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Academic Calendar

When does the academic year start? When are the exams? What are the holidays in Belgium?

Here you can find the full Howest calendar for this academic year:

Check out the calendar

Studenten leren elkaar kennen bij start academiejaar

Welcome days for English-taught degree programmes

During the welcome days, you will receive information about your schedule, the academic and exam regulations, student services, your Howest email account, etc.

You will also meet your new classmates, explore the Howest campus and learn about all that Stuvo (student services) has to offer.

You will have the opportunity to purchase your books and we will make a number of practical arrangements to get the year off to a good start.

Orientation Week for exchange semesters

6 reasons not to miss Orientation Week

We organise a full Orientation Week before the start of actual lessons. During Orientation Week, there are often kick-off activities per study programme. We strongly recommend attending the complete Orientation & Kick-off Week so you can:

  1. meet other incoming and local students through various fun activities
  2. get to know the Howest campus(es) where you will spend your semester/year
  3. explore Bruges and Kortrijk together with our local students
  4. discover Belgian cultural treasures through student-friendly sightseeing trips to beautiful cities like Ghent, Antwerp, and Brussels
  5. receive loads of practical tips from students and staff that will help you prepare for your time at Howest and life in your student room
  6. get set up on the Howest IT systems before classes begin

Cost for Orientation Week

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

The price for Orientation Week in 2023-2024 (for under 26y) was about €60 for train tickets and €40 for excursions. These fees must be paid in cash at the start of Orientation Week.

Dates for Orientation Week

  • Autumn Semester: 16 – 20 September 2024
  • Spring Semester: 3 – 8 February 2025

Visa requirements

Students from countries outside the European Economic Area must request a valid visa to study in Belgium.

Students who come to Belgium without a valid Belgian student visa, cannot enrol officially at Howest.

Keep in mind that it takes at least 6-8 weeks to get a student visa.

Degree-seeking students will have to provide proof that they have a valid visa in order to finalise their enrolment. A stamped visa will also be required for their city hall application in order to obtain a Belgian residence permit.

Please note that Howest is a public institution.

Howest insurance policy 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

Studenten bij studentenhuis


Howest Students Affairs (Stuvo) will help you find suitable accommodation.

As soon as your application has been approved by Howest, go to Stuvo’s website and you will find specific information regarding the housing possibilities Howest helps facilitate for internationals students, and about how to rent one of these rooms.

  • A student room in Bruges will typically cost you between €300 and €550 per month, costs included; a studio flat between €450 and €600.
  • A student room in Kortrijk will generally cost you between €350 and €550 per month, costs included.

The sooner you apply and start the accommodation procedures, the higher your chances to get a room that comes up to your expectations. Howest cannot offer ‘emergency housing assistance’ upon arrival.

Check Stuvo’s housing brochure with tips

Next to housing Student Affairs are also the ones to contact for all the things that can make your life as a student more comfortable. Think about mobility, sports, … You will hear all about it during the Orientation Week preceding your semester at Howest.

Paying on campus

Howest has cashless campuses. This means that, in the restaurants, shops and at vending machines, you can pay with your Howest student card, which you will receive during the welcome activities. You can (re)charge your student card online or on campus with all common debit and credit cards.

Check our how to video!

Howest myNetPay ENG