Feb 28, 2024
The Paragon of International Opportunities
Belgium, small in size but great in influence, is a founding Member State of many international institutions such as the UN, the EU, NATO, OSCE, and the Council of Europe. lts location in the heart of Europe gives its inhabitants easy access to great capitals like Paris, London and Amsterdam.
Thanks to its strong higher education system and top-ranked universities, studying in Belgium has become an ideal choice for international students. Belgian cities are quite close to each other, where traveling north to south, and east to west does not take more than three hours, giving students opportunities to go on a day trip on a free day.
The national languages in Belgium are Dutch, French, and German, depending on the area of the country.
Did you know that Belgians co-invented the World Wide Web?
Belgian astronomer and physics professor, Georges Lemaître, formulated the modern big-bang theory?
Deciding to move to Belgium and pursue higher education opens opportunities for career enhancement with all the possibilities that universities of this country have to offer. Many of the renowned universities in Belgium like Catholic University of Leuven, Ghent University, Université Libre de Bruxelles, University of Antwerp offer study programs like Political Science, Medicine, Engineering, Law, Art, Business and many more.
As Belgium is not a very big country, visiting its famously beautiful places can be done with no difficulties. The rich history, culture of art, the diamond trading center and the multitude of attractions found in Belgium could become a quick getaway for international students on a free weekend. Some of the best attractions in Belgium include the city of Ghent, Burges, Antwerp, The Ardennes, the capital Brussels, Bastogne, Ostend and the town SPA that put the prefix on so many destinations that use mineral-rich springs water.
Belgium has three official languages. However, there are around 180 nationalities living in Belgium, and around 100 languages being spoken. It is said that Belgium is the beating heart of multiculturalism and the political heart of Europe and that its capital is the second most cosmopolitan city in the world after Dubai. The many museums such as the one in Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent, Brugge represent Belgian artistic heritage. Apart from the museums, Belgium is known for its folk culture, ancient architecture and art paintings.
Belgium is known to be the land of waffles, chocolate and beer. Beer is the national beverage of Belgians, while chocolate and waffles have been part of the Belgian culture for many years now. Every year Belgians organize beer festivals such as Zythos Beer Festival, Leuven; Kerstbierfestival, Essen; Belgian Beer Weekend, Brussels; Bruges Bierfestival, Bruges.
Hosting so many international entities, Belgians have grown accustomed to international visitors, so international students can expect to see the hospitable and friendly nature of the Belgians. The country’s inhabitants are a mixture of different cultures, so there is a pretty good chance you might meet people who come from different parts of the world.
As part of the admission requirements, international students are requested to submit: a filled-in application form, depending on their level of study - their school certificates or diplomas, and transcripts. Considering that Belgium is divided into three regions, their education system differs, therefore their universities might have different applying procedures or requirements.
Some universities in Belgium require that students pass an entrance exam as part of their admission process. They might also ask for proof of language proficiency. Note that Belgium has three official languages French, Dutch, and German and that Master’s programs are mostly the ones that have English as the language of instruction.
Tuition Fees in Belgium differ from one region to another as well as for EU and non-EU students. Thus depending on these characteristics, international students can expect to pay from €50 ($60) to €4,175 ($5,079)per year.
Living costs in Belgium depend on the city you choose to live in, and on your choice of accommodation (private or university).
Additionally, as a student, you may be able to get a part-time job to help with living costs. Students coming from an EU country do not need to get a work permit, whereas those coming from a non-EU country do. The latter will also have limitations on the working hours, which can be approximately 20 hours per week.
The first two steps of every college application procedure are the same. The first step is choosing a program of your interest, and the second is choosing a university that delivers that program. Other steps of the application procedure then depend on the university you choose and sometimes on the country you come from.
After deciding on the university of your choice, you can either research that university’s website or contact them directly for more information about the application procedure. Once you have all the required documents you can apply and wait for an answer from the university. The last step of the application process after receiving your admission letter is obtaining your visa (Non-EU/EEA) and you can start your studying abroad journey.
Belgium offers four options of accommodation for international students. The first is on-campus accommodation, private off-campus accommodation, shared off-campus accommodation, and homestay in Belgium. Depending on which of these options you chose, expect to pay between €150 ($182) to €650 ($790) per month for accommodation. Of course, these prices are not fixed and depend on the city you are going to live in. Bigger cities will be more costly.
Even though finding accommodation as an international student is not that difficult in Belgium, if you choose private accommodation there are things to be aware of such as the additional bills that may include water, heating, electricity, and other utilities.