Belgium is one of the world’s most international countries, boasting several elite universities that teach in a whole host of languages. Located in the heart of Europe, less than two hours from Paris, London and Amsterdam by train, Belgium is well-connected to much of the continent.
Each of its main cities is easily accessible within a day from anywhere in Belgium; it takes three hours to drive from north to south or east to west, and its excellent infrastructure makes journeys by train even shorter. Belgium’s public healthcare system is known as one of the best in Europe.
Belgium is a multilingual country, with three official languages (Flemish, French and German). Many more are spoken day-to-day in its universities and in the vast range of international organisations that are based in Brussels, its capital.
Each main city boasts a high-ranking university. Examples include the KU Leuven, the largest in Belgium; Ghent University; and the University of Antwerp. Brussels’ two main universities have the same name when translated into English - the Free University of Brussels - following a split in 1970 that resulted in separate French-speaking and Dutch-speaking institutions being formed.
The home of moules-frites, waffles, fine chocolate and a vast array of quality beers, the cost of living in Belgium is generally low compared to most surrounding countries, and it is arguably one of the most attractive study destinations in Western Europe.
Famous Belgians, other than Tintin and the Smurfs, include painter Réne Magritte and five-time Tour de France winner Eddy Merckx.