Can I study in English in Belgium?

Belgium is home to significant European and global organizations such as the EU Commission, NATO and the European Parliament. Being a multicultural and multilingual country, it’s a common occurrence for Belgian universities to display a strong international profile. Foreign students who don’t speak French, Dutch or German have the option to study in English in Belgium.

Discover our list of the top 10 international universities in Belgium

Can you live in Belgium only speaking English?

The answer is yes, at least if you live in an international city such as Brussels. You can live, study and go through your everyday life speaking English. And it’s not unusual for French speakers to talk in English to Dutch speakers, or vice versa.

When it comes to university studies, international students won’t have difficulties to find a program in English. As a matter of fact, many universities in Belgium offer most of their postgraduate level courses are in English. Moreover, even if most undergraduate courses are either in French or in Dutch, there are a very few bachelor’s programs that are English-taught.

It’s worth mentioning that once you graduate, if you hope to work in the country, you might need to be fluent in one of the 3 official languages. 

What are the requirements to study in English in Belgium?

To find an English university in Belgium, you need to do a bit of research. Don’t hesitate either to contact your university directly and check if the program you want to apply to is offered in this language.

To apply at English-taught universities in Belgium, the common requirements include first and foremost a proof that you are a native or have a good command of the English language. The minimum level is usually B2 level. You’ll need your test scores in one of the most commonly accepted language tests: IELTS Academic, TOEFL iBT or PTE Academic.

Other necessary documents include:

  • Academic transcripts of records or grades
  • Previous degrees: high school diploma, bachelor’s (if you apply to a master’s), master’s if you register for a PhD
  • Copy of ID
  • Passport size photos
  • Proof of financial support
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Resume
  • Personal essay or statement of purpose.

As an international student, your documents must be translated in one of the 3 official languages in Belgium. Other additional documents may be required, so don’t hesitate to check your university’s website.

Learn also how to apply to Belgian universities

How much does it cost to study in English in Belgium?

Public universities in Belgium are affordable compared to institutions in the US, Canada or Australia. Usually, EU/EEA students pay lower tuition fees, starting around €950 per year. Non-EU/EEA students on the other hand have to pay the standard tuition fee of €9,620 per year. Other study costs might apply.

Read also our guide on the study and living cost in Belgium for international students.

English universities in Belgium for international students

There is no way to find out the number of English-taught programs at Belgian universities. Some databases come up with more than 20 universities offering bachelor’s degree programs in English. Some might find out more, but the disciplines that are often offered in English are IT, engineering and business-related subjects. 

Ghent University  

Ghent University is a top-ranking university in Belgium, which origins date back to 1817. The institution features 11 faculties which host around 50,000 students. Offering over 200 study programs, 73 of them are taught in English at master’s level. Study subjects are as diverse as aquaculture, bioscience engineering, to business engineering or food technology. But Ghent University also offers 3 bachelors of social sciences programs, taught in English.

Learn more about Ghent University 

University of Antwerp

Another high profile university in Belgium, the University of Antwerp offers 86 programs in English. The institution’s language of instruction is usually Dutch, but all the faculties offer study courses in English. The institution’s roots date back to 1852, but it got the status of university only in 2003 from the merger of 3 smaller institutions. And since then, the University of Antwerp has evolved to become one of the world’s most promising young universities.

Find out more on the university’s website 

Hasselt University

Hasselt University came into existence in 1971, making it the youngest university in Belgium. But despite being a young institution, the university went through a remarkable transformation to earn a well-respected status worldwide. Throughout 7 faculties and 3 schools, Hasselt University provides 5 masters in English and 3 other programs leading to a postgraduate certificate.

Learn more about Hasselt University 

Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB)

ULB has the highest number of international students in Belgium. It’s no surprise then that the university offers English-taught study programs in English. Founded in 1834, the university hosts 32% of foreign students from 140 nationalities. Moreover, 50% of their PhD candidates are international ones. And for an institution with an international student population this large, ULB provides 23 masters fully taught in English. The university also has partnership with the Universities of Berkeley, Oxford and Paris IV to name just a few.

Find out more on the institution’s website 

Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management (SBS-EM)

Next in our list of universities in Belgium offering programs in English, is Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management. Established in 1903 by the humanist and captain of industry Ernest Solvay, SBS-EM is now a faculty in the Université Libre de Bruxelles. Focusing on the fields of economics and management, SBS-EM offers courses in English and in French. The School also shares common value with ULB such as the principle of free inquiry, that promotes critical thinking and focuses on research.

Learn more about the institution

Read also about the reasons to study in Belgium for international students.

About Herilalao

A versatile freelance content creator and SEO specialist, I have a passion for writing and a knack for optimizing online visibility. I help businesses and individuals enhance their online presence through engaging and well-researched content. From writing informative articles to optimizing websites for search engines, I thrive in finding ways to create and manage content that not only resonates with readers but also boosts visibility and drives organic traffic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.