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Opportunities for Foreign Students to Study and Work in Belgium

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Known for its modest size, Belgium is home to a few public universities, some of which were placed in the top 200 worldwide in the most recent QS World University Rankings. Everything you need to know about being an international student studying and working in Belgium is covered in this article.

Belgium is a popular study abroad destination in Europe that thousands of international students choose because of its significant language barrier. French, Dutch, and German are the three main languages of instruction and are formally recognized as the official languages of the nation. Nonetheless, the localities in which Belgium’s universities are located determine which official languages are spoken there.

Living Expenses and Tuition for Foreign Students in Belgium

While there are both public and private universities in Belgium, tuition costs are often reasonable at these schools.

Depending on their choice of school, non-EU students could expect to spend more, anywhere from 1000 to 4000 euros year, whilst EU students should anticipate to pay about 800-850 euros annually.

There is an application fee for international students pursuing undergraduate and master’s degrees. Scholarships are offered for this purpose, however they are typically highly competitive.

Living Expenses

Belgium’s cost of living varies according to the city you reside in, with the capital, Brussels, being the most expensive. Your lodging would take up the most portion of your budget, and if you choose to dine at restaurants most of the time, be advised that some of them offer pricey menus.

There are lovely dorms on campus as well as private homes, but for students who cannot afford private housing, campus accommodations are much more reasonable. On average, students spend between €750 and €1100 a month for housing, food, transportation, and other costs.

Another option is to take a part-time job to help pay for your education costs.

Food Prices

The ideal method to manage your money is to cook at home and buy groceries, however depending on where you live, eating out at restaurants can cost as little as 12 euros each meal or even less. On average, you would spend 150 EUR per month on groceries.

Cost of Transportation

For international students, trains and buses are the most convenient modes of transportation. A student’s monthly pass for public transit typically costs about 20 euros. Taxis can cost up to 25 euros for inner city travel, but if you want to rent a car or drive yourself, gas costs between 1.39 and 1.60 euros per liter, which might make driving more expensive than using the train.

Extra Expenses

Here are some examples of additional costs associated with residing in Belgium:

Application for Student Visa

Students from the European Union do not need a visa to study in Belgium; however, non-EU international students must apply for one in order to study there. To do this, they must visit the Belgian embassy in their home country. It is important to be sure you will be admitted before applying for a visa, as you will need to present your acceptance letter from the university as proof of admission.

International students must additionally obtain a student resident permit in order to study in Belgium. However, in order to study in Belgium, you must obtain a long-term visa, which can take up to 60 days to process. For this reason, it is best to begin the visa application process 70 days prior to your planned departure. If, on the other hand, you require a visa for a brief visit, you may be able to obtain one three weeks before to your intended departure date.

Documents Needed to Apply for a Visa

The following documentation is needed for the visa application process.

The foregoing is not an exhaustive list; other documents might be needed.

Resident Permit

As an international student, you can apply to become a resident at the regional employment embassy in Belgium. During the academic year, you are permitted to work 20 hours per week if you have a valid residency permit. During the holiday, it can be higher, and you might not require a work permit.

When you arrive in Belgium, you must apply for a residence permission for a period of eight weeks. To register for a residence permit, give the local municipal administration offices a call. You can apply for a work permit, open a bank account, and buy insurance in Belgium with the residency permission. You may, nevertheless, apply under certain circumstances to live on campus, and in any instance, assistance will be provided.

Note: You should apply for an extension of your residence permit if you need to extend your visa. It is advisable to schedule a meeting at least 14 days before to the expiration date. Applying must be done at the town hall or administration office in your community.

Belgium’s Top Universities for Studying

Belgium’s best universities include some of the following:

Opportunities for Foreign Students to Work in Belgium

Getting a part-time job is crucial if you’re an international student studying in Belgium and you want to finance your education. It will lessen the financial strain on you as a student in Belgium. However, the money you get from these types of occupations won’t be enough to cover your tuition; instead, it won’t do much to support your education—for example, by covering your entertainment or food expenses.

The kind of work you land may be mostly determined by your credentials, prior professional experience, and fluency in the local tongue. But meeting new people and learning the language and culture more quickly are facilitated by doing a part-time job.

For students enrolling in graduate programs or conducting research, part-time employment possibilities are preferable. There are few options for applicants enrolled in short-term certificate programs or undergraduate degrees. Part-time positions that are frequently offered to international students include;

Benefits of Pursuing Education in Belgium

There are several benefits to studying in Belgium, some of them are as follows:

The Drawbacks of Attending School in Belgium

The following are only a few drawbacks of studying in Belgium:

In conclusion, because of the high quality of education and affordable cost of living, studying in Belgium is a great choice for international students. Language barriers, however, can be an issue unless you can attend one of them to learn.


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