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Study in Belgium

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A lot of students from across the globe dream of studying in Belgium. Find all information regarding further studies in Belgium in this article.

Being a multilingual country thanks to the coexistence of three languages, Belgium enjoys an attractive image and a pleasant lifestyle and environment. This is why it has been attracting thousands of students from across the globe year after year. The country's linguistic characteristics have proved to be beneficial for these students for long. However, appropriate planning is required before setting out to study in a country like Belgium.

Note that Belgium hosts many European and international schools (Ploteus program) where students who do not have a good knowledge of French, German and Dutch can register. Thus, language is not a barrier. Moreover, many colleges and universities offer classes in English. If you wish to learn another foreign language such as French or Dutch, you can also inquire with your university's language department, or with other language promotion institutes.

Student visa

European Union citizens do not require a visa to study in Belgium. However, non-European Union citizens have to apply for a student visa with the Belgian Embassy or Consulate in their home country to be allowed to study in the country. Documents to be produced to apply for a student visa are the following:

  • your passport (which has to be valid for at least one year)
  • a registration or pre-registration, or admission certificate from a Belgian university or any other recognized higher studies institute
  • proof of funds to support yourself during your stay in the country
  • a medical certificate
  • a copy of your criminal record.

Once you have moved to Belgium, you will have to register with the nearest Foreigners Register to your place of residence within 8 days. You will then obtain a resident permit which will be valid for one year, and which will be renewable. To be eligible to the resident permit, you will have to produce your registration certificate at the university of your choice.

 Good to know:

International students have to prove that they can support themselves during their stay in the country through a monthly transfer of a minimum of 611 euros on a Belgian bank account. You can provide this proof either with a bank loan or grant statement, or a commitment from a Belgian or foreign national who has been residing in Belgium for at least one year and whose monthly earnings amount to at least 1,584 euros per month, including the student's 611 euros plus 150 per dependent if any.

Enrollment

Enrollment conditions and requirements vary from one higher education institute to another. Hence, you are advised to contact the institute before proceeding. In general, documents to be produced are:

  • a photocopy of your identity card
  • a photocopy of your passport with the temporary residence permit stamp (for non-EU citizens)
  • passport size photographs (whether in color or black and white)
  • all documents which you have received by post regarding the registration
  • all documents relating to the grant application if any.

You will then be notified on the fees that apply during the registration process. During the 2012-2013 academic year, fees amounted to:

  • 835 euros in a university
  • 351 euros in a High School for the long course (increased during the last year)
  • 175 euros in a High School for the short course (increased during the last year).

Other additional fees may be required for non-EU students.

Accommodation

You can start by surfing the web to obtain all necessary information on KOTs, that is student rooms and studios which are found close to their universities. Moreover, Belgian schools and universities offer rooms for rent in the same region. You can check these out during registration.

 Useful links:

Diplomacy Belgium - Belgian embassies and consulates abroad diplomatie.belgium.be
Diplomacy Belgium - Visa application diplomatie.belgium.be
Study Flanders www.studyinflanders.be
Study in Belgium www.studyinbelgium.be
Liaison Office Brussels Europe www.blbe.be
Website of Wallonia-Brussels International www.wbi.be
Site for future doctoral students www.doctorat.be
Vlaanderen onderwijs.vlaanderen.be

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