Are you making your mind to study in Belgium? Ask scholars present here Step by Step Guide to make the process easier for you.
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Table of Contents
Belgium is a country in northwestern Europe. It is one of the smallest and most densely populated European countries. Belgium shares a border with Germany, France, Netherlands and Luxembourg. Its capital is Brussels. Other big cities are Antwerp, Ghent, Charleroi and Liège. Belgium has some of the highest income and social contribution tax rates in the world. For single people without children, it has the highest income tax rates. Belgium has the lowest salary gap between men and women in the EU. Belgium grants the newest citizenships per capita in the world. Belgium has three native languages which are French, Dutch & German. But the local public is also quite fluent in English.
Higher Education System of Belgium
There are three types of higher education institutions in Belgium which are the following.
- University colleges.
- Art colleges.
All these institutions offer bachelor’s, masters and doctorate courses for international students. Universities offer academic programs while Universities colleges offer vocational professional programs for all level of studies.
Universities offer courses in all fields of study such as engineering, psychology, economics etc. University colleges offer master’s programs in different areas such as social sciences, education, applied arts, interpretation & translation, Technology etc.
Art Colleges offer courses in the artistic field of study, visual arts, performing arts, music and dramatic arts.
Bachelor’s degree has a duration of 3 years, while a master’s degree duration varies from 1 to 2 years depending upon course length. Once you have completed a master’s degree, You can pursue a PhD, which in Belgium can only be awarded by universities.
Deadlines & Intakes for study in Belgium
The language of instruction in Belgium is Dutch, French and German. Also, the educational institutions have programmes and courses in English as well.
The academic year includes three terms.
The first term begins in mid-September and runs through the end of December, followed by exams in January.
The second term begins in early February and runs through the middle of May, followed by exams at the end of May or early June.
The third term runs over the summer. Students who fail exams may retake them during a session that runs from mid-August to mid-September.
Application Process for University in Belgium
At first, choose the course or degree program you want to study. Which level of study you are going to apply for? Is it Bachelor’s, Master’s or PhD? The level of study can be important because it can decide in which language you are going to study your desired course.
The courses are offered in Dutch, French, German and English. The majority of Bachelor courses are offered in Dutch, French, German and few are offered in English.
While many Master degree courses are offered in English and are offered in other three languages Dutch, French and German.
Keep in mind you might need to take a language proficiency test to get admission to a university. So, choose a course carefully with the language of instruction, you are fluent with.
The next stage is to check admission requirements in details for the short-listed course. If you are satisfied with the requirement’s criteria. Applications for any course or degree are sent directly to the higher education institution of your choice in Belgium. Therefore, You can start the online application process on desired Institution’s web portal. Upload all official transcripts and certificates of previous education. You can upload IELTS or TOEFL test if you are applying for a course taught in English. Make sure, you have followed all deadlines of the specific institution before applying. You can submit your application by post or email with the necessary documents that are required by the institution.
The Institution will examine the submitted documents, will decide either you are eligible or not for the study program you applied for. If there is an entrance exam, you have to pass it to get a letter of acceptance. Arts Colleges require entrance exam in most cases. If you are applying for Engineering or Medicine, You would be asked to appear in the entrance exam by the majority of institutions. You need to pass the entrance exam to get an offer letter from the institution.
Once you get a letter of acceptance, collect all other necessary documents. Later, submit all documents in the embassy for Visa and wait for the final decision.
Required Documents for University admission
You need to fulfil following documents to get admission in a University and to get student visa for Belgium.
- Higher Secondary School Leaving Certificate/Intermediate + 1 year university education.
- Entrance exam or Interview by University (depends upon university).
- For post-graduate admissions, 16 year education or equivalent degree.
- IELTS or TOFEL & Educational Certificates with good grades.
- Attach Tuition Fee Receipt of course in which you are enrolled.
- Passport, CV, Motivation Letter.
Application Process for visa in Belgium’s Embassy
Once you have been admitted to any Institution in Belgium, You need a valid visa to travel to Belgium. Therefore, you need to file an application in the embassy for a student visa.
You should start the visa application process as soon as possible as the process can take time. Submit all necessary documents near the consulate or embassy. Visa Application can be submitted online also on the embassy’s web portal. Pay Visa application fee to proceed with your application.
Required documents for Student Visa to study in Belgium
The following documents are important to get Student Visa of Belgium.
- Passport valid for at least 12 months
- Two Recent Passport size Pictures
- Official transcripts and certificates
- Acceptance letter from University
- Bank statement, which covers your living expenses during studies.
- Filled Visa Application form & Health insurance letter.
What is total cost of Belgium Student Visa?
