With its world-renowned higher institutions, multicultural society, and opportunity for international connection, Belgium is definitely the perfect destination for every student who wants to study abroad. After all, these are the main reasons anyone would want to study outside their home country in the first place.
However, it is not just the modern learning-facilities, or the presence of several international organizations that make Belgium a great place to study. The affordability of Belgian schools, despite being equivalent to the prestigious schools in the West,is actually what makes the country stand out. The Belgian government ensures that Belgian citizens and foreigners who wish to study in Belgium, have access to quality education at little or no cost at all, depending on your financial need. With a tuition fee of 33 euros – 830 euros, you can go ahead and studyany course in the undergraduate or postgraduate level.
WHY CHOOSE BELGIUM
High quality student life:in addition to high quality education, you are sure to also have a high quality student life in Belgium. The country has an efficient transportation sector, an excellent healthcare and an easy access to recreational facilities. Being a student only makes these services accessible and affordable.
Affordable tuition : tuition fee from the undergraduate level up to the postgraduate level is affordable in Belgium. The authorities invest heavily in higher education, thereby bearing the actual cost of studies. This means that both Belgians and foreign students have access to high quality education at a reasonable cost.
A foreign student may study in any Belgian university under scholarship, either provided by the school or by any other external entity. However, if you do not have a scholarship, and are able to provide evidence of financial need, you may get financial support in the way of tuition reduction, registration fee reduction or even accommodation benefits.
Usually, foreign applicants whose countries appear on the UNO’s list of Least Developed Countries do not have to pay any tuition at all.
Multicultural and diverse society:Belgium is highly globalized country, with a third of its population being of foreign origin. The country itself is divided along three communities – the French speaking group, the Dutch speaking group and the German speaking group.
Studying in Belgium gives you the opportunity to connect with people of different backgrounds. And if you have always wanted to learn a new language, this is an opportunity for you to do that.
Opportunity to study in English: although the official languages in Belgium are Dutch, French and Germany; a majority of the population speak English. As a result, there are also courses taught in English language in many Belgian colleges and universities.
Tertiary education in the country is categorized into two groups. The Flemish (Dutch) community and the French community. The learning languages in these two communities are Dutch and French respectively. But, as has been stated earlier, there are several international programmes that are taught in English language.
Among the tertiary institutions in Belgium are the universities, university colleges, the royal military academy,the institutes of architecture and the colleges of art. The last two are only found in the French community. All of these can award both the bachelor’s and master’s degree; and only the universities can award a PhD.
WORLD RANKING OF BELGIUM UNIVERSITIES
Belgium has many reputable schools with strong international outlook. As a matter of fact, more than 8 Belgian schools are featured in University world ranking, and at least 7 of those are in the top 300.
Top on the list are;
KatholiekeUniversiteit Leuven: this is a Dutch-speaking university founded in 1425. It is also the largest university in Belgium. It is ranked 71st in the QS world ranking and the 1st in the country. The university offers courses both for the undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
University of Ghent: this is another Dutch-speaking university, and it is ranked 125th in the world. It has 11 faculties, of which the life sciences is ranked in the global top 100. The school caters for both graduate and undergraduate students.
UniversitéCatholique de Louvain: this a French-speaking university in Louvain-la-Neuve; with satellite campuses in Tournai, Charleroi Brussels and Mons. It is ranked 153rd in the world.
- VrijeUniversiteit Brussel (182nd, QS)
- UniversiteLibre de Bruxelles (205th, QS)
The admission requirements into any school in Belgium depends on the programme you are opting for, and the level of study.
The requirement for undergraduate programmesmay differ for various schools, therefore, it is important to obtain the appropriate information from the school you are interested in. However, it is common for most schools to request for a certificate of completion of secondary education. You will also be required to fill an admission form and to write an entrance examination.
To be admitted into the masters study, you must hold a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent. Likewise, to be admitted for a doctorate degree, you must hold a master’s degree.
However, PhD applicants are required to also have the consent of a supervisor and an approved thesis.
After your admission has been accepted, and you have been given an invitation. Then you can apply for a visa to enter Belgium.For nationals of countries who do not need visa to enter Belgium, simply present your passport instead.
LIVING CONDITION IN BELGIUM
Living in Belgium is not very expensive, especially for a student. With the student ID, you can get discount in transportation, healthcare and several other expenses. However, you should know that the cost of living in Belgium depends on your lifestyle generally, and the kind of accommodation you choose.
Here is an example of a typical student’s monthly budget:
Below are prices of goods and services in Belgium in 2017;
|A loaf of bread||2€|
|A can of soft drink||1.5€|
|A cinema ticket||8.5€|
|10 bus or underground tickets||14€|