Cost of Living in Belgium: Belgium is a country that can offer you a fantastic study experience. Despite its size, the country has a big cultural history and has over 11 million residents. It’s also the home of the European Union (EU) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), making it a political hub. Located in Western Europe and bordering Germany, Luxembourg, France, and the Netherlands, Belgium can be roughly divided into three separate areas. In the northern area of Flanders, they speak mainly Dutch (Flemish), in the Southern area of Wallonia they speak mainly French, and in the Brussels-Capital area, most people speak both French and Dutch. Belgium is a densely populated country and is a welcoming environment for international students.
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Cost of Living in Belgium
Belgium is one country in Europe which can give you a truly international experience as you can meet students belonging from different ethnicities and countries. Yet it is an affordable country in terms of living expenses, accommodation, and food. The study cost is relatively low than the other Schengen States as Austria and France. Additionally, the Belgian government is running several scholarship programs for students of developing countries based on academic merit. A student studying for a postgraduate degree in Belgium can work 20 hours a week.
1. Cost Of Study In Belgium
Belgium uses the Euro (€) for its currency and enjoys a high standard of living. Belgium isn’t an expensive place to live, making it a great place to study abroad for cost-conscious students. In Brussels, there are also many discounts available for students, and elsewhere in Belgium, there are opportunities for international students to save money with offers on many recreational activities.
Belgium has basic tuition fees that are standard across the country. Whilst they fluctuate each year, you should expect to pay around 900 euros for one year of studies in Belgium. In addition to these basic tuition fees, students from outside the EU will be required to pay additional fees of between 2,000 euros and 4,000 euros.
Scholarships are available for studying in Belgium, although they are not always that easy to find. You’ll have to be prepared to look long and hard for suitable scholarships for studying abroad in Belgium, looking at study abroad scholarships with no specified destinations, which are generally competed for more.
If you choose to study in Belgium, you’ll be allowed to work part-time in order to earn some extra money whilst you study. If you’re an international student, you may need to gain a work permit, so it is worthwhile checking with your embassy once you arrive in Belgium on your study abroad experience.
Cost of Study in Belgium 2021 for International Students: The cost of study may vary depending upon the study program and level of education. Public institutions offer cheaper tuition fees than private institutes. The tuition fee and other expenditures also depend upon an applicant’s nationality.
Approximate Study Cost for EU Nationals in Belgium: EU nationals can expect to pay 850 Euros per year for a postgraduate program. It can be lesser or higher for different study programs. There are scholarships and grants specifically directed at assisting EU nationals to avail cheap cost education around the European countries.
Approximate Study Cost for Non-EU Nationals in Belgium: Non-EU nationals have to pay tuition fees, registration fees, visa fees, and many such expenses. On average to study a postgraduate program in Belgium a student can expect to pay 1000 Euros to 4000 Euros a year. The tuition fee can be cheaper and higher depending on the study program you have chosen. Public institutions charge much lower tuition fees than private institutions.
Part-Time Work in Belgium
It is an absolute necessity for an international student to work part-time while studying abroad. In Belgium, the procedures of part-time work while study involves attaining a student employment contract that enables you to work under the same employer for a year. This contract can be renewed after a year. In Belgium, the employer hiring a student as its employee has to apply for a work permit on behalf of the student. Along with a C-type visa the student is obliged to have a student employment contract. The students can work full time during their holidays from universities without needing in work permit. But during regular semesters the working hours should be adjusted after the classes that must not disturb a student’s education.
2. Living Costs In Belgium
Belgium is not an expensive country but as a foreign student residing in a distant land maintaining a monthly budget is necessary for avoiding debt. Living costs are directly related to a person’s lifestyle and spending habits. Similar to any other country the living cost in the urban cities of Belgium is much higher than in rural areas. But part-time jobs are accessible in urban cities mainly. Consequently, international students belonging to any nationality who are studying abroad in Belgium mostly reside in urban cities such as Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent, Leuven, and Liege. International students enrolled in a full-time study program at the post-graduate level can work for 20 hours a week to earn an additional amount to bear his/her living expenses.
3. Transportation Expenditure In Belgium
The best option of transportation for international students in Belgium is via public transports such as buses and trains. Monthly tickets for metro trains and buses can cost you 50 Euros. For travel along the coastline, public coast tram can be used. Students can have discounts on travel tickets. If you own a car it is also not so expensive option. 1 liter of gas will cost you 1.46 Euros. International students prefer to travel around the city on bicycles as well. Taxis are an expensive option for traveling. Most taxi services in Belgium are owned by private companies which have fixed their own per ride rate.
