1. Do I need to apply for a visa?
You do not need a visa if you are a citizen of one of the 28 countries of the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway or Switzerland.
If you need to apply for a visa, you will join to the file you will give to the local Belgian embassy or consulate the letter of acceptance that will have been sent to you by our Center of International Relations. You will also have to prove your solvency. You can do this by filling in the form « the commitment that charge will be taken » (in French: Engagement de Prise en charge (Annexe 32); in Dutch: Verbintenis tot Tenlasteneming (Bijlage 32)), which is available at the Belgian Emabssy or Consulate.
This must be completed and signed by, for example, your parents, relatives or your private sponsors who must avail of sufficient income. Belgian law requires that this person, your guarantor, must be able to show that he or she earns at least €1.190,27 a month plus € 150 per person who is legally dependent on him or her. Then, still in addition to this, your guarantor's income must avail of €666 per month for you. The Belgian Consulate or Embassy has the authority to require official proofs of your guarantor's income and to investigate this accordingly. It is recommended that you include these proofs already when you submit the form. In this document, your guarantors declare that they agree to shoulder the following costs: your health expenses, your stay in Belgium, your studies, and your return to your home country, for at least one academic year. An option is also provided in the document for your guarantors to shoulder the costs for the entire duration of your studies in Belgium. The document must be legalised by the Belgian Consulate or Embassy. Please note that the amounts mentioned above are subject to increase per year according to the Belgium state's index calculations. In this regard, please verify with the Belgian Consulate or Embassy in your home country as to the current required amounts.
The required documents that you will have to prepare are the following:
- a passport valid for at least 15 months
- the visa application form, duly completed, dated and signed in duplicate
- two recent photos (ID card size) signed on the back
- a certificate of good conduct (for students 21 years of age and older) or an extract from the criminal record
- a recent medical certificate (required form)
- proof that the applicant has sufficient means of subsistence to cover the total cost of the stay (parent, guarantor, scholarship)
- a certificate of acceptance provided by the University certifying that the student is registered as a regular student or that he/she is admitted to register as such.
For more information, please visit the website of the Foreigners Office.
For more general information about visa procedure, please visit this website.
2. How will I be welcomed at EPHEC University College?
The first persons who will welcome you and help you to manage your study stay in Brussels are the persons working at the Center for International Relations. A Welcome Week is organized before the start of each semester to ensure that you get acquainted with our institution and pedagogical system. This week is also an opportunity to meet other exchange students and to make friends.
3. Is it possible to follow French language courses at EPHEC University College?
If you want to improve your level of French, you can benefit, as an Erasmus+ exchange student, from online French courses offered by the OLS platform.
OLS (Online Linguistic Support) offers participants in the Erasmus+ mobility program to assess their skills in the main language used during their studies and/or internship. After taking the first level test, you will have the opportunity to follow a free interactive language course at your own pace.
For more information, please click here.
During your stay, you’ll also be able to follow a French language course (see course offer).
4. What is the cost of living in Belgium?
The cost of living in Belgium is within the European average. Therefore, a monthly budget of approximately €800 is needed, including housing, food, transportation, health care, leisure, etc.
5. Do I need a health insurance?
In Belgium, students must be covered by health insurance. If you are a citizen of the European Union (or of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland), remember to apply for your European Health Insurance Card. This card is free and will allow you to benefit from the same access to health care as Belgians.
If you are not a citizen of the European Union, you must subscribe to a health insurance in your country and bring proof of this insurance with you.
6. What is the grading system in Belgium?
The assessment system in Belgium consists of marks from 0 (very bad) to 20 (excellent). 10 is the pass mark. At the end of the semester, the marks will be weighted in terms of ECTS.
- A student’s workload is measured in ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) credits.
- According to this system, 1 credit represents 25-30 hours of work.
- A normal workload for one semester is 30 ECTS and for a full academic year 60 ECTS.
7. Can I register as an exchange student if I’m a special needs student?
Yes, of course. All students recognized as having "special needs" by their home institution and benefiting from special arrangements within the framework of their study process are required:
- to notify the Center of International Relations of EPHEC University College when applying
- to provide EPHEC University College with proof of recognition of this status by his/her sending institution.
Upon his arrival in Brussels, the student will be put in contact with the responsible person at EPHEC University College in order to guarantee the best conditions to succeed in his or her academic mobility.
8. Are exchange students allowed to travel to Belgium?
Travelling to Belgium with a purpose of study is considered as essential travel, so travel restrictions will not apply. A self-quarantine and a PCR-test are compulsory at the moment for students travelling to Belgium from non-EU countries (or EU countries with code red). All passengers travelling to Belgium have to complete a Passenger Locator Form in the 48 hours before their arrival available here. Detailed information is available by clicking here.
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