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Nominations and Applications

Incoming exchange students need to be nominated by their home institution via an online form.
After having received the nomination by the home institution, Howest will send the nominee all information necessary for their application.

PLEASE NOTE: Exchange students from outside the EEA are also required to obtain a valid student visa for Belgium (see below).

Nomination deadlines

15 May for study in the autumn semester


  • 15 April for nationals from outside the European Economic Area.
  • 15 April is the only yearly deadline for nominations for traineeships in Nursing and Psychology. This includes nominations for spring of the following academic year.

15 November for study in the spring semester


  • 15 October for nationals from outside the European Economic Area

Application deadlines

1 June for study in the autumn semester


  • 1 May for nationals from outside the European Economic Area.
  • 1 May is the only yearly deadline for traineeships in Nursing/Psychology, also for spring of the following academic year.

30 November for study in the spring semester


  • 31 October for nationals from outside the European Economic Area


Exchange students from outside the EEA are required to obtain a valid student visa for Belgium. Students who come to Belgium without a valid Belgian visa do so at their own risk and cannot be enrolled officially at Howest. Count on 90 days to get a student visa.

If your sending institution is already situated in the EEA, the visa or residence permit you already have for your study there is NOT as such a valid visa for (exchange) study in Belgium. However, you will be entitled to a shorter procedure via our International Office, of which you will be informed upon acceptance.

Please note that Howest University of Applied Sciences is a public institution. This is important to know for your visa application.

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Tuition fee

For exchange students sent by our Erasmus and intercontinental partner institutions the exchange semester or year is tuition free.

Courses, study materials, the cost for cultural visits and study excursions (transportation, museum entrance …) will have to be paid on location.

Language requirements

Howest courses are taught in either English or Dutch.

The minimum proficiency level expected from incoming students is B2 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Foreign Languages (CEFR), in reading, speaking and comprehension skills.

CEFR Self assessment grid

We expect applying students to provide proof of their proficiency in the language of instruction in the chosen programme in one of the following ways:

  • The results of a (free) online language test which can be related to the CEFR B2 level,such as Dialang and Testpodium. The online test should have been taken under the supervision of the sending institution. The result sheet needs to be stamped and signed by a staff member of the sending institution. (only valid for exchange students)
  • An official certificate or score report referring to the European Framework or from one of the recognized language tests, e.g. a Duolingo Language Certificate with a minimum score of 105 or higher, TOEFL: paper based 550/internet based 79/computer based 213 or IETLS: 5.5, no partial results below 5.

Howest reserves the right to contact the sending university to verify the information on language proficiency, or to contact the applicant to have a telephone or Skype conversation in English.

The following applicants are not required to document their language skills for study in English or Dutch respectively at Howest:

  • applicants from Erasmus programme countries for study/traineeship at Howest coming under the Erasmus programme.
  • applicants from countries having the chosen modules´ teaching language as their national language.
  • applicants attending a full-time degree programme at their home institution taught in the same language as the Howest modules they are applying for.

Academic recognition & grade conversion

Howest UAS fully applies the ECTS grading system and awards credits for the successfully achieved course units. Within 4 weeks after the end of the exam period, all exchange students receive an official ECTS Transcript of Records and Certificate. The Howest -and Flemish- grading system is based on evaluations out of 20 points. 10/20 is the pass score. A 16/20 is considered excellent in Flanders, and students obtaining results of 18/20 and more are rather exceptional.

Our English-taught semesters are an integrated part of the Howest Bachelor courses.

Grade Conversion - Howest Grade Distribution Tables

The Howest scores (out of 20 points) can be easily converted to the scores of the sending institution comparing the grade distribution table of the own institution with the Howest one. You can find Howest’s grade distribution table under here, or in the EGRACONS conversion tool, which will perform the conversion automatically for you, if your institution also participates in EGRACONS. We encourage our partners to join us -and many other higher education institutions- in using EGRACONS as a (free of charge) conversion tool. EGRACONS is fully compliant with the guidelines in the ECTS Users’ Guide 2015 and is officially mentioned there as an example of good practice.

