Why study a Bachelor or Master in Belgium

Find all the study programs in Belgium

  • About
  • Study
  • Living
  • Universities
  • Student Visa
  • How to Apply
  • Scholarship

About Belgium

Belgium, the land of delicious chocolates, Belgian waffles and Belgian fries is well known for its amazing food and delicacies. However, beyond being a tourist destination for people to enjoy rich and mouthwatering dishes, there are also many other things that are special about Belgium and make it the perfect destination to start your study abroad adventure. 


For example, the co-inventor of the World Wide Web, Robert Cailliau, is a proud Belgian, making it a good option to study technology there. America’s sweetheart and one of the most well-known actresses around the world, Audrey Hepburn, was also born in Brussels. It’s no wonder, knowing of her birthplace, that she’s rumoured to have said “eat diamonds for breakfast and shine all day”, as Belgium is considered one of the world capitals for diamonds. 


Furthermore, Antwerp, which is the second biggest city in Belgium, is considered the diamond capital of the world, with a whopping fifty per cent of all diamonds sold worldwide transiting through Antwerp. Talk about a sparkling city! 


If you want to learn more about studying in the country where diamonds are a girl’s best friend and where you can get your fill of delicious chocolate any time you desire, you’ve come to the right place! Read on to learn more about why you should study in Belgium, how to apply to universities and how to get your study visa. 


The official languages in Belgium are French, Dutch and German with people in the van België province speaking Dutch. The people in the de Belgique provinces speak French and those in the province Belgians speak the German language. 


When talking about the currency used in Belgium, it currently is the euro. It’s been the official currency in the country since they stopped using the Belgian Franc currency in 1999.

Geographical information

Belgium is a country located in Western Europe with its capital being Brussels, which is located directly in the centre of Belgium. It’s one of the most populous countries in Europe and is about the size of the state of Maryland. It has an area of 11,799 square miles ad is bordered by the Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg and France.  


Approximately half of Belgium is still green farmland, a space of about 4 million acres. Forest covers around one-fifth of the land.  


When it comes to religion, most of the population are Roman Catholic Christians (making up 60 per cent of the population). Around 30 per cent are agnostic or atheists, while 7 per cent are Christians but not pertaining to the Catholic sect of Christianity. Muslims make up 5 per cent of the population. 

Political stance

When it comes to politics, Belgium is a parliamentary democracy with a constitutional monarch. The central government is responsible for all foreign policy, defence and social security but each state has its own autonomy.  The king of Belgium is the head of state while a prime minister is the head of the government, exercising executive power. 



There are many beautiful touristic sites in Belgium with many tourists coming to visit, especially the capital Brussels. 


Notable attractions include the National Park Hoge Kempin, which covers 60 kilometres squared in the Limburg area. It is filled with meadows, hills, pine forests and breathtaking lakes. Many wild animals like deer live in the park, along with plants like exotic flowers. 


Another attraction is the Ardennes forests which stretch from Namur city to the Meuse river. It’s a location in South Belgium where many tourists go hiking and camp at so if you’re an international student who loves the great outdoors, you’ll truly fall in love. Besides nature, it also has castles and palaces in the area to visit so historical fanatics will also have a great time.


When it comes to food, Belgium is well known for its production of tasty Belgian chocolate that is world-famous. It produces more than 220,000 tons of chocolate a year. Moreover, the Zaventem airport is the place in the world where the most chocolate is sold. At the airport, an average of 1.5 kilos of chocolate is sold every minute! In addition to chocolate, there are several other tasty Belgian dishes to experience on your study abroad journey there. 


Belgian fries

One of the most famous foods in Belgium is the Belgian fries, considered a national delicacy by many. Belgium fries are fried in two steps, which leads to perfect fries. In fact, there is a voting every year for the best food outlet that makes Belgian fries. Be sure to never call them french fries there as this is a point of offence there, as no one calls them that in Belgium.

Moules Frites

This dish is made up of mussels that are very tasty and cooked in either white wine or vegetable soup. Some even cook it in traditional Belgian beer, to give it a unique taste that you can’t find anywhere else around the globe. This dish is typically served with Belgian french fries, dipping them in the sauce leftover from the seafood delicacy. 


Another traditional Belgian dish is the Stoemp dish. This creamy meal is a jazzed-up version of mashed potatoes, blending them along with other creamy vegetables like carrots, kale or Brussels sprouts. This dish is served as a side or even as a main course for vegetarians. Stoemp is a must-try for anyone visiting Belgium, let alone someone who is pursuing their studies there. 


