I speak English everyday at work, the English evenings offer the opportunity to practice the language in a more casual environment, talking about various subjects in a good atmosphere. It is also really nice to meet other people, of all ages, backgrounds and nationalities. There is a good mix of students and adults. That is enriching and you can make good friends too! Sometimes special events are held, like a quiz night with prizes. And last but not least, two short trips abroad have also been organized by the English evenings. The first one was a weekend in Dublin, the second one was in Edinburgh. Each time we were a dozen to enjoy different activities, from guided tours to an introduction to ceilidh (traditional Scottish dance).
Olivier Bachus. Born in the region of Brussels, I have double nationality Belgian and French from my mother. I grew up in the Flemish Brabant in Jesus eik until the age of 10 and after I moved to Seneffe. Later on I was studying in a hotel school in La Louvière. When I finished I decided to travel and work around the world, as a chef. I came back many years later to Belgium, working at SHAPE as a chef and bartender. I left SHAPE to work as a private chef, and recently I opened my first establishment: a grocery store specialized in English, Canadian, American, and Irish food. You will say ‘why’ ? Because I love food and it’s a very good opportunity to share my passion with people, with those who miss those foods, like me, and to introduce these things to the residents.
My passions are traveling, skiing, meeting people, cycling, and many others.
I love going to the English Evenings because it’s very friendly, you are always meeting new people from different countries, and it’s very important to be in contact with the language of Shakespeare.
The only thing that I don’t like: it’s only 1 night per month.
Hi, I’m Julie. I’m a science teacher in high school. My passion for the English language led me to the English Evenings where I’ve met very nice people. I like the English Evenings because of the possibility to meet new people from all around the world, including Belgium, to discuss with them in a relaxed and informal atmosphere, to share with them nice trips around the world, all of this in English, of course!
My name is Amanda Polan, I’m 31yrs old and I’m from Australia.
I moved to Belgium for what was only meant to be a 12 month stint but now has extended to 2 years.
There have been many factors in my wanting to stay longer, and one of them is definitely the friends I have made through coming to the English Evenings. I’m a super shy person at first, and when my friend suggested I go along, I was very nervous. Those nerves were quickly settled after meeting a few people. There were so many people from many different parts of the world and all walks of life. I’ve learnt very quickly that when living abroad, you make ‘fast friends’ and soon, most of them feel like your family. This is totally the case for me and I’m very thankful I was pointed in their direction.
I’ve been able to travel with the group both locally as well as overseas, and we’ve done some traditional Belgian festivals as well. Amy goes above and beyond when organising trips and events and she’s become a great friend.
(Total extra points for having the English evenings at the local pub )
From left to right: Adrien, Amy, Çiler, Damien, and Amanda.
My name is Rita, I am a Chemical Engineer and I come from Portugal. I came to Mons to peruse my PhD.
When you are new in a place it is always difficult to make new friends. Luckily, I found this event called English Evenings where I got to meet new people and make friends. I love to talk to all kinds of people, so I loved it and made lots of friends there. Every now and again they also organize trips. I went with them to Amsterdam and loved the experience. I guess the main reason I like the English Evenings it’s that it has helped me not to feel so lonely in this journey of living abroad.