Relocating to Brussels
Moving to another country for further study is an exciting, but potentially daunting experience. We have been welcoming students to Brussels since 1998, and have plenty of experience to help make the process as smooth as possible. Brussels is an ideal place to live and study as an expat and is well set up for newcomers.
All non-EU or EEA students will require a visa to study in Belgium. The process can be fairly lengthy, so we always advise applying as early as possible. As soon as you receive your offer to study at BSIS, we will send out a step by step guide for the visa application. You will find the official guidance online here.
Applications typically require a completed application form, proof of sufficient means of subsistence, a medical certificate and a criminal background check. Applications need to be submitted to your nearest Belgian embassy and you may be required to do this in person. This is usually in your country of residence, but in locations that do not have a Belgian embassy, a neighbouring country takes responsibility.
The student visa will permit students to work up to a maximum of 20 hours per week.
Accommodation in Brussels
At the Brussels School of International Studies, students would need to secure their own accommodation as we do not have any halls of residence. However, due to the fluid nature of the housing market here in Brussels, it is fairly simple to secure accommodation. Due to the high number of short term internships and job placements, people are coming and going from the city very regularly. As all students are looking for something slightly different, we post as many different websites as possible.
In terms of costs, you should consider the information below as a guide:
Room in an apartment share: €300 - €450 per month
Studio apartment: €450 - €650 per month
One bedroom apartment: €650 - €900 per month
Two bedroom apartment: €1000 - €1250 per month
What these costs include does vary, some will include charges (e.g. electricity, water, council tax) whereas others may be extra – expect to pay an additional €100 per month for these charges.
For areas of the city to consider, Brussels is split into 19 communes. The Brussels School is located in the commune of Etterbeek  (and close to the Ixelles  and Woluwe-St Pierre communes). Etterbeek and Ixelles are home to the vast majority of students and interns in the city, meaning it’s a very young population with a wealth of places available. If you are looking for a cheaper option, Schaerbeek, St-Gilles, or Uccle might be a good option and they are approximately 15-30 minutes away from the school.
Health insurance is compulsory for all.
EU students will be covered for Health Insurance with their EHIC (E111) card. Before moving to Belgium, we recommend ensuring this is up to date and covers the duration of your studies. This will provide health care cover in Belgium whilst you are a registered student.
Non-EU students will need to register for health insurance once in Beglium. The most common health provider is Partenamut who have offices all over the city and have an office at the VUB. We advise students to obtain some basic travel insurance to cover your first month until you have chance to arrange local cover.
We provide details of how to obtain cover in welcome week.
Money and Banking
Students requiring a EURO Belgian bank account, can do so immediately after arriving at the ING bank on the VUB campus. Documents required are your university of Kent offer letter, passport/ID and social security number (or equivalent). Your passport/ID must contain your permanent address from your home country. Some students may find extra checks are required before the account can be set up. The bank will keep you informed.
This blog is intended for incoming students looking for accommodation in Brussels.