Study in Belgium

Studying in Belgium is a great opportunity for international students. From many positive reviews to the outdoor activities and breathtaking natural sites, there is a multitude of advantages to studying there. Read on to learn why you should study in Belgium and how much it will cost you if you decide to do so. 

Why should you study in Belgium?

As mentioned, there are many reasons to study in Belgium. Bordering many countries, you can easily visit many European countries while on your study abroad experience there. Many students also enjoy studying in Belgium. This section talks about the reasons why you should choose Belgium as your study destination as an international student. 

Positive feedback from International students

One of the main reasons you should consider studying in Belgium is the positive feedback that many international students have after studying there. Universities there take in a good number of international students, and many of them have great experiences there and talk about how amazing their study was there and how diverse and welcoming the student body is to them. 


The prestigious education system also receives great feedback, being one of the best educational systems in Europe. They have great rankings in many different subject areas. International students also praise the acceptable tuition fees when compared to other European countries. The universities also have many extracurriculars, both outdoors and indoors and aren’t overcrowded, which is a plus. You can also always find entertainment events going on, which is great for any international student. 


English Degrees

Another benefit to studying abroad in Belgium as an international student is the fact that most degrees are conducted in the English language. There are many courses and degree programs taught in English which is a great plus for international students, especially when compared with other European countries like Germany and France which have most of the degree programs in their native languages. English is widely spoken in Belgium, with the majority of locals speaking the language well and comprehending it. 


Cultural Experiences and Activities 

Belgium offers many cultural experiences and activities to international students. From a vibrant nightlife with loads of entertainment to a great central location where students can easily visit neighboring European countries and have a cultural exchange, there are many ways to experience Belgian and European culture and have a good time on your study abroad journey. 


There are also many outdoor activities that you can partake in if you are the outdoorsy type. Even if you aren’t, you can still go shopping in Brussels which has many interesting and exciting fashion options. There are also options for outdoor cinemas, where you can attend blockbuster movies or watch reruns of your favourite ones. There are also many concerts and summer festivals and reading clubs where you can read and exchange books with other people. 

Cheap Transport

A final reason why you should study in Belgium is the reasonable costs. Unlike many European countries that have expensive transportation, Belgium is different. Transport there is cheap and easy to navigate for international students. Having your student card can offer you discounts on your transport and on many other services in Belgian cities so be sure to always have it on hand. 


How much does it cost?

After learning about the benefits of studying in Belgium, you would want to learn how much it would cost you to study there. If you are an EU student, you should expect to pay around 906 euros per annual year. On the other hand, if you are an international student, from a non-EU country, tuition will cost you around 4,000 euros per year. You should also factor in costs for books and study materials of around 50 euros with differences based on the program and degree type, but we will talk more about the different costs of living and how much you’ll need to set aside in the next section of the country profile. 


Living in Belgium

When talking about costs of living, you should be aware that even though Belgium is cheaper than other European countries, it is still a country in Europe and you’ll need to keep in mind how much to set aside for living costs. In general, you should set aside from 10,000 to 12,000 euros per year to be able to live comfortably. These costs include accommodation and other costs of living. Read on to learn exactly how much you will need to pay if you decide to pursue international studies in Belgium. 


There are several kinds of accommodation international students can choose to stay in when they study abroad in Belgium. From on-campus dorms to private rentals, this section talks about the different kinds of living accommodations available to students. 


On-campus dorms

The first and most common type of accommodation is the on-campus dorms. Many students decide to stay there because they are near the university and allow a great social experience between different students. It’s also safe so first-year students tend to want to stay there. There’s to option to either share a dorm room or have your own private room, depending on the location and also the type of rooms available. 


Thankfully, this type of accommodation is pretty affordable. You can expect to pay from 200 to 400 euros per month for this kind of accommodation.


Private Rentals

These accommodation options are typically off-campus and are private rentals. This is also a popular type of accommodation but you should keep in mind that you’ll have to deal with all the other living costs yourself. However, it’s a good option for those who love privacy. You can also decide to share accommodation with a roommate or with several flatmates to cut costs and split them between each other.


