Belgium may be a small country, but it’s packed with many educational offers for local and international students alike. Many of its universities are top-ranked, with some offering English-taught courses.

It’s one of the more affordable European countries to live in too, compared to Switzerland, Iceland, and Norway. As such, if you want to study for free, then Belgium should be one of your top considerations.

How to Study in Belgium for Free

1. Get Good Grades and Letters of Recommendation

It’s important to file your application early as there are many documents to complete, which include certifications that may need to be evaluated in your home country. You may also have to submit your qualifications and a letter detailing your interest in studying in Belgium.

In Belgium, enrollments close by April. Because of this, international students are advised to send their applications by February or March since the processing can take several weeks.

Should you decide to enroll in a quota course, you will need to undergo an entrance exam or interview as well.

2. Apply for Scholarships from Universities in Belgium

Many Belgian universities offer scholarships to international students, and international students are able to study in Belgium for free by getting these scholarships. Such bursaries are usually funded by organizations such as the European Research Council, the Marie Curie Foundation, and Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie, to name a few.

3. Apply to Affordable Universities in Belgium

Belgium is a cheap place to study in, as its international student tuition only costs about $4,900 a year. However, you may even pay a lower price by applying to affordable universities. A good example is the University of Namur, which will only cost you about $1,020 annually.

Tuition-free Options for Bachelor’s Studies in Belgium

Get free undergraduate education in Belgium through these scholarship programs:

1. Erasmus Brussels University of Applied Sciences and Arts

Founded in 1995, the Erasmushogeschool Brussel specializes in Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in the Arts. At the same time, it also offers programs in the fields of Journalism, Office Management, Nursing, Music, Social Work, Drama, and Urban Architecture.

Select international students may be entitled to a Flemish Government Scholarship and study in Belgium for free. While this is usually given to Belgian nationals, non-EU/EEA students may qualify as well. The grant is valid for one year, with the amount depending on family income, accommodations, and study history, to name a few.

2. Thomas More University of Applied Sciences

Based in Flanders, Thomas More University of Applied Sciences is the largest university of applied science in Belgium.

Undergraduate students at Thomas More University may avail themselves of the school’s non-monetary scholarship programs, and these options include a merit-based scholarship or tuition fee waivers. Since the scholarship will be awarded automatically if you meet the basic requirements, you just have to apply for admission and wait for your results.

These grants are open to non-EEA citizens studying for an English-taught Bachelor’s degree. A student visa and a study efficiency of 50% are required as well. The scholarship may be renewed granted that the required grades are maintained every year.

3. Hogeschool Gent (HOGENT)

Hogeschool Gent, or the University College of Ghent, is the largest of its kind in Flanders. It is home to 13,000 students, who are enrolled in its 3 faculties and 1 art school.

At HOGENT, student scholars will only need to pay a minimal amount of 110 Euros for their program. This is open to students from all programs, including a Bachelor’s in Business, Chemistry, Drama, Fashion Technology, Interior Design, Music, or Nursing.

4. Haute École en Hainaut

Haute Ecole en Hainaut is a higher education institution with four branches in Mons, Belgium. It mostly offers undergraduate programs, though it offers some Master’s degrees as well.

The school, whose Bachelors courses are organized by the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, offers courses in the fields of Law, Education, Engineering, and Social Work, to name a few.

The school offers scholarships for its many long-term programs. Apart from waiving the full tuition cost, it also covers administrative and photocopying costs, which allows students to study for free in Belgium.

5. Conservatoire Royal de Bruxelle

  • Scholarship Link
  • Scholarship Amount: Partial Coverage in Tuition, Monthly Stipend

The Royal Conservatory of Brussels was founded in the year 1813 as a Singing School. Now, it offers university-level programs in the field of performance arts.

The conservatory offers a Bachelor’s degree in Music or Theater, programs that qualify for the school’s scholarship grants. One type is the allocation d’études, which is a financial aid grant given to students who demonstrate economic need. The Wernaers scholarship is also available to undergraduate students suffering from financial difficulties.

6. Vesalius College

Colloquially known as VeCo, the private university is operated in Brussels in coordination with the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Founded in 1987, it offers 3-year Bachelor’s programs as per the Bologna process.

The Vesalius College offers Academic Excellence Scholarships to eligible undergraduate students. This is given to students with meritorious achievements, as evidenced by excellent grades, good TOEFL scores, and letters of recommendation. Renewable for a 3-year duration, the scholarship can be maintained with a good GPA.

Tuition-free Options for Master’s Studies in Belgium

At these Belgian universities, you can complete your Master’s course free of charge in Belgium.

