Belgium could be the perfect destination for students who want to develop their skills in one, two or maybe even three languages. Discover what it's like to study in the country...
There are three official communities, which each have separate governments and parliaments. As a result, the higher education system differs depending on where you are studying:
This is also known as the Dutch-speaking Community. It is merged with one of the three Belgian federal regions - Flanders, situated in the North.
Higher education institutions here include:
This community is made up of French-speaking Belgians, its parliament and its government. The majority of its citizens live in Wallonia, one of the three federal regions.
Provision of higher education is split between university and non-university institutions:
This community is made up of around 75,000 citizens, the majority of whom are German speakers. Some speak French. German speakers tend to enrol in either French or Flemish institutions, or study in Germany.
Each university has different entry requirements, regardless of the community in which it is located. Contact the institutions you are interested in to find out their entry requirements for the course you want to take.
The majority of institutions will accept UK qualifications, but some courses may require the student to speak either French or Dutch. However, there are some courses that give lectures in English.
You will also have to prove you can support yourself financially during your studies.
Citizens of the European Union (EU) are entitled to attend university in Belgium or any EU country. The same conditions apply to all EU citizens, whether a national of the country or not. This means that you are not required to pay higher course fees than students from Belgium and may be able to get help with tuition fees.
Grants and scholarships are available for EU students as they would be for Belgian nationals. However, they are assigned based on individual circumstances and many require qualifying students to have lived in the country for at least two years.
Non-EU students have access to a range of funding options. For more information, read the Study and Training Grants for Students from Developing Countries guide from the Belgian Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation. The guide also contains information for EU students.
Students attending UK universities can take part in the EU's flagship educational exchange programme, Erasmus . The scheme offers work placements, study opportunities and language assistantships, which last from three months to one academic year.
Financial support is also available to selected Masters and Doctoral students through the Erasmus Mundus initiative.
Your university must have a formal agreement with a partner university in another EU country. Check that your university is involved in the programme and offers it in your subject.
It isn't always necessary to speak the language of your host country and you can arrange intensive language courses before you go. Speak to the Erasmus coordinator at your university about available opportunities.
As an EU citizen, you are permitted to live in any EU country while studying as long as you:
The documents you require to remain in Belgium will depend on your length of stay and your nationality. Non-EU nationals usually always need a visa.
To find out whether you require a visa, contact the Belgian embassy or consulate in your country, details of which can be found at Addresses of Belgian Embassies and Consulates Abroad .
Some countries also require you to register with the local authority after three months. Find out more at Europa - Rights, Conditions and Formalities .
This website is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with CSS enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets if you are able to do so.