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What is Applied Health and Lifestyle Sciences?

In this programme we develop professionals who will facilitate other people in finding their balance in life and work. In a world where, due to the increasing intensity of life, many people are dealing with stress and challenges to maintain their work-life balance and healthy lifestyle behaviour, there is a need for innovative young professionals who can face this trend. In this open international semester, students will meet with a key common interest: to find innovative ways of engaging people and coaching lifestyle behaviour on the one hand and developing sports and health promotion programs on the other hand.

This international semester will take place in Autumn, and usually attracts a group of 10-20 international students from all over Europe. The emphasis will be on theoretical lectures as well as on experiential learning and individual- or group-projects. Students will work on different projects, mostly in mixed multidisciplinary teams. The aim is to integrate students from abroad with Belgian students and stimulate teamwork and international communication and cooperation.

The international semester programme offers a choice out of 11 modules, with an overall maximum of 30 ECTS.

This English-taught semester is organised by our Bachelor of Applied Health and Lifestyle Sciences (TGW), Bachelor of Sports and Movement (SB) and Bachelor of Applied Psychology (TP).

This programme is only available in English!

Studenten Toegepaste Psychologie tijdens groepswerk

What makes this semester unique?

The international semester in Applied Health and Lifestyle Sciences is aimed at both bachelor's students and graduates.

Since there is the possibility for an individual itinerary (= open semester), the international semesters are interesting for students of different study programmes, especially sport and movement, applied psychology, applied health sciences but also other fields of study such as nursery, health coaching, leisure management, or social work.

This semester will surely give added value to your degree and your career opportunities as you improve your team working and communication skills.


Minimum 3 successfully completed semesters or an equivalent of 90 ECTS in a Bachelor of Sports and Movement, Applied Health Sciences , Sports and Leisure Management, Tourism and Recreation Management or Applied Psychology. This will need to be confirmed by means of an official certificate, a survey of completed courses, or a signed letter from the sending university. The students must have sufficient affinity with applied psychology, coaching and counselling in order to receive the permission to follow this international semester Applied Health and Lifestyle Sciences. It’s also advisable that the students are eager to join intensive counselling and coaching assessments and show engagement.

Click here for Howest language expectations.

All students should bring their own laptop, with all necessary and officially licensed software. The course overview above mentions any further specific software necessary for the course unit. Howest applies a very strict policy on the use of legal software.

Non-exchange students are not able to attend this international semester.

Course overview

Introduction Course - Innovation in applied health & lifestyle sciences (3ECTS)

In this module real-life cases and challenges in the domain of sports, exercise and preventive health care are tackled by going through the different phases of the Design Thinking methodology: (i) Empathize: Fully understand the experience of the user, through observation, interaction, and immersing yourself in their experiences; (ii) Define: Process and synthesize the findings from the empathy work to form a user point of view that will be addressed with your innovation; (iii) Ideate: Explore a wide variety of possible solutions through generation a large quantity of diverse possible solutions to the challenges, allowing you to step beyond the obvious and explore a range of ideas; (iv) Prototype: Transform your ideas into a physical form so that you can experience and interact with them and, in the process, learn and develop more empathy; (v) Test: Try out innovations and use observations and feedback to refine the innovations, learn more about the user, and refine your original point of view. This module gives students many opportunities for interdisciplinary and intercultural learning.

Cultural frameworks in health (3ECTS)

This course starts with a short introduction or rehearsal of the basic principles of prevention and health promotion. The social, behavioral and cultural determinants of health are discussed through gamification. Next, topics such as intercultural communication, health promotion in different cultures (incl. refugees), health literacy and active participation in health promotion projects will be studied. We will discuss about the role of stereotypes, prejudice, discrimination in the health sector. Finally, some cultural differences in health aspects (such as nutrition, tobacco use, alcohol use, etc.) are being described.

Trends and entrepreneurship (3ECTS)

In Trends & Entrepreneurship, you learn about the principles of business management. You discover how to analyze customer needs and the wider market environment. And how to use that analysis to make the right decisions regarding product or service development, pricing, distribution and communication. Moreover you learn about the newest developments in human resources management. For each of the business management areas we introduce you to, you learn about the latest trends involved. This course ends with an oral defense of a practical assignment on business analysis and business plan design.

eHealth (3ECTS)

eHealth is a relatively recent term for healthcare practice supported by electronic processes and communication. During several workshops you get acquainted with the diverse landscape of e-health practices: e.g. serious games, mobile health, social media, chat and mail support.

Health Promotion Project (3ECTS)

In health promotion project, we introduce the internationally used framework for developing health promotion programmes, called Intervention Mapping Protocol. You will learn how to perform the different steps of program development:

  • Needs assessment using the precede-proceed model
  • Program development
  • Program implementation
  • Program evaluation

Some basic principles of project management will be taught and you can work on a real health problem/question from Healthy Howest.

Personal development and group processes (6ECTS)

In this module you will learn more about personality theories, learning styles, training and communication methods, group dynamics, team coaching and situational leadership. There is a teambuilding day included in the course. Students develop a group dynamic session as a task, and reflect about their personal functioning as well as functioning in group.

Sport psychology (3ECTS)

In this module you will get acquainted with the foundations of sport psychology. After an introduction in basic psychological principles such as motivation, goal pursuit, personality, anxiety etc., we will apply these principles to both athletes and coaches. Further, we will also have a look into mental skills training and morality in sport.

Solution focused health coaching (3ECTS)

Solution Focused Health Coaching is a practical course that provides an invaluable overview of Solution Focused Health Coaching skills and techniques. Reflecting upon research on the solution focused approach (The Bruges Model – Korzybski Institute) and her wide experience in several projects United Kingdom, Anneleen De Lille brings her own experiences of Solution Focused Health Coaching together with others in the field to cover topics such as: the coach-coachee relationship, the role of technology in coaching, inclusive coaching group and team coaching practical issues and skills. Incorporating coachee case studies, worksheets, practice tips and discussion points, the skills, strategies and techniques in this course are straightforward to apply and can be used in different coaching settings.

Cultural & socio-economic introduction to Belgium - survival course Dutch (3ECTS) – evening course (optional)

In this module you will learn about Belgian and Flemish politics, culture and socio-economic data, all in comparison to the socio-economic data of your home country. This module includes visits to several important cities in Belgium.

English for exchange students - evening course (optional) (3ECTS)

This course - complete IELTS Bands 5-6.5 - is a short preparation course of 24 classroom hours for students who wish to take the Academic module of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). It teaches the reading, writing, listening and speaking skills that a student needs for the IELTS exam. It covers all the exam question types, as well as key grammar and vocabulary which, from research into the Cambridge Learner Corpus, are known to be useful to candidates doing the test. If a student is not planning to take the exam in the near future, the book teaches him or her the skills and language needed to reach an upper-intermediate level of English (Common European Framework (CEF) level B2).

Course unit descriptions for this study programme
Welcome international students!

Discover everything you need to know about Howest.

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How to apply

Procedures, deadlines and tuitions: you will find all the information here. 

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Programme in pictures

Register now!

Have you decided? We look forward to welcoming you to our Howest community! 
You can find all information about registering via the link below.

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Studenten in pauze met koffie op de campus


Do you have questions? Don't hesitate to contact us!

Sigrid Van den Branden

Sigrid Van den Branden

International Coordinator