Given its prominent role in the diamond trade, calling Antwerp (Antwerpen) a ‘hidden gem’ feels a bit on the nose. However, while it may not be one of the most talked-about student cities in the world, it has a lot to offer for international students looking for a beautiful, vibrant, innovative city to call home.
Antwerp is the second-biggest city in Belgium by population size, and home to over half a million people of more than 150 nationalities. The city marries the beautiful architecture of other Flemish cities with a distinct metropolitan – and cosmopolitan – buzz.
Located in Flanders, the Dutch-speaking region of Belgium, Antwerp has a long history as an important port city. Even nowadays, its harbour is still one of the biggest and busiest in Europe.
Beyond being the home of major diamond mining companies, Antwerp is also a fashion capital with a world-renowned fashion school, the Fashion Department at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts.
Antwerp is a mid-sized city with a handful of universities and universities of applied sciences:
Thanks to the harbour, Antwerp is an important hub for trading, shipping and logistics - which means there are plenty of job opportunities also for international graduates. Speaking Dutch is a big plus but not always necessary in a city of many expats.
As a student you can easily find part-time work. Just be sure to stay within the limitations of your student visa if you’re a non-EEA student.
The easiest way to get to Antwerp is by train or bus from Brussels, which you can easily reach by plane from most cities in the world and by high-speed train from Paris, Amsterdam or London. Antwerp is also within easy reach from other European cities with long-distance buses.