Answers to students' questions

Depending on the subject matter, language and type of studies you want to complete, there are various different course options available in the Wallonia-Brussels Federation. To help you find the perfect one, take a look at our search engine.

The procedures to be followed to enrol with a higher education institution in French-speaking Belgium may vary. Your nationality, country of residence, qualifications, chosen education or level of studies to be achieved are all aspects that are taken into account.

Remember: in Belgium, the academic year starts in September. As a rule, the cut-off date for enrolment is 30 April before the start of the academic year.

Depending on your nationality, you may be entitled to a grant.

Contact the Social Services Department of the chosen Belgian higher education institution to find out about any financial aid available.

In Belgium, whether you are an international student or researcher, the visa you will need will depend on both the duration of your stay and your nationality. Although some of the formalities need to be completed in your home country, don’t forget that you will still need to complete some of the administrative processes once you arrive in Belgium.

To make sure that your stay in Belgium goes as best it can, we strongly recommend taking out health insurance for the whole of the time you spend studying in the Wallonia-Brussels Federation.

As a student, you have various options available to you. In any case, whatever type of accommodation you choose, we recommend getting organised before you reach Belgium. If you are not sure that you will be able to move in right away, we recommend you book a few nights in a youth hostel, just in case. 

The cost of living in French-speaking Belgium is low but varies from one town to another. Consider between €700 and €1000 per month, depending on your needs.

The cost of studies depends on your status, the higher education institution and the chosen study programme.
Students who are nationals of the European Union or European Economic Area pay €835 in registration fees.
Non-European Union students pay between €835 and €4,175 in registration fees.

In Belgium, all foreign students can work while studying. The only conditions are: they must be enrolled with a higher education institution in the Wallonia-Brussels Federation and must have a valid residence permit.

Although many of the Master’s degree courses are delivered partially or entirely in English, the higher education institutions of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation are French-speaking! The language used for teaching and the everyday environment is therefore mainly French. By choosing to study in French-speaking Belgium, you can thus enjoy a unique opportunity to improve your French, making progress every day in the cosmopolitan world of Belgium!

Fancy getting your PhD in French-speaking Belgium? Before starting the registration process, you must choose a thesis supervisor for the field of research you would like to study. You may define your proposal with them and discuss its feasibility or any financing. He will also help you determine a proposal with them as to the membership of the support committee, which will be submitted to the PhD faculty commission.

Numbers of students have been limited in medicine and dentistry since the academic year 2017-2018. And any student wishing to enrol in medicine or dental sciences must also successfully pass an entrance exam. If resident students merely need to pass the exam to be admitted, foreign students’ places are assigned according to the marks obtained in this entrance exam.

To obtain acknowledgement of the equivalence of your secondary school diploma or certificate, you will need to file an application between 15 November and 15 July before enrolling. It must be filed with the Service des Équivalences du Ministère de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles and at the same time, you will need to pay the relevant fees (between €65 and €200, depending on the country where the certificate was issued).

According to the calendar of the academic year in Belgium, enrolments generally close at the end of the April before the start of the school year. If you want to study in French-speaking Belgium, we therefore recommend that you apply in February/March. For more information and specific to each institution, please contact the relevant admissions and enrolments service.

Although there might be slight variations from one institution to the next, as a rule, the calendar of an academic year in French-speaking Belgium is divided up into three terms, each lasting approximately four months. Learning is split over the first two terms, except for certain assessments or professional integration activities.

In French-speaking Belgium, higher education is based on a system of three cycles of studies : the Bachelor’s degree, the Master's degree and the PhD. Each qualification obtained gives you ECTS credits, which are recognised in numerous countries in both the European Union and worldwide. As an adhering member of this system, the Wallonia-Brussels Federation is committed to guaranteeing the quality of higher education, promoting student mobility and strengthening the globalisation of its higher education.