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Belgium

Belgium

Quick Facts & Figures

  • capital

    Brussels
  • language

    French, Dutch, German
  • currency

    Euro (€) (EUR)
  • government

    Federal
  • religion

    Roman Catholic
  • timezone

    CET (UTC+1)

Belgium is a developed country, with an advance high-economy in Western Europe bordered by France, Netherlands, Germany, and Luxembourg. It is divided into three highly autonomous regions and three communities: the Dutch-speaking regions of Flanders in the north, the mostly French-speaking Wallonia region in the south, and the German-speaking cantons in the east. It is made up of six different governments because of linguistic diversity in the country.

The country achieves very high standards of living, life quality, healthcare, education and is categorized as very high in the Human Development Index. Even though it has various religions which compose of 60.7% Christianity, 32.0% No Religion, 5.2% Islam and 2.1%  other religions, it was rank as a safest and peaceful countries in the world.

Despite its political and linguistic divisions, the region corresponding to today's Belgium has seen the flourishing of major artistic movements that have had the tremendous influence on European art and culture.

Studying in Belgium

Are there scholarships available? How can I finance my studies?
There are many scholarships offered by the Belgium government and even the schools themselves. Visit the Edukasyon profiles of the schools you are interested in to check if they are offering any scholarships.
There are also some international student loans available from different loan giving bodies. University representatives usually work in tandem with their financial aid department that focuses on helping students find options to finance their education. Explore our partner schools here, and click "Send Inquiry" to get connected with your university representative.
What are the required languages for studying in Belgium?
Belgium has 3 national languages: Dutch, French and German. Leuven lies in the northern, Dutch-speaking part of Belgium called "Flanders". Most people in Leuven also speak French and English relatively well.
Why should I study in Belgium ?
Belgium have three native languages, but people there are quite fluent in English. Belgians are also known to be very friendly - which is always a huge plus when you are just arriving somewhere new. 

Belgium's education ranks as 19th best in the world by the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) coordinated by OECD. There are plenty of international school catering to the expat community. It operates under Bologna System, which essentially improves the quality of education and creates an easier process for students when switching from European countries. 

Aside from its gorgeous historic monuments, castles, cobblestone architecture, beautiful art work , delectable food and festivals, Belgium is certainly enriched with well-rounded and cultures educational experience. 

 
What are the requirements for studying at a school in Belgium?
Generally, schools in the Belgium will ask for your:
  • Enrollment at an approved university/educational institution,
  • Sufficient income to live in Belgium without needing income support,
  • Comprehensive health cover

The specific requirements will vary depending on your school, course, and level of study. Visit the Edukasyon profile of the school you like to find their specific requirements. For a list of schools in Belgium looking for Filipino students, see here.
Do I need a visa? How do I get it?
Philippine passport holders doesn't need a visa if they will only stay in Belgium for not more than 90 days as part of Schengen agreement. If they need to stay longer than that, they must apply for a long stay Belgian visa. This is applicable to all Filipinos who are going to Belgium to work, study, as an au pair, or for cohabitation.

Requirements:
  • Philippine passport (must be valid for at least 1 year)
  • Fully accomplished long stay Belgian visa application (2 copies, with signature)
  • 2 passport-size color photographs (recent, white background, attach to application form)
  • €180.00 visa application fee paid in Philippine peso
  • Medical certificate (http://www.diplomatie.be/manila/default.asp?id=28&ACT=5&content=20&mnu=28)
  • NBI clearance
  • DFA authenticated parental consent letter for minors
  • Letter of admission to Belgian school or university
  • Copies of diplomas and certificates
  • “Annexe 32” – Proof of scholarship, Proof of sponsors financial capability (employment letter, tax certificate, pay slips)
  • For applicants enrolled in a private Belgian university – letter explaining why applicant is studying in Belgium, Proof that course or subject is not offered in the Philippines (Official Department of Education letter or certificate), Proof of language proficiency
How do I choose a school in Belgium ?
Schools in Belgium offer many undergraduate and graduate programs in every academic field. After deciding (1) What your career goals are and (2) What academic programs can help you achieve those goals, it's time to do some research on which school is best for you! There are schools in the Belgium that are looking for Filipino students just like you! Explore them here.

Living in Belgium

What is the lifestyle like in Belgium
  • The main religion in Belgium is Christianity 
  • About 58% of the population adheres to the Roman Catholic
  • Members of the Protestant and Eastern Orthodox chuches together constitute around 7%
  • It is common for both parents to work in Belgium
  • The average family has two children. Cats and dogs are popular pets.
  • It is common for students to continue to live with their parents after high school. It is not common for elderly people to live with their grown children.
  • Customs Belgian teens greet their elders with 'bon jour', and their friends with 'salut'. Good friends are often greeted with kisses.
  • Belgians eat 'continental style', with the fork in the left hand, and the knife in the right. Both the fork and knife are actively used.
  • Drinking is loosely regulated, and it is socially acceptable for Belgian teens to drink.
  • Belgian teens are accustomed to being fairly independent.
  • Dress is fairly casual. Like American teens, they wear jeans with sweaters, sweatshirts, or T-shirts.
  • Belgium has an excellent public transportation system, but private cars are also used. The driving age is 18, most people get their license then.
  • Bread and potatoes are the traditional staple foods.
  • At Christmas, people eat sweet bread in the form of the child Jesus; at Easter, children are told that eggs are dropped in the gardens by flying churchbells; and sugar beans are distributed to those who visit a young mother.
  • Belgium is considered the world's diamond capital.
  • Belgian farmers breed some of the finest draft horses in the world, including the famous Percherons.
  • Wealth is most often expressed through houses and cars.
  • The upper classes act discreetly, and people make little distinction between classes or social strata
  • The unemployment rate in (1999) was slightly lower for men than for women
  • The wage differentials between men and woman are the lowest in the European Union, with women earning on average 91 percent of a man's salary
  • The divorce rate has increased to about one in three marriages.
How much is the cost of living in Belgium?
A student's monthly budget will be about 850 Euros - which includes books, health care, transportation, food, accommodations and leisure. Though this is one estimate, it is important to realize that your cost of living will depend on the specific program you are associated with, what your standard of living is, and where you choose to study as big cities can be more expensive than smaller towns.
Are there Filipinos living in Belgium?
With over 12, 224 Filipinos estimated to be living in  Belgium works primarily as tradesmen, in the hospitality industry, as domestic helper, or as seamen on Belgian-flagged ships. The Philippines Embassy in Brussels organizes events around major Filipino holidays, including the Philippines Independence Day and Christmas. 

Working in Belgium

Can I work while I’m studying in Belgium?
You will be permitted to work as long as you are enrolled at a Belgian educational institution and have a valid residence permit. You can work up to 20 hours a week during term time, as long as it does not interfere with your studies. You will need to get a written fixed term contract from your employer, which is known as a ‘student employment contract’, and a type C work permit.
What are the benefits of graduating from a school in Belgium?
Graduating from a school in Belgium can greatly benefit your future career! Depending on your school and their industry connections, your university could connect you to some of your dream Australian companies and maybe even internships. Schools in Australia are also generally high in quality and are recognized all over the world. You can also improve your English language skills and expand your network by meeting fellow students from all walks of life. These, among other factors, can improve your employability once you graduate!