Study in Belgium
Belgium is literally one of the most multicultural places on Earth, especially since the country is composed of three regions, each one corresponding to one of the three official languages (Dutch, French, and German). Known as the heart of Europe, Belgium is a hub of international cooperation and networking, offering an enriching educational experience
Belgium is steeped in history and has a unique mix of cultures. Here, you will discover many medieval castles and historical sites - like the battlefield of Waterloo.
Around half of all students enrolled in Belgian universities and colleges are international, and you’ll benefit from a high standard of education with a great research focus.
Why study in Belgium?
1. Belgium universities are among the best in Europe
International rankings often list Belgian universities among the best higher education institutions in Europe. The most popular areas of study are Social Sciences (e.g. Economics, International Relations, Political Science), the Humanities, Journalism, and Medicine.
2. Tuition fees are affordable
In Belgium, tuition rates vary based on your nationality, the region where you study, the type of university, the chosen academic programme, and so on. One thing to keep in mind is that the tuition policy is fair and the universities offer scholarships and grants.
On average, internationals can expect to pay anywhere between 800 and 9,000 EUR per academic year. As a broad rule, fees are lower for EU/EEA students.
3. Belgium is one of the most globalised countries in the world
Belgium's high level of globalisation is an inevitable positive consequence of the international collaboration between Belgian institutions (both public and private) and other organisations from all over the world. This means that foreign citizens will feel at home and won't take too long to settle and enjoy the local lifestyle.
4. It is a paradise for language enthusiasts
In addition to the three official languages — Dutch, German, and French — a significant number of Belgians also speak English. So if you dream of becoming a polyglot or you simply want to know the basics of as many languages as possible, you should definitely study in Belgium.
5. Iconic buildings and historic places wait to be discovered
There are numerous historic buildings and places you can visit during your time as a student. Here are only a few examples to get you started: the Grand Palace, the Atomium, Ardennes, the medieval tower Belfry of Bruges, the Mini-Europe miniature park, Gravensteen — the 10th century castle, the Royal Palace of Brussels, the battlefields of Flanders, etc.
Which universities and colleges to attend in Belgium?
Belgium has over 40 higher education institutions divided as follows:
- Universities – award Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Ph.D. degrees
- University of Applied Sciences – provide only Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees without doctoral degrees
- Arts colleges – degrees specialised in art and design fields
- Business and management schools – dedicated mostly to graduate degrees in business
Examples of universities in Belgium we recommend:
What is it like to study in Belgium?
University lectures usually have a fixed schedule. Your professors are all experts in their field and encourage students (particularly internationals) to ask questions. You will be involved in plenty of research work and can also join internships with local companies.
You will have the chance to create and test out your ideas in cutting-edge laboratories with ultra-modern equipment. You’ll also benefit from several student services including career counselling and tutoring.
What to study in Belgium?
Due to its numerous universities, Belgium offers study programmes for all degree levels (Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD) in every field you could ask for. You can study plenty of Art and Design degrees, as well as Business and sciences programmes, such as Medicine, Finance, Political Science, Marketing, or Information Technology.
Here are some of the most popular study options in Belgium
- Bachelor's and Masters in Economics in Belgium
- Bachelor's and Masters in Political Science in Belgium
- Bachelor's and Masters in International Business in Belgium
- Masters in Biology in Belgium
- Masters in International Relations in Belgium
Where to study in Belgium?
Belgium has around 10 student cities and each one offers you plenty of social and cultural activities. From museums and beautiful natural surroundings to fancy bars and charming shopping centres, you can have some great and memorable leisure time in Belgium.
Check out some of these cities and learn more about what it is like to study there:
How to apply
We suggest you have a look over this official websites dedicated to higher education studies in Belgium, and also over the official website on English taught programmes in Flanders and Brussels.
You can also contact your chosen university first and check if you can simply apply through their website. Carefully check all the required application documents and make sure they are all translated into English. For instance, an internationally recognised Bachelor's degree or equivalent is the main requirement when enrolling in a Master’s degree at a university in Belgium.
Make sure to know what the language requirements are, and whether you need to prove skills in English before enrolling in a degree programme.
Show how you performed as a student, and be sure to know what your Grade Point Average (GPA) was during your studies.
To help your chances of going to Belgium, be sure to apply to more than one university!
Make sure you qualify for a Belgium university
Take Preparation Courses
These kinds of courses enable degree-seeking students to get an extra educational boost just before they start their Master’s degree or other post-graduate degree programmes.
Try a pre-M.B.A., pre-Law, or pre-Medicine programme, as well as any other foundation or preparation courses that will allow you to study in the degree programme of your choice.
Improve your English through an English-language prep course
If you’re attending a degree programme in Belgium, you will sometimes need to prove that your language skills are good enough to participate in the classes and understand the lectures. These courses will also prepare you for any of the English-language tests that universities require.
Since Belgium has three national languages — Dutch, French, and German — the language of instruction at universities is dependent on the language of the local community where the institution is located. However, you will also find plenty of English-taught degrees; on our portals alone, there are over 350 programmes.
Universities in Belgium will want to see proof that you have good English-language skills, so that you can easily succeed in their courses. Almost all Belgium universities accept these official English exams:
Living in Belgium
Let's take a closer look at tuition and living expenses in Belgium:
Tuition fees in Belgium
In Belgium, tuition fees vary based on a variety of factors: your nationality, the type of university, the region where you study (Belgium is split into 3 regions), and so on.