For this accommodation option, you can find several price ranges based on the location of the apartment and how big it is. If you choose an apartment in the city centre with one bedroom, you can expect to pay around 700 euros per month. If you pick one that isn’t in the city centre, or is in a small town, you will pay around 600 euros per month. 


If you decide to share with roommates or live with your family and choose an apartment in the city centre, you will pay around 1,200 euros per month. However, if you choose an apartment outside the city that is also three bedrooms, you will pay around 950 euros on a monthly basis.  


Other costs of living

When considering other costs of living, you should set aside around 300 euros a month for groceries that you buy from the supermarket and cook your own food from. Some good supermarkets to buy your food from include Lidl, Aldi or Colruyt.  


You should also factor in around 25 euros for transportation costs per month, taking into consideration the student discount. Utilities like electricity, heating or cooling, water and garbage will cost you around 150 euros a month if you live in a small apartment, and more if you live in a bigger one. You will also need to pay around 50 euros per month for an unlimited internet package and about 0.25 euros for one minute of mobile phone calls, in an average mobile phone package. 


Universities in Belgium

There are several good universities in Belgium that are highly ranked to consider for your study abroad journey. From KU Leuven to Ghent university, there are a lot of options to look into for your study degree. Read on to learn more details about them and about the different degrees available in the Belgian university system. 

Degrees available

When it comes to undergraduate studies, there are three different kinds of bachelor’s degrees. They typically take students 3 or 4 years to complete the degrees, whichever type of the three they choose.


In a professional bachelor’s degree, students study a combination of theoretical and practical courses, one of them being an internship. The second type is the academic bachelor’s degree which is offered by any school of arts or the maritime academy in Antwerp. Students who pursue this degree focus on studying only theoretical courses. This degree type helps students get ready for postgraduate studies like master’s degrees. The third type, the Advanced Bachelor’s degree is offered at any university that offers Applied Science degrees. In this type of undergraduate degree, students receive a more specialized degree and knowledge in the field. 


When it comes to post-graduate degrees, there are both masters and doctoral degrees. Master’s degrees take 1 or 2 years of full-time study to finish and focus on scientific and academic research. You have to take a bachelor’s course beforehand in order to qualify for a master’s degree. Master’s degrees are more often than not taught in English, no matter which region of Belgium you are studying in. 


You can also choose to pursue an advanced master’s degree that allows students to have a more focused study program after they have studied for their original master’s degree. 


The most advanced type of study is the Doctorate study degree. In this degree type, students research many topics and hand in a thesis project at the end of their studies. These are mainly for students who want to pursue a career in academia after graduation. 


Doctorate degrees typically last for around four years, if you decide to pursue your degree in Belgium. However, some programs may last up to six years if the discipline you have chosen takes more time to be completed. This can also differ based on your institution. 


Top-ranked universities


When it comes to the top-ranked universities in Belgium, there are several for you to choose from. The one that is the best for you should focus on the degree subject you have chosen, as some universities are better at some specialities than others. 

KU Leuven

Location: Leuven 


KU Leuven is one of the best universities in Belgium and is considered one of the oldest universities there. It was founded in the year 1425, though it was closed while Napoleon Bonaparte was ruling but then reopened in the year 1834.


The university campus spans a great campus with 55,000 students attending it. The best disciplines there to study include law, philosophy, business and arts. You can also choose to study medicine and engineering. However, you should avoid the science and engineering faculty and the biology faculty if you don’t speak Dutch as the programs there are only offered in the Dutch language. 


Ghent University

Location: Ghent 


Ghent University, another highly ranked university in Belgium, was founded in the year 1817 and has about forty thousand students attending the university.


If you want to study at the university, the best subjects there to choose from include Medicine, Arts and Philosophy, Law, Political Science or Veterinary medicine. If any of these subjects are on your radar as a study degree, it’s worth looking into the university as a study abroad option for you.


University of Antwerp

Location: Antwerp


The University of Antwerp is also a highly ranked university, even though it isn’t as old as the previous two universities are. Founded in 2003, the university has about 20,000 students studying there. 


The university has four different colleges, each with different specializations that you can choose to study from. The four colleges are the School of Science, the School of Law, School of Medicine, School of Political and Social Sciences and finally, the Institute for Development and Administrative Policies.


Vrije University in Brussels (VUB)

Location: Brussels 


Located in Brussels, Vrije University Brussels is also a high ranking university that is a newer one. Founded in 1971, the university is home to 13,500 students who are studying on campus. 


