Education in Belgium
Small and charming Belgium, the home of comics and chocolate and the capital of major European and international organizations attracts more and more tourists and students who dream of a prestigious diploma and the chance to find a job in Europe.
Higher education system
Due to Belgium’s bilingualism, the western part of the country was, for a long time, dependent on the French education system. At the same time, the eastern regions were dependent on the Germans and the Dutch. However, after the Bologna process, the higher education system in Belgium, as in most European countries, became a general, three-stage system: bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate. As an echo of the past, only the names of the degrees remained: Bachelor – Candidate, Master – License. However, different majors also require a different number of years of study. For example, lawyers and pharmacists study for five years to obtain a bachelor’s degree instead of three years.
In Belgium, higher education is the responsibility of communities, only some of the country’s government. Belgium is divided into three communities: Flemish, French and German. The government of each runs the universities and bears the cost of training.
Higher education institutions are of two types: university and non-university. University institutions include direct universities and colleges, non-university institutions – long (bachelor + master’s degree, four years of study) and short (bachelor’s, 2-3 years) educational institutions. This is Belgian. Analogous to colleges and institutes. Universities and high schools provide academic education, while college students receive vocational education. Bachelor’s and master’s degrees can be obtained at all types of universities, and doctoral degrees (called “mammal” in Belgium) only at universities and lycées. Because of this difference, there are two bachelor’s degrees in Belgium: professional and academic.
Living in Belgium
In addition to tuition fees, an international student must also consider other expenses. Living in a university dormitory will cost a student 150-300 euros per month, depending on the type of university and location. Also, renting an apartment will cost 300-800 euros per month without utilities, depending on the location. If two people occupy the apartment, this cost will be reduced by two.
The cost of food for a month will be 100-200 euros, the cost of mobile communication will be 10-25 euros, and the Internet will cost 40 euros. Entrance to the club is 20 euros. Health insurance costs 60 euros per month.
You can earn 1000 euros per month by working 20 hours a week.
According to calculations, it will cost 5,309 euros in the French-speaking part of Belgium and 4,870 euros in the Flemish part.
Accommodation and adaptation
Almost every university provides dormitories on the university premises to students for a fee (100-400 euros per month). There is also a canteen on campus; food will be much cheaper than in cafes and restaurants.
Also, students often rent apartments. Several people rent an apartment and share all expenses equally. The minimum price of an apartment for rent in Belgium starts from 300 euros.
Most universities have communities of international students, a kind of university club. Community members organize thematic holidays, help first-year students get used to the university, and solve everyday and educational issues.
Belgium is a fantastic country with a unique atmosphere. The light position of the Belgians and the country’s image on the world stage create favorable conditions for living, working, and studying.
Scholarship in Belgium
International students have to pay the tuition fees either from their resources or from the scholarship programs of various international organizations (for example, NATO, UNESCO, UN Food and Agriculture, European Union, European Space Research Organization, World Health Organization, etc.). Terms and conditions can be found on the websites of these organizations.
At the same time, a foreign citizen may have a cooperation agreement in education and science between his country and Belgium. This agreement may also allow for free education.
The French and Flemish provinces of Belgium also have a scholarship program for foreign institutions studying for bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Candidates for these scholarships must study in the 4th-5th year of their country’s universities and know one of the English or Belgian languages. They should prepare the draft of the diploma work. This scholarship provides for 3-10 months without re-granting.
Belgium is a member of the Schengen Agreement. A visa is required for non-EU countries. For this, applying to the consular department of Belgian embassies in foreign countries is necessary. It takes 3-14 days to issue a visa. However, this time can be extended if the consular department applies to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belgium to clarify specific issues. To get a visa, submitting the documents 3-4 weeks before the trip is better.
Two visa forms and two color photos;
Education document: certificate, diploma, language course certificate (if any);
Letter of acceptance from the university;
Certificate from the bank that there are funds to be spent in Belgium;
Document on accommodation or accommodation reservation in Belgium;
Certificate of non-conviction if the student is over 21 years of age;
A notary-certified application from the parents of a person under 15 regarding his/her visit.
At the same time, the embassy may request other documents and invite them to a conversation.
For a student from a non-EU country to work, an official work permit must be obtained. This agreement allows you to work up to 20 hours per week during the academic year. All working days on holidays and Sundays
Belgium is considered one of the best countries in Europe that provides quality education. Belgian universities offer students dozens of study programs in several languages. Diplomas from Belgian universities are valuable for those who want to start working after university or pursue a research career.
The Kingdom of Belgium has three regions: Flanders, Wallonia, and the Brussels capital. Each region has an official state language or languages. Therefore, universities in Belgium are at least bilingual.
- Study period in Belgium
University education in Belgium consists of three stages: pre-baccalaureate, bachelor’s, and master’s. Depending on the specialty, the pre-baccalaureate stage is 2-3 years, the bachelor’s degree is 2-4 years, and the master’s degree is two years.
- Date of application to Belgian universities
Application dates for Belgian universities vary by university and significance. Application to universities usually starts in May. The earlier the choice of university and specialty is made, the more time you will have to complete the paperwork.
Master’s studies in Belgium
Master’s education in Belgium is affordable and considered quality at prestigious universities—Master’s studies in Belgium last two years. Requirements are permitted to work part-time 20 hours per week.
As a country included in the European Union, Belgium stands out for its high-quality education. The country has three regions: Flanders, Wallonia, and the Brussels-Capital Region. The official state language of each region is different. This division also affects the language of education.
Documents required for application to the master’s degree
- Bachelor’s diploma and diploma supplement
- Undergraduate transcript
- A letter of intent
- English language certificate
- Some universities and faculties may ask for additional documents such as letters of recommendation, CVs, and work experience.
Master’s application dates
Application dates for Belgian universities vary by university and faculty. Applications are completed by September and October.
Undergraduate studies in Belgium
A bachelor’s degree in Belgium is qualified and academic. Qualified implies the acquisition of specific skills and professionalism. An academic bachelor’s degree prepares the student for a master’s degree in scientific research.
In recent years, foreigners have come to Belgium more frequently to study business. Three business schools in the country are in first place in the European ranking table
Opportunity to stay in Belgium
Belgian law allows those who wish to remain alive. Becoming a citizen is enough to live permanently in the country for three years. After high school, you can stay in the country by finding a job. However, the employer must prove to the Ministry of Labor that no one is interested in this job in the country or from the countries of the European Union.