Study Abroad in Brussels

Back to Programs

A Guide to Studying Abroad in Brussels

Great things come in small packages when studying abroad in Brussels. Size doesn’t matter when visiting this impressive city. Enjoy a rich mixture of French and Dutch culture in one of Europe’s most important key players in global politics and business. It is often referred to as the Capital of Europe because of how many events it hosts such as NATO, the European Council, and the European Commission gatherings. The world meets among the quaint streets and 17th century buildings. So dive into the waffles, beer, and chocolate that make Brussels a wonderful choice for an international education program.

Geography & Demographics

Brussels has a population of over 1 million and is the largest city in Belgium. It is located in north-central Belgium which is bordered by The Netherlands, Germany, and France. The United Kingdom sits across the English Channel. The prime location and excellent transportation system allows for quick and easy day trips to Paris, London, Amsterdam, and Cologne. The temperate climate offers a mild weather year round with gentler winters and cool summers.

Food & Culture

As a birthplace to waffles and haven for chocolates, the entire city is a tour of culinary genius. Chocolate shops, some with sculptures over two feet tall, line the streets. The variety is truly endless and patrons can be found doing everything from nibbling a piece with coffee or even snorting it!

What is commonly known as a Belgium waffle in the United States is most similar to the Brussels waffle. The golden delight is still fluffy on the inside but more crispy on the outside. Another variety, the Liege waffle is actually more popular and is more dense and sweet. Enjoy breakfast all day long or treat them more like a dessert by adding whipped cream and fruit. Popular main dishes include the world renowned steamed mussels with fries and a side of freshly roasted chestnuts or tartine de plattekeis, a snack of sliced white cheese.

Brussels is located along what is known as the language frontier of Belgium. Three languages are spoken prevalently throughout the city so it is a great place to learn another language or maybe even two! Pick between Dutch or French all while knowing English is easily accessible. Dutch is more prevalent in the northern area of the country and French dominates the south and capital city.

Both the feel of the city and the people who live there are bright and inviting. Since Brussels is a cultural and political hub there is always something going on including lively nightlife and lots of live music.

Things to Do

The heart of Brussels is known as the Grand Place and grand it is. The area is filled with the city’s most impressive architecture including the town hall and buildings trimmed in gold. The multitude of medieval and Renaissance structures is one of the most impressive in all of Europe.

Some other well known architectural landmarks are the stained glass windows of the Cathedral of Saint Michael and Saint Gudule. The impressive cathedral took over 300 years to build. The detailing extends from the statues surrounding the entrance to the intricate pulpit. It is the oldest gothic style cathedral within the Benelux, a union of states comprised of Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg. 

There is also a great selection of museums and festivals that focus on everything from art to the military and waffles to music. The Royal Museums of Fine Art is actually four different museums that offer over 20,000 paintings, sculptures, and drawings. The Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and of Military History is built on the original training grounds of the Civil Guard and strives to provide an all encompassing view of the military and its place in society and history. So whether students want to spend a day learning about the development of the military or the evolution of the waffle, there is a museum for everyone.  

The city also provides outdoor activities in sprawling parks and beautiful botanical gardens. Festivals are frequent and take place year round so if the upcoming one doesn’t interest you, have no fear, another will soon follow. Iris Day pays homage to the lovely flower which is used as the emblem of Belgium and the Belgian Beer Weekend is filled with thousands of brews from around the world. Others include the Brussels Film Festival, and the weekly Roller and Bike Parade. Expect to find plenty of concerts and food at all of them.

Studying in Brussels

The city has a longstanding and well established educational system offering students a wide variety of study abroad programs. As home to NATO and the headquarters of the European Union, it is a prime location for studying politics or international business. Both student housing and host situations are commonplace.

The BCA program offers students a smaller campus at Vesalius College, an American style institution which is partnered with Vrije University, one of Belgium’s most prominent universities. Choose from Art History, Business, Communications, European Studies, and Political Science. The program is very inclusive providing students with everything from meals to language training and orientations. The study abroad program is offered year round so students can spend a full year or just a summer abroad.

