English-taught programmes and COVID-19 questions

Published October 1, 2020

We are very much looking forward to welcoming you in September and are planning for your arrival. 

Given the current situation, you may find you have many unanswered questions. Please check our FAQs below or get in touch. Want to speak ‘face-to-face’ with a KdG international student advisor? Then you can request a video call.

And remember to check our website regularly for updates as the situation is fluid and subject to change.

KdG’s response to COVID-19

How have you adapted your teaching?

KdG has responded quickly to the challenges of Covid-19, immediately moving all our teaching activities online. Recent exams took place on campus and online, and our final-year students have graduated.

2020-2021 academic year

What will the start of the academic year look like?

We will start as planned in mid-September, offering a mix of on and off-campus learning.

We are eager to get to know you. But we want everyone to stay healthy, so we follow government guidelines. And, should we to need to switch back to stricter safety measures, we are prepared for different scenarios.

Can I come to campus in September?

We are planning for you to be on campus several days a week.

Rest assured, we will do everything we can to give you a 360° view of KdG in the new academic year: meetings and lessons on campus (lecture theatre, classroom, KdG coffee bar...), and online (because it is ideal for some subjects).

Which classes will take place on campus?

  • Practical lessons work best offline, so you will follow these on campus.
  • There are also opportunities for group work and for studying (together).
  • During these on-campus moments you will also get to know your fellow students better.

Will there be online classes?

If a class is best suited to online teaching, we will do just that. Online is our new normal. We will continue to focus on this, just as we continue to attach importance to practical learning, getting a taste for student life, making new friends, discovering Antwerp, campus life...

Can I come to the campus to exercise, eat and meet fellow students?

Socialising and getting to know one another are important parts of university life. You can have a bite to eat with your new friends on campus. You can exercise. And if you need it, there is one-to-one guidance from our student support services.

Will there be welcome moments?

Yes! We provide all students with a warm welcome, no matter when you arrive. Welcoming Days for our English-taught bachelor’s and exchange students this Fall semester, took place on September 16-18, with safety measures in place. We will continue with Welcoming Days for exchange students upcoming Spring semester from 4 to 5 February 2021.


Can I still apply for an English-taught bachelor’s?

EEA or NON EEA students with an EEA residence permit
If you meet the admission requirements, please email study@kdg.be to schedule an interview.

Non EEA students
Admissions are closed.

Applications for our 2021-2022 academic year open on December 7. More information about our application process.

My exams have been cancelled, and I am not sure if or when I will receive my high school certificate?

We acknowledge that there is a marked difference in the way individual countries are currently awarding diplomas or choosing to delay final exams. We are working on a case by case basis. This approach requires a certain amount of flexibility on our part, and we will do our utmost to facilitate the admission process for you (in accordance with the legal framework).

If you are applying for an English-taught bachelor and affected, please email admission@kdg.be.

My language test is cancelled. Do you accept online language tests?

We accept online alternatives offered by Duolingo, TOEFL and IELTS (online version of the full test).

Note that we will refund the Duolingo English test’s current cost of €45 if you successfully enrol for one of our English-taught programmes this academic year (2020-2021) and begin classes. Please note that this offer is valid for one test per person, taken between March 30, 2020, and September 8, 2020. Refunds that meet these criteria will take place in October.

    Student travel exemptions and visas

    As a non-EU/Schengen student, am I exempt from travel restrictions to Belgium?

    Yes, there are currently no travel restrictions to Belgium for non-EU/Schengen students who are accepted or enrolled on a Belgian higher education programme in 2020/2021. However, you will need to ensure that you comply with Belgium’s current COVID-19 safety requirements. You also need to submit a passenger locator form 48 hours before arrival in Belgium, and self-isolate for 14-days – see our FAQ section Preparations for arrival in Belgium.

    The pandemic has delayed my visa application process. What can I do?

    As a student of higher education, you are exempt from travel restrictions to Belgium. Please contact your Belgian embassy as soon possible, and highlight the importance and urgency of your visa application.

    What should I do if my Belgian embassy is still closed?

    We recommend that you contact your embassy to find out when they expect to reopen. We are liaising closely with the Belgian authorities and understand that the process for a gradual reopening of embassies is underway. If you are an accepted or enrolled student requiring a visa and have any concerns, please email studentservices@kdg.be.

    Late starts and deferments

    What happens if COVID-19 prevents me from arriving for the start of term? 

