Brussels is a very interesting city for students. Next to being the capital of Belgium, it hosts the European District and with it the European Parliament. Brussels and their amazing restaurants, and places to fine dine are the perfect location for students who enjoy all kinds of eateries. With a thriving food scene there is an enormity of choice. There are lots of green spaces and parks scattered throughout the city, these are perfect in the summer for a picnic or hang out spot. For those students with a sweet tooth, Belgium chocolate is famous and delicious to enjoy. Chocolate has ties with Belgium since the 16th century and the city hosts some of the world's best chocolatiers. This is a short guide aiming at easing your transition once you move to Brussels. It includes information about universities and properties available in Brussels. When moving to Brussels being aware of proximity will be important to your studies and your day - day life. Therefore, finding suitable student accommodation is insuring a happier experience whilst studying!
Types of Student Housing Available in Brussels
Suitable options for student residences in Brussels are either rent a room in University halls, a shared home/flat or you rent your own apartment. Long term rentals usually come unfurnished, sublet rooms and short-term rentals will usually come furnished. If unsure please enquire, as the landlord will specify. When renting any form of student housing in Brussels there may require a minimum deposit. It will typically be one month rent and one months rent upfront. Some landlords could ask for a reference. A reference is for proof of paying the rent. Payslips or signed guarantor form from a parent/guardian will suffice. Some student residences may also require proof of enrollment.
- Shared House: A shared student home in Brussels, is a great option if you enjoy a co-living lifestyle. Shared student flats for rent in Brussels all come with a communal kitchen and bathroom. A shared home could have extra amenities such as an en suite or further communal areas i.e garden. This is usually at an extra cost as room prices are often reflective of the home and size of the room.
- Student Apartments: Renting an entire apartment is the most expensive type of student housing in Brussels. This is an option for friends or couples looking for student apartments in Brussels, as the cost can be divided. Students typically prefer homes that have furniture.
- Student Halls: Living with other students is great for making life long friends, and perfect to have the full-on student experience. Being amongst peers is a way to feel fully immersed in student life. Student residence halls will either privately run or run by your university. A student room in halls will typically consist of a bed and desk. Communal areas will be shared within dormitories, such as shared bathroom and kitchen area. Shared bathrooms will typically be gender separated.
Universities in Belgium
- Universities in Brussels: As mentioned being aware of your proximity; whilst, being close to the things you enjoy are important too. The cost of living in Brussels is higher than in many other European cities and a lot of this cost is spent on accommodation. Look in district Ixelles/Elsene, this a perfect area for anyone studying at Universite Libre de Bruxelles and Université Catholique de Louvain. Both these universities have campuses in close proximity. Another great spot for students and a centre spot for artists is Sint-Gillis / Saint-Gilles. Les Marolles is a cheaper district, nethertheless it is full of life and atmosphere. For weekend wanders try walking down Rue Haute. On this street you can explore lots of second hand stores and eateries. Similarly Saint-Géry and Saint-Catherine has lots of cute and interesting streets to tour. There are lots of cafes, restored markets and vintage shops to look at. Matonge is another a vibrant quarter established by it’s Congolese migrants. It has a reputation for attracting all of Brussels youth, day and night. Also is known to be one of the most exciting parts of the city.
- Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB): In English, it is known as the ‘Free University of Brussels’. However, it is hardly ever translated from French. It is a private University and is French speaking, over 30% of the students are international. It is in the south of Brussels and there are three campuses located in Belgium: The main campus is Campus du Solbosch in Brussels. Then there is Campus de la Plaine, which is also in Brussels. Finally there is the Campus Erasme, which is located in Anderlecht. Transport Connections: Light rail station for: Trams 25 and 94 and IC trains.
- Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL): The university is located south of Brussels in Louvain-la-Neuve. This city was built to originally house UCL once it split from Catholic University of Leuven. UCL is taught exclusively in French. In English it translates to Catholic University of Louvain. There is also a satellite campus in Brussels’ city centre named Woluwe-Saint-Lambert. The medical institute is in Woluwe-Saint-Lambert which is in the suburbs of Brussels. Woluwe-Saint-Lambert district is known to be a prosperous residential area of Brussels’ and the river Woluwe runs through the district. The Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc hospital is also nearby the medical institute. Transport Connections: The Woluwe-Saint-Lambert campus is connected by Metro Line 1
- Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB): The Vrije Universiteit Brussel is a dutch speaking University in Brussels, it is translated to the ‘Free University of Brussels’. The university’s policy to not abbreviate the name, this due to misconfusion with its French speaking counterpart ‘Université Libre de Bruxelles’. There are three campuses across the city named, Campus Etterbeek, Campus Jette and finally Campus Kaai. Transport Connections: For rail and bus connections see station Etterbeek for Buses 95 and C and trains.