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Study in Belgium

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Study in Belgium | Top Universities, Courses, Fees, Eligibility & Admission

Why Study in Belgium

1. High-Quality Education: Belgium is known for its excellent education system and high academic standards. The country has a long-standing tradition of providing quality education and is home to several prestigious universities and research institutions. Belgian degrees are recognized worldwide, which can enhance your career prospects.

2. Broad Range of Programs: Belgium offers a wide variety of study programs, ranging from arts and humanities to science, engineering, business, and more. Whether you're interested in pursuing a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree, you'll find a diverse range of courses and specializations to choose from.

3. Multilingual Environment: Belgium is a multilingual country with three official languages: Dutch, French, and German. This linguistic diversity creates a unique environment for language learning and cultural immersion. Depending on the region you choose to study in, you can enhance your language skills and gain a deeper understanding of different cultures.

4. Central Location in Europe: Belgium's central location in Europe makes it an ideal base for exploring other European countries. With excellent transportation links, you can easily travel to neighboring countries like France, Germany, the Netherlands, and the UK. This offers opportunities for cultural experiences, networking, and further educational exploration.

5. Scholarships and Financial Aid: Belgium provides various scholarships and financial aid options to international students. These can help reduce the financial burden and make studying in Belgium more affordable. Many universities and organizations offer merit-based scholarships, grants, and tuition fee waivers.

6. Cultural Richness: Belgium is renowned for its rich history, cultural heritage, and vibrant arts scene. From medieval towns and stunning architecture to art museums and music festivals, there's plenty to explore and experience. Additionally, Belgium is famous for its culinary delights, including waffles, chocolates, and a vast array of delicious local dishes.

7. High Standard of Living: Belgium is known for its high standard of living and quality healthcare. The country offers a safe and welcoming environment for international students, with excellent infrastructure, public transportation, and a strong commitment to sustainability.

8. Career Opportunities: Belgium has a thriving job market and is home to many international organizations, multinational corporations, and European Union institutions. Studying in Belgium can provide you with valuable networking opportunities and access to potential internships or employment prospects.

Education System in Belgium

1. Early Childhood Education: Early childhood education in Belgium is not compulsory but widely available. It focuses on the development of social, cognitive, and motor skills in children aged 0 to 6 years.

2. Primary Education: Primary education in Belgium typically starts at the age of 6 and lasts for six years. In Flanders and the German-speaking Community, the language of instruction is predominantly Dutch or German, respectively. In Wallonia, French is the primary language of instruction.

3. Secondary Education: Secondary education in Belgium is compulsory until the age of 18 or until students have obtained a secondary education diploma. It is divided into different stages:

A. Lower Secondary Education: This stage lasts for three years and offers a broad curriculum to students. In Flanders and the German-speaking Community, the language of instruction is Dutch or German, respectively, while in Wallonia, it is French.

B. Upper Secondary Education: Upper secondary education in Belgium is divided into general, technical, and vocational streams. General education focuses on preparing students for higher education, while technical and vocational education emphasizes practical skills and job readiness. At the end of upper secondary education, students can obtain a diploma or a professional qualification.

4. Higher Education: Belgium has a well-regarded higher education system with a wide range of programs and institutions. Higher education is offered at universities, university colleges, and art academies. The following are the main types of degrees offered:

A. Bachelor's Degree: Typically lasts for three years and provides a solid foundation in a specific field of study.

B. Master's Degree: Usually follows a bachelor's degree and can last for one or two years, depending on the program. It allows students to specialize in a particular subject area.

C. Doctorate (Ph.D.): A research-based degree that involves original research and the completion of a doctoral thesis. It typically takes three to four years to complete.

Tuition Fee & Cost of Living in Belgium

  1. Tuition Fees:

    • Belgian/EU Students: Belgian and EU students typically pay lower tuition fees compared to non-EU international students. The exact fees vary among universities and programs but are generally more affordable.

    • Non-EU International Students: Non-EU international students usually have higher tuition fees compared to Belgian/EU students. The fees can vary significantly depending on the university and the level of study (bachelor's, master's, Ph.D.). On average, tuition fees for non-EU international students range from approximately €900 to €4,000 per year for bachelor's programs, and €900 to €5,000 per year for master's programs. However, some programs, such as medicine and engineering, may have higher tuition fees.