    • English-taught bachelor’s: We will offer online classes initially, until you can join your programme in person by November 16 at the latest. Note that this only applies to first-year students.
    • Exchange students: Please contact your exchange coordinatorNote that students in the Business for Exchange programme (B4E) are required to be present from begin-February – there is no exclusive online offer for these courses.

    Can I defer my English-taught bachelor’s for a year? 

    We obviously hope to welcome you in September, but we realise that COVID-19 circumstances may dictate otherwise. 

    If you are an enrolled first-year student (accepted and paid tuition fee) for 2020-2021, it is possible to defer a year if you let us know by September 15, 2020. 

    • We will waive our application fee for the new academic year starting in 2021.
    • You will receive a new letter of acceptance if you choose to have your tuition fees transferred. If you want your tuition fees refunded, we will deduct a €150 fee and send your letter of acceptance for 2021-2022 once your indexed-linked 2021-2022 tuition fee is paid in full. 

    Preparations for arrival in Belgium

    Should I start looking for student accommodation?

    If you are facing visa delays and are unsure if you will arrive in Belgium on time, we suggest that you do not sign any rental contract yet. By law, COVID-19 and its impact are not valid reasons to stop a lease contract, and a landlord could ask you to pay rent even if you have not arrived in Antwerp. However, we still recommend that you start your search for accommodation and contact landlords. If you explain your situation and your need for extra time, they may offer a degree of flexibility. 

    Do I have to fill out a Passenger Locator Form?

    Yes, it is mandatory and you must submit it out 48 hours before arrival in Belgium.

    Where can I get more information on Belgium’s current COVID-19 measures?

    Keep up-date with the current situation here: info-coronavirus.be/en/faq/

    Will I need to self-isolate on arrival in Belgium?

    If you are travelling from a country outside the EU/Schengen OR from a red zone as indicated on Belgium’s Foreign Affairs’ website, you are required to self-isolate for seven days on arrival in Belgium and get tested on the fifth day. Scroll down to the ‘Returning from…’ section to check your country/region’s colour code. On the fifth day after arrival in Belgium, you have to get tested for COVID-19. If the test result is negative, quarantine stops after seven days. If the test result is positive, you must stay self-isolated for another week (so two weeks in total). To find out where to get a test, click here.


    Where can I get a Covid-19 test?

    • Degree students can contact the TestCovid Village by Park Spoor Oost in Antwerp. You need to fill out an e-form to book an appointment. Important: do not turn up at the test village without an appointment. You need your Belgian social security number, but if you are still awaiting this, please contact studentservices@kdg.be.
    • Exchange students – who have just arrived in Belgium or are already in Belgium and wish to be tested – can contact the Institute of Tropical Medicine. It costs €46. Check their website for more info. We are currently exploring alternative options, since the need for testing has increased.

    Was there a spike in Covid-19 infections in Antwerp this Summer?

    Yes, and it sparked a swift response from the local authorities. Stricter safety measures were brought in at the end of July, (including mandatory facemasks in public, social bubbles of five people, earlier closing times for bars and restaurants, work from home where possible).

    Four weeks on, and the province is seeing a reduction in the number of new infections. Higher education is not affected by the new measures.

    KdG is continuing with plans to start the academic year with a hybrid model – combining on-campus teaching with online lectures. Students are taking exams on campus this week.

    We feel it is essential that students, especially those on our international programmes, get to interact as much as possible with their lecturers and classmates. Naturally, we want everyone to stay healthy, so we are, of course, ready to switch back to stricter safety measures if required.

    Why was Belgium’s initial COVID-19 mortality rate high?

    At first glance, this may appear the case. However, the Belgium authorities have taken a very transparent approach, counting both confirmed and suspected COVID-19 deaths in hospitals, care homes and at home. Belgium’s thorough reporting makes comparisons with other countries difficult. By including the additional and suspected cases, the Belgian authorities believe they can assess the current situation more accurately and respond effectively to the pandemic.

    How has Belgian healthcare coped during the pandemic?

    Belgian healthcare is one of the best in the world. During the height of the pandemic, the country’s intensive care units never neared their capacity. And patients requiring medical treatment for matters unrelated to COVID-19 continued to receive help throughout.   

    Note that it is mandatory for our foreign degree students to arrange their health insurance before arrival in Belgium. Learn more

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