Living in Belgium

UK/EU citizens do not require a visa to live, study or work in Belgium.

Cost of Living

Here are a few figures that will give you some idea of the monthly expenses you will need to cover:

Courses, books €35
Accommodation €400
Food €300
Healthcare (insurance, medical costs) €20
Public transport €40
Miscellaneous (telephone, leisure …) €55
Total €850 (£615)

Here are also a few examples of prices in Belgium:

A newspaper (daily) €1.20
10 bus/tram/underground tickets €12.50
A sandwich €2.50 to €3.80
One entrance ticket to the Belgian Comic Strip Centre €6
A cinema ticket €8
A can of soft drink €1
A loaf of bread (800 gr) €2


The following example is taken from the KU Leuven website.

Monthly housing costs single with partner
Monthly rent €350 €700
Monthly utilities included in rent included in rent
Monthly living costs €400 €650
Total €750 (£545) €1350 (£980)


On Arrival

When you first arrive in Belgium, you must confirm your enrolment with the host university, university college or art academy.

You must then request an enrolment certificate, which is necessary to obtain your residence permit and report within the 8 working days following your arrival to the communal authorities of your place of residence.

Opening a Bank Account

This is usually straightforward and your university will assist you with any necessary documentary support required.

Mutual Insurance

The Belgian medical system offers a very high level of healthcare.

Students whose stay in Belgium is not covered by the healthcare insurance of their country of origin are required to join an insurance scheme known as a “mutuelle” in order to benefit from medical cover making these treatments accessible. The “mutuelle” covers a part of the medical, pharmaceutical and hospitalisation costs.

UK students must have a European health insurance card from the insurer of their country of origin. This card will allow you to obtain cover for medical care by the mutual health insurance fund under the same conditions as a Belgian insured. The EHIC currently only has validity for up to 12 months so if you are staying for longer you will need additional insurance (this advice applies only to British nationals – terms and conditions for other EHIC holders may vary).

In order to obtain refunds for your medical cost, you must join a Belgian “mutuelle” or mutual insurance company. This is not necessary for students who take out insurance in their country of origin as long as it covers their stay in Belgium.

Working in Belgium

British and other EU nationals can work in Belgium without any difficulty.

International students can work during their studies if they follow a full time course in a higher establishment recognised by the Federation Wallonia-Brussels and if they have a valid residence permit.

Useful link: Federal Public Service Employment, Labour and Social Dialogue