Belgium is a small country in Western Europe that has always been an influential player throughout the history of the continent. Having undergone a very tumultuous past as a key battleground during both World Wars, today Belgium has risen to become one of the most tolerant, diverse, and globally-oriented nations in all of Europe. With a handful of highly respected international universities to boot, where better to go than to earn your degree abroad in Belgium?
Belgium sits in the northeastern regions of the European continent and is home to some 11 million citizens. The country is distinctly divided demographically between the Dutch speaking north, which constitutes about 59% of the population, and the French, speaking south which constitutes the other 41%. There is also a small German speaking minority, and many Belgians speak English fluently as a second language.
Brussels is the capital city and the most popular location where to earn your degree abroad in Belgium. A sprawling metropolis encompassing 19 municipalities and home to nearly 2 million citizens, Brussels is a multicultural city with beautiful architecture and big time historical intrigue. It is also a key global city that is very influential in international politics, hosting the headquarters of organizations such as the European Union and NATO.
Other destinations where you can earn your degree abroad in Belgium include the cities of Durbuy and Liege, both much smaller than Brussels but affording rich academic opportunity nonetheless. Belgian universities remain largely divided between the Dutch speaking Flemish communities in the north and French speaking Wallonia communities in the south, each organizing their own educational systems separately. Be sure to take language into account when searching for the right destination for your degree abroad program in Belgium.
Academics & Degrees
Belgium is a great country where to earn your degree abroad for all sorts of reasons. Many students decide to pursue their degree abroad in Belgium because of their higher quality academics; Belgium has the 19th highest ranked education system in the world, as well as one of the highest enrollment rates in postsecondary education. It also boasts several universities which are internationally ranked and thus highly sought after for admission.
You can pursue your degree abroad in Belgium at the undergraduate or postgraduate level, depending on where you are in your studies. While admission to a Belgian university means that you will have access to pursuing a wide range of academic tracks, some of the most popular degrees specifically among international students include French, economics, business, law, and international relations.
There are several prerequisites you will need to take care of in order to be considered for admission to a Belgian university. For starters you will need to have a high school diploma recognized by the country, and certain majors (especially those in the sciences) may also require that you complete an entrance exam. Depending on where you study, you may also need to take an exam demonstrating your proficiency in either French or Dutch in order to earn enrollment into a degree program in Belgium.
Scholarships & Costs
How much you will need to pay in tuition for your degree abroad in Belgium depends largely on your home country. Students from within the European Union can benefit from a largely state-funded education, while students from outside the EU may end up paying a considerable amount more for their degree.Belgium is also a fairly expensive country to live in, so be sure to make a financial plan before committing to earn your degree abroad; our Scholarship Directory can be a great place to start.
Accommodation & Visas
Campus dormitories are generally the most popular form of accommodation for international students pursuing their degree abroad in Belgium, providing the opportunity for complete immersion into local student life. You can also opt to live off campus in a private apartment in most cases, or spend a couple years doing each if you are embarking on a multiyear program!
Students from inside the European Union will not have to apply for a visa in order to earn their degree abroad in Belgium, while most students from outside the EU will usually need to obtain permission with the endorsement of their host university. For more details on Belgium’s visa policy as it pertains to your home country, check out our Belgian Embassy Directory.
Benefits & Challenges
Globally Central. Though a small country, Belgium plays a large role on the global stage. With key branches of the EU, UN, and NATO located across the country, the atmosphere of international influence is palpable.
Multilingual. French, Dutch, German, and English are all commonly spoken across the country, giving international students the opportunity to train themselves in any one of these second languages while pursuing a degree abroad in Belgium.
Historically Dynamic. Belgian has been on both ends of many global trials and tribulations over the course of the past two centuries. Earning your degree in Belgium is the opportunity to learn firsthand about one of Europe’s most fascinating national histories.