1. Hasselt University

Hasselt University is a public educational institution with branches in Diepenbeek and Hasselt. Established in the year 1971, it is lauded as one of the best universities under 50 years old by Times Higher Education, and it offers Master Mind Scholarships, which expects its applicants to possess the following requirements:

  1. GPA of at least 3.5
  2. Proof of English proficiency
  3. Completed application form

Please keep in mind that students applying for a master’s program at Hasselt University may apply, but there are only 5 slots for Americans, 2 slots for Palestinians, 3 slots for Mexicans, and 3 slots for Japanese students.

2. Ghent University

Ghent University offers 6 slots for the Master Mind Scholarship, which is funded by the Flanders Government. It includes a maximum scholarship amount of 8,000 Euros per year, which is enough to cover the cost of annual tuition. If international students get this scholarship, they will study in Belgium for free.

No application is needed for this grant, as the Master’s program coordinator will be the one to submit a list of potential candidates to the scholarship-giving body. The university also has a VLIR-UOS Scholarship for students who wish to take a Master’s degree in Aquaculture, Food Technology, or Rural Development.

Indonesian students may also study for free via the Lembaga Pengelola Dana Pendidikan scholarship program.

3. University of Antwerp

  • Scholarship Link
  • Scholarship Amount: Tuition Fee Reduction, Monthly Living Stipend

The University of Antwerp offers various scholarship programs for Master’s students.

Students from 33 developing countries may apply for the VLIR-UOS scholarship, which shoulders the full amount of the program. It also includes an allowance of 1,400 Euros and airfare.

An OPEC Fund Scholarship Award is also available to select international students. This includes the full cost of tuition, as well as airfare, health insurance, monthly allowance, and a relocation grant.

4. College of Europe

At the College of Europe, prospective master’s students may apply for any of these scholarship programs:

  1. Geremek Scholarship
  2. Flemish Government Scholarship
  3. European Nation Policy Scholarship
  4. Procter & Gamble Scholarship Lottery
  5. Bruges-Natolin UK European Scholarships Fund for British Students
  6. China Scholarship Council for Chinese Students
  7. Fulbright Grant for American Students

Due to its high number of available scholarship positions, over 70% of the students attending the College of Europe receive some sort of financial aid through grants and financial awards. Make sure to visit the official link above for varying application requirements and the scholarship amount.

Tuition-free Options for Ph.D. Studies in Belgium

You can become a Ph.D. student for free in Belgium at any of these Belgian universities:

1. University of Antwerp

Maritime and Airport Transport Ph.D. students at the University of Antwerp may apply for the Belgian Development Agency Grant. This is open to students coming from Algeria, Bolivia, Ecuador, Mali, Niger, Palestine, Mozambique, Rwanda, Senegal, or Peru.

American students, on the other hand, may take their doctoral program in Belgium for free via the Fulbright Commission Scholarship.

2. Institute of Tropical Medicine – Antwerp

  • Scholarship Link
  • Scholarship Amount: Full to Partial Scholarship (Covers Travelling, Insurance, Living Costs)

At ITM Antwerp, 3 doctorate students may study in Belgium for free for 4 years through the DGD Scholarship Program. Open to citizens of certain countries, this bursary covers full tuition, insurance, and travel costs.

To apply, the student must submit his/her personal motivation and the context of his/her employment.

FAQs: Studying in Belgium as an International Student

How Much Is the Cost to Study in Belgium?

When it comes to annual costs, the money needed to study in Belgium for the entire year is around EUR €11,000 ~ €15,000 (USD $12,000 ~ $16,500). However, this cost range is an estimated amount based on a research study done for bachelor’s degree students studying at a particular institution with a specific major, which means the estimated amount for you might be significantly lower or higher based on your personal standard of living.

Can You Study in English at Belgium Universities?

The answer is yes since programs for international students are always taught in English. Since the official languages of Belgium are three languages (Dutch, German, French), please keep in mind that you might be missing out on a wide array of high-quality courses due to your lack of language proficiency.

If you want to study a particular course taught by Belgium universities, check out the available programs offered by institutions in Belgium, and check to see if your favorite program is offered in English. If not, you can always try to learn the language beforehand, and if you don’t have time or the motivation to study the language, try to look for other programs related to your field of interest.


As you might have already noticed, there are many scholarships with the same name that are mentioned by multiple universities, which means that scholarships like the Master’s Mind Scholarship are well-known. This also means that many international students will be applying for these partial scholarships, which will make your chances of selection pretty low.

That being said, make sure to apply to scholarship programs that are not as well-known. While doing this, avoid scams that want money upfront, and also scholarship businesses that will guarantee you a scholarship if you pay a membership fee. There are many scholarship programs that are offered for free, so take care of yourself out there!


We hope that this article on how to study in Belgium for free was helpful. Make sure to also check out the Available Programs in Europe!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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