EU/EEA students can expect lower tuition fees than non-EU/EEA students. Still, Belgium universities are known to be fair when they set tuition fees. If the price is higher, it means the study programme is more specialised or scholarships might be available.
Private universities are usually more expensive than public ones. Check out the official website of your university to find you what tuition applies to you. You can always contact a university representative for other questions or advice.
The most convenient accommodation options are university halls of residence, for which most students only pay between 200 and 450 EUR per month.
Renting or sharing an apartment is a bit more expensive, costing around 500–700 EUR per month. For this type of accommodation (private rent), you also need to pay between 100 and 400 EUR for monthly utilities.
EU/EEA students enjoy the same benefits as Belgian citizens in terms of access to free or reduced-cost healthcare. To benefit from these services, you should hold an EHIC (European Health Insurance Card). You can arrange for an EHIC card from your home country, before your departure to Belgium.
Students coming from non-EU countries will need to arrange private health insurance before their departure.
Belgium is not an expensive country when it comes to food costs. Supermarkets have affordable prices, meaning that your monthly food bills would generally stay around 200–300 EUR.
Belgium has fantastic cuisine, particularly in terms of desserts. So, considering it isn’t so expensive, you should definitely treat yourself to a nice restaurant every once in awhile. A meal in a mid-range restaurant is between 8 and 15 EUR.
Overall, the average living costs for students in Belgium are between 750–1,100 EUR/month.
Belgium is a country in northwest Europe bordered by the Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg, and France. Belgium is a federal monarchy, divided into three main regions: the Dutch region of Flanders, the French region of Wallonia and the capital region of Brussels – a mix of French and Dutch. However, English is also widely spoken, especially in Brussels.
This multicultural environment offers a lesson in tolerance, openness, and determination.
Belgium has the highest quality of life in the European Union. Since Belgium is situated at the crossroads of Europe, anywhere you’ll live, you’ll be close to major capitals such as Paris, Amsterdam, London, or Berlin (so you should definitely pay a visit to these iconic cities).
Belgium has a rich and diverse economy with the most thriving sectors being chemicals, food processing, pharmaceuticals, automobiles, electronics, and machinery fabrication.
You would experience four different seasons in Belgium, with cold and snowy winters and warm to sometimes hot summers.Iconic places to visit
While in Belgium, you can admire splendid architectural buildings and bridges that combine Gothic and Romanesque elements. But you can also have a fun night out in one of the many bars and clubs.
Here are some of the most beautiful places to see in Belgium
- Belfry & Halle
- Cathedral of Saint Bavo
- Gravensteen –one of Europe's best surviving fortresses
- Basilica of the Holy Blood
- Meuse Valley
- Bouillon Castle
- The Grand Place (or Grote Markt)
- A Belgian priest and physicist was the first person to theorise what we now call the Big Bang theory of the origin of the universe. Since then, this theory has given way to new scientific developments, and a geek-centred T.V. show.
- Europe’s first skyscraper was built in Belgium in 1928; it is the Torengebouw in Antwerp.
- The longest tram line in the world is the Belgian Coast Tram;it travels the Belgian coast between the French and Dutch borders.
- Belgium produces 220,000 tonnes of chocolate per year. This means around 22 kg of chocolate for every person living there.
- Belgium is the land of numerous beers, since over 800 kinds of beers are made here.
- After Washington D.C., Brussels has the highest number of diplomats and foreign press correspondents in the world.
Universities, colleges and schools in Belgium
- Wageningen University and Research (1 Short course)
- UCLouvain (4 Short courses)
How to Apply to a Master's in Belgium
If you've decided to study a Master's degree at a university in Belgium, you will have to gather the right documents to prove that you fit the university requirements. Provide complete personal information, previous qualifications, financial information, and a personal statement.
What documents do I need to provide to apply in Belgium?
To apply to a university in Belgium you will likely be asked to provide some of the following documents:
- birth certificate;
- recent photos;
- your passport or national identity card;
- one or more reference letters from past employers or teachers;
- copies of past diplomas or certificates, including your graduated Bachelor's degree;
- academic transcripts;
- letter of intent;
- Curriculum Vitae;
- Some form of proof that you can support your stay in the country during your studies.
Depending on the subject or specialization of your chosen Master's, you might also be asked to provide scores for additional tests like the GRE, GMAT or LSAT. Check if your programme requires any of these, or others.
The list of documents depends on the specific requirements of universities in Belgium so you might be asked to include additional documents. It’s also likely you’ll have to provide official English translations of your documents, or translations in the local language.
Prove your English skills
Because you’ll study an international degree in English, you'll have to present a language certificate. Some popular options for international students are IELTS, TOEFL or C1 Advanced language certificates. You’ll have to meet a minimum language score set by the university, and your test scores shouldn’t be older than 1-2 years. If you don’t meet the minimum language requirements, you will have to improve your skills and scores by taking an English preparation course.
Application deadlines for Belgium
The deadlines for applying to a Master's in Belgium are usually during summer (June-July), or in winter (January-February). Keep in mind that some universities don’t have application deadlines, which means you can apply whenever you are ready.
To avoid delays or missed deadlines send your required documents with plenty of time in advance.