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Despite having a population of just over 11 million, Belgium has some notable features. The country has three official languages (French, Dutch, and German), and is world-famous for its beer and chocolate. Its capital city, Brussels, is also the de facto capital of the European Union. Belgium is also one of the most prosperous nations in Europe, whose respected universities provide a steady stream of talented graduates to work within its primary industries of manufacturing, finance, and trade. It has been able to elevate its economy to one of the strongest on the continent partly due to its privileged geographical position, bordering Germany, France, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands as well as being within touching distance of the United Kingdom.
International students make up 10% of the total student population. While the country has incredible linguistic diversity, many higher education courses are taught in English – no doubt a big attraction to potential international students. With the European Parliament housed in Belgium, graduates will have access to some fantastic internship, work experience, and networking opportunities.
Tuition fees are very reasonable in Belgium. Master programs can vary hugely in price, but the top business schools in Belgium are likely to charge around EUR€40,000 in tuition fees. Accommodation costs are largely in line with Belgium’s European neighbors, so expect to pay between EUR€300 and €600 per month. The Belgian government requires international students to have a budget of at least EUR€730 (around US$800) per month
Students from outside of the EU need a visa to study in Belgium, while students with EU/EEA, Swiss, or UK nationality do not need a student visa. The current visa application fee for students is EUR€208.
Belgium houses many universities in the world’s top 200 considering its small size. KU Leuven is listed within the top 100 in the world across several rankings, while other notable institutions include Vlerick Business School, Ghent University, and the University of Antwerp.
Belgium has a strong job market with a low unemployment rate. As a rule of thumb, the country’s main industries are divided regionally. The northern Flanders region is home to lots of services and high-tech jobs, while the southern Wallonia region is more focused on manufacturing. The Brussels-Capital Region, meanwhile, is where you will find plenty of financial, governmental, and political opportunities, as it is the home of both the European Union and NATO.
International students make up around 10% of the total student population, which is one of the higher figures in Europe and marginally lower than the likes of France (12.8%), the Netherlands (12%), and Sweden (10.8%).
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