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Belgium is a country that can offer you a fantastic study experience. Despite its size, the country has a big cultural history and has over 11 million residents. It’s also the home of the European Union (EU) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), making it a political hub. Located in Western Europe and bordering with Germany, Luxembourg, France and the Netherlands, Belgium can be roughly divided into three separate areas. In the northern area of Flanders they speak mainly Dutch (Flemish), in the Southern area of Wallonia they speak mainly French, and in the Brussels-Capital area most people speak both French and Dutch. Belgium is a densely populated country, and is a welcoming environment for international students.
Sitting right in the heart of Europe, Belgium is wonderfully multicultural and would be a fantastic choice for any international student. Known for its high quality of life, healthcare and education, the country ranks as one of the safest and most peaceful cities in the world.
There are many excellent higher education institutions throughout Belgium, offering high quality education at all levels. You will find 7 Belgian universities in the QS World University Ranking top 500, and 4 of these are in the top 200! The top ranked is KU Leuven, coming in at 71st place. Institutions in Belgium cater well for international students, and you would be in the perfect place to explore Europe throughout your studies.
Hungarian higher education has represented academic excellence for more than 600 years. There are 68 higher education institutions in Hungary, ranging from top research universities to small, specialised colleges.
Hungary joined the Bologna process in 1999. The Hungarian Act on Higher Education was inspired by the objectives of the Bologna process and all main fields of study have been restructured in accordance with the new, three cycles degree system to help prepare students for the labour market and for lifelong learning.
Many universities are situated in Budapest, which is the capital of Hungary and the country’s main political, cultural, commercial, industrial and transportation centre. Half of Hungary’s university students study in the capital, and the majority of professors work here, too. The proportion of researchers working in the city is even higher.
There are many well-known universities in cities outside Budapest too; Debrecen is home to the University of Debrecen, whose main building is a widely recognised work of architecture. The university has many departments and is a major research centre in Europe, hosting many international students.
The University of Szeged was founded in 1872 and consists of 12 faculties, where you can study almost everything ranging from humanities to business studies or health sciences.
The University of Pécs is the oldest university in Hungary and ranks among the first European universities. It has 10 faculties and offers a wide range of training programmes covering nearly every possible field of study.
Hungary is one of the 15 most popular tourist destinations in the world, with a capital regarded as one of the most beautiful cities.
Despite its relatively small size, Hungary is home to numerous World Heritage Sites and UNESCO Biosphere Reserves; is famous for its rich cultural tradition and hosts many cultural events and festivals; and is also known for being the country of origin of many Nobel laureates.
The cost of living is relatively low in Hungary and thanks to its location, Hungary is a perfect base if you are looking to explore many countries in Europe!
A developed country with a high-income economy, Belgium became independent from the Netherlands in 1830. Belgium is steeped in history and you will be able to discover many amazing tourist attractions, such as medieval castles and impressive cathedrals.
Due to the country’s small size, there is little regional difference in climate. All areas benefit from cool summers and moderate winters that are heavily influenced by the North Sea and Atlantic Ocean.
The top tourist attractions in Belgium include:
Belgium uses the Euro (€) for its currency.
There are both public and private institutions in Belgium, and your tuition fee will depend on which of these you choose. If you are from an EU/EEA country and choose to go to public institution, you can expect to pay around €850 per year. If you are from any other country, you can expect to pay between €1,000 and €4,000 per year. For a master’s or doctorate degree, most students will have to pay an application fee. A private institution will most likely charge more than this. There are scholarships available, but they are competitive. For more information, contact your chosen institution.
Your living costs will depend on where you choose to live, as well as whether you stay in university accommodation or private accommodation. On average, your living costs can be between €750 and €1,100 per month. This includes accommodation, travel, groceries and course equipment.
You may be able to get a part-time job in order to help with your living costs, depending on where you are from. If you are from an EU/EEA country, you will most likely be able to work without any additional permissions. If you are from any other country, you may need to seek permission in the form of a work permit in order to work during your studies, and will probably be allowed to work up to 20 hours. Your university will be able to provide information about this.
Another cost that needs to be considered is health insurance. If you are an EHIC holder, you will be able to access healthcare at the same price as Belgian citizens once you have joined a ‘mutuelle’. If you do not hold an EHIC, you will need to either purchase health insurance, or ensure that your current policy is valid for your stay in Belgium. You will then need to join a ‘mutuelle’ to receive healthcare benefits.
If you are from an EU/EEA country, you will not need to apply for a visa to study in Belgium. If you are from any other country, you will need to apply for a visa to study in Belgium. You will need to get a ‘long stay’ visa, and can start this process at the Belgian embassy or consulate in your home country. It might take some time for your application to progress and your visa to be granted, so make sure to leave plenty of time.
Belgium has three official languages; Dutch (Flemish), French and German.
Whilst there are courses taught in all of these languages, but the majority are offered in French. You will no doubt be able to study programmes in the English language.
If you are applying for a course taught in any of the official languages of Belgium, you will need to have advanced language skills, and be able to pass language proficiency tests. If you are applying for a course taught in English, you will also need to pass an English language test. These tests will make sure that your language skills will meet the required standards for learning. It is common for institutions to offer courses to improve your language skills if you are not able to pass proficiency tests.
The capital city of Belgium, Brussels is where you will find the headquarters of the EU and NATO. It is a centre of international cooperation, politics and affairs, with a vibrant mix of cultures and nationalities. The city is known for its historical and architectural landmarks, with some registered as UNESCO World Heritage sites.
The city is home to several universities, both French and Dutch speaking. The two main universities are the Université Libre de Bruxelles, which is French speaking and has around 20,000 students, and the Vrije Universitiet Brussel, which is a Dutch speaking university with around 10,000 students.
Home to just over 118,000 people, the city of Bruges is a canal-based city and sometimes referred to as the Venice of the North. The historic city centre is a UNESCO World Heritage site, where there is plenty of medieval architecture still intact. Within the Church of our Lady you can see the sculpture Madonna and Child, which is believed to be the only Michelangelo sculpture to leave Italy within his lifetime.
Bruges is an important centre for education in West Flanders. You will find the prestigious College of Europe, which offers postgraduate courses in European Economics, Law and Politics. Also located in Bruges is the United Nations University, which specialises in the comparative study of regional integration.