Read More

written by:

A Guide To
Studying Abroad in Brussels


 Find Study Abroad Programs in Brussels Now


BUAbroad: Belgium Brussels Internship (Summer)

A center of international politics for more than 60 years, Brussels remains the place to study the ongoing developments and challenges of the European Union. Students in the eight-week summer Brussels Internship Program enroll in one required course and one internship course, each carrying four Boston University credits. Students live in one-bedroom, double occupancy apartment-style accommodati...


This listing has been saved 31 times

Low Cost - Budget Study Abroad With CSA

The Center For Study Abroad (CSA) offers low cost, non-profit study abroad programs worldwide. Since 1990. See website to review programs and register. The programs are open to all. It is easy to register and qualify for any of the programs. Participants are guaranteed a quick confirmation. They get the chance to earn college credit. They benefit from the flexible schedules, housing, travel, ...


This listing has been saved 2 times

ISA Study Abroad in Brussels, Belgium

As one of the founding members of the European Union and also the home to the EU, Belgium holds a very important international seat in Western Europe. It is a tri-lingual country with different regions speaking French, Dutch and German. The capital, Brussels, is officially a bilingual city, conducting business and daily life in both French and Dutch.


CIEE Advanced Liberal Arts in Brussels, Belgium

You’ll feel like you’ve landed in the center of everything in the beautiful city of Brussels, considered to be the heart of Europe. At the prestigious Université Libre de Bruxelles, you’ll improve your French or Dutch language skills while absorbing everything you can about Belgium’s culture and politics. With peer language mentors, internship opportunities, and exciting cultural activities and...


6 Amazing Countries and a Summer Like No Other!

Voyager Europe (Spain, Portugal, Italy, France, Belgium and the Netherlands) - we are the experts in summer, multi-country, programs in Europe! We are the innovators of the home-away-from-home design. Our participants keep their own room in a modern residence in an upscale Madrid neighborhood for the entire 30 days. We take four separate multi-day trips by plane or high-speed train from our hub...


This listing has been saved 1 time

Live & Learn Dutch in the Flanders Region

The Flanders region is the Dutch-speaking northern part of Belgium. The largest and most well known city in Flanders is Brussels. This European region has endless tales of history behind it and is world renowned for its stunning architecture, museums, cathedrals and canals. There are 23 million native speakers, and another 5 million that speak Dutch as a second language! While not one of th...


This listing has been saved 1 time

Switzerland International Studies and Multilateral Diplomacy

Examine intergovernmental, supranational, and regional organizations’ strategies for and responses to current challenges in the international system. From its base in Geneva, this program provides a thorough background in international studies, using an experiential, case study approach. The program addresses the most contemporary international issues through classroom seminars and through l...


This listing has been saved 7 times

International Internships - Brussels

Gain self confidence, new skills, valuable work experience and an outstanding resume while working in an exciting and challenging internship in Brussels. Brussels is not only the capital of Belgium but many also consider it to be the capital of Europe. Brussels is the home of the European Commission, the EU Council of Europe, and the European Parliament. It is also home to the political arm o...


This listing has been saved 2 times

Study Abroad in Belgium

Get ready to embark on a journey of discovery. A Youth For Understanding USA (YFU) study abroad program is an experience that will immerse you in the lives, cultures, and communities of a real family in one of more than 40 countries around the globe. An adventure where you'll learn in a year, semester or a summer, what life is like for teens in another part of the world. An experience that w...


This listing has been saved 3 times

Study in Belgium with Vesalius College

About Vesalius College Founded by Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Boston University in 1987, Vesalius College is an accredited higher education institution offering undergraduate, graduate and executive programmes in English to students from over 60 nationalities who strive for international education and careers. Constitutive of our identity are an international and interdisciplinary mindset...