Where are you going to live? What if you need coaching or counselling? And how can you make new friends?

Registration and formalities

International Office
International Office

Who can you contact when you have a question?

And how do you reach Bruges and Kortrijk from the airport? 

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Formalities upon arrival
Formalities upon arrival

Go to the internationalisation coordinator of your Howest department on the agreed day and time. You will have received an email informing you about the exact time of the welcome session for international students at your campus before your arrival.

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Academic calendar
Academic calendar

From the start of the academic year and welcome days to exams, holidays and days off ... Here, you can find the full Howest calendar for this academic year.

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Orientation week

We organise a full-time Orientation Week before the start of the actual lessons. During Orientation Week, there are often kick-off activities per study programme. We strongly recommend attending the full Orientation & Kick-off Week since it will offer you the opportunity to:

  • get to know the other incoming students and the locals through fun team building & other activities
  • get to know Howest and the campus(es) where you will spend your semester/year
  • explore the Howest cities, Bruges and Kortrijk, together with our local students while diving into student life
  • discover Belgian cultural treasures through student-friendly sightseeing trips to beautiful art cities like Ghent, Antwerp, and Brussels 
  • get loads of practical tips from our students while getting settled into your student room
  • get loads of practical tips from our students and staff to prepare you for your time at Howest
  • get set up on the Howest IT systems before classes begin

Howest does not charge a participation fee for Orientation Week. However, students do need to pay their own expenses, such as a couple of train trips, some entrance fees, and their own food & drinks. Prices are kept as low as possible and as close to 100 euro total as possible.

The estimated price for Orientation Week in 2023-2024 (for under 26y) is about 60 for the train tickets and 40 for the excursions, to be paid in cash at the start of Orientation Week.

The dates for the orientation week are as follows:

  • Autumn Semester: 11 – 15 September 2023
  • Spring Semester: 5 – 9 February 2024

In and around the campus

Cashless campuses
Cashless campuses

Howest has cashless campuses. All payments are made through your Howest student card, which you will receive during the welcome activities, on which you can upload money.

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Commuting to and from campus? A Stuvo staff member will be happy to help you on your way!

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IT Support for Students and Visitors
IT Support for Students and Visitors

Are you a student, employee or visitor having problems with Wi-Fi, logging in or your laptop? The ICT helpdesk is ready to help! Please do not forget to check the frequently asked questions. Can't find the answer? We are happy to help by phone, email or on campus.

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Coaching and student services

Student counselling
Student counselling

At Howest, your personal development is central. That is why we choose to organise guidance as close to you as possible. Throughout your study programme, you will be coached by the lecturers of your programme.

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Need language coaching?
Need language coaching?

Howest offers a weekly English course at the Howest Kortrijk and Howest Bruges campuses.  

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Student Services (Stuvo)
Student Services (Stuvo)

Stuvo Student Services gives all students from Howest and from the University of Gent (Kortrijk campus) the opportunity to study in optimal conditions. Stuvo also aims to make student life stimulating, enjoyable and worry-free.

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Student life and making friends

Find a buddy!

International students will have buddies to help their international pals feel welcome & at home at Howest in Kortrijk & Bruges!

This Howest student will welcome and inform international students, show them around in Bruges or Kortrijk, introduce them to the student life at our campuses and make them feel at home. We want all incoming students to be well guided during their stay in Belgium. There’s no better way to ensure this than by connecting international students with Belgian students from our buddy community! We match up regular Howest students with incoming students and connect them in time to make an arrival, meet-up plan!

Studenten amuseren zich op campus.
Studenten amuseren zich op de campus. Studentenvoorzieningen

Student life

Studying is more than just studying. Discover everything about sports, leisure, culture and student organizations here.

More about student life

Living as a student in Belgium

All Howest campuses have fully-equipped first aid rooms. A permanent staff member in each campus vouches for first aid administration. Howest doesn’t have its own medical service, though.

When you have medical problems, it is common practice in Belgium to consult a general practitioner first. Most general practitioners give consultations in the morning and early evening. Sometimes only consultation by appointment is possible.

Contact data of several general practitioners, both in Bruges and Kortrijk, are included in the welcome information, given by the Campus International Coordinator during the welcome activities. Your buddy can also assist you in finding a general practitioner.

More information about general practitioners
This website is aimed at expats who plann a long term stay in Belgium but offers lots of useful information for incoming students as well.

Whenever you need a dentist or a pharmacy, see Mediwacht.be. This website offers all important medical contact data in your neighbourhood as well as their availability and however the website is only available in Dutch, with google translator you will manage to find the person/pharmacy you need.

You can find a list of dentists (Dutch translation is ‘tandarts’) by googling ‘tandartsen Brugge’ or ‘tandartsen Kortrijk’. You will see a map where dentists in Brugge or Kortrijk are located as well as their contact details.

Chemist’s shops have the same opening hours as other retail shops on weekdays. In larger towns, most of them are also open on Saturday mornings. More details about the chemist on night duty can be found on the facade of most chemist’s shops (open 24 h/24). Information can be found on pharmacie.be (in Dutch and French).

In urgent and serious medical cases, immediately go to the emergency department of the nearest hospital or dial the European emergency number 112, which is available everywhere in the European Union (EU), free of charge, 24/7 for the police, the emergency medical services or the fire brigade.

Read the previous section on ‘insurance’ for more information about the financial matters of medical assistance. Howest does not provide any type of medical or health insurance to incoming students.

