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Academic Calender

When is the start of the academic year at Howest? What are the exam periods? And when are the holidays in Belgium?

Below, you can find the full Howest calendar for this academic year.

Check out the calender

Studenten leren elkaar kennen bij start academiejaar

Welcome days for the 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

7 reasons not to miss 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:

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

Costs of the orientation week

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

Visa requirements

Students from a country 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 demonstrate a valid visa in order to finilise their enrolment. A stamped visa will also be required for their city hall application in order to obtain Belgian permit for residence.

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 an insurance that covers their health. Hence, all incoming students need to arrange themselves sufficient health, but also third-party (civil) liability and travel assistance insurance, including repatriation of corpse.

‘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]

    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.

    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!

    If you have a European bank card with Maestro function, you can also use this on campus. Please check this with your local bank.

    Howest myNetPay ENG