The total cost of Student Visa broke down into two parts. We will discuss one by one both costs here.
What is Tuition Fees to study in Belgium?
Tuition fees for universities range from as low as 835 Euros to up to 9,000 Euros on an annual basis. This tuition fee applies to bachelor’s and master’s degree courses. The tuition fee depends upon the course and university and It varies accordingly.
The majority of courses have tuition fee under 4,175 Euros per year for international students.
There are three different communities in Belgium which charge a different tuition fee for international students.
Tuition fees in universities from the Flemish community vary from 50 Euros to 1,500 Euros per year for international students.
Tuition fees in universities from the French community vary from 890 Euros to 4,175 Euros per year for international students.
Tuition fees in universities from the German community vary from 400 Euros to 500 Euros per year for international students.
Here Universities are mentioned with low tuition fee:
- Universite Catolique du Louvain charges approximately 800 Euros per year for students.
- University of Liège and University of Namur charge approximately 835 Euros per year for students.
- University of Antwerp charges approximately 1,500 Euros per year for students
- UC Leuven Limburg charges approximately 1,800 Euros per year for students.
- Ghent University charges approximately 2,800 Euros per year for students.
What is Living Cost in Belgium?
Living costs in Belgium usually vary between 700 – 950 EUR/month. In big cities, you might need a larger budget, but this largely depends on accommodation type and your spending habits.
There are different types of accommodations in Belgium which includes university halls, private apartments and homestay. University halls of residence are cheaper. The private sector is expensive, which includes renting a room or sharing an apartment or studio.
Prices for shared accommodation varies between 200 to 400 Euros per month. While when it comes to renting an apartment, prices are usually higher than 400 Euros per month.
On average, you would spend between 150 Euros to 250 Euros per month on food expenses.
Trains and buses are the cheapest and most convenient travel options while living in Belgium. A monthly pass for students on public transportation usually costs around 20 Euros per month.
Scholarships in Belgium for International Students
In Belgium, three different sectors offer Scholarships for international students.
Government Scholarships for International Students:
These scholarships cover tuition fee, accommodation, allowance, travel costs, and other program-related costs. Mostly offered for Master’s degree students.
Master Mind scholarships are provided by the government of Flanders.
Universities Scholarships for International Students:
Universities award Scholarships, which can cover only tuition fee or it can be fully funded for international students.
Institution’s Scholarships for International Students:
These scholarships are issued by different Institutions or organizations, which cover international travel expenses, living allowance, tuition fees, insurance, housing allowance, etc.
Erasmus Mundus Scholarships for International Students.
Job Opportunities in Belgium for International students
You can work 20 hours a week during your study period as an international student in Belgium.
You can find odd jobs at places like restaurants, warehouses, supermarkets, cafes, and other public places. You can also check with the university portals for any job openings around your department or faculty.
Freelancing jobs are applicable anywhere or in any country. If you have any skill, you can provide services online and get quick bucks to support your studies in Belgium.
There is a demand for skilled workers across a variety of sectors in Belgium, including but not limited to public health, social services, education, and finance. Now Government of Belgium offers on year job search visa for international students, who have completed degrees in Belgium. Students can change the job search visa into a work visa, once they crack a job interview.
Job search depends on the region and local language of that region in Belgium. If you can learn the local language, you can increase your chances to get hired for odd jobs and professional jobs.
Cheap Universities in Belgium for International students
Ask scholars has mentioned here few afford universities in Belgium for international students.
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven: Tuition Fee For Bachelor’s and Master’s degree Programs is from 900 Euros per year.
Université Libre de Bruxelles: Tuition Fee For Bachelor’s and Master’s degree Programs is from 835 Euros per year.
Université de Liège: Tuition Fee For Bachelor’s and Master’s degree Programs is from 835 Euros per year.
UC Leuven-Limburg: Tuition Fee For Bachelor’s and Master’s degree Programs is from 950 Euros and 1,750 Euros per year respectively.
Université Saint Louis Bruxelles: Tuition Fee For Bachelor’s and Master’s degree Programs is from 835 Euros per year.
University of Namur: Tuition Fee For Bachelor’s and Master’s degree Programs is from 830 Euros per year.
Ghent University: Tuition Fee For Bachelor’s and Master’s degree Programs is from 950 Euros and 1,850 Euros per year respectively.
Hasselt University: Tuition Fee For Bachelor’s and Master’s degree Programs is from 950 Euros and 2,500 Euros per year respectively.
University of Antwerp: Tuition Fee For Bachelor’s and Master’s degree Programs is from 950 Euros and 5,800 Euros per year respectively.
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