  2. Cost of Living:

    • Accommodation: The cost of accommodation in Belgium can vary depending on the city and the type of housing. On average, monthly expenses for student accommodation, including university dormitories or shared apartments, can range from €300 to €700.

    • Food: The cost of food and groceries depends on individual preferences and eating habits. On average, students can budget around €200 to €300 per month for food expenses.

    • Transportation: Public transportation in Belgium is well-developed and reasonably priced. Monthly transportation expenses for students can range from €20 to €50, depending on the distance and frequency of travel.

    • Health Insurance: Health insurance is mandatory in Belgium. International students are required to have health insurance coverage, either through a private provider or the Belgian national health insurance system. The cost can vary but is typically around €100 to €150 per year.

    • Other Expenses: Other miscellaneous expenses such as study materials, leisure activities, and personal expenses can amount to approximately €150 to €300 per month.

Eligibility to Study in Belgium for Indian & International Students

1. Academic Qualifications: You must have completed the necessary educational qualifications for the program you wish to pursue in Belgium. This typically includes a secondary school diploma or its equivalent for undergraduate studies, and a bachelor's degree for master's programs. For Ph.D. programs, a master's degree or its equivalent is generally required.

2. Language Proficiency: Depending on the language of instruction in your chosen program and university, you may need to demonstrate proficiency in the relevant language. Commonly, English, French, Dutch, or German language skills are required. Universities often ask for language proficiency test scores, such as IELTS, TOEFL, DELF, or DALF, to assess your language abilities.

3. Admission Requirements: Each university in Belgium sets its own specific admission requirements, which can vary based on the program and level of study. These requirements typically include submitting an application form, academic transcripts, letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and sometimes a portfolio or entrance exam results, depending on the program.

4. Visa and Residence Permit: Non-EU international students, including Indian students, generally require a student visa and residence permit to study in Belgium. After receiving an admission offer from a Belgian university, you will need to apply for a student visa at the Belgian Embassy or Consulate in your home country. The specific visa requirements and procedures may vary, so it's important to check with the respective embassy or consulate for accurate and up-to-date information.

5. Financial Requirements: As part of the visa application process, you may need to demonstrate sufficient financial means to cover your tuition fees and living expenses in Belgium. This typically involves providing proof of financial resources, such as bank statements or a scholarship letter.

Scholarship to Study in Belgium

Scholarship Name

Description

VLIR-UOS Scholarships

Scholarships for students from developing countries

ARES Scholarships

Scholarships for students from developing countries

Erasmus Mundus Scholarships

Scholarships for students worldwide

Belgium Government Scholarships

Scholarships offered by the Belgian government for international students

Flanders Government Scholarships

Scholarships offered by the Flemish government for international students

Wallonia-Brussels Federation Scholarships

Scholarships offered by the Wallonia-Brussels Federation for international students

Ghent University Top-Up Grants

Scholarships for students applying for master's programs at Ghent University

KU Leuven Science Scholarships

Scholarships for international students in science-related fields at KU Leuven

Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB) Scholarships

Scholarships for international students at ULB

Hasselt University Scholarships

Scholarships for international students at Hasselt University


Qualifying Exams to Study in Belgium

  1. Language Proficiency Exams: Depending on the language of instruction in your chosen program, you may be required to provide proof of language proficiency. Common language proficiency exams include:

    • English: IELTS, TOEFL, Cambridge English exams (e.g., CAE, CPE)

    • French: DELF (Diplôme d'Études en Langue Française), DALF (Diplôme Approfondi de Langue Française)

    • Dutch: NT2 (Dutch as a Second Language) exams

  2. Standardized Admissions Tests: Some programs may require standardized tests to assess your aptitude and knowledge in specific subject areas. These tests may include:

    • GRE (Graduate Record Examination): Often required for admission to graduate programs, particularly in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

    • GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test): Commonly required for admission to business and management-related programs.

    • SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test): Occasionally required for undergraduate admissions, particularly for students applying from the United States.

