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Universities in Belgium and study in Belgium - International Student Country Guide

Find universities in Belgium and study in Belgium, our guide for international students to study abroad. Home to the EU headquarters, chocolate and beer, Belgium straddles the boundary between Germanic and Latin Europe. This is a small country that offers students the opportunity to study in one of Europe’s most open and multicultural societies.Study a degree in Belgium

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.

How can you study a degree in Belgium?

Belgium’s undergraduate education system is complex, with each region of the country having its own system and education infrastructure. As an undergraduate in Belgium, you can choose between taking a short-term undergraduate course which will lead to a Bachelors degree, or a combined undergraduate and graduate course which will either lead towards a Masters degree or a Bachelors degree with extra training.

The Flemish community is the main Dutch speaking community. Higher education institutions here include:

  • Universities – provide academic undergraduate degrees
  • University colleges – offer vocational, profession based courses
  • Registered institutes of higher education – offer specialist degree subjects

The French community’s education system is split between university and non-university institutions:

  • Universities – provide academic undergraduate degrees
  • Haute Ecoles – Combine academic and vocational degrees
  • Ecoles Superieures des Artes – Offer only artistic degrees

The third community is the German-speaking one, which numbers around 75,000 people. However, most German speakers will enrol in French or Flemish institutions, or head across the border to Germany to study an undergraduate degree. 

Tuition fees

Tuition fees for international students will vary, depending on where you study, where you come from and your mode of study. As a guide, you should expect to pay between €2,000-€4,000 per year as an EU student. Non-EU students may pay more.

Immigration and visas

If you come for an EU country, you will be able to study a degree in Belgium providing you fulfil the following:

  • You have a valid passport
  • Yu are studying for more than three months at the institution
  • You have sufficient income to support yourself during your studies
  • You have comprehensive health insurance

Non-EU students will need to check the relevant details for studying in Belgium with their own country.

Accommodation and living costs

International students coming to Belgium have two main options for accommodation, depending on the length of their study and the type of accommodation they want. The main two types of accommodation are:

  • University accommodation – such as halls of residence
  • Private accommodation – House and flat rentals

University accommodation is a great way of settling into student life easily. You’ll meet fellow students, have your bills included and often be situated on campus. This is a great first option for most international students.

However, if you want a bit more privacy, you might want to find your own flat or house to live in, which you will normally need to do through a personal search or a specialised agency.

Living costs: As with other countries in the Euro zone, the Euro is the currency of Belgium. International students coming here will find the cost of living on a par with most of western Europe. One way of saving money is to make sure you open a Belgian bank account, saving you paying a commission charge each time you withdraw money. 

Rent: As a guide, here is what you can expect to pay in rent each month:

  • One bed apartment in city centre - €675
  • One bedroom apartment outside the centre - €500
  • Three bedroom apartment in city centre - €1,200
  • Three bedroom apartment outside city centre - €900

For Parents

How safe is Belgium?

Belgium is one of Europe’s safest countries, particularly compared to its near neighbours. However, like all major cities, it is worth being aware of your surroundings when in the capital Brussels. Rural areas are generally extremely safe.

Students can follow some simple rules when studying in Belgium, such as:

  • Avoid walking alone at night
  • Always carry a charged phone
  • Avoid potentially quiet/ dark shortcuts
  • Avoid carrying a lot of cash
  • Let friends know where they are going
  • Always keep a close eye on personal belongings whilst out
  • Never accept things from strangers – whether this is a lift home or a drink

Staying in touch

Staying in touch when your child is studying on the other side of the world might seem daunting – but there are ways you can talk regularly that don’t have to involve long distance phone calls and a nasty bill at the end of the month. Here are a few tips:

  • Skype – the free video calling service can be downloaded within seconds, and will allow you to talk face to face anywhere you have an internet connection
  • Blogging – maybe encourage your child to keep a blog of their adventures overseas, so that other families members (such as grandparents) can keep up to date
  • Local sim cards – it is also a good idea for your child to buy a phone with a local pay as you go sim card when they arrive so that they can text and call home without running up a bill

What to do next?

Thinking of studying abroad but not sure about where? Check our country guide. Or simply, if you just want to find out more about studying in Belgium, you can fill in our Free Application Service and we'll get back in touch with you with courses, information and advice.