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Study in Belgium: A Guide for International Students

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Are you looking to experience student life in the center of Europe or are you looking for a multicultural and multilingual study environment when studying abroad? If the answer is yes, then why not study in Belgium? The Kingdom of Belgium or België, Belgique or Belgien is a small Western European country located in the heart of Europe. 

Bordered by Germany, France, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, if you study in Belgium you will get the chance to explore most of Europe’s capital cities.  Known for its medieval and fairytale landscapes along with the stunning renaissance architecture, Belgium is a must-see travel destination. It is considered one of the safest and peaceful countries globally, with an advanced economy and quality of life. Plus, the country offers a plethora of affordable study programs at any academic level. 

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The capital city of Brussels has been voted among the 50 top student cities in the world. Other cities include Antwerp, Ghent, Liege, Leuven and picturesque Bruges. Belgium is a sovereign country and is divided into three autonomous regions: The Flemish region or Flanders in the north, the Walloon region or Wallonia in the south and the region of the capital city, Brussels.

In Belgium you will also find three linguistic communities: The Dutch-speaking Flemish community, the French-speaking community and the smaller German-speaking community.

If you are interested in studying international relations and diplomacy or dreaming of working for a European Union institution, then you should seriously choose to study in Belgium, as it is one of the six founding countries of the European Union. 

Not only that, but the capital of Brussels is the home to the European Commission, the Council of the European Union and partially of the European Parliament. Belgium is also a founding member of NATO, the Eurozone, Benelux, the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). 

Curious to learn more about Belgium? Read through our study in Belgium guide below to find out why this small country will offer you an unforgettable student experience!

Belgium - Quick facts & figures

Flag of Belgium

Capital

Brussels

Language

Flemish (Dutch), French, German

Population

11.4 million

Area Size

30,689 km²

International students

41,000

Academic Year

September - June

Currency

Euro (€)

Calling Code

+32

Time Zone

GMT+2

Bruges

More about studying abroad in Belgium

But why is studying in Belgium an interesting choice you can make for your academic studies? Studying abroad in Belgium translates into a high quality trilingual education system with affordable tuition fees and diverse research programs. Since the adoption of the Bologna process, Belgium offers Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctorate degrees. 

In addition, you can find university colleges and art colleges which offer long and short-term programs or vocational professional training. Education in Belgium is administered by each region separately and each region determines their own rules regarding admissions, tuition fees and language of instruction.

In fact, more than 40,000 international students have already chosen Belgium as their preferred study destination and eight Belgian universities rank among the top universities in the world. Studying in Belgium gives you the opportunity to select among 65 universities and 1,146 study programs. 

The most well-accredited universities include Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KU Leuven), University of Ghent, Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL), Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB). The vast majority of Bachelor’s is offered in Dutch or French.

No worries though! A lot of universities offer free or quite cheap Dutch or French classes which you can participate in while studying. On the other hand, you can find a lot English-taught programs as well, mostly on a Master’s and Doctorate level. 

If you want to take a glimpse on how it actually is to study in Belgium, read about this study abroad experience in Brussels

Education System

Want to learn about how higher education works in Belgium? A popular destination for international students given its high-quality education and fascinating cultural diversity, take a minute to dive into Belgium’s higher education system!

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Student Visas

Do you need a visa to study in Belgium? Depending on where you’re from, the requirements to apply for a student visa will vary. Learn more about the student visa process and what you need to enter the country.

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Housing & Living Costs

No matter where you study abroad, it’s important to create a budget in advance so that you’re prepared. Therefore, we’ve detailed average living and housing costs so that you can get a better idea of what you would be paying as a student in Belgium.

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Tuition Fees & Scholarships

Tuition fees for degree programs in Belgium may vary depending on if you’re European or not. Both EU and non-EU student are expected to pay tuition fees in Belgium, but there are plenty of scholarship opportunities available.

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Language & Culture

Belgium is rich in history and cultural diversity, not to mention languages! Find out more about what the country offers in terms of language, culture, and more!

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Application Process

All countries have specific admissions requirements for students to gain acceptance into a higher education institution. Learn more about the ins and outs of admission to programs in Belgium and what you need to apply, depending on your citizenship.

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Programs

Ready to look at study programs in Belgium? Use our search engine to find and compare programs from top universities in Belgium today!

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Last update: 29 Jun 2021

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