  3. Entrance Exams or Interviews: Certain programs or universities may have their own entrance exams or interviews to evaluate candidates' suitability for the program. These exams or interviews may assess subject-specific knowledge, problem-solving abilities, or motivation for the chosen field of study.

Intake to Study in Belgium

Intake

Description

September Intake

The main intake for most programs at Belgian universities. Many undergraduate and postgraduate programs start in September.

February Intake

Some universities offer a secondary intake in February for selected programs, mainly at the postgraduate level. The availability of programs and seats may vary.

Rolling Intake

Certain universities and programs may have rolling admissions, allowing applications throughout the year. However, it's essential to check with the specific university for the availability of programs and deadlines.


Top 20 Universities in Belgium

University

Description

Available Course Programs

KU Leuven

Oldest and largest university in Belgium with a strong international reputation.

Various disciplines including arts, sciences, engineering, social sciences, business, medicine, and law.

Ghent University

One of the top-ranked universities in Belgium known for its research excellence.

Sciences, engineering, medicine, arts and humanities, social sciences, business, law, and agricultural sciences.

Université catholique de Louvain (UCLouvain)

Leading French-speaking university in Belgium with a focus on interdisciplinary research.

Engineering, sciences, social sciences, humanities, medicine, economics, and business.

Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB)

Prestigious French-speaking university located in Brussels.

Social sciences, humanities, sciences, engineering, medicine, economics, and business.

Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)

Multilingual university in Brussels known for its research and innovation.

Sciences, engineering, social sciences, humanities, medicine, economics, and business.

University of Antwerp

Research-intensive university with a strong focus on innovation and collaboration.

Sciences, medicine, engineering, social sciences, humanities, business, law, and applied economics.

KU Leuven Campus Brussels

Brussels campus of KU Leuven, offering programs in various disciplines.

Business, economics, social sciences, engineering, and law.

Hasselt University

Young and dynamic university known for its strong focus on technology and innovation.

Sciences, engineering, business, economics, law, and arts.

University of Liège

Major French-speaking university in Belgium known for its research and academic excellence.

Sciences, engineering, medicine, social sciences, humanities, law, economics, and business.

Université de Mons

Research-focused university offering a wide range of programs in various fields.

Sciences, engineering, social sciences, humanities, translation, and interpretation.

University of Namur

Renowned French-speaking university known for its excellence in teaching and research.

Sciences, social sciences, law, economics, business, translation, and interpretation.

University of Louvain-la-Neuve

Comprehensive university offering programs in various disciplines.

Sciences, engineering, social sciences, humanities, medicine, economics, and business.

Antwerp Management School

Internationally recognized business school offering management and business-related programs.

Master's and executive education programs in business and management.

Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management

Renowned business school in Brussels with a strong focus on economics and management.

Bachelor's, master's, and executive education programs in economics, business, and management.

Brussels School of International Studies (BSIS)

Institute of the University of Kent, located in Brussels, offering programs in international relations.

Master's programs in international relations, conflict analysis, and global governance.

Catholic University of Louvain FUCaM Mons

Campus of UCLouvain in Mons, offering programs in various disciplines.

Sciences, engineering, business, economics, social sciences, and humanities.

Thomas More University of Applied Sciences

Leading university of applied sciences with multiple campuses offering practice-oriented programs.

Programs in applied sciences, business, education, healthcare, and social work.

IÉSEG School of Management

Renowned business school with campuses in Lille and Paris, France, and a campus in Brussels, Belgium.

Bachelor's, master's, and MBA programs in business and management.

University of Mons-Hainaut

Public research university offering programs in various fields.

Sciences, engineering, computer science, social sciences, humanities, and translation.

University of Liege-Henallux

Institution resulting from the merger of the University of Liège and the Haute Ecole of the Province of Liège.

Sciences, engineering, medicine, social sciences, humanities, law, economics, and business.


