Belgium is a small country, yet has much to offer to business students. It is home to Brussels, the centre of Europe, and Antwerp, one of the biggest European ports. Work opportunities are flourishing, and Belgian people are known for their positive mindset and outlook on life.
In this article, we look at the must-have information for anyone who is considering studying in Belgium, along with the costs and subsequent professional opportunities. Finally, this article includes a list of the best business schools in the country.
Is it worth Studying in Belgium?
Belgium is a small country. However, its strong culture and important place in the history of Europe makes its reputation much bigger. The country provides a very high quality of life and it has many great cosmopolitan cities like Antwerp, Liège and Brussels. These cities are very international and offer a surprisingly high number of internships. When it comes to education, there also are student cities like Leuven and Louvain-La-Neuve. No matter which city you choose, all the universities embrace strong student folklore that spreads through the numerous student associations. In the meantime, the quality of education is high (in particular for masters degrees) and the selection criteria are not strict. Tuition fees are very low for most programmes, which attract an important number of international students who add to the value of the universities.
There are several Pros and Cons of Studying in Belgium, but one issue that is worth noting is the disorganised administration of most Belgian universities.
Is it an expensive place to live?
In comparison to its neighbours, Belgium is not expensive. Living expenses are average but vary by city. Student housing can be very cheap (200 to 400 euros per month), but living in an apartment will drastically increase your expenses (between 500 and 700 a month). Municipalities and companies have created a lot of student deals for transportation, access to musea, and sometimes even beer and food; the jovial Belgian culture leads to the organisation of numerous free events throughout the year. When it comes to food, grocery stores offer very different prices: Lidl, Aldi and Colruyt are the cheaper options while Delhaize sells more expensive products. There are a lot of restaurants with cuisine from all around the world, but you can also enjoy delicious Belgian fries for 2 or 3 euros in a typical Frit-Kot.
Finding a job next to your studies can be challenging as Belgium is a tri-lingual country. There are plenty of opportunities, but they often require you to speak either french, dutch, or both. Another option to fund your studies or daily life is to apply for scholarships. There are multiple options, however, they are often independent of universities, which already provide very low tuition fees thanks to government subsidies.
Is it easy to find a job there after studying?
International students often end up settling in Belgium, especially in Brussels. In other words, this is a very good indication that the job market offers opportunities for recent graduates. Unlike for student jobs, international companies and institutions will not always require you to speak one of the national languages (though it will always be a great asset). Belgian cities have progressive environments that foster business development, creativity and innovation. They are great places to work in consultancy, marketing, journalism, sales, management, finance and project development, but also to build a career with the major political institutions present in Brussels, which collaborate with business companies.
The best business schools in Belgium
Vlerick Business School
Vlerick Business School is a private school that specialises in research and management. It holds a Triple Crown Accreditation and has campuses in Brussels, Leuven and Ghent. In the last years, this university has been expanding its partnership network throughout Belgium and the world, the most recent one being with Peking. It does not offer bachelors programmes but has an extensive selection of masters. Additionally, you can customise your own curriculum to meet all of your expectations and prepare you for a career that you choose and design.
Antwerp Management School – AMS
The Antwerp Management School, located in the North of the country, is a small university with a maximum of 35 students per masters. The programmes focus on training young potentials or professionals to bring added value to businesses, as well as society. In other words, they foster an open, innovative and visionary mindset to prepare you for the challenges of tomorrow. Some of the programmes offered are Finance, Human Resources and Fashion Management. Moreover, the China-Europe Business programme is an atypical masters for students interested in intercontinental business dynamics. All study tracks at AMS combine self-awareness, global perspectives and societal consciousness.
Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management
The Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management is the business and economics school associated with the big Université libre de Bruxelles. It is located at the heart of its campus and benefits from its diverse student body and activities. This business school gives a lot of importance to the idea of learning-by-doing. It fosters co-creative entrepreneurship by collaborating with a wide variety of local and international businesses. By doing so, they prepare you for the job market and train you to endorse personal responsibilities. Furthermore, they host regular career events to help and guide you through the beginning of your professional career. It has also become a great research centre, praised for its freedom of academic thought and research.
United Business Institutes
The United Business Institutes is a private business school created in Belgium, which has recently opened campuses in Luxembourg and Shanghai. Thanks to its collaboration with Middlesex University London, UBI students graduate with validated British degrees in the heart of Europe. Their programmes are driven towards the resolution of world issues and highlight the intersectionality of the business world with other fields, such as health, geopolitics and the environment. UBI’s professors are top professionals with more than 10 years of industry experience, and the programmes include company visits of firms like BMW, Deloitte, Amazon, etc. as well as a business immersion trip to Shanghai. With a maximum of 15-20 students per class, it provides students with a very practical and personal learning environment.
We hope that this article provided you with useful information about business schools and studying in Belgium. Do not hesitate to compare Belgium by reading up on The Best Countries to Study International Business, or alternatively learn about The Best Online Business Schools. Additionally, you can get in touch with one of our experts for free and ask for additional information.