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Academic Year and Language of Instruction in Belgium

Belgian Education is administered and composed three communities-French, Flemish and German-speaking community and is divided into three levels- primary, secondary and tertiary (higher) education. Primary education includes six years of study, followed by  six years of secondary education. Students after successful completion of secondary education opt for higher education.

Language of Instruction

The language of instruction in Belgium is Dutch, French and German. Each community’s education system operates around the language of that community- French in the Federation Wallonia-Brussels, Dutch in the Flemish Community, and German in the German-Speaking Community.  Also, the educational institutions in all the communities have programmes/courses in English as well. 

Academic Year

School Academic Year

In Belgium, pre-school, primary and secondary schools academic year commences on 1st September and ends on 30th June. There are also vacations/breaks between the school terms, see the details below:
  • Autumn Break: 1 week at the beginning of November
  • Christmas Break 2 weeks around Christmas and New Year
  • Carnival Break: 1 week in February.
  • Easter Break:  2 weeks around Easter.
  • Summer Break:  Starts on 1st July and ends on August 31st 
  • Ascension Break:  Thursday and Friday in early May to mid June

University Academic Year

The Higher Education Institutions in Belgium have semester system. The Universities and Colleges academic year are split into two equal semesters of 14 weeks of classes. 

First Semester

The first semester of the Universities in Belgium commences in the 3rd week of September with no autumn holidays. 

The first semester of the Colleges in Belgium begins in the 2nd week of September with the "Autumn Break" of 1 week. 

The Christmas holidays begins around 20th December after the 14 weeks of classes. In January, examinations are held.  After these examinations the universities have holidays of 1 week known as the 'semestrial vacation'. 

Second Semester

The Universities' second semester begins in early February.

The second semester of Colleges in Belgium begins in the end of January, immediately after the examinations and at the end of February is the spring break. 

Then comes the ‘Easter holidays’. The Universities as well as Colleges in Belgium have the Easter break. After Easter, the classes commence again and go on until the end of May, followed by 4 weeks of exams in June. After the examinations are over, 3 months of vacations are given to the pupils.  Pupils who haven’t passed in some of the subjects in their curriculum in January and June are required to sit for the exams again in the second academic term at the end of August. 
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