Pre-arrival guide

Checklist

  • Apply for a visa (if necessary)
  • Start house hunting
  • Get the funds in place to cover your initial costs
  • Arrange insurance cover (differs for degree and exchange students)
  • Book your flight/train/bus to arrive in time for our Welcoming Days
  • Check our COVID-19 FAQs
  • Sign up for our buddy app
Moving abroad is such a huge learning curve – both personally and professionally. The growth curve is huge and more pronounced the first time. It’s challenging, takes a lot of energy, and opens your eyes and mind to new cultures and new ways of thinking.
Laura - International Alumnus KdG
Laura
KdG alumnus

Visa requirements

Check below to see if you require a visa to study in Belgium:

EEA or non-EEA?
  • European Economic Area: including all 27 EU-member states + Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway
  • Belgian students are EEA students and follow this procedure

Nationals of EEA countries, Monaco & Switzerland

You do not need a visa to study in Belgium. You can travel to Belgium using your national passport or identity card.

All other nationalities

You need to apply for a long-stay visa (known as a D visa) before arriving in Belgium. Please contact your local Belgian consulate in your home country or country of legal residence.

As a general rule, authorisation to stay in Belgium for more than three months is granted to foreign students wishing to pursue higher education here as a regular student.

You will need your KdG acceptance letter before you can apply for a visa. We issue your acceptance letter once your tuition fees are paid.

For official information about the visa application procedure and the required supporting documents visit:

Visa application fee

As a public school, we are subsidized by the Belgian government. This is important when applying for a visa as it determines the level of the application fee.

Proof of enrolment

You will need your KdG acceptance letter before you can apply for a visa. We issue your study contract once your tuition fees are paid.

Timescale

Start the visa application process early. It can take up to three to five months for a visa to be granted and the academic year begins in September.

Proof of solvency

We offer our own optional proof of solvency procedure to help non-EEA students prove their financial solvency. It has a proven track record and a higher success rate than a sponsor. 

You receive detailed information about the procedure and payment instructions once your application to KdG is approved. Note that the monthly amount is set by the Belgian government and is subject to change. If any changes occur, we will notify our students.

  • Degree students
    If you wish to use the proof of solvency procedure, you will need to pay €9100 (13 x €700) to KdG’s bank account.
    On arrival in Belgium, you open a local bank account. You sign a contract with KdG and your money is paid back in monthly instalments. You will receive a double payment in the first month to cover the initial costs for your accommodation deposit and books.
    In the event your visa application is turned down, we will reimburse the full amount.
  • Exchange students
    The process is the same as degree students but the number of instalments are tailored to the length of your exchange.

Check our cost of living estimate to ensure you have enough funds in place to cover daily life. 

Questions? Please contact our International Student Services Officer: studentservices@kdg.be

The People's Republic of China: APS certificate

All students with a Chinese degree who want to study at a Belgian higher education institution are obliged to obtain an APS- certificate of academic screening. Moreover, an APS-certificate is a condition for obtaining a student visa at the Belgian Embassy or Consulates General in the People’s Republic of China.

This certificate is issued by The Academic Evaluation Centre (APS) of the German Embassy in Beijing. Please note that an APS- certificate is required but it is not a binding document, nor is it sufficient to grant access to any higher education institute in Belgium.

Chinese applicants should add the APS-certificate to their application. Students should start the procedure by themselves before applying at KdG by contacting info@aps.org.cn.

More information on APS:
  • Embassy and Consulates of Belgium in China
  • APS information in Chinese

Accommodation

Antwerp boasts a large student population with many private housing options.

Our city is compact, and full of character. Want somewhere relaxed? Hip? Creative? There is a neighbourhood to suit all tastes.

Getting around is easy. Cycle lanes criss-cross the city, and bus and tram networks offer a quick alternative.

Begin your search

We advise our students to search on Kotweb. It has a useful labelling system so you can check whether a particular student room meets Flemish legislation and fire safety standards.

You can also select rooms that are rented by landlords who use the Kotweb model lease.

Produced by Moviecation Productions for Kotweb

When?

We recommend that our degree students start looking as soon as they receive their acceptance or conditional acceptance letter. 

Exchange students should begin their search once their application is approved and confirmed.

Which area?

We suggest you look for a place close to your campus or a short commute away.

  • Campus Groenplaats is in the heart of Antwerp
  • Campus Zuid is south but still very central
  • Campus Hoboken is outside the city centre, so keep that in mind when looking for a student room. You may prefer to live in the city centre and travel to the campus

Other housing options?

The Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITM) in Antwerp has a variety of accommodation options for students, including short lets (pdf).

If you are interested in reserving a room though ITM, please email studentsupport@itg.be with the following information:

  • Name of student
  • Date of arrival and departure
  • Type of room

Cost of living

We recommend that you budget at least €1,000 a month for your living costs.

When budgeting your costs, these are some factors for you to consider:

  • Our tuition fees are calculated annually and published late November for the next academic year
  • Books and study materials: check with your degree or exchange programme. Note that some programmes require you to have a laptop that meets certain specifications
  • Renting in Antwerp:
    • A furnished student room costs +/- €365 per month
    • A studio with its own bathroom and kitchenette costs +/- €460 per month
    • These prices are based on a full academic year - shorter contracts tend to cost more
    • Additional costs include: gas, electricity, water, internet and a rental deposit
    • Check Kotweb for their housing budget estimate
  • A Belgian bank account can take a couple of weeks to open, so make sure you have the funds in place to cover your initial costs. Rental deposit, the first month’s rent, living costs...
  • Insurance (differs for degree and exchange students)
  • A meal on campus costs around €5
  • Groceries and essentials

Plus:

  • Public transport
  • Bicycle rent
  • Sport sticker
  • Social and leisure activities

Work and study?

It takes discipline, time management skills and planning to successfully combine your studies with a student job. But yes, you are allowed to work while studying. Check Study in Flanders website for further details.

Many students do so without any problem, but your studies must remain your primary focus. A job is no excuse for missing deadlines or failure to attend mandatory classes. And note, that academic performance is also a consideration in visa renewals.

Degree students

Foreign students who follow a KdG degree are insured for physical accidents during their study and internship.

It is mandatory for all foreign students to arrange their own health insurance before arrival in Belgium. It must cover the duration of your stay.

Health insurance means adequate coverage for medical costs in case of illness or injury.

We also recommend a third-party liability insurance. This covers you in the event that you are sued for compensation by a third party, who believes they have suffered a loss due to your negligence or carelessness. It covers third- party material damage and physical injury.

For more information, please contact insurance@kdg.be

Exchange students (study or internship)

Students who temporarily (one or two semesters) come to Belgium (including Erasmus Belgica) for an internship or to study are not insured by KdG except for the physical accidents during the internship in Belgium.

When your medical costs for injury and illness are not covered by a health insurance in your home country, we strongly recommend that you take out a travel insurance.

We also recommend a third-party liability insurance. This covers you in the event you are sued for compensation by a third party, who believes they have suffered a loss due to your negligence or carelessness. It covers third-party material damage and physical injury.

If you are in need of an insurance covering accident, illness, travel assistance and third-party insurance, we can suggest the SIP (Student Insurance Programme).

For more information, please contact insurance@kdg.be

Our buddy app

International students enrolled on one of our English-taught programmes will receive an invitation to join our buddy app. It is a great way to connect with other KdG students before you join us for real.

It takes into account your interests, programme choice and language. So a few weeks before you arrive, you have your first contact in Antwerp and are one step closer to feeling at home.