Several universities in Belgium are ranked among the world’s best, making it a top choice for international students. The quality of life in Belgium is high, so is the quality of higher education; with challenging curriculum.
There are lots of great opportunities for international students in this wonderful country and Belgium’s location makes it particularly easy for those interested in visiting neighboring countries like Germany and France.
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Belgium, which boasts of having one of the best weathers in the whole of Europe during the whole year, is a very multicultural nation, this makes foreigners feel welcomed.
Belgium is divided in the Flemish region, Wallonia, and Brussels, depending on where you go you’ll hear a prevalence of either French or Dutch. Therefore, you have to consider where it would be okay for you study if you have prior knowledge of any of these languages. Brussels, the country’s capital, appears to be the best option for studies. Also, tuition fees might vary depending on the region and the scholarships available.
This article focuses on ways you can study for free in Belgium. Note that the tuition fees in Belgium are not free, but there are lots of ways in which you can afford to study for free in Belgium.
Study in Belgium for Free
- University Scholarships
Belgian universities offer several scholarships that can cover a whole or part of a student’s tuition and living expenses. This scholarship helps many international students to study for free in Belgium. Some of the aids offered by Belgian universities include:
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
This institution’s Science school offers a scholarship for international students interested in Physics, Chemistry, Statistics, and Geography. This aid covers tuition for one year and health insurance. However, they can also award an amount for living expenses which is not specified. Students registered in a two-year program must have an exceptional academic record during the first year to be eligible for the same scholarship during the second year.
The Heritage Foundation offers scholarships for international students to boost students to present what they’re planning to do for their research project. This scholarship is strictly for masters and doctorate applicants. However, for those pursuing bachelor’s degree, there are other scholarships available at this university too.
This university offers masters’ grants explicitly for students from other developing countries. Ghent University scholarships offers students the opportunity to study for free in Belgium. This scholarship covers insurance and living expenses. Only about 10 applicants will be chosen to receive €1,000 per month. Note that Ghent is an expensive city to live in, therefore, it is best to combine this scholarship with a part-time job to meet up with the high cost of living. This scholarship is not meant to cover all of the students’ expenses.
- Government Scholarships
The Belgian government offers several scholarships as a way of drawing more international students to the country. Some of these scholarships include:
Erasmus Mundus Programs
This is one of the most common methods to study for free in Belgium. This program is offered in the whole European continent. In Belgium, one Erasmus program is explicit for the Wallonia-Brussels Federation. The program offers two types of grants:
- One focuses on students from outside the EEA
- The second is offered to EEA nationals
Students eligible for this scholarship must be interested in obtaining a masters or doctorate. Belgian universities are qualified for students that have gotten this grant.
VLIR-UOS Training and Master Scholarships in Belgium
These scholarships are intended for students who wish to pursue training courses or a master’s degree in Belgium. Students from countries located in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, are considered qualified for this scholarship. The courses dictated will be in English. The scholarship covers full tuition fees and living expenses. Students must not be older than 40 years to be qualified for this scholarship. Students with research experience and professional background are considered first for this scholarship.
Government of Flanders Master Mind Scholarship for International Students
This is another popular scholarships offered in Belgium. All students are eligible for this scholarship irrespective of their nationality, as long as they wish to pursue a masters’ degree in Flanders. Most people speak Dutch in Flanders, so it is best to get acquainted with the language even if your studies will be in English. Students from the USA, Japan, Palestine, and Mexico have a number of set scholarships made available to them yearly. Students must have a good academic background to be considered eligible for this scholarship which covers up to €8,000 yearly.
- Find A Suitable Job
Securing a suitable job is another way to finance your studies in Belgium. Note that you will need a residence permit to be qualified for work in Belgium. You can get your residence permit after you arrive in Belgium with your student visa. International students can work for up to 20 hours a week, provided there’s no interference with their studies. Moreover, there are countless opportunities for research programs and paid internships. This is quite beneficiary as it allows you to earn money while still doing something related to your field. A student can work for many hours during the holidays.
The high quality of education and the peaceful atmosphere in Belgium makes it a great destination international students. However, it might be a costly option for some students. So, it is best to consider all your options before deciding to come to Belgium for your studies.