How much does it cost to live in Belgium as a student?

Belgium is a federate state with a government that views education as a top priority. For that reason, universities in Belgium are increasingly becoming a hub for international students. Additionally, the cost of living and studying in Belgium for an international student is quite reasonable.

Learn more about the best universities in Belgium

Belgium is a favorite destination among international students for many reasons which include a high level of education, cultural diversity and a simpler lifestyle. Not only that, but the cost of living and studying in Belgium is reasonably low in comparison to other European countries. Furthermore, if you want to study at a lower cost, Belgium is the place for you.

For further information, check our ultimate guide to studying in Belgium

The cost of studying in Belgium

University fees in Belgium

Studying in Belgium is not particularly expensive. However, getting a scholarship will take away the financial burden of tuition and student visa fees. The scholarship will also cover the cost of student accommodation in Belgium.

Nevertheless, tuition fees in Belgium will range from €400 to €700 a year in most specialties. It should be noted, tuition fees for each individual university will vary depending on its location within Belgium.

Read our article on studying medicine in Belgium

The least expensive universities in Belgium

  • Thomas More University
  • UC Leuven-Limburg
  • University of Namur
  • Vrije Universiteit Brussel VUB
  • University of Liège

The cost of living per month in Belgium for an international student

For a student, the living cost in Belgium is fairly affordable, depending on the region and your lifestyle. Overall, monthly expenses cost between €800 and €1000. In a city like Brussels, accommodation, food and transportation are more expensive than if you live in smaller cities such as Liège, Antwerp or Ghent. Also, to save money, students can take advantage of a few discounts, and cook their food more often than eating out.

Student housing in Belgium

Apartments in central cities such as Brussels will normally be quite expensive. However, there are other, more affordable options for international students.

Read also this guide to learn how to find a student accommodation in Belgium.

Along with your monthly housing cost, you need to plan an additional expense of €90-€180 (for a one-bedroom accommodation) to pay for your monthly utility. This cost includes water, electricity and facilities maintenance. Moreover, internet connection, TV and other related services will cost between €40 and €100 per month.

Student accommodation options

  1. On-Campus accommodation is the ideal and most affordable option, especially for first-year students.
  2. Renting or sharing an apartment: to rent a one-bedroom apartment, you’ll pay on average €400 a month (bills not included).
  3. Homestay: in some cities, staying with a Belgian family is very expensive. That being said, the general cost per person including one meal will range from €400 to €600 a month per person.

Cost of transportation in Belgium

Normally, you’ll get a student discount for transportation in Belgium. Nevertheless, the cost of transportation is reasonably low in-country. It should be noted that the least expensive means of transport are trains and buses.

If you can ride a bicycle, you’ll experience less traffic than you would when taking public transport. It should be noted, private taxis are the most expensive option when it comes to public transportation.

Moreover, students who want to travel around Belgium can benefit from lower prices if they’re under 26 years old. In fact, the National Belgian Railway Company (SNCB) offers students 3 types of railway passes: Go Pass 1, Go Pass 10 and the Go unlimited. Moreover, Interrail offers a single pass with which you can visit up to 30 countries.

Food costs in Belgium

When it comes to food cost, the cheapest option is buying from the supermarket, then cooking your own meal as often as possible. Food expenses and groceries will cost about €300 per month. Moreover, eating in an inexpensive restaurant in Belgium will cost between €10 and €20. Furthermore, the cheapest supermarkets in Belgium include Aldi, Lidl and Colruyt.

Extra costs

Other living costs for a student living in Belgium include the books’ cost, entertainment expenses and the health insurance. Books will cost between €35 and €50 per month. Entertainment will cost up to €50 per month. Moreover, subscription to a national health insurance is mandatory. And depending on the policy, insurance will cost between €19 and €25 per quarter year.

Belgium is a culturally diverse country, which is evident by the number of official languages it has. In fact, university programs are taught in all of Belgium’s three official languages. The diversity in language and culture further attracts students from different nationalities to pursue their studies in Belgium.

To get some help funding your living cost as a student, we have compiled here the best scholarships you can apply for in Belgium.

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