4. Accommodation Costs In Belgium
The charges of accommodation naturally depend upon the locality and city you decide to live in Belgium. Most international students prefer to reside in university halls as it is the least expensive and most facilitating option. University halls and dormitories are available in all major university cities of Belgium. Students who can afford private apartments and flats can expect to pay higher rent than university halls. The monthly rent of different types of accommodations for international students in Belgium is as follows:
University Halls and Dormitories: On average on-campus rooms or dorm rooms can be rented in 200 to 400 Euros per month based on available facilities and bills.
A room in a private flat or apartment: A room in a private flat or apartment in the urban city of Belgium can be rented for 500 Euros per month.
Rent of a private apartment: If you want to rent a private apartment or studio apartment in Belgium can expect to pay a monthly rent of 600 to 700 Euros.
Accommodation Types in Belgium
University Residence: For many reasons, university residence is the most suited option for living abroad for an international student. Especially the ones who are traveling to a stranger country for the first time. Belgian Universities usually send international students details about their accommodation options along with acceptance letters so that they can reserve a room if they want to. Moreover, for a student visa of Belgium, an international student has to provide proof of arranged accommodation before departure from their home country. But university residence is not for students who are shy and prefer privacy.
The benefits of living in a university residence:
-Cheap cost and least expensive among all other accommodation options. Proximity to university saving your transportation expenditure and time.
-Getting to know your fellow university students. Immediate information about events happening in the university and access to passes first hand. 24/7 Security.
Cost: To book a single room in a university residence you can expect to pay 200-400 EUR/month. The utility bills of electricity, gas, and water are included in the rent.
Kots-à-projets: The Kots-à-projets are sort of university residence and a Belgian creation. A group of research students including 10 to 12 members working on the same project share a flat. The flat is rented for one or two academic years until the project is being completed. The exchange students usually book Kots-à-projets accommodation before traveling to Belgium for their research project but other students can also join their group. The university provides subsidies to students living in Kots-à-projets accommodation and each year receives a summary of their work and allows them to stay another year based on their performance and academic requirement. The leading member of the group of researchers working on the same project is responsible for inviting new members of their group into the flat and adjusting them to the environment. The Kaps have their own organizing committee called organ which is consisted of a manager, treasurer, president, and person who handles external relations.
The benefits of living in Kots-à-projets/Kaps:
-Implementation of your research into practical form. Discount on rent, subsidies for project implementation from university, elevate your CV and personal growth.
-Organization of small events related to projects and group members helping each other for completion of the project. Your fellow room sharers will be in the same academic standard so there will be not much fuss for adjusting.
Cost: The cost would be quite inexpensive as the accommodation will be shared by all of the project members. Also, the university will provide subsidies.
Private Renting: You can rent a private room in a flat, share accommodation with your friends or book a separate accommodation for yourself if your pocket allows. There is no restriction on an international student for booking a private apartment in Belgium it is solemnly their own choice. But of course, it is an expensive option and if you are not known to the country it can be risky. The cost of accommodation varies according to the location of accommodation and facilities offered by the owners. The private accommodation types in Belgium for international students are as follows:
Single Bedroom Flat/ Studio Apartment: Studio apartments are modernly designed to meet the living standards of students and working professionals. The apartment will consist of one bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, and sitting lounge. There can be furnished or unfurnished options but most students prefer renting a furnished apartment abroad.
The benefits of living in a Studio Apartment:
Privacy and freedom. You can find your friends over to stay and study any time you want. You can cook your own meals.
You can decorate your apartment as you like. You can focus on your education without being interrupted by the noise and hustle-bustle of communal accommodation.
Cost: The rent will not include utility bills. You can expect the monthly rent to be around 520 to 7000 Euros.
Shared Flats: You can rent a two or three bedrooms flat in Belgium and share the accommodation and bills with your friends. It is common among international students to rent a shared accommodation and indeed an affordable one. If you know your friends well and get along what can be better than sharing an apartment together after all? You can share the duties, share bills, help each other when one needs and enjoy alone time as well.
The benefits of living in a shared flat:
-The rent and bills are divided. Freedom and privacy. You set the house rules.
Cost: The utility bills might and might not be included in the monthly rent. On average, three bedrooms apartment in Belgium will cost 1500 to 2000 Euros per month.