Consult the Howest Grade Distribution Table

Partner institutions who don’t use Grade Distribution Tables can find some more information in the definitions below to interpret the Howest scores:

Howest grade on 20 Definition
16/20 up to 20/20 EXCELLENT - outstanding performance with only minor errors
The student has an exceptionally high command of the pursued competence(s)
14/20 &15/20 VERY GOOD - above the average standard but with some errors
The student has a very good command of the pursued competence(s) and distinguishes him/herself
12/20 & 13/20 GOOD - generally sound work with a number of notable errors
The student has a good command of the pursued competence(s)
11/20 SATISFACTORY- fair but with significant shortcomings
The student has an adequate command of the pursued competence(s)
10/20 10/20 is the PASS SCORE > credits are acquired
SUFFICIENT - performance meets the minimum criteria.
The student has acquired sufficient command of the pursued competence(s) in order to function and/or continue studying.
7/20 - 8/20 - 9/20 FAIL - some work required before the credit can be awarded
The student has not yet acquired sufficient command of the pursued competences in order to function and/or continue studying
6/20 and less FAIL - considerable further work is required
The student has not at all acquired sufficient command of the pursued competences

Insurance requirements for incoming students

All residents in Belgium, Belgian nationals or otherwise, are required by law to have insurance that covers their healthcare. Hence, every incoming student must arrange sufficient insurance for healthcare, but also third-party (civil) liability and travel assistance insurance, including repatriation of body.

Below you find info on the ‘Student Insurance’ of Expat&Co, which we require from all non-EEA incoming degree seeking students, and recommend to all other students. Your personal insurance policy is meant to complement the Howest standard insurance coverage, also explained below.

‘Student Insurance’ of Expat & Co

Student Insurance of Expat & Co can be taken out before you travel to Belgium. This extensive insurance complies with the very strict guidelines of the European Commission’s Erasmus programme (which are the minimum insurance requirements).

The ‘BASIC’ formula of the Expat & Co ‘Student Insurance’ covers:

  • Medical treatment costs: this part of the insurance covers your hospitalization costs, treatment costs, urgent dental care, dental care, dental surgery following an accident and psychological help after trauma
  • Assistance abroad: such as repatriation or evacuation, forwarding essential medications, legal assistance abroad
  • Accidents: permanent disability or death due to an accident
  • Non-contractual liability in private life (= third-party liability)
  • Option: Sports (winter and underwater sports and speleology)

All non-EEA degree- seeking students must take out Full Cover type of coverage for the period of 10 months (September 1 - June 30). The Insurance Certificate will be required during the finalising stage of your enrolment.

For EEA students coverage type Top Up is strongly advised, in case you already possess an EU medical health insurance card. This coverage will cover third party liability costs, travel insurance etc.

After acceptance, Howest will send you the link to the Expat&Co webtool where you can calculate your quote and buy the insurance online as a Howest student.

Read the full Expat & Co brochure

For further information, you can contact Expat & Co:

  • By phone: +32 (0)2 463 04 04
  • By e-mail: info [at] (info[at]expatinsurance[dot]eu)

Keep note, non-EEA students students will not be allowed to complete their enrolment (degree students) or registration (exchange students) at Howest without this Insurance Certificate.

Howest insurance policy for incoming students

Howest provides incoming international students with 24/7 assistance through a professional multilingual emergency call centre. Via this Howest insurance policy, incoming international students are covered for third-party liability and physical accidents DURING school related activities and on their commute to and from campus or work placement.

However, this insurance is NOT health insurance and it does NOT cover all risks, such as PRIVATE activities taking place during the exchange period. Hence, all incoming students need to arrange for themselves sufficient health, third-party (civil) liability and travel assistance insurance, including repatriation of body.

More information about the different insurances