When you want to open a free bank account in Belgium as a foreign student, you need to fulfil the following conditions:

Account for young persons (+18y) (account free of charge)


To be of age and younger than 25 years (minimum 17 years and 10 months and maximum 24 years and 9 months)

Being competent

Not married

Have a domicile address in a EU member country other than Belgium or a candidate country for EU membership (in the country where the identity card was issued).

Documents needed

Foreign identity card/passport

Certificate of domicile (if not mentioned on the identity card or passport)

Holding a valid Application Form of a Belgian University or University College

Holding a valid, complete rental agreement of a student residence in Belgium, signed by all parties.

The account cannot be opened if the student

  • Is minor or incompetent
  • Does not hold a foreign identity card/passport 
  • Has no foreign domicile address

If other conditions are not fulfilled (eg. older than 25 years, married, no Application Form or rental agreement of a student residence in Belgium), only a regular bank account can be opened (with costs).

Please note that if you are a non EU student, your fully signed rental agreement of your student residence in Belgium may not be accepted by the bank for opening a Belgian bank account. In that case you are recommended to request the city hall for a document called ‘Model 2’, which will confirm your residence address in Belgium. 

    Students are allowed to work during their study period at Howest. You have to apply for your work permit once you arrive, because you need your residence permit to do the registration.

    How to apply

    apply for the work permit at the work migration office in Bruges (tel 050/24.74.70). You are not allowed to work more than 20 hours/week and not during school time.

    it will take 1 to 2 weeks before you’ll receive your work permit

    final step: once you have received this work permit, you go, together with your residence permit, to the immigration office in the Town Hall of Kortrijk or Bruges to do the registration.

    More information

    Dienst Economische Migratie Provincies Oost- en West-Vlaanderen

    Address: Koningin Maria Hendrikaplein 70 bus 60 - 9000 Gent
    Monday, Tuesday and Friday: 9u - 12u
    Tel: 02/553.43.00
    E-mail: arbeidskaart.gent [at] vlaanderen.be

      In general we can state that you will monthly spend about €240 on food, €80 on social life, €20 on printing costs, €50 (per 3 months) on public transport and/or €6 on bike rental in Bruges /€5 on bike rental in Kortrijk.

      Accommodation prices can be found in the respective sections.

      Below you find a few prices of some current food products to give you an idea of the costs of living in Belgium:

      • small loaf of bread (400 g): €1.60
      • big loaf of bread (800 g): €2.20
      • 1 litre of milk: €1.14
      • 1,5 l of Coca Cola: €1.49
      • 1 kg of potatoes: €1
      • 1 kg of oranges: €2.30
      • ham/kg: €16.90
      • cheese/kg: €7,59
      • 1 pint of beer (in a pub): €2.00
      • 1 coke (in a pub): €1.80 à €2.00

      You can keep a lid on these costs by shopping in cheaper supermarkets (like Aldi, Lidl or even Colruyt if you stick to their cheap generic brand) and visiting student-friendly places. Moreover, students enjoy reductions on many sports events, culture and leisure activities, and in some shops.

      Each Howest campus has a restaurant, a cafeteria or a bar where you can buy a hot midday meal, snacks, soup, bread rolls and drinks at very democratic prices. Of course, each campus has all necessary facilities to eat your own packed lunch. The cafeteria is the place to be for meeting other students and participating in social campus life.

      Here are some prices to give you an idea (these are indicative prices):

      • fresh soup costs €0,70
      • a daily special can be bought at €4,00
      • warm snacks cost €1,80 to €3,00 

      Bear in mind that Howest has cashless campuses

      In Belgium waste is being sorted in order to be recycled. Some types of rubbish are collected at your house. But you can also get rid of it at collection points and container parks.

      You can reduce your waste by buying products with less packaging, by using glass instead of plastic bottles etc. The following categories of rubbish can be sorted:

      • Glass
      • Paper and cardboard
      • PMD waste
      • Organic waste
      • Small hazardous waste
      • Old and expired medications
      • Building waste and rubble
      • Reusable textiles
      • Discarded electrical and electronic appliances

      Every waste type has a specific pick-up day and needs to be put in front of the house or residence between 6:00 and 7:00 am on collection mornings. The waste collection calendar, provided by the City of Kortrijk, shows the different pick-up days.

      Incorrect sorting or not respecting the pick-up days will result in fines. The official bags for waste collection can be bought in most supermarkets.

      Container parks

      Every city has one or more recycling centres where people can bring their large domestic waste, small dangerous waste and other specific waste fractions such as construction debris, wood etc. In the Kortrijk area, there are four recycling centres.

      You can only access the recycling centre with your electronic ID-card. Small dangerous waste and old electronic appliances can be brought in for free. For all other waste you will need to pay a fee depending on the kind of waste and the volume.


      Near Campus Rijselstraat: Laundrette ‘t Zeepbelletje’, Rijselstraat 118, 8200 Sint-Michiels (Bruges)

      Near Campus Sint-Jorisstraat: Laundrette ‘Belfort’, Ezelstraat 51, 8000 Bruges (next to youth hostel ‘De Snuffel’)


      Hendrik Consciencestraat 44a: Laundrette ‘den Appel’

      Rijselsestraat 52, 8500 Kortrijk

      Koning Albertstraat 100: Laundrette ‘Was O Matic’

      Sint-Denijsestraat 4: Laundrette ‘Comfort Wash’