Studying right in the heart of Europe in a multilingual country, perhaps in the de facto EU capital… sound exciting, doesn’t it?
Belgium can offer all that, plus some of the best beer in the world – and a wealth of English-taught degrees, of course. The price tag is also lower than in other destinations.
Tuition fees at public universities in Belgium are typically around €1,000 per year for EU students and between €2,500 and €7,500 per year for students from outside the EU. Private institutions and business schools charge higher amounts.
For details, it matters in which of the country's three regions you want to study: the Dutch-speaking Flanders region in the North; the French-speaking Wallonia region in the South; or the Brussels capital region in the center.
Remember that these are just general guidelines, and institutions may have different fees.
The following table will give you an idea of the tuition fee range at some of the top universities in Belgium.
|University||Tuition fees for Bachelors per year||Tuition fees for Masters per year|
|Brussels School of Governance||
Ca. 15,000 EUR
Ca. 15,000 EUR
|Howest University of Applied Sciences||
1,000 EUR for EU students, up to 7,000 EUR for non-EU
|KdG University of Applied Sciences and Arts||
1,100 EUR for EU students, 7,100 EUR for non-EU
1,000 EUR for EU students, ranging between 1,200 EUR up to 7,000 EUR for non-EU
1,000 EUR for EU students, ranging between 1,000 EUR up to 7,000 EUR for non-EU
|Université catholique de Louvain||Ca. 800 EUR for EU students, 2,500 EUR for non-EU||Ca. 800 EUR for EU students, 2,500 EUR for non-EU|
|Université de Liège||–||Ca. 800 EUR for EU students, 2,500 EUR for non-EU|
|Université libre de Bruxelles||Ca. 800 EUR for EU students, 2,500 EUR for non-EU||Ca. 800 EUR for EU students, 2,500 EUR for non-EU|
|University of Antwerp||1,000 EUR for EU students, 3,000 EUR for non-EU||1,000 EUR for EU students, 3,000 EUR for non-EU|
|Vlerick Business School||–||From 18,000 EUR to 21,900 EUR|
|Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)||1,000 EUR for EU students, 3,900 EUR for non-EU||1,000 EUR for EU students, ranging between 1,000 EUR up to 3,800 EUR for non-EU|
Tuition fees are usually paid annually, once the application is accepted, or after enrolment.
Some universities have a shorter deadline than others, so you will need to check with your institution. While KU Leuven asks for payment via invoice within two weeks after your registration, at UC Louvain tuition fees are due by 31 October.
Some institutions offer the opportunity to pay in instalments – for example, the University of Antwerp or Vlerick Business School. If this is something you are interested in, make sure to inquire with the international office and follow the procedure to draw up a payment plan.
All universities will have their own application deadlines.
However, EU/EEA students will usually have more time than other international students.
While, generally, non-EU students will have to submit their applications by February/March to start in September, EU students will have longer – sometimes until June or September.
Study.eu Tip: It’s crucial to check with your chosen university, as some institutions will process applications on a rolling basis or have different deadlines for different courses. Ensure you have all relevant deadlines in your calendar before you start the process.
Yes, there will be application fees at Belgian universities.
Application fees can vary quite substantially and range between €50 and €200.
These fees are sometimes non-refundable, but that is not always the case.
At UC Louvain, students from outside of the EU (with a few exceptions) will be asked to pay €200, which will be discounted from their tuition fees if their application is accepted. At KdG University of Applied Sciences and Arts, a €128 fee is deducted from tuition fees if the application is accepted – while students with a Belgian or Dutch diploma can have that fee reimbursed if they don’t enrol.
There are not a lot of opportunities to study in Belgium for free. Universities in Belgium charge tuition fees, but these are comparatively lower than in other European destinations.
However, there is one way to study for free or to pay lower tuition fees: obtaining a scholarship. Read the following paragraph to find out more about the scholarship opportunities international available for international students in Belgium.
Yes, there are scholarships available for international students in Belgium. Some are offered by the government, others by individual universities or other organisations.
Some scholarship schemes are merit-based or targeted at students from a specific country or region.
Here are some scholarship opportunities as an example:
The cost of living as an international student in Belgium will vary according to your lifestyle and location. However, in very general terms, you can expect to spend approximately between €700-800 to over €1,000 a month.
Accommodation ranges between €300 to €500 a month, but private apartments or studios will easily cost more. As a capital, Brussels can be more affordable than others - it has cheaper rents on average than London, Amsterdam, Paris and Berlin.
Your monthly food bill will be around €250-€300. As much as the lure of Belgian fries and chocolate will be hard to resist, remember that cooking at home will keep your budget in check.
As a student, you’ll also have access to some discounted public transport deals, such as a discounted season tickets on trains and other transport networks. In Leuven, for example, a yearly bus pass will cost you €25, while in Brussels under-24s can get a yearly pass for as little as €12.
Yes, international students can work while studying in Belgium.
Regardless of visa restrictions, tax benefits to student job salaries only apply for up to 600 hours per year.
After graduation, non-EU students can apply for a residence permit for an orientation year and stay in Belgium for 12 months to look for a job or start a business.
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