Bachelor Courses in Belgium

Course Name

Fees (Approximate)

Intake

Master of Business Administration (MBA)

€6,000 - €30,000/year

September, February

Computer Science

€900 - €5,000/year

September

Engineering

€900 - €5,000/year

September

Medicine

Varies

September

Economics

€900 - €5,000/year

September

Psychology

€900 - €5,000/year

September

Political Science

€900 - €5,000/year

September

Law

€900 - €5,000/year

September

Architecture

€900 - €5,000/year

September

Communication Studies

€900 - €5,000/year

September

Art and Design

€900 - €5,000/year

September

Linguistics

€900 - €5,000/year

September

International Relations

€900 - €5,000/year

September

Environmental Science

€900 - €5,000/year

September

Tourism and Hospitality Management

€900 - €5,000/year

September

Biomedical Sciences

€900 - €5,000/year

September

Mathematics

€900 - €5,000/year

September

Sociology

€900 - €5,000/year

September

Pharmacy

Varies

September

Marketing

€900 - €5,000/year

September


Masters Courses in Belgium

Course Name

Fees (Approximate)

Intake

Master of Business Administration (MBA)

€6,000 - €30,000/year

September, February

Computer Science

€900 - €5,000/year

September

Engineering

€900 - €5,000/year

September

Medicine

Varies

September

Economics

€900 - €5,000/year

September

Psychology

€900 - €5,000/year

September

Political Science

€900 - €5,000/year

September

Law

€900 - €5,000/year

September

Architecture

€900 - €5,000/year

September

Communication Studies

€900 - €5,000/year

September

Art and Design

€900 - €5,000/year

September

Linguistics

€900 - €5,000/year

September

International Relations

€900 - €5,000/year

September

Environmental Science

€900 - €5,000/year

September

Tourism and Hospitality Management

€900 - €5,000/year

September

Biomedical Sciences

€900 - €5,000/year

September

Mathematics

€900 - €5,000/year

September

Sociology

€900 - €5,000/year

September

Pharmacy

Varies

September

Marketing

€900 - €5,000/year

September


Documents Required to Study in Belgium

1. Application Form: Complete the university's application form, which is usually available online.

2. Educational Documents: Provide copies of your educational certificates and transcripts, including your high school diploma for undergraduate studies or your bachelor's degree certificate and transcripts for postgraduate studies. These documents should be officially translated into either Dutch, French, or English.

3. Language Proficiency: Demonstrate your language proficiency by providing language test scores. For programs taught in Dutch or French, you may need to provide scores from the Test of Dutch as a Foreign Language (NT2) or the Test de connaissance du français (TCF). For programs taught in English, you may need to submit scores from tests like the TOEFL or IELTS.

4. Passport Copy: Submit a clear copy of your passport or national ID card.

5. Curriculum Vitae (CV): Prepare a comprehensive CV that outlines your educational background, work experience, skills, and any other relevant achievements.

6. Motivation Letter: Write a motivation letter explaining your reasons for choosing the specific program and university, as well as your career goals and aspirations.

7. Letters of Recommendation: Provide letters of recommendation from teachers, professors, or employers who can attest to your academic abilities, character, and potential.

8. Proof of Financial Means: Demonstrate that you have sufficient funds to cover your tuition fees, living expenses, and other costs during your studies in Belgium. This can be in the form of bank statements, scholarship letters, or financial guarantee letters.

9. Health Insurance: Obtain health insurance coverage for the duration of your studies in Belgium. This can be either through private insurance or the Belgian national health insurance system.

10. Passport-sized Photographs: Provide several recent passport-sized photographs as per the university's specifications.

11. Visa Requirements: If you are a non-EU/EEA student, you will need to apply for a student visa. Check the specific visa requirements of the Belgian embassy or consulate in your home country.

How to Apply to Universities in Belgium

1. Research Universities and Programs: Explore different universities in Belgium and the programs they offer. Consider factors such as academic reputation, course offerings, location, language of instruction, and admission requirements.

2. Check Admission Requirements: Review the admission requirements for the specific program you are interested in. Pay attention to academic qualifications, language proficiency, standardized test scores, and any additional documents or prerequisites.

3. Complete the Online Application: Most universities in Belgium have online application systems. Create an account on the university's application portal and fill out the required information. Provide accurate and detailed information about your personal details, educational background, and any supporting documents.

4. Prepare Required Documents: Gather all the necessary documents required for the application, including educational transcripts, diplomas, language test scores, CV, motivation letter, letters of recommendation, passport copy, and any other specified documents. Make sure to have them translated if needed.

