Belgium is a picturesque country in Europe that has attracted thousands of students. Surrounded by countries like Germany and France, Belgium is like a gateway towards the European world. Its convenient location makes it so that various cultures and opportunities are within reach.
If you wish to take up your bachelor’s degree in Belgium, there are many things to prepare for – documents, screening process, and learning the language, or languages rather. There are three main languages in the country – Dutch, French, and German – and one may be more dominant depending on your dream university’s area. English-taught undergraduate courses may be a bit tricky to find, so it may be a good idea to brush up on your international vocabulary.
In this article, we will be talking about how you can study for a bachelor’s degree in Belgium.
Application Requirements for Applying for Bachelors in Belgium
Many documents are needed when preparing to study for a bachelor’s degree in Belgium. Here are some you may need to prepare as application requirements for a bachelor’s program in this country: passport, picture, high school diploma, transcript of records, proof of language proficiency, motivation letter, and copy of identification card.
If your documents are not in English, Dutch, or any of the institution’s accepted languages, you may need to have them translated by a certified translator.
Bachelor’s Degree Language Requirements for in Belgium
For Vrije Universiteit Brussel, applicants need to present proof of English or Dutch proficiency, depending on the program they are applying to. However, specific programs may require higher-level language requirements, so make sure to check if the one you are applying for is one of those. You may submit your diploma along with proof that English was the medium of instruction. They also accept test results from TOEFL IBT or IBT Home Edition (minimum level of 79), IELTS or IELTS Indicator (minimum overall score 6.5), ITACE (minimum level: B2), and Cambridge English Qualification Scale (minimal level of 170). If you cannot submit any of these documents, the Academic Language Centre may ask you to take a test.
Bachelor’s programs at Hasselt University are taught in Dutch only. Thus, you need to provide proof of Dutch proficiency by presenting a CEFR level B2 or equivalent certificate. You may also submit a language certificate for Dutch issued by a Limburg Association of Higher Education (AUHL) partner. Otherwise, you will have to take a test administered by the AUHL.
Students of Saint-Louis University, Brussels need to be proficient in French because most courses are delivered in the said language. However, you may also take up a language course while studying in the institution to improve your French skills.
How to Apply for Bachelor’s Programs in Belgium
For students who wish to study for an undergraduate degree in Belgium, you may follow this general procedure:
1. Select a program and check out its requirements
Programs may require additional documents or skillsets.
Applicants for the Bachelor of Sciences in Business Economics of Vrije Universiteit Brussel are highly encouraged to have a strong background in mathematics. Although test results and other documents are not required as proof, you may want to take their test to determine if your skills are at par.
For Saint-Louis University, Brussels, applicants with no qualifications must pass the admissions exam. This is not an entrance exam; instead, it is a test taken by individuals with no higher secondary education certificate so they could enroll in a university.
An admissions exam should also be taken by Université Libre de Bruxelles applicants who do not have approved qualifications. They should earn a score of 10/20 to pass. It covers three compulsory subjects (French, Mathematics, Modern language) and three subjects selected from story, geography, physics, chemistry, biology, economic science, and Latin.
You may also want to note if the program you are interested in has an admission quota or limit. This would make admission processes more competitive because of the limited slots. For the Université Libre de Bruxelles, the following programs have a quota: medicine, dentistry, veterinary, physiotherapy and rehabilitation, psychology and education: speech and language therapy.
The Université Libre de Bruxelles also warns that you should check whether you meet the criteria for admission of students from non-European Union countries before submitting your application. The criteria include having an average of 13/20 on your diploma and 12/20 on specific subjects.
2. Prepare documents
Collect all requirements asked by the university and your chosen program. Ensure that your letters, resume, curriculum vitae, and other papers are free of grammatical errors. Make sure that these are in accepted languages such as English or Dutch.
Vrije Universiteit Brussel requires only non-EEA nationals to submit a one-page motivation letter. Chinese citizens with Chinese diplomas also need to present an APS certificate besides the other necessary documents. If you are yet to graduate and get your diploma, you may submit your transcript of records and enrolment certificate instead.
3. Submit application and pay fees
Foreign nationals who wish to apply for undergraduate studies in Belgium must submit their documents through the university’s online portal or application system. Ensure that you are submitting through the correct website since some programs, like the engineering programs of Vrije Universiteit Brussel, require applicants to submit through another platform instead of the university’s application tool.
Remember to pay your application fees and take note of the deadlines for your target program and university. If you fail to pay and submit on time, your application might not be processed. Double-check if you meet all the requirements to avoid wasting your funds, as most application fees are non-refundable.
Check out also if you need to submit physical copies of your documents. For Hasselt University, the application can only be processed upon applying online and submitting a hard copy of documents through the post.
4. Await results
Stay updated about the screening process by checking your application account or politely emailing the institution for updates. Results may be relayed through your account or a letter of acceptance sent to your email.
If your application was approved, refer to the university for the following critical steps. The enrollment process, visa application, and more preparatory steps need to be hurdled through before you are finally in.
I hope this guide on how to apply for a bachelor’s degree in Belgium was helpful. You can also find more information on different European universities and scholarship opportunities on the Europe Scholarships Page!