Studying in Belgium

Your new home has everything you’re looking for

Is there anywhere better to study than Belgium? When you choose Vlerick, you get to live and study in the heart of Europe. You join our diverse international community of students, professionals and alumni from all over the world. You live and learn on our campuses in the beautiful cities of Brussels, Ghent and Leuven – and you take the leap into expat life with the full support of our international office and diversity team behind you.

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Belgium – the heart of Europe

Belgium is one of Europe’s most vibrant countries to study in. Expats and students from across the world live and work here – making it the ideal place to build your network. International businesses and cultural heritage sites sit side by side – giving you opportunities for both professional and personal development. And it’s a stone’s throw away from major financial hubs like London and Paris that you can easily visit by train in a weekend. What more could you need?

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Brussels – Europe’s capital

When it comes to studying business, there’s nowhere quite like Brussels. Belgium’s capital city is also capital of the EU – and home to the headquarters of major financial and multinational institutions. These organisations attract people from all over the world, creating a diverse, multicultural population. This makes Brussels the perfect place to build a network to support you throughout your career – wherever in the world it takes you. 

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Ghent – where history meets urban life

Ghent is not just an architectural gem – it’s also a vibrant hub of culture, innovation and creativity. The historical capital of Flanders plays host to major music and film festivals and a diverse theatre scene – and the city’s university campuses add to its multicultural atmosphere. It’s student-friendly, pedestrian and bike-friendly and has great transport links – making it an ideal place to live and study.

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Leuven – a true university city

Home to our partner university KU Leuven and a population of 40,000 students, Leuven has everything international students are looking for. It’s one of Europe’s top innovative cities and a well-known technology hub. And its rich cultural scene means there are always plenty of things to see and do, all year round.

Success stories

Jose Victor Correa

Before moving to Belgium I had never even heard of Gent, but being in such a beautiful city was one of my highlights. It’s very expat and student-friendly – and I loved walking by the Leie after class. Moving to a new country can be challenging, but everyone at Vlerick made it feel like home.

Diana Filip testimonial Masters

A bonus of studying in Belgium is how close it is to great cities like Paris, Amsterdam and London – you can easily visit them in a weekend. I also loved getting to know Gent, Leuven and Brussels during the programme. And I really got to appreciate the love Belgians have for fries, waffles and beer.

Students

Check out our International Student Guide

Getting ready to move to Belgium? Our International Student Guide sets out everything you need to know – from applying for your student visa to finding accommodation as well as lots of other practical tips like accessing healthcare and opening a bank account. It’s a must-read before you start your Vlerick journey.

Our International Office

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply for a Belgian student visa?

We recommend applying for a student visa type D with multiple entries that’s valid for your entire programme. It can take up to two months to get your visa – so make sure you contact the Belgian embassy or consulate in your country as soon as you get proof of registration from our admissions office. 

You will need to pay an administrative fee of €200 to the embassy – and a long-stay visa fee of €180 (or the equivalent in your local currency). If you receive a scholarship, you don’t need to pay the administrative fee.

You will also need to prove solvency. There are two options:

  1. Blocked account: This is the fastest and most reliable way to do it. You can transfer €9,600 into Vlerick’s account and get a financial certificate to prove solvency. We then pay back the money in 12 installments of €800 from September 2021 to August 2022.
  2. Pledge of financial support (also called Annex 32): This involves a parent or other relative acting as a guarantor for your time in Belgium, your return journey and your medical costs. This is a riskier option, because the guarantor has to meet very strict requirements.

Extra step for Chinese students: APS

If you have a Chinese degree certificate, you’ll need to get an APS certificate before you can get your visa. There are two parts to this – verifying your degree and testing your language skills. Please contact the APS administration in Beijing to find out more: info@aps.org.cn

For more information, please contact your local Belgian embassy or consulate – or visit www.diplomatie.be.

How do I find accommodation in Belgium?

We really recommend using one of these platforms. They have always had very positive feedback from our students – and they verify the accommodation, so you can safely book without visiting first:

  • Spotahome.com: An online platform offering medium and long-term accommodation. Vlerick students can get a 30% discount on booking fees with the code: VLERICKDISC
  • Upkot: Student rooms and apartments near our campuses in Brussels and Ghent.
  • HousingAnywhere: Use HousingAnywhere to secure accommodation in Brussels before you arrive
  • www.xior.be: A Belgian company with over 4,000 rooms in Antwerp, Brussels, Ghent, Hasselt and Leuven

You might also see orange “A louer/Te huur” (to rent) signs in windows or on front doors of apartments as you walk around the city – contact the landlords directly to find out more.

If you’re looking for a student room or flatshare, keep an eye out for the words “Colocation” or “Kot” in adverts.

Find more information about accommodation – including tips and tricks – in our International Student Guide.

How can I use my Vlerick degree in other countries?

There are two options – getting an apostille (an official government issued certificate) or legalisation.

Legalising your Vlerick degree certificate (and transcript):

If you are in Belgium, visit:

Ministerie van Onderwijs, Vlaamse Gemeenschap:
Hendrik Consciencegebouw 1 B 01
Koning Albert II-laan 15
1210 Brussels
Tel.: 0491/99.68.42

If you are outside Belgium, send a scan of your certificate, transcript and ID to naric.legalisaties@vlaanderen.be

If you need an apostille:

If you are in Belgium, take your original documents (not scans) to:
FOD BZ Legalisaties en Consulaire Zaken
Karmelietenstraat 27
1000 Brussels
(from 9AM till noon)

If you are outside Belgium, send a scan of your certificate, transcript and ID to naric.legalisaties@vlaanderen.be – specifying which country you need an apostille for.

What is the average living cost in Belgium?

This largely depends on your lifestyle – but Belgium and Brussels are cheaper than many European capitals like London, Paris and Stockholm.

An average monthly cost – including housing, bills, food, healthcare and miscellaneous spending – is €900.