Inge Struys header


Inge Struys

communication assistant at imec, Leuven, Belgium

Inge Struys
“Following my passion to explore has led me to many fascinating places and stories.”

The essence of a globetrotter

Inge Struys, a curious explorer, is living a fascinating life. She was born in Antwerp, a lively Belgian city with a rich history. After living in different places, she left home at twenty-one and worked in various companies near Leuven, gaining expertise in diverse areas. In 2000, she joined imec on a temporary basis and worked in different roles before moving to the communication team in 2006. After she started working at imec, Inge remained in Leuven, from where she enjoys exploring the rest of the world.

Antwerp - City view on River Scheldt
Antwerp - City view on river Scheldt

A passionate traveler

Inge was born in Belgium and is grateful to call this country her home. She finds joy in having her family and friends close by and truly values the many advantages it offers. Belgium’s strong social security, well-established healthcare system, and efficient public transportation infrastructure are among the aspects she greatly appreciates. Inge particularly cherishes the freedom to express herself in this welcoming environment. Her extensive travels around the world have deepened her appreciation for these privileges. She recognizes that not everyone has the same opportunities to enjoy such freedom and comfort.

Inge embarked on amazing journeys around the world. These adventures have already introduced her to people from around the globe. Inge fondly remembers a beautiful moment from her bike ride along the Canal du Midi in Toulouse, France, when she crossed paths with a New Zealand couple navigating the canal by boat. This unexpected meeting led to them hosting her in New Zealand, and in turn, Inge warmly extended her hospitality by welcoming them to Belgium.

A global heart

Inge’s heart belongs to the world, and her travels have taken her to the far reaches of the earth. She has explored the cultures and landscapes worldwide, spanning from Cambodia to Japan to China, then again from Madagascar to Cuba to Guatemala, and Brazil to South Africa and New Zealand.

Her adventures are not limited to far-flung destinations. She explored Scotland and Ireland in Europe and enjoyed their rocky, robust beauty. Her European travel repertoire extends to the UK, The Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Italy, Latvia, Germany, France, Austria, Serbia, France, Portugal, Spain, Malta, Canary Islands, Cyprus and the Czech Republic. Even in her home country, Belgium, she finds delight in exploration.

Must do

Explore various street arts to see the beauty of Belgium in towns like Leuven, Ghent, Antwerp, and Brussels.

Leuven - Arenberg Castle
Leuven - Arenberg Castle

Castles and cultural gems

Belgium boasts the highest number of castles per square meter in the world. Inge suggests delving into the country’s fascinating history by exploring its many castles. Conveniently located, Arenberg Castle, situated near imec, is worth a visit for tech and history enthusiasts. In the Flemish Brabant region, one can find Horst Castle, an ancient medieval fortress complete with a charming moat. Castle d’Urzel in Bornem is a great spot for history buffs and garden lovers. In East Flanders, the Castle of Laarne highlights the medieval charm and a unique collection of furniture and art. Gaasbeek Castle, in Lennik, offers a Renaissance-style experience and an extensive art collection. In Antwerp rests the Rubenshuis, the former residence of the renowned baroque painter Peter Paul Rubens. Coloma Castle near Brussels proudly hosts a stunning rose garden.

Hallerbos - Bluebell flowers
Hallerbos - Bluebell flowers

Belgium has its own hidden treasures waiting to be discovered. Among these, Hallerbos stands out as a captivating secret. This forest becomes a stunning carpet of purple-blue flowers in spring when many bluebells bloom. It is an excellent spot for a calm walk and taking pretty pictures. Around an hour’s drive from Hallerbos is Tournai, a city known for its captivating UNESCO World Heritage site, the Notre Dame de Tournai Cathedral.

For a one-of-a-kind cultural experience, visit Binche. The Binche Carnival celebrated in February, is recognized by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. The carnival has remained essentially unchanged since its inception in the 14th century.

Binche - Carnival Gilles
Binche - Carnival Gilles
BlurHashMussels with fries - A typical Belgian dish
Mussels with fries - A typical Belgian dish

In addition to its historic sites, Belgium is famous for beer, chocolates, mussels with fries and beloved comic strips like Tintin, The Smurfs, and Lucky Luke. Several museums in Brussels are dedicated to these cultural icons.