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Why Study in Belgium – Top Reasons, Universities & more

Updated on 07 November, 2023

Neha Uppal

Neha Uppal

Sr. Content editor

Belgium is a country in Western Europe. With a population of just over 11 million, it is one of the smallest nations in Europe. In addition to being a great country to visit or reside in, Belgium is also a fantastic choice for students, given its robust higher education system and abundance of well-regarded universities. Because of its ability to deliver high-quality education to European and international students, the Belgian educational system has attracted a considerable pool of intellectual talent over the years. 


Several postgraduate courses are offered in English, which students can study in a bilingual setting. This article extensively covers the top reasons why a student must consider studying in Belgium. 

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Top Reasons to Study in Belgium

In addition to speaking three native languages, people in Belgium also speak English pretty well. The conviviality of Belgians is also well-known, which is always a major plus when people visit a new place. Putting aside the fun facts, Belgium is renowned for being the geographic center of Europe and a center for global networking. Here’s a closer look at the reasons for choosing Belgium for study:                                                                                                                            

It is a hub for innovation

In many fields, Belgium is a hotspot of innovation. According to business design and innovation strategy consultancy Board of Creativity, “Belgium is a high magnetic forcefield when it comes to recruiting innovation talent. The famed comic book movement, fashion technology, and even how people use the Internet of Things to process big data quickly at one of Europe’s busiest ports in Antwerp are all examples of how innovation permeates almost every aspect of this small northern European nation. Inventions appear to sprout out of the earth in Brussels. Belgium has also been lauded as a leader in sustainable e-commerce.

Outstanding quality of life

Belgium is renowned for its security, excellent standard of living, and dynamic culture. Belgium has a wide range of attractions, from its world-class healthcare to endless culinary delights. Cities with a wealth of architectural diversity, such as Brussels, Antwerp, and Belgium, are magnificent, while castles, peaceful gardens, and historic battlegrounds offer a different perspective. In the QS “Best Student City Rankings,” Brussels is ranked 38th for its abundance of facilities geared toward students.

It welcomes international students.

Belgium is a multicultural nation well known for its internationalization spirit, making it a particularly warm, accepting, and open location for international students. The Belgian government and numerous other organizations provide overseas students with funding and scholarship options. Compared to many other European nations, Belgium also offers comparatively low tuition prices and cost of living than many of its western European neighbors. Given its high standard of living, this is particularly tempting.

  • Students encounter a fascinating culture

From its outstanding food and exciting festivals to its beautiful architecture and picturesque scenery, Belgium can lay claim to a rich cultural heritage. Belgium is one of the nation’s cultural trips chosen for its bucket list because of its importance in the world of art, great landmarks, and “the Belgian sense of humor.”

It might provide access to a global career

Major international organizations like the EU, NATO, the eurozone, World Trade Organization, and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development were founded with Belgium as a founding member. Additionally, its capital city of Brussels houses the headquarters of numerous international organizations, giving it a crucial position in the global arena. The second-largest press corps in the world is based there as well.

Belgian support for multilateral collaboration has always been among the loudest, and it is “part of diplomatic DNA.” Its strategic location and unprotected borders, which encouraged the adoption of neutrality, diplomacy, and mediation as effective defensive tactics, are at least partially to blame for this.

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Top Universities in Belgium and Their Ranking

Although Belgium is covered in medieval castles and monasteries, there is still an opportunity to make mention of some of the best universities in the world, universities that have received excellent rankings and are among the top institutions globally. Look no further than Belgium for an excellent education with some of the best universities in the world.

Cost of Studying in Belgium

Whether international students are accepted into public or private universities determines the cost of their education in Belgium. Higher tuition fees apply to private colleges than to public ones. Students from EU or EEA nations are required to pay less than students from other nations.

Professional undergraduate degrees, which can be pursued in university colleges, are more vocational and prepare students for the real world. The academic Bachelor’s is often studied at universities and prepares students for further study. Three years are required to complete a bachelor’s degree program, which offers a variety of subject options.

Full-time Master’s programs last two years, while Law, Medicine, Psychology, and Engineering programs may go longer. A dissertation is typically the final product of a course that combines teaching and research.

Doctoral degrees are the highest level of education that can only be conferred by universities. Courses can be taken in various academic subjects and typically last four to six years.

