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Study in Belgium for Indian Students – Cost, Universities & Scholarships

Updated on 16 April, 2024

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team

Belgium is a popular destination for international students to pursue higher studies. Many Indian students opt for Belgian universities because they wish for a strong career path and foreign education. Belgian colleges and universities offer courses mainly in three native languages: Dutch, French, and German. But the good news is that there are plenty of courses available in English too. So, the international students can pick up any program, from top MBA courses to short-term certifications, if they wish to study in the country.

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Reasons to study in Belgium:

Studying in Belgium can be an excellent option for Indian students eager to continue their studies abroad. Belgium has world-class universities which offer bachelor, master, and doctorate degrees with superior guidance by the faculty. Moreover, a student-friendly environment is what students look for. From fine arts to science and business studies, you can study various courses. There are around 1,500 study programs you can find in Belgium across universities. Also, if you are searching for vocational or technical training courses or short period courses, there are options for you. Some colleges and universities in Belgium offer those courses even for international students. Some benefits you must know about studying in Belgium as an Indian student are as follows:

  • Globally recognized universities: In addition to being globally known for academic excellence, Belgium universities offer a wide range of courses to choose from. Some of the most popular disciplines include International Relations, Political Science, Economics and Journalism.
  • English taught courses: Although there are three official languages of Belgium: French, Dutch and German. There are some universities that offer English taught courses. To name a few, KU Leuven, Ghent University, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and Hasselt University are some of the recognized universities offering English taught courses. 
  • Scholarships: Before moving to your study destination, you need to find out a way to manage your finances. Scholarships are a helpful way to reduce your tuition costs before you commence your studies. Top universities in Belgium offer a wide range of scholarships for international students. The award offered by these scholarships cover the tuition fee and living expenses of students. 
  • Exceptional quality of life: Along with being academically superior, Belgium is known for its safety, high quality of life and vibrant culture. There are numerous historical attractions to explore such as the Grand Palace, the Atomium, Ardennes, the medieval tower Belfry of Bruges. 

Top Universities in Belgium

The below table shows the five most prominent universities of Belgium

University QS World University Ranking 2023Annual Tuition fee
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KU Leuven) 76 €998
University of Ghent143€1032.85 to €5,996.36
Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL) 195 €880 to €4,401
Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)251€1,036 to €4,072
University of Antwerp 280 €3,268 to €6,115

Study in Belgium: Academic  Intakes for international students 

Intakes Application deadline 
Fall intake:  Being the primary intake, fall intake is highly preferred by international students. It starts from September and goes on till January. The applications for fall intake close in mid July 
Spring intake: Spring intake starts in February and goes on till June. The admission rate in spring intake is slightly lower than fall intake. The applications for fall intake close in December. 

Check Eligibility to Study in Belgium

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How expensive is it to study in Belgium?

The cost of studying in Belgium for international students depends upon whether they are getting into public universities or private universities. Private universities will charge more than public universities. However, students from EU or EEA countries have to pay less than students from other countries. So, if you are an Indian student, you are most likely to pay around 1000 USD (74,382.50 INR) to 5000 USD (3,71,912.50 INR), while students from EU or EEA countries need to pay nearly 950 USD (70,663.38 INR) per year to get into a public university in Belgium. 

International students can lighten the cost burden by earning money from part-time jobs. Yes, you can earn it while you study in Belgium. Though an EEA /EU student does not need permission, students from other countries must ask their universities approval to do jobs while pursuing a study program. International students can work up to a maximum of 20 hours a week. Scholarship programs are also there to help you, but there is a lot of competition to avail them.

Here is a list of some of the affordable universities in Belgium-

  • KU Leuven
  • University of Namur
  • Hasselt University
  • Vrije Universiteit Brussels
  • Ghent University
  • University of Antwerp
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Study in Belgium: Cost of living 

Generally, the factors that come under living expenses include accommodation costs, utilities, transportation, and food expenses. Though the cost of living in the Belgium depends on the city you want to live in, the average costs for each category are mentioned in the table below 

CategoryCosts 
Accommodation costs

On-campus accommodation -€343 to €526/month 

Off-campus accommodation -€632 to €843/month

Utility costs €90 to €303/ month
Food expenses €303/ month 
Transportation costs €248/ month 

Study in Belgium: Scholarships 

Some of the scholarships offered by top universities of Belgium are mentioned  in the table below:

University-specific scholarships 

University name Scholarship Scholarship amount/ award
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KU Leuven) Marc Vervenne Fund PhD ScholarshipsNot specified
University of GhentMaster Mind Scholarships€11,660
Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL) International Lhoist Berghmans Master Scholarship €10,121
Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)VUB Scholarships for Master of Science in Photonics Engineering €10,121

Source: University’s official website

Applying for a Belgium student visa 

After you get accepted at a university in Belgium, you must apply for a student visa for moving to the country. In order to study in Belgium, Indian students need to apply for a D-visa and then follow it with an application for a residence permit. 

