Belgium is a country in northwest Europe bordered by the Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg and France. Belgium is a federal monarchy, divided into three main regions: the Dutch region of Flanders, the French region of Wallonia and the capital region of Brussels – a mix of French and Dutch. Belgium has three official languages: Dutch, French and German. Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg were known as the Low Countries.
Brussels is the capital of Belgium, Flanders and the European Union and is one of the most densely populated areas in the world. Brussels harbours the headquarters of the Council of the European Union, of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and 1000 other international organisations. The city draws together cultures from all over Europe.
Belgium has a population of over ten million people and one in every ten inhabitants of Belgium is a foreign national.
Founding EU member
Known as the heart of Europe, Belgium is a hub of international cooperation and networking, offering an enriching educational experience. According to the European Union’s Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, Belgium is one of the countries with the highest quality of life in the European Union.
The country consists of three major regions, organized under a federal government: the French side (Wallonia-Brussels), the Dutch side (Flemish community) and the German community. This multicultural environment offers a lesson in tolerance, openness and determination.
Belgium is situated at the crossroads of Europe, close to major capitals such as Paris, Amsterdam, London or Berlin. The country has three official languages: Dutch, French and German. English is also widely spoken, especially in Brussels.
As the centre of European politics and global business, Brussels is an ideal location to get an international internship or enrol in a business study programme. Universities in Brussels offer internationally recognized degree programmes centred on European studies in a variety of subjects. International guest speakers, focused on international cooperation, teach many of these courses.
20% of students (40% at doctorate level) enrolled in universities in Wallonia-Brussels are foreign students.
Belgium offers an excellent healthcare system that supports students. The Belgian authorities cover a high percentage of the cost of higher education.
Universities provide options that enable students to switch between fields of study or include training courses in their study programmes. This provides more flexibility and control over future career paths.
Depending on the location of the university, candidates must hold a high-school certificate that is recognised as equivalent in Wallonia-Brussels or Flanders in order to be admitted to bachelor studies. Students who hold a foreign high-school certificate must submit an application to obtain a recognition of equivalence.
Courses in Medicine and Dentistry, Engineering and Management Sciences usually require a written exam in addition to the high-school diploma. Candidates for studies in Arts usually have to take a practical skills exam.
To be admitted to a Master’s degree programme, foreign student must generally hold an undergraduate degree in the same field. In some cases, the Admissions Panel of the institution may take into consideration previous professional experience.
Admission to doctorate studies is reserved to students who hold a graduate degree or equivalent.
Make sure to ask for admission information at the university you plan to attend. Some universities may include specific additional enrolment requirements.
Read the article about how to apply for a degree in Belgium.
According to the ranking of the Swiss Economic Institute, Belgium is the most globalised country in the world. The Programme for International Student Assessment ranks Belgium's education as the 19th best in the world.
As part of the Bologna Process, the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO) certifies study programmes in the Flemish region.
The three national languages are Dutch, French, and German. In general, the language of instruction at Belgian universities is dependent on the language of the local community where the institution is located.
Especially higher education institutions in the region of Brussels, offer a wide range of English-taught programmes or bilingual programmes. There are some Master’s and Advanced Master’s degree courses taught entirely in English. If you want to study abroad in Belgium, you can find English-taught programmes in law, economics, social and political sciences, management, arts, applied science, health science and more. Research-based programmes are also usually offered in English. Most universities offer course materials in the language of your choice, providing great opportunities to study abroad in Belgium,.
The majority of courses in Belgium are taught in French. It is usually necessary to pass a French language proficiency examination to enrol in a French-taught study programme. During the school holidays or throughout the academic year, higher education institutions organise French language courses targeting students coming from abroad. The majority of universities have a language centre, which organise courses in English or French as a foreign language.
Nationals of the Member States of the European Union (EU) and of the European Economic Area do not need a visa to reside and study in Wallonia-Brussels.
Non-EEA citizens need a visa or an authorisation to enter Belgium. Non-EEA students should apply for an Authorisation for Provisional Stay or Visa Type D, allowing them to stay in Belgium for a period longer than three months. For non-EEA students, the Authorisation for Provisional Stay is also commonly known as student visa. As a rule you must apply for this visa at the Belgian Consulate or Embassy in your country.
When visiting the embassy or consulate you will need the following documents:
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