5. Pay Application Fee: Some universities may require an application fee. Pay the fee through the online application portal using the specified payment method.

6. Submit the Application: After filling out the application form and attaching the required documents, submit your application through the online portal. Ensure that all the information and documents are accurately uploaded.

7. Track Application Status: Monitor your application status through the online portal. Universities usually provide updates on the progress of your application, such as receipt of documents, evaluation, and admission decisions.

8. Await Admission Decision: The university will review your application and make an admission decision. This process can take several weeks or months, depending on the university and program. Stay in touch with the university for any updates or additional requirements.

9. Accept the Offer: If you receive an admission offer, carefully review the offer letter, including any conditions or requirements. Accept the offer within the specified deadline by following the instructions provided by the university.

10. Apply for Visa (Non-EU/EEA Students): If you are a non-EU/EEA student, you will likely need to apply for a student visa. Contact the Belgian embassy or consulate in your home country to learn about the visa application process and requirements.

Grading System in Belgium

Letter Grades:

  • A: Excellent

  • B: Very Good

  • C: Good

  • D: Satisfactory

  • E: Sufficient

  • F: Fail

Students life in Belgium

1. Multicultural Environment: Belgium attracts students from all over the world, creating a diverse and multicultural atmosphere on campuses. You'll have the opportunity to interact with students from different backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives.

2. Student Associations and Clubs: Belgian universities have numerous student associations and clubs that cater to various interests, hobbies, and sports. Joining these organizations allows you to engage in extracurricular activities, socialize, and develop new skills.

3. Festivals and Events: Belgium is known for its vibrant festival culture. From music festivals like Tomorrowland to cultural events such as the Carnaval de Binche, there are plenty of opportunities to immerse yourself in the country's festive spirit.

4. Student Housing: Many universities in Belgium offer student housing options, including on-campus dormitories and off-campus student residences. Living in student housing provides an excellent opportunity to connect with fellow students and participate in social activities.

5. Student Discounts: As a student in Belgium, you can benefit from various discounts and benefits. These include reduced fares for public transportation, discounted museum tickets, and special rates for cultural events.

6. Cultural Heritage: Belgium is rich in cultural heritage, with historical cities like Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent, and Bruges offering a blend of medieval architecture, art galleries, museums, and culinary delights. Exploring the country's cultural heritage is an integral part of the student experience.

7. Language Opportunities: Belgium has three official languages: Dutch, French, and German. Studying in Belgium provides an excellent opportunity to learn or improve your language skills in one or more of these languages.

8. Travel Opportunities: Belgium's central location in Europe makes it easy to travel to neighboring countries during breaks or weekends. You can explore other European destinations and experience different cultures, cuisines, and landscapes.

9. Work and Internship Opportunities: Belgium offers work and internship opportunities for international students. This allows you to gain practical experience, apply your academic knowledge, and enhance your employability.

10. Quality Education: Belgium is renowned for its high-quality education system. Studying in Belgium gives you access to world-class faculties, research opportunities, and academic resources.

Student Visa Requirements in Belgium

1. Acceptance Letter: Obtain an acceptance letter or an enrollment certificate from a recognized Belgian educational institution. This document confirms your admission and enrollment in a full-time program.

2. Financial Proof: Provide evidence of sufficient financial means to cover your tuition fees, living expenses, and healthcare costs during your stay in Belgium. This can include bank statements, scholarship letters, or a financial guarantee letter.

3. Health Insurance: Obtain comprehensive health insurance coverage that is valid in Belgium. It should cover medical expenses, hospitalization, and repatriation.

4. Passport: Possess a valid passport with a minimum of six months' validity beyond the intended duration of your stay in Belgium.

5. Passport-Sized Photographs: Provide several recent passport-sized photographs as per the specifications outlined by the Belgian embassy or consulate.

6. Visa Application Form: Complete the visa application form, which can be obtained from the Belgian embassy or consulate in your home country. Fill in all the required details accurately and honestly.

7. Language Proficiency: Depending on the language of instruction in your chosen program, you may need to demonstrate language proficiency. This can be through language test scores, such as the Test of Dutch as a Foreign Language (NT2) or the Test de connaissance du français (TCF).

