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Study in Belgium

Everything you need to know about studying in Belgium as an international student.

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Why study in Belgium?

As the established hub for European politics the capital Brussels has more journalists and ambassadors than Washington DC and is a base for international business.

If you choose to study a degree in Belgium, you will be living in the heart of Europe with excellent universities, great career prospects and the chance to influence European business and politics of the future.

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What are the best programs in Belgium?

As an undergraduate in Belgium, you can choose between taking a short-term undergraduate course which will lead to a bachelor’s degree, or a combined undergraduate and graduate course which will either lead towards a master’s degree or a bachelor’s degree with extra training.

Bachelor’s degrees without the master’s component are classed as either ‘professional bachelor’ or ‘academic bachelor’. The first is vocational, while the second is designed to prepare students for a master’s degree and is more academic.

Like most of Europe, Belgian universities can specialise in particular fields, as is the case with business schools, medical universities and engineering universities.

Whether you’re looking to study for a BA, BSc, MBA or doctorate degree, Studee can help you find the perfect place to study in Belgium.

What the experts in Belgium say

  • Denzil Walton

    Denzil Walton

    Discovering Belgium
    Denzil Walton says

    Three top tips for living in Belgium

    Use the public transport system. Belgium’s roads – particularly in and around the cities – tend to be crowded. The public transport system is good, generally efficient, and good value. I would also encourage visitors to hire a bike to explore a city or the countryside. Flanders in particular is generally flat and has good cycle paths (although not yet as good as in the Netherlands!).

    Don’t be afraid to look beyond the usual touristic sights and places to visit. There are lots of unusual, lesser known places to visit and sights to see, some of which I describe in my blog.. It’s the same with museums. It’s great to visit the big fine arts and history museums in the country, but there are hundreds of small museums, sometimes run privately or as a hobby, that are well worth visiting.

    Learn the local language; it will help you integrate. Having said that, most people speak English, especially in Flanders, and are keen to try it out.

    Why should people come to Belgium?

    It has an excellent healthcare system, with GPs available promptly and top-class hospitals, particularly in the cities.

    Its education system is solid with an emphasis on learning and discipline in an encouraging environment. All four of our children were educated in the Flemish education system, right from the age of three, so I have direct experience of its values.

    It’s a small country but is incredibly rich in history and nature. You could spend years exploring the beautiful cities of Brussels, Ghent, Antwerp, Mechelen, Bruges and Leuven, while if your interest is nature you will appreciate the hills, forests and pretty little villages in the Ardennes, or the low heathland of Limburg.

    Finally, the country is centrally located so it’s easy to travel to other European countries, particularly by train.

    The best things about Belgium

    As an enthusiastic hiker and cyclist. one of the greatest inventions coming out of Belgium is the Walking Route Network (wandelknooppuntnetwerk) or its equivalent, the Cycling Route Network (fietsknooppuntnetwork). The system originated in the Limburg mining industry. Underground junctions were numbered, and arrows indicated the tunnels leading to the next numbered junctions. It was first transferred to cycle routes and then expanded to walking routes. The concept has gradually spread throughout Belgium and has also been extended to many areas of the Netherlands. The crux of the system is that it allows you to cycle/walk from one numbered junction to the next one. At each junction a signpost points you in the direction of the two or three next junctions. This leads to a much more flexible way of cycling/walking around the countryside than by following stipulated routes. Now you can mix and match to create your own cycling/hiking route. Obviously before you set out, a little preparation is necessary. Cycling and walking network maps are available from tourist offices, town halls and bookshops. Or you can go online at Fietsnet.be or Wandelknooppunt.be.

    As for other great things about Belgium, you might like to read my response to travel writer Bill Bryson who in a recent book said there was little of interest (“bugger all!”) to see in Belgium! I put him right (although I doubt if he’s seen my response).

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What is the cost of studying in Belgium?

Belgium can be a very affordable option for some international students. Tuition fees in Belgium for those from inside the EU and EEA can be as little as €850, however private institutions may charge considerably more. If you’re from outside of the EU and EEA then tuition fees will cost between €1,500 to €5,000 a year.

Living costs in Belgium are regarded as high, however they are significantly lower than many other places in Europe.

Student reviews for Belgium

  • Yuwen Gu
    China
    Overall experience 5 stars
    Academic
    4 stars
    University social
    5 stars
    Accommodation
    3 stars
    University facilities
    4 stars
    Vrije Universiteit Brussel
    What's it like to study in Belgium?
    Easy going people with small communities. Like the city of Gent and Leven a bit more.

Key facts

  • Euro € Currency
  • 325,000 Student population
  • Flemish, French and German Languages
  • 6 Universities

Where can you study in Belgium?

Belgium has a complex education system due to the mixture of influences in its society. The country has three separate communities stemming from three languages: Flemish, French and German. Each community has its own government, parliament and education system. You should decide which community and type of education best fits you for study in Belgium.

Belgium is an easy country to travel around – you can get to most places of interest in the country within two hours of Brussels.

Universities in Belgium

What are the requirements to study in Belgium?

Qualifications

Specific program requirements are set by Belgian universities and may differ between programs. You will need to have completed secondary education for a university to determine whether or not you meet their qualification standards.

English language tests

Belgian universities accept a range of English Language tests including IELTS academic test, TOEFL iBT and C1 Advanced.

Belgium student visa

You’ll need a Belgian long stay visa if you are an international student in Belgium that is not from the EU or EEA.

Applying for a visa to study in Belgium has to be done directly through a Belgian embassy or consulate.

Working whilst studying in Belgium is possible up to 20 hours a week: you usually need to get a specific work permit alongside your visa in order to work part time.

How to study in Belgium

  1. Find a university and a program you want to study in Belgium
  2. Create an account on the University’s website to apply
  3. Fill in your personal details
  4. Submit or upload your supporting documents as requested. This may include translated and notarized transcripts, test scores, your passport, reference letters
  5. Pay your application fee and submit the application
  6. Submit credential assessment evaluations (if required)
  7. Receive an offer to study at a Belgian university
  8. Accept your offer and pay any fees or deposits to secure your place
  9. Apply for your Belgium student visa

Alternative countries to consider