Cost of Studying & Living in Belgium
Belgium uses the Euro (€) for its currency.
There are both public and private institutions in Belgium, and your tuition fee will depend on which of these you choose. If you are from an EU/EEA country and choose to go to public institution, you can expect to pay around €850 per year. If you are from any other country, you can expect to pay between €1,000 and €4,000 per year. For a master’s or doctorate degree, most students will have to pay an application fee. A private institution will most likely charge more than this. There are scholarships available, but they are competitive. For more information, contact your chosen institution.
Your living costs will depend on where you choose to live, as well as whether you stay in university accommodation or private accommodation. On average, your living costs can be between €750 and €1,100 per month. This includes accommodation, travel, groceries and course equipment.
You may be able to get a part-time job in order to help with your living costs, depending on where you are from. If you are from an EU/EEA country, you will most likely be able to work without any additional permissions. If you are from any other country, you may need to seek permission in the form of a work permit in order to work during your studies, and will probably be allowed to work up to 20 hours. Your university will be able to provide information about this.
Another cost that needs to be considered is health insurance. If you are an EHIC holder, you will be able to access healthcare at the same price as Belgian citizens once you have joined a ‘mutuelle’. If you do not hold an EHIC, you will need to either purchase health insurance, or ensure that your current policy is valid for your stay in Belgium. You will then need to join a ‘mutuelle’ to receive healthcare benefits.
If you are from an EU/EEA country, you will not need to apply for a visa to study in Belgium. If you are from any other country, you will need to apply for a visa to study in Belgium. You will need to get a ‘long stay’ visa, and can start this process at the Belgian embassy or consulate in your home country. It might take some time for your application to progress and your visa to be granted, so make sure to leave plenty of time.
Belgium has three official languages; Dutch (Flemish), French and German.
Whilst there are courses taught in all of these languages, but the majority are offered in French. You will no doubt be able to study programmes in the English language.
If you are applying for a course taught in any of the official languages of Belgium, you will need to have advanced language skills, and be able to pass language proficiency tests. If you are applying for a course taught in English, you will also need to pass an English language test. These tests will make sure that your language skills will meet the required standards for learning. It is common for institutions to offer courses to improve your language skills if you are not able to pass proficiency tests.
The capital city of Belgium, Brussels is where you will find the headquarters of the EU and NATO. It is a centre of international cooperation, politics and affairs, with a vibrant mix of cultures and nationalities. The city is known for its historical and architectural landmarks, with some registered as UNESCO World Heritage sites.
The city is home to several universities, both French and Dutch speaking. The two main universities are the Université Libre de Bruxelles, which is French speaking and has around 20,000 students, and the Vrije Universitiet Brussel, which is a Dutch speaking university with around 10,000 students.
Home to just over 118,000 people, the city of Bruges is a canal-based city and sometimes referred to as the Venice of the North. The historic city centre is a UNESCO World Heritage site, where there is plenty of medieval architecture still intact. Within the Church of our Lady you can see the sculpture Madonna and Child, which is believed to be the only Michelangelo sculpture to leave Italy within his lifetime.
Bruges is an important centre for education in West Flanders. You will find the prestigious College of Europe, which offers postgraduate courses in European Economics, Law and Politics. Also located in Bruges is the United Nations University, which specialises in the comparative study of regional integration.