8. Background Checks: Some visa applications may require you to provide a certificate of good conduct or police clearance from your home country to prove your character and absence of criminal record.

9. Proof of Accommodation: Show evidence of accommodation arrangements in Belgium, such as a rental contract or a declaration of accommodation (if staying with a host).

10. Proof of Return or Onward Travel: Provide proof of a return ticket to your home country or an onward ticket to another destination after completing your studies in Belgium.

Part-time work option in Belgium

1. Work Permit: Non-EU/EEA students are generally required to obtain a work permit before they can engage in part-time work in Belgium. However, there are some exceptions and specific regulations, so it is essential to check with the Belgian authorities or your university's international office for the latest information.

2. Limitations on Working Hours: As an international student, you are typically allowed to work part-time during the academic year, and full-time during official vacation periods. The maximum number of working hours permitted for international students is usually 20 hours per week during the academic year.

3. Integration Year: Some non-EU/EEA students may be subject to an "Integration Year" requirement before being eligible to work in Belgium. This usually applies to students who have completed their studies and wish to work after graduation.

4. Job Opportunities: Common part-time job opportunities for students in Belgium include working in the service industry (restaurants, cafes, etc.), retail, tutoring, administrative tasks, and internships related to your field of study.

5. Language Requirements: Depending on the job and location, language skills may be essential. Fluency in the local language (Dutch, French, or German) can significantly improve your job prospects. However, there are also opportunities for English-speaking students, especially in international or tourist-oriented establishments.

6. Social Security Contributions: As a part-time worker, you will generally be required to make social security contributions. These contributions cover health insurance and other social benefits.

7. Work-Study Programs: Some universities and institutions in Belgium offer work-study programs where students can combine their studies with part-time work within the university or related organizations.

Work Visa and PR in Belgium

1. Work Visa:

A. Highly Skilled Workers: If you possess specialized skills or qualifications, you may be eligible for a work permit as a highly skilled worker. This permit allows you to work in Belgium for a specific period, usually renewable.

B. Sponsored Employment: Another option is to secure a job offer from a Belgian employer who will sponsor your work permit application. The employer must demonstrate that they cannot find suitable candidates from the local labor market.

C. Intra-Company Transfer: If you are already employed by a company with operations in Belgium, you may be eligible for an intra-company transfer work permit. This allows you to work for the Belgian branch or subsidiary of your current employer.

D. Self-Employment: If you wish to establish your own business or work as a freelancer in Belgium, you can apply for a work permit as a self-employed person. This option requires demonstrating your business plan, qualifications, and financial means.

2. Blue Card: The Blue Card is a work permit designed for highly skilled professionals. It offers facilitated procedures for non-EU workers who have a job offer in Belgium, earn a certain salary threshold, and possess specific qualifications.

3. EU/EEA/Swiss Nationals: Citizens of EU, EEA, and Swiss countries have the right to work in Belgium without a work permit. They can freely seek employment and do not require any additional authorization.

4. Permanent Residence (PR):

A. EU Blue Card Holders: If you hold an EU Blue Card and have been working in Belgium for a certain period (typically five years), you may be eligible to apply for permanent residence.

B. Work Permit Holders: Non-EU workers who have held a valid work permit in Belgium for an uninterrupted period of five years can apply for permanent residence.

C. Family Reunification: Spouses or partners of Belgian citizens or permanent residents may be eligible for family reunification and eventual PR status.

D. Long-Term Residence: Non-EU individuals who have legally resided in Belgium for an uninterrupted period of five years, with a valid residence permit, may be eligible for long-term residence status.

Placement after study in Belgium

Field of Study

Companies Hiring Graduates

Engineering

Siemens, Volvo Group, Barco, Umicore, Engie

Information Technology

Proximus, IBM, Microsoft, Accenture, Cognizant

Business and Management

Deloitte, KPMG, PwC, BNP Paribas, ING

Life Sciences

Janssen Pharmaceutica, UCB, GSK, Galapagos, Novartis

Architecture

Zaha Hadid Architects, BuroHappold Engineering, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

Arts and Design

Studio Job, Buro Belén, KAN Studio, Kossmanndejong

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