Belgium is an attractive destination for international students as it is located at the very heart of Europe. Belgium is a developed country with high living standards. It offers a multicultural environment where top-ranked higher education institutions provide excellent study programmes. The availability of great post-graduation opportunities is another reason to study in Belgium.
Why Study in Belgium
Universities in Belgium are world-renowned, and they offer high-quality education in various disciplines. You can find international study programmes whether you would like to enrol in undergraduate studies or obtain a master’s degree. Although the official languages of Belgium are Dutch and French, there are many degree programmes taught entirely in English. Also, Belgian universities provide scholarship opportunities for international students.
Belgium borders the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany, and France. As it is located in Western Europe, Belgium is greatly connected with other European countries. Its capital city, Brussels is home to several international institutions such as the headquarter of the European Union. Belgium is divided into two areas, Flanders and Wallonia. Flanders is the northern part of the country, where the majority of the inhabitants are Flemish. Dutch is the predominant language in Flanders. On the other hand, Wallonia is the southern French-speaking region. There is also a small community of German speakers in the eastern part of the country.
Universities in Belgium
Belgium has three types of higher education institutions including universities, university colleges and art colleges. The quality of the Belgian education system is evident in the world university rankings. Antwerp University, Ghent University and KU Leuven are among the most prominent universities in Belgium.
Antwerp University hosts students from all over the world. It ranks among the top 200 universities in world university rankings. University of Antwerp Business School is accredited with academic excellence. Antwerp University is also known for its outstanding interdisciplinary research clusters.
Ghent University is among the biggest universities in Belgium with nearly 44,000 students. It is consistently listed among the top 100 high education centres in the world. Extending over a large territory with campuses in various locations, Ghent University offers postgraduate study programmes in English. However, the bachelor’s programmes are solely taught in Dutch.
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven/ KU Leuven is the biggest university in Belgium. It is ranked among the top 100 high education institutions in the world. As a reputable research centre, KU Leuven is regarded as the most innovative university in Europe. You can find a wide range of study programmes from academic disciplines of engineering, science, technology, humanities, and social sciences.
Living in Belgium
Belgium is among the founding members of the European Union and is in the EU and EEA. As it is home to major intergovernmental organizations, Belgium is inherently a multicultural country. Although its population is only about 11.5 million, Belgium has always been a popular place for expats. High living standards, exceptional salaries and public facilities make the country an attractive destination. Major Belgian cities such as Brussels, Ghent, Antwerp, Charleroi, Leuven, Bruges and Liège attract international students from all over the world. The rich cultural and historical background of Belgium is reflected in its urban life. Such advantages are great reasons to study in Belgium.
Cost of Living
Living costs are relatively high in Belgium since the official currency of Belgium is Euro. Non-EU/EEA students are expected to pay higher tuition fees. However, the fees may differ according to study programmes and the availability of scholarships. The average monthly living expenses of students may change between 700-950 euros depending on the city you are living in and your habits. There are several cheap accommodation options as university residences and shared rental apartments. A monthly public transportation pass is available for students who are younger than 25 years old.
Ways to Study Abroad
There are alternative ways to study abroad. If you are looking for financial aid to cover your expenses, you can find many governments led study abroad programmes organised to attract great talents. You can benefit from scholarships and grants offered to international students. As some of the scholarship schemes can be quite competitive, you can search for institutional discounts on tuition fees that promote the international experience. Bilateral agreements made between universities offer exchange studies to their students.
Attending a language school is another great way to study abroad. You can enrol in language courses offered by local universities and continue your study experience later by applying to a degree programme of your choice. Alternatively, you can take part in volunteering programs to work and study at the same time. Au pair programmes also offer great flexibility to work and study.
ICES Turkey offers academic education consultancy and provides visa and tuition information to international students to study in Belgium and many different countries. ICES has a large network of outstanding universities in Spain, Estonia, Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Denmark, Italy, Czech Republic, Sweden, Netherlands, USA, Canada, Poland, Ireland, and Ukraine. ICES supports students throughout the entire process including submission of applications to selected universities, finding accommodation, applying for a student visa, obtaining residence permits or opening bank accounts.