English-taught programmes and COVID-19 questions

Updated January 8, 2021

We look forward to welcoming you and are planning for your arrival. 

Given the current situation, you may have many unanswered questions. We hope to answer these below. 

Or contact an international student advisor for help.

KdG’s response to COVID-19

What does teaching look like at KdG right now?

KdG is currently in lockdown until the end of February in line with government regulations.

This means:

  • Online learning is the norm
  • Practical and skills courses can take place on campus. Campus occupancy cannot exceed 10%. Decisions on hands-on teaching are made at campus level in consultation with the degree programmes
  • Strict safety are in place and face masks are mandatory at all times on campus
  • We facilitate quiet study places for students unable to work at home
  • Teachers and student counsellors are on-hand to offer students the support they need during these difficult and uncertain times
     

Are there welcome moments?

We look forward to welcoming our new exchange students on February 4-5. In view of the current safety measures, these Welcoming Days will take place online. 

Our Welcoming Days for the start of the 2021-2022 academic year will take place on September 15-17, 2021.

Admissions

Can I do a language test online?
We accept online alternatives offered by Duolingo, TOEFL and IELTS (online version of the full test).
 

My exams have been cancelled, and I am not sure if or when I will receive my high school certificate?
Like all other countries, Belgium is currently working to resolve the impact caused by cancelled and delayed exams. We await an update from the relevant authorities. If you are affected, please email admission@kdg.be
 

Can I defer 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 2021-2022, it is possible to defer for a year if you let us know by September 13, 2021. 

  • We will waive our application fee for the new academic year starting in 2022
  • You will receive a new letter of acceptance if you choose to have your tuition fees transferred
  • It is not possible to defer more than once

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. 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. Your answers determine whether you need to self-quarantine and take a Covid-19 test. You will receive a text message alert. Currently, all travellers from red zones are required to quarantine and take a PCR test(s). For full details on quarantine, self-isolation and testing visit the Belgian Coronavirus Information website. Scroll down to the Transport and International section.   

Find out your country’s colour code on Belgium’s Foreign Affairs’ website. Scroll down to the ‘Returning from’ section.

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. You can also email us.

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 48 hours before arrival in Belgium.
 

Where can I get more information on Belgium’s current COVID-19 measures?
Keep up-to-date with the current situation at the Covid-19 site of the Belgian government.
 

Will I need to quarantine on arrival in Belgium?
You need to submit a passenger locator 48 hours before arrival in Belgium. Your answers determine whether you need to self-quarantine and take a Covid-19 test. You will receive a text message alert. Currently, all travellers from red zones are required to quarantine and take a PCR test(s). For full details on quarantine, self-isolation and testing visit the Belgian Coronavirus Information website. Scroll down to the Transport and International section.   

Find out your country’s colour code on Belgium’s Foreign Affairs’ website. Scroll down to the ‘Returning from’ section.

General

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.
     

What is the current infection rate in Belgium?
Like most European countries, Belgium is experiencing a second wave and has adopted strict safety measures since mid-October. As a result, the country is now seeing a reduction in Covid-19 cases. The majority of these measures will stay in place until mid-January to prevent a rise in infections after Christmas and New Year. In the summer, swift action from the local authorities brought a spike in infections under control in Antwerp. 
 

Why was Belgium’s initial COVID-19 mortality rate high?
Belgium authorities chose 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 is Belgian healthcare coping during the pandemic?
Our healthcare is one of the best in the world. COVID-19 is still with us however, and Belgium's second wave saw a dramatic rise in hospital admissions. Strict safety measures have successfully reversed this increase and hospitals are resuming non-essential care following a temporary postponement.

    Useful KdG contacts