For issuance of a Belgium student visa, Indian students can submit their visa application at their nearest Belgium Consulate in India. They are advised to apply for a student visa at least two months before their departure. 

Study in Belgium: Language proficiency requirements

Candidates applying to Belgium universities need to prove their English language proficiency as a prerequisite for admission. 

University English language proficiency requirements 
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KU Leuven) 

IELTS: 7

TOEFL: 94

Cambridge English Exam (CAE): 185

University of Ghent

IELTS: 6

TOEFL:  87 to 559

Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL) 

IELTS: 6.5 to 7.5 

TOEFL:  92 to 109 

PTE: 62 to 75

CAE: 169 to 191 

Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)

IELTS: 6.5 

TOEFL: 79 

CAE: 170

University of Antwerp 

IELTS: 6.5 

TOEFL: 79 to 80 

How to apply for a Belgium student visa? 

Candidates can follow the steps given below to apply for a Belgium student visa:

  • Create an account at the following address: https://visaonweb.diplomatie.be/ 
  • Fill the details and choose electronic visa application form from this website
  • You will receive the copy of the visa application form at the email address you have mentioned in the account. 
  • Print that form and take that to the Visa Application Center. 
  • Bring the required supporting documents and the visa & service fees. 

Once you submit the supporting documents, the remaining formalities include taking your passport size photograph and collecting your fingerprints. After this step, your visa application will be processed by the authorities. 

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Frequently asked questions

What are the requirements to study in Belgium?

The admission requirements in Belgium vary according to the university you are applying to. However, some of the general requirements include previous academic transcripts, English language proficiency test scores, passport copy, minimum four passport size photographs, recommendation letters, personal statement and updated CV. 

Is education free for international students in Belgium?

No, the education in Belgium is not free for international students. However, the tuition fee is comparatively lower than other European countries. Students enrolling in top Belgium universities can expect to pay tuition fees between €880 to €6,115. 

Is Belgium a safe country for international students?

Europe is generally a safe destination for international students, and Belgium is no exception. It is especially known for its safety. Thousands of students join various educational courses in Belgium every year, who report that the country offers a good quality of life. The country has a student-friendly environment, people there are also very humble.

Can you work after studying in Belgium?

Many students get jobs directly from campus placement in Belgium. Every student with a permanent residency can do jobs after studying in Belgium. But a non-EEA student would need to have a work permit if they are not a permanent resident of that country.

Is there any scholarship for international students to study in Belgium?

Yes, there are both government-sponsored and university-sponsored scholarships for international students. However, most of them are competitive, and you need to have a good academic profile to bag one.

Can an Indian earn a doctorate in Belgium?

 Indian students can apply for UG, PG, and many other courses offered by Belgian educational institutes. So, yes, you can earn a doctorate from Belgium.

What are some top courses to study in Belgium?

Social sciences and business studies are very popular among students in Belgium. Medicine, political science, business economics, journalism, and humanities are great courses to study at Belgium universities.

Can I find courses in English at Belgian universities?

Though most of the courses are taught in Flemish and French, there are many popular courses offered in English, especially for international students by different universities.

How much does it cost to study in Belgium?

The cost of studying at top universities of Belgium ranges from €844 to €5,870. 

Is Belgium good for study?

Known for offering one of the best academic programs in Europe, Belgium is definitely an ideal study destination for students looking forward to building their career. 

Is IELTS necessary for Belgium?

As most Belgium universities offer English-taught courses, candidates applying into them are required to prove their English language proficiency. Therefore, IELTS exam is necessary to apply in Belgium. 

Can I study and work in Belgium?

Yes, students can study and work in Belgium. While studying, you can take up part-time roles that will help you manage your finances. 

Can I stay in Belgium after study?

You can no longer stay in Belgium after completing your graduation as your legal stay as a non-EEA student will expire. However, in order to stay back in the country you must apply  for a different residence permit, based on another legal purpose of stay in Belgium, before the expiration date of your residency as a student.

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team

We are a dedicated team of study-abroad experts, ensuring intensive research and comprehensive information in each of our blogs. With every piece written, we aim at simplifying the overseas education process for all. Our diverse experience as journalists, content writers, editors, content strategists, and marketers helps create the most relevant and authentic blogs for our readers.

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