A great school for research and English and Dutch study programs for post-graduate and undergraduate degrees, VUB is truly one of the top-ranked universities in Belgium. The university’s most important values include social and economic values and cultural innovation.


Hasselt University

Location: Hasselt, Diepenbeek


Hasselt University is an innovative university ranked among the top institutions in Belgium with a deep influence of Belgian culture on it. The university was founded in the year 1973 and has courses mostly taught in the German language. 


The university is well known for its connections to other universities around the globe. The university has six schools: the school of arts and architecture, school of business economics, school of engineering technology, school of law, school of sciences and school of transportation. This means you can find many degree options and courses at the university so it’s worth researching it and seeing the programs offered if you speak German and are interested in one of the schools there.


Examples of other universities

Other good universities in Belgium for international students include the University of Liege, the Free University of Brussels and Unfair University. Another great university to look into if you are looking for an institution in Belgium is the University of Namur. 

Student Visa - Belgium

When it comes to applying for your study visa, there are several tips and tricks you should follow so that you can easily obtain it. If you’re an EU citizen, you won’t need a study visa but in any other case, you’ll need to apply for one and also for a residence permit. Here are some of the best tips you should follow when trying to apply for your visa as an international student studying in Belgium. 


Apply at the local embassy

You’ll have to apply for your study visa at the local Belgian embassy in your home country. If you are going for a long stay study visa, you should make a visa appointment at the embassy at least two months before departure. If you are applying for a short-stay visa, you should apply at least three weeks before you are meant to go to Belgium. 


Check embassy opening hours 

Be sure to check embassy opening hours for handing in a visa application. At some Belgian embassies, it’s possible to make your appointment online and upload the documents that you need to hand in. You should wait around 2 days before you’ll get a response regarding the date of your appointment. If you want to change the date or it isn’t suitable for you, you should contact the embassy immediately to change it. 


Keep in mind that processing your visa application may take from a few weeks to over 4 months so be sure to keep that in mind. How long it’ll take depends on your nationality, how long you will study in Belgium and how many people are applying with you for the visa. That means that you should always try to apply as soon as possible to stay on the safe side. 


Check Language requirements

You should also ensure the language requirements when applying for your visa. You will need to show proof of your language proficiency with regards to the language your study course is taught in. An example of this proof is a previous degree that you have acquired in the same language if you are a native speaker of the language. 


Accepted language proficiency certificates based on the language of your course are TOEFL or IELTS for English language courses, Dutch NT2-II diploma for Dutch courses, DELF or DALF for courses taught in French and DSH or TestDaF for german language courses.


Hand in Required documents

For your study visa application, you’ll need to hand in documents such as your passport which needs to have a validity of at least three months longer than your visa, two visa application forms, the letter of acceptance from the institution you will attend, copies of your previous diplomas and a letter of motivation. 


You’ll also need to show proof that you can pay for your tuition fees and costs of living during the time of your studies. This usually means you’ll need to prove you can pay around 650 euros per month to support yourself. You’ll also need to hand in a medical certificate, proof that you have health insurance and a certificate of good conduct, including fingerprints if you are over twenty-one years of age. Finally, you’ll need to pay your visa application fee, which is 70 euros for a short visa and 210 euros for a long one. 


How to apply - Belgium

When it comes to applying to a university in Belgium, there are several steps that you’ll need to do. Though you might be intimidated by the process and may find it difficult, don’t fear as the process is simpler than you think. Read on to find out exactly how to apply to a university in Belgium and what requirements you’ll need to submit in order to be admitted to it. 


Decide on an institution and study program 

The first step when applying to a university in Belgium is deciding on the university you want to apply to and the study program you want to pursue. There are many great universities in the country and it may be hard to choose but you should make a list of your favourite ones and apply to the ones you’re most interested in. Be sure to choose a good one as having a good university on your CV can really make you stand out when applying for jobs or higher education after graduation. 

Find out how to submit the application form

You can usually apply to universities through their websites or you can use an online guide to help guide you through the application process. Once you have gone to the website of your program, you will find details of the application there and how to fill it out and apply to the program. Follow these steps religiously so that you submit it correctly. 


Make sure you fulfil the language requirements

Another important point to check when applying to universities in Belgium is making sure that you fulfil the stated language requirements. Most degree programs in Belgium are in English or in French so make sure you are fluent in the language of the course you are applying to. You can find specific information about the language requirements for your course on the page of the study program you are applying to. 


