Study Abroad in Belgium
Belgium is about the size of Maryland and is generally flat, with increasingly hilly terrain near the southeast Ardennes Forest. The highest is only 2,277 feet (694 meters) above sea level.
The climate is damp and temperate. Summer temperatures range from 54 to 72°F (12–22°C); winter temperatures generally do not go below 32°F (0°C). Belgium’s maritime climate is heavily influenced by the sea; fog and rain are common, and there is little snow in winter. The most moderate weather usually occurs between June and September.
Brussels (with a population of about 2 million), Antwerp (roughly 1 million), and Ghent (a little over 250,000) are the largest cities.
Belgium’s overall population density is one of the highest in Europe. Because of Brussels’s international importance, more than one-third of the city’s inhabitants are foreigners. About 75 percent of the population is Belgian. The French-speaking Walloons mainly live in the southern region of Wallonia. The Flemish largely reside in Flanders, the country’s northern region. The German-speaking minority mainly lives east of Wallonia.
*Video courtesy of Visit Flanders
- School year starts at the end of August/Sept or the beginning of January
Fully Vetted Belgium Host Families
Our host families come in all shapes and sizes, and they live all over Belgium. Some have kids and pets, some live in big houses in the countryside and others in apartments in the city.
What they all have in common is that they have a passion for cultural exchange and are looking forward to finding out more about you and where you are from. Introduce them to some American films and music or make them a typical dish. It is always much appreciated when the students do that little extra to show appreciation to their host families.
Terms of Participation
- Must be between the ages of 16 and 18 upon arrival
- Must have a C or higher in all courses for the last two years
- Some medical restrictions apply
- Have a minimum of 1 year of French lessons if choosing the French language
- If choosing the Dutch language – a few Dutch lessons before arrival will be a plus
- Academic Year: End of August/Beginning of Sept 2020 – June 2021
- Fall Semester: Aug/Sept 2020 – January, 2021
- Spring Semester: January 2021 – June, 2021
- Fall Semester Application Deadline: March 31st
- Spring Semester Application Deadline: September 30th
- Academic Year – $7,300
- Semester – $6,900
- 3 months – $4,200
Required International Health/Liability Insurance:
- Academic Year – $900
- Semester – $450
- 3 months – $270
$1700 deposit due with application
Public high school acceptance and tuition fees
Volunteer host family placement
Visa support documents
Monitoring and supervision by local partner while in Belgium
24-hour emergency support
Program Does Not Include
Domestic transportation to host family and within Belgium
School administrative fees
School textbooks and school lunches
Extracurricular expenses for clubs, sports, etc.
Passport/visa/resident card fees
Personal spending money
High School System
Most classes are held Monday through Friday, from about 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Students in primary and secondary school have Wednesday afternoons off. Students are tested on their proficiency in various subjects throughout the year and may have to repeat a year of school if they do not pass the tests.
All students study either Dutch, French, or—in some areas—German; they generally begin to study an additional national language at age eight or nine and study English in secondary school.
The Belgian educational system is one of the most thorough in the world. Expectations are high for the students. Participants will follow classes in a local school from Monday to Friday. Those classes include French/Dutch, Mathematics, Biology, Geography, Physics, History, Physical Education, Foreign Language (Dutch /French or English)… and optional classes include Economics or a third Foreign Language. The school year runs from September to June.
*While there is no language requirement for our program, students should make every attempt to become familiar with the local language before arrival and continue to study while in the country. Classes will be taught in either Dutch, French or German. English is widely understood and spoken in Belgium.