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Study and Living Expenses in Belgium

Belgium is known for its top-class education. It is a multilingual and multicultural country, known for its chocolates, Belgian waffles, magnificent castles, beautiful cities and historic monuments. Belgium has three official languages- Dutch, German and French. But people out there are fluent in English too. 

Belgium is a great and affordable place to study. Read the post to know about the course fees, living expenses, health and safety, travel and working conditions in Belgium. 

Cost of Study

In Belgium, the higher education is split on the basis of the language communities- Belgium French-speaking, the Belgium Flemish/Dutch language, and the Belgium German-speaking; hence the tuition fees vary from community to community and institution to institution. 

For Belgian students and pupils from the European Union (EU), higher education is financed mainly by the public authorities. Though, students are required to pay an annual registration fee, for each year of their studies. The fee amount varies depending upon the institution, the course of study type and financial aid eligibility of the students. 

The Non-EU International students are required to pay an additional registration fees. The amount varies depending upon the higher education institution and course of study. 

Tuition fees in Belgium for students that have got a bursary can be €80 (US$108) while non-bursary student are required to pay around €830 (US$1,120) per year.
Contact the individual institution to know about the exact tuition fees.  

Cost of Study in a University in Wallonia-Brussels

The basic tuition fee for 1 year of studies in a University in Wallonia-Brussels is € 835 . Along with the basic tuition fee, the Non-EU students must pay an additional fee. 

Cost of Study in a University College or Art Academy in Wallonia-Brussels:

The tuition fees vary depending upon the education type- long or short-term study programme-

Long Study Programmes: These programmes include Bachelor as well as Master degree programmes. For the final year of study, it amounts to €455  and for the other years of study, it amounts to €351.

Short Study Programmes: Include only Bachelor degree programmes. For the final year of study/speacialisation, it costs around €228 and for other years of study, it costs about € 175 .

Cost of Study in Flemish Community-Belgium/Flanders

Tuition fees in Belgium/Flanders is set by Flemish law and indexed on an annual basis. Contact the Flemish institution to know about the exact tuition fees. 

Living Expenses

The cities in Belgium are high-priced as compared to the rural areas. In Belgium, the monthly living expense is 550€ to 650 € inclusive of accommodation, transportation, food, and utility bills.

In Belgium: Wallonia-Brussels

You can expect to pay 850€ per month, inclusive of accommodation, food, health, transportation and utility bills.
 
Course books: 35€
Accommodation: 400 €
Food: 300€
Healthcare: 20€
Public Transport: 40€
Miscellaneous (telephone,etc.): 55€
Total: 850 €

In Flemish Community-Flanders

Average living expenses are about €850  per month, inclusive of accommodation, food, study materials and transportation in Flanders.

Student Accommodation

Accommodation in Belgium is easily available. Students can rent a private room or flat, or go for University housing, or home-stay option is also available. To get the University accommodation, contact the housing office of the concerned Higher Education Institution. For any other kind of accommodation, you can go for a personal search via web or through specialised agency. The arrangements must be made in advance before the arrival.  

University Accommodation: This option is within your means, nearby to the campus and allows you to meet other students attending the University.  

Rent a Private Flat: This option requires you to sign a 1-year contract and you can expect to pay between €150 and €400 per month, depending upon the location and amenities.

Home-Stays: This option provides a great chance to know and learn about the Belgian language and culture. 

To know more about the Student Accommodation in Belgium, get in contact with the concerned university’s student support services or international student department. 

In French Community-Belgium Wallonia Brussels

University Residence: Students can go for University Residence. Individual rooms are given to students along with the basic facilities like kitchen, washroom, lounge area, etc. This type of accommodation is known as a “kots”. The average cost of a room is€270 per month. 

In Belgium-Wallonia Brussels, the average accommodation costs in the private sector for furnished rooms, apartments or studios may vary between 250 and 500 € per month, depending upon the location, facilities and accommodation type.

In Flemish Community-Flanders

Many Higher Education Institutions of Belgium/Flanders have rooms available for pupils. 

University Accommodation may cost around  €200  per month. 

Renting a studio flat may costs about €400 per month. 

Transportation

It is easy to travel in and around Belgium. You can travel around by bus, tram, metro, or taxi. 

Travelling by Train

To know about the trains schedule or to buy tickets, visit the SNCB website. You can buy tickets online and there are reduced fares and passes for the students.  

Getting Around by Bus 

Getting Around by Bus in Belgium is the most appropriate and convenient mode. The bus routes in Belgium are managed by three different companies-

De Lijn: The De Lijn is in charge for the Flanders network

TEC: This TEC is responsible for Wallonia

STIB: The STIB network is responsible for the Brussels metropolitan area.

Travelling In and Around by Tram and Metro

Travelling in and around Belgium by tram and metro is the best possible means. 

Students can travel by tram in the cities of Ghent, Brussels, Antwerp, and Charleroi. Also, the whole coast can be travelled by taking the coast tram  

The metro facility is presently only available in Brussels and is a part of the STIB network.

Getting Around by Taxi

Taxis in Belgium are mainly managed and run by private companies.  The companies get to decide the rates within the maximum rates specified by law. 

To know more about the Taxi service and companies, visit the Belgian Highway Code website  

Working in Belgium While Studying

International Students registered at a Belgian educational institution and having a valid residence permit of Belgium can work for at least 20 hours a week outside of school holidays, along with their studies. The students are required to obtain a written fixed term contract from the employer, which is called as a ‘student employment contract’. Apart from the contract, a type C work permit is essential to obtain. This work permit permits the holders to take on paid employment in any area for up to one year. The permit can be renewed. International students can work in the vacations without the permit. 

HealthCare

International Students who do not possess health insurance coverage must join a mutual insurance scheme called as a “mutuelle”. The “mutuelle” includes a part of the medical, hospitalization and pharmaceutical costs. 

Conditions for “Mutuella”-
  • Student must be registered with a higher education institution
  • He/She should possess a Confirmation letter/letter of acceptance issued from the institutions. 
  • The quarterly amount contribution is about 50 Euros per person. 
The Non-EU nationals who are covered by a healthcare insurance in their home country must check whether it covers them in Belgium, within the framework of international agreements.

The EU nationals are required to have a European health insurance card from the insurer of their home country.

Emergency Numbers

Save these emergency numbers-
  • Medical emergency service and fire department: Dial  100
  • Police: Call 101
  • European emergency number: Call 112
  • Card stop: 070 344 344070 344 344
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