Arrival in Belgium

Checklist

  1. Make sure you have a place to stay
  2. Gather the necessary documents needed when traveling to Antwerp
  3. Travel to Antwerp
  4. Find your way around
  5. Apply for a residence permit
  6. Join our Welcoming Days
  7. Kick-start your student life
  8. Meet our student services team

Questions?

Our student services team is here to support you, from the moment you are accepted onto one of our programmes, and throughout your time at KdG.

studentservices@kdg.be

Necessary documents

Make sure you bring the following documents when traveling to Antwerp to begin your studies at KdG.

Travel to Antwerp

Getting to Antwerp is easy, as the city is well connected to several major international traffic hubs.

By airplane

  • Brussels national airport in Zaventem is 45 kilometres from Antwerp, and the airport in Deurne is only 15 mins from the city center. Brussels South Charleroi Airport and Eindhoven Airport (in the Netherlands) are also nearby.
  • From these airports, you can take a train to Antwerp's central train station.
  • Alternatively, the Antwerp-Brussels Airport Express Bus is arguably the most convenient way to get to Antwerp from Brussels airport. It reaches the centre of Antwerp in approximately 45 minutes.

By train

  • Antwerp has two main stations: Antwerp Central Station and Berchem station.
  • International railway lines link Brussels and Antwerp to several other major European cities in France, the Netherlands and Germany.
  • Antwerp is connected to the European high-speed train projects: Thalys, Eurostar and Eurotunnel.

Getting around in Antwerp

By bike

Antwerp is the place to ride a bike. Within 20 min you can get pretty much everywhere in the city. Renting a bike is easy, and there are plenty of options to do so.

For students, we recommend the following:

  • Velo: You will notice the small red-and-white Velo bicycles as soon as you arrive in Antwerp. They have stations all over the city and the system’s very easy to use. A pass for a week is 10 euro; for a full year you'll pay 49 euro.
  • Levanto: Rent a bike at attractive rates from the Association of Universities & Colleges ('Hogescholen') of Antwerp. They have a pick-up point at the railway station Antwerpen-Centraal.
  • Swapfiets: Get a Swapfiets for a fixed amount per month. Swapfiets ensures that the bicycle always works. They also offer electric bikes.

By public transport

Pretty much everything in Antwerp can be reached by public transport.

  • Tram and metro stops are located throughout the city. Buses also get you around, or out of the city. Find their schedules and routes on De Lijn.
  • Trains connect Antwerp to other cities in Belgium and our neighboring countries. For tickets and itineraries, go to b-rail.be

Or go alternative

There's plenty of alternatives to public transport and cycling, like shared electric scooters, and shared cars (like Poppy), or even a Waterbus to get you around.

Apply for a residence permit

Degree students

All international students who come to Belgium to study for more than three months must apply for a residence permit.

  • You are required to do so upon arrival in Belgium (and no later than eight days after this date).
  • To register you need to submit the required documents detailed below. Scan and label each document separately in colour and forward to studentservices@kdg.be
  • Depending on the country you come from, additional documents are required for a residence permit.
  • You need to find suitable accommodation before submitting this application.
  • Only complete files are accepted by the immigration office.

Required documents

Procedure and additional required documents

  • Students from neighbouring countries (France, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany)
    You retain your main residence in your home country. You do not need to register on the national register, so there is no housing inspection and you do not receive a national register number. You receive a residence permit bijlage 33 until the end of the academic year.

  • EU-students
    You need to register on the national register using your accommodation address in Antwerp. You are given a national register number and a residence permit for five years (e-card or bijlage 8). Additional required documents:
  • NON-EU-students with visa type D
    Please submit a Valid D visa with entry stamp.
  • NON-EU students without visa type D
    Does one of the following statements apply to you?
    • You have a visa type C
    • You have a residence card from another European Member State
    • You are from a visa-free country

    If so, please submit the following additional required documents:

    • Proof of sufficient means of subsistence
    • Medical certificate
    • Proof of payment of administrative fee
    • Proof of good conduct and morals

What is next?

Once you submit your documents, we send them to the Immigration Office at Gate 15, and let you know when you need to attend an appointment.

  • Students from neighbouring countries (France, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany)
    You don't have to do anything else for your residence permit.

