Study Abroad Destination: Belgium

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Belgium, a beautiful country in the heart of Europe which offers quality education in all areas, specially language and arts. Belgium is famous for its art from the World War era and it is the most perfect destination for those who are willing to pursue their education in arts and culture. It is not just art, but Belgium is a perfect choice for language courses as French, Dutch and German are widely spoken languages in Belgium. Belgium is also home to many international organizations such as European Union and NATO.

Belgium offers many courses in different languages and in different fields. There are many high-ranked universities offering number of courses in English as well as other languages. Apart from arts, language and culture, universities offers many courses in technology and management. There are two official websites which help you to find courses and scholarships in Belgium, studyinbelgium.be (for Wallonia region, French speaking Belgium) and studyinflanders.be (for Flanders region, Dutch speaking Belgium).

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Credits: Business Insider

Apart from academics, Belgium is also famous for tourism and food. Sharing borders with France, Netherlands, Germany and Luxembourg, it is just couple of hours away from the nearby European countries. And don’t forget about the taste of Belgium, the Belgian cuisine is among the finest in world, specially for chocolates, fries and beer. Beer costs less than 2 Euro and meal at affordable restaurants ranges from 12 to 20 Euro.

Economy is quite stable, no ups and down as compared to other European counterparts. Jobs in arts and technology (IT) sector are in demand, but it is hard to find a job as a foreigner (non-European) because employers are required to confirm that no suitable Belgian nationals are available for that job. Due to its close proximity to some of best economies in the European Union, it is fairly easy to find job in Netherlands, Germany, France and Luxembourg. Language barrier is very less as compared to other European countries due to mixed cultures. There are around 7000 people of Indian-origin living in Belgium, mostly in big cities like Brussels, Ghent and Antwerp. Even due to mixed culture and languages, it is hard to make local friends because Belgians are just like Germans when it comes to connecting with others and leaving their comfort zone, but you can easily find some other foreigners looking for friends and wanting to spend quality time.

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Belgium also offers several scholarships to European and non-European students. Belgium is the most active participant in Erasmus Mundus Scholarship Scheme. Some universities don’t charge tuition fees and some charge relatively moderate tuition fees. Cost of living is similar to its neighbor countries and is around 600 to 700 Euro/month (300 for rent, 300 for food; and 100 for internet and other utilities). Part-time jobs are widely available in big cities such as Antwerp, Brussels, Ghent, Liege and Leuven.

When it comes to student life in Belgium, it provides much more than just academics. Night life in Belgium is very exciting and most of the clubs/bars open all night as they are famous for 8 PM to 8 AM opening hours. Minimum age of drinking in Belgium is 18 and strict dress code is followed. In most of the clubs, sneakers are not permitted and in some of them, jeans are not permitted either. So, to go to any club/bar in Belgium without any interruption, dressing Smart Casual is perfect choice. Gambling is on high in Belgium especially due to it’s location in Europe and the rising tourism industry. Minimum age for gambling in Belgium is 21 and requires ID proof.

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Here are some of the top ranked universities in Belgium:

  1. KU Leuven (82*)
  2. University of Ghent (129*)
  3. Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL) (154*)
  4. Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) (173*)
  5. Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) (181*)
  6. University of Antwerp (205*)
  7. Université de Liège (272*)

*World rankings according to QS World University Rankings® 2014/15

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Ashish Rana

Conspiracy theorist, curious engineer, modern science and civilization devotee, astrophysics aficionado, travel fanatic, blogger, award-winning inventor and an avid MOOC scholar.

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