Students from the EU will have to pay a maximum of only €906 a year for studying in Belgium. As for non-EU international/Indian students, fees are still reasonably affordable at around €4,175 per year. (Source)

Scholarships for Students in Belgium

Some universities or organizations provide scholarships for international students in Belgium. Here are a few illustrations of scholarships available to students from abroad:

  • Master Mind Scholarships
  • ARES Scholarships
  • Erasmus Mundus Scholarships

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Requirements to Study in Belgium

Depending on whether a student wants to study in the Flemish, French, or German-speaking communities in Belgium, the admission requirements for studies at public higher education institutions may be different.

General requirements for UG:

A candidate may be eligible for higher education studies in Belgium if he/she has successfully finished upper secondary studies in one of the Lisbon Convention signing countries, holds a valid school certificate, and is eligible for higher education studies in the home country.

General requirements for PG:

A candidate must have a relevant bachelor’s degree or an equivalent degree to apply to a Master’s program at a Belgian university.

General requirements for P.h.D:

A candidate must have a corresponding diploma or Master’s degree program to apply for doctoral study at a university in Belgium.

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Student-Friendly Cities in Belgium

One of the developed nations in Europe, Belgium has a good standard of living, access to social services, and education. This nation is renowned for its public safety. This tiny nation has three official languages: German, Dutch, and French. Its Dutch language, in particular, has a distinctive variety called Flemish. More than 100,000 students attend school in Belgium to pursue their intense scholarly passions. Let’s investigate Belgium’s top student-friendly cities.


Brussels is well-known for its food and gastronomy, as well as its historical and architectural landmarks, some of which are included as UNESCO World Heritage sites, such as Grand Place, and the pleasant aroma of Belgian waffles. There are three French-speaking Université libre de Bruxelles campuses, which enroll roughly 20,000 students. European studies and bioengineering are the most well-liked faculties. 


In the city of Antwerp, there is a significant Belgian institution called the University of Antwerp. This institution is the third-largest university in Flanders, with roughly 20,000 students. It is distinguished by its rigorous educational standards, globally competitive research, and entrepreneurial mindset.


The provincial capital and largest city of Flemish Brabant is Leuven. East of Brussels, it is around 25 kilometers away. Due to the location of KU Leuven, the largest university in Belgium, Leuven has been referred to as a university city since 1425.


In Belgium, Ghent is both a port and a university. It is Belgium’s third-largest city. The city does an excellent job of maintaining medieval buildings. An old university, Ghent University, was established in 1817. The university, one of Belgium’s top institutions of higher learning, provides 11 faculties and a variety of course offerings.


Liège is located in eastern Belgium. It is the Walloon region’s most significant city economically. A significant public university in the Belgian French Community is the University of Liège.

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Cost of Living in Belgium

The estimated monthly costs of living in Belgium are 820.36€, excluding rent. In large cities, students could require a bigger budget, although this primarily relies on their spending habits and the type of lodging they choose. 

This includes food, groceries, traveling, recreational, and utility expenses of a single person/student.

Accommodation in Belgium can cost an average of 809.57€ for a one-bedroom apartment in the City Centre and 650.83€ for a one-bedroom apartment outside the City Centre.

Here is a list of living expenses in some of the student cities in Belgium:

Cities in BelgiumAverage Expense

Source: QS Rankings 

Post-Study Work Options in Belgium

Depending on a student’s country and circumstance, they may additionally need to obtain a Belgian visa or permit if they want to study there. 

If a student intends to stay in Belgium for longer than three months to study, participate in a student exchange, or complete training, they will typically require a Belgian student visa unless they are from the European Union or European Economic Area.

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Types of Visa in Belgium:

Short-term visas: These visas allow travelers and businesspeople to stay for up to 90 days.

Visas for non-immigrants: These are longer-term temporary visas for study or employment on contracts with a set length of time, where the holder has no intention of remaining in the nation for an extended duration.

Immigration visas: Long-term visas are available for people who desire to live permanently or for an extended period in Belgium for reasons like work or retirement.

Work Permit Visa: Allows the holder to serve indefinitely for any employer. A student must first work in Belgium in order to qualify for a long-term work visa. On their behalf, Belgian employers submit work permits.

Entrepreneur Visa: Non-EU citizens who wish to launch a business or establish themselves as independent contractors in Belgium must apply for a professional card, which serves as a license to engage in commerce and independent commercial activity.

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Neha Uppal

Sr. Content editor

Neha Uppal is a passionate content creator and editor. She carries 7.5+ years of experience working with leading edutech companies where she worked as a Faculty, Community Manager, and Content Marketeer. At upGrad, she is helping out people keep informed about the scopes and opportunities of studying abroad via informational articles/blogs.

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