In general, if you are studying a course in English, you’ll need to submit test results for tests like IELTS Academic, TOEFL iBT or C1 Advanced. However, for French degree courses, you’ll need to take a language level test when you arrive in Belgium or submit the FLE language proficiency certificate to show your level of French. If you are an international student who wants to learn French, you’ll find special programs at your university that can help you learn the language if you choose to do so. 

Gather needed documents

The next step is to get together the documents you’ll need for your application. In general, you’ll need to hand in your previous degrees, whether high school diplomas and your grades or your bachelor’s certificate and transcripts. You should make sure your documents are in English, French or Dutch (or translated by an official translator into one of those three languages). 


Other requirements are your passport, a passport picture, proof of language proficiency and sometimes, a motivation letter or letters of reference from trusted academics. You should always check for the format of the reference and motivation letters to make sure you are on the right track when you hand them in. 


There will be other requirements needed based on the university you are applying to or the degree program, or even based on the country you are applying from. Be sure to check for specific requirements from the institution you are applying to or the degree program you intend to study to make sure you have them fulfilled. 


Follow application deadlines 

It’s of utmost importance to follow the application deadlines. Even though some deadlines may rely on your visa status, you should still try to keep the general deadlines in mind and keep them written somewhere safe that you can refer to. For example, the start of March is the deadline for applications for students who need a visa, while for those who don’t require one, the deadline is the beginning of June. 


Steps after acceptance letter 

Finally, after being accepted, you’ll need to enrol at the university so that you can officially have a space. In order to be enrolled, you’ll need to pay your tuition fees, send the documents needed and visit the university so that you can confirm the enrollment process. You’ll also need to obtain your residence permit, at most 8 days after arriving in Belgium. You should also find out where the embassy for your home country is in Belgium in case you need anything or have any problems, or even if you simply feel homesick. 


Scholarship in Belgium

After finding out how to apply to obtain a student visa and how to apply to universities in Belgium, you may be interested to find out the scholarship and funding options in Belgium. There are many scholarships available for international students, though you must come from a developing country to be able to get a fully funded one. You’ll need to check the website for the sponsor of the scholarship in order to see the benefits of obtaining a certain scholarship and see the exact timeline you’ll need to follow in order to apply to it. This section talks about the specifics when it comes to scholarships, including some options for scholarships for those who want to apply to have one. 




There are several conditions to getting a scholarship in Belgium. The first one, in order to obtain a full scholarship to study abroad in Belgium, is to be from a third world country. Another condition is that you are able to study your degree program in English, meaning that you’ll need to be highly proficient in English. 


Some universities will also need you to have a predetermined number of study years before applying for the latest degree and scholarship. They may also take your age into consideration as a condition for application. 


Examples of scholarships offered 

You can find a lot of scholarships for international students so it’s worth looking into those available at your institution and also those that are offered by sponsors that you are eligible for. Some examples of scholarships offered for international students who want to study in Belgium are noted in the following sections if you’d like to learn more about them. 


VLIR-UOS Training and Masters Scholarships

For the VLIR-UOS Training and Masters Scholarships, sponsors select students from developing countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America who want to study for master’s or get a training course done in Belgium. These students want to study in the field of Development and will go on to make a difference in their home countries after graduation. 


These scholarships pay for tuition, student accommodation, living allowances and travel expenses back and forth, as well as any other expenses related to the study program that the student may need to pay. 

Government of Flanders Master Mind Scholarships

The Government of Flanders also offers a scholarship program for international students. In a program called Master Mind scholarships, the government aims to encourage international students to come study in Belgium in order to diversify the student body. The program offers up to 35 scholarships to master’s students from all around the globe, offering them the chance to study in Belgium. 


The scholarship covers costs of up to 7,500 euros per year. The university they are applying to can only charge the recipient of this scholarship 100 euros a year in tuition fees if any. 

Science@Leuven Scholarships

Another scholarship program for International Students is the Science@Leuven Scholarships program. These scholarships are offered to international students who want to study science at the faculty of K.U.Leuven. These excellent students who are passionate about science will receive scholarships of up to 10,000 euros per year. 


The scholarships are intended to cover the yearly tuition, health insurance costs and other insurance costs. Whether they cover living expenses, and the amount covered for costs of living, varies based on the situation and the value of the scholarship.