Patrick Teague trained with 2nd division Belgian club Oud-Heverlee Leuven in Spring of 2007.

During the month of January I lived in The City of Leuven and played football for Oud-Heverlee Leuven (OHL) of the Belgian 2nd Division. I enjoyed a memorable cultural and football experience. OHL feature a very professional setup, which is highlighted by one of Belgium’s top youth systems. Culturally, Leuven, which resides in the Flemish speaking region of Belgium, offers centuries of tradition and history.

The City of Leuven, which is located a mere 15 miles outside of Brussels, is home to dozens of universities, and is domestically known as a “college town”, with a young complexion and a lively social scene. As you can imagine, the city is rich with diversity. The diversity adds to the overall experience and facilitates interaction with people from all over the world. Leuven is also home to the Stella Artois Brewery and Saint Peter’s Church. Each day, I came in contact with subtle cultural differences. Food and beverage portions were smaller and to my disappointment, taking leftovers home is not an option at most restaurants throughout the city. Everyone dresses very fashionable, with casual clothes and sneakers seeming non-existent. When talking with locals, for the most part, each had shaped their opinion of the US through television and movies. So I spent a lot of time talking about CSI and other TV shows. When I was not taking in the sights I was enjoying the luxury of watching football on television from leagues throughout Europe.

On the Football side of things, OHL is an ambitious club with a great stadium, training facility and fan base. Like most Belgian football clubs, OHL’s playing style centers around technique and possession. I went into each training session with tremendous focus and professionalism. When you arrive at the training ground everything is done very systematically. The players come in five days a week mentally ready for intense training. Competition is welcomed by each player and coaches do a great job of executing well organized practices, ranging from tactical to specific instruction. During my Stay in Belgium I very much enjoyed my football and the City of Leuven. The IFX program offered an absolute once in a lifetime experience

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