The Kingdom of Belgium is a small country situated in the heart of Europe. It shares borders with the Netherlands, Germany, France, and Luxembourg. If you choose Belgium as your international education destination, you will get the opportunity to explore these countries too. That’s not all, as you can relish the waffles, beer, and chocolates that the country is so famous for. Most importantly, the small country offers a range of affordable study programmes at all academic levels.

International students can get a unique education experience, along with a slice of the rich history and vibrant culture of this alluring European nation. Interestingly, the country has three official languages, Dutch, German, and French, so there is much to learn here. It is also one of the safest countries globally, with an excellent quality of life and advanced economy rife with opportunities for study abroad aspirants. Let us share some valid reasons to consider Belgium for studying overseas..

WORLD-CLASS UNIVERSITIES

Belgium has a plethora of options for students, with 65 universities and 1,146 study programmes to choose from. Eight universities are listed among the top universities in the world. The leading names include:

A majority of Bachelor’s programmes here are offered in Dutch or French, but you can find many in English too. It is easy to find them at Master’s and Doctorate levels. A good thing for international students is that many universities offer free or affordable Dutch or French classes, so it is easy to learn these languages as you study here.

AFFORDABLE TUITION FEES

The tuition fees in Belgian universities are quite reasonable for both EU and international students. Your fees will depend on the region you plan to study in as the country has two of them offering options at different costs.

  • Flemish Region- If you opt for the Dutch-speaking region, you can expect to shell out around 940 EUR a year as an EU student. The cost for non-EU nationals in the region is between 940 and 6,000 EUR, depending on the programme. Medicine, dentistry, and MBA cost more.
  • Wallonia Region- In the French-speaking region, EU students have to pay a maximum of 835 EUR as annual tuition fee. The amount goes up to 4,175 EUR for international non-European students. Costs for medical and MBA courses are higher in this region as well.

SCHOLARSHIPS

Tuition fees in Belgium are affordable for international students. But you can check a variety of scholarships to economise education further. Several options are available at all academic levels. You only have to meet the requisite criteria to secure grants from the government and the private sector. Here are some popular ones to explore.

COST OF LIVING

The cost of living here is affordable, but everything boils down to the location and lifestyle you choose. As an international student, you can either live in a university dormitory or rent private accommodation. The former can cut down the living costs significantly. Pricing starts at 200 EUR per month, while private accommodation costs between 300 to 500 EUR per month. However, dormitory accommodation is limited in the Flanders and Brussels region, so you will have to rent private apartments. But costs are lower in smaller cities such as Ghent or Leuven. Overall, you will need to shell out 800-1000 EUR per month to live comfortably as you study abroad in Belgium.

VISA REQUIREMENTS

When you plan to study in Belgium, you also need to learn about the visa requirements. European nationals can stay and study here without a visa or residence permit. You will only require your passport or personal identification. Additionally, you will have to register at the city hall on arrival if you wish you stay here for more than three months. For non-European citizens, a student visa is mandatory. You will have to get a Type C short-stay visa to stay for less than three months. A Type D long-stay visa is required for a longer stay in the country. You will have to apply at the local Belgian Embassy in your country of residence. The process takes six to eight weeks, so you complete it on time.

STUDY AND WORK OPPORTUNITIES

All foreign students in Belgium can work while studying. It includes even those from outside the European Economic Area. You only have to fulfil the criteria of being enrolled for a full-time programme in a higher education institution recognised by the Federation Wallonia-Brussels. You must also have a valid residence permit, while a work permit is needed if you are a non-EEA citizen. Students are permitted to work 20 hours a week during term, but the job should not hinder their studies.

POST-STUDY WORK VISA

A recent motion passed by the Council of Ministers in Belgium aspires to let non-EU international students have one year to get a job or start a business here after the completion of their course. Earlier, non-EU students had to return to their countries upon completion of their studies. But they can now stay back if they get a job with specific salary thresholds, find an internship opportunity with a government or international organisation, or start their own company in Belgium.

Belgium is a diverse country famed for the spirit of internationalisation, making it a melting pot for students from all over the world. It is an open and welcoming destination that embraces people from different cultures and backgrounds. Additionally, the Belgian government and even private organisations have funding opportunities for international students. You can get a high-quality education at a relatively low cost and the cost of living is reasonable as well. So Belgium definitely deserves to be on top of your bucket list.

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