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Study in Belgium: A Guide for International Students

Renown as the official headquarters of the European Union, Belgium has long been considered the heart of Western Europe. Rich in beauty and culture, this small nation’s heritage manifests itself in some of the most beautiful, fairy-tale settings Europe has to offer. Full of medieval towns and renaissance architecture, Belgium is not only a great place to study abroad, it’s a must-see travel destination!

Bordered by The Netherlands, Germany, Luxemburg and France, Belgium is ideally located for cheap and fast access to most of Europe’s great capitals. The country’s history is best reflected in its territorial and language-based divisions, which can be separated into three regions and three communities.

To the north of the country lies the region of Flanders, which is home to the Flemish-speaking community and where the influence of the Netherlands predominates. The southern region is called Wallonia (ex-Walloon) and is where you can find most of the French-speaking community. The smaller German-speaking community of Belgium lives to the east of the country.

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The capital city of Brussels is the third region and is the coming together of all these communities in one place. Home to both the European Parliament and NATO, Brussels has something for everyone and ranked as one of the top 50 student cities of the world!

Belgium is a free for all celebration of culture and one of the best educational destinations Europe has to offer. Don’t believe us? See for yourself! Read through our Study Abroad in Belgium Guide and begin looking for a program that fits you best today!

Belgium - Quick facts & figures

Flag of Belgium




Flemish (Dutch), French, German


11.35 million

Area Size

30,528 km²

International students


Academic Year

September - June


Euro (€)

Calling Code


Time Zone


Birdseye view of Bruges, Belgium

More about studying abroad in Belgium

Due the adoption of the Bologna process, higher education in Belgium is organised as per the bachelor, master and doctorate system and has three types of institutions that are recognized by the Belgian government: universities, university colleges and art colleges, all of which provide many courses and programs to choose from.

The universities provide long-term courses for bachelor’s and master’s studies and are the only ones that offer doctorate level programs. On the other hand, the university colleges and art colleges provide long-term programs for bachelor’s and master’s studies or short-term courses for a vocational bachelor’s degree.

While most bachelor level courses will be taught in Dutch or French, there are plenty of courses, particularly at master’s level and above, that are entirely taught in English. Alternatively, universities often offer cheap (or free) courses in Dutch or French as well.

Your tuition fee will depend on which of these you choose and whether they are a public or private institution. That said, there are scholarship programs available for students in need of funding, but they are competitive.

Check out this student’s personal recount of her amazing study abroad experience in Brussels!

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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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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: 06 Nov 2019

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