  • All other students
    • A police officer will carry out a residence check in the next few weeks. Please make sure your doorbell is clearly named. Following a positive residence check, you'll be added to the Foreigners’ Register.
    • You will receive a provisional residence document (annex 15) by post. It is valid for 45 days.
    • As soon as the application file is processed, Gate 15 will invite you (by email) to complete the registration and apply for an electronic A-card. You will need to bring three recent and identical passport photos that meet the required criteria, your personal email invitation, and 24,20 euro (cash or debit card).
    • As soon as you receive the PIN/PUK codes by post, you can collect your A card from Gate 15.

Exchange students

All international students who come to Belgium to study for more than three months must apply for a residence permit.

  • You are required to do so upon arrival in Belgium (and no later than eight days after this date).
  • To register you need to submit the required documents detailed below. Scan and label each document separately in colour and forward to studentservices@kdg.be
  • Only complete files are accepted by the immigration office.

Required documents

Additional required documents

  • Students from non-EU/EEA countries
    D visa covering the duration of your time in Belgium. D visa is required for non-EU students who are registered at a European university and have a European residence permit. 
    Depending on the codes on your visa, you may need to add ONE of the following documents:
    • Scan of your Erasmus grant, mentioning the amount of the grant
    • Tenlasteneming bijlage 32 (document is in Dutch, ask someone to help you translate it)
    • Scan of your certificate of adequate resources
  • Nationals from EU/EEA/Monaco and Switzerland

What is next?

  • We will send your documents to the Immigration Office in Antwerp, and let you know when you need to attend an appointment there.
  • Bring the all required documents to your appointment at the Immigration Office. You will also need three recent passport photos (size 3.5 x 4.5cm on a white background)

Deregistration - on leaving Belgium

If you have registered with the city’s authorities, you must fill in a change of domicile form before you leave Belgium.

  • Email your signed and completed form to studentenloket.dl@stad.antwerpen.be at the Immigration Office.
  • Once processed, you will receive proof of your deregistration by email (a Model 8 document in Dutch). If you send the document after your actual departure, the official date of deregistration is marked as the date of receipt.
  • If you fail to deregister, the Belgium authorities will assume you are still a resident of Belgium.

Any questions? Please contact studentservices@kdg.be.

Welcoming Days

We host welcome events twice a year for our new English-taught programme intakes. These mark the start of term for students and we expect all students to attend.

Dates

  • 13-15 September 2023: bachelor’s degree and autumn semester exchange students
  • 26-27 January 2023: spring semester for all exchange students 

What to expect?

  • The days are packed with tours and info sessions to help you find your bearings.
  • We will introduce you to campus life, your daily routine and Antwerp. Use the time to get to know your classmates and pick up useful tips from current students.
  • Most importantly, you begin to feel at home.
It is our job to make students feel welcome not only at KdG but also in the city of Antwerp.
Remo Herzog
International Student Services
Remote video URL
Remote video URL

Kick start your student life

Explore the intranet

From the end of June onwards, enrolled students will get access to KdG's intranet. Here you'll find all programme-specific information, such as contact details, academic calendar, timetables, elective programmes, …

Explorers Club

Our student-run club brings locals and internationals together for social events and sporting activities. 

Sign up for an annual membership at our Welcoming Days.

Exploreres Club KdG

Joinby

All new students at KdG will be invited to the Joinby community app, which allows new (including international) students to look for a buddy who will guide them through Antwerp's student life.

Via the app, students can join or create clubs or activities, or search for other users based on shared interests. The fastest way to new friendships and experiences!

Get moving with the Sportsticker

KdG offers its students access to a whole range of free or discounted sports in and around Antwerp – on campus or in the city. Read about the Sportsticker here.

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Student Services

Our student services team provides the support network you need when you are away from home and starting this new chapter in your life.

Connecting you with your peers

Fancy joining us for bowling or a film night? Or further afield for a city break or ski trip? We love to bring KdG students together. 

And supporting you when you need it

Our experienced counsellors and legal advisors are ready to help you should you need it.
Got an issue with your landlord? Or perhaps exam stress is getting to you? Never suffer in silence, come and see us or book an online appointment through studentservices@kdg.be