"Howest is a university that provides top-notch education, and where learning is both effective and enjoyable."
Howest is an entrepreneurial University of Applied Sciences known for its innovative and interdisciplinary approach to education and research, and its close collaboration with industry, business and the social profit sector.
We offer 25 Bachelors, 12 Associate Degrees and many Postgraduate Certificate programmes, all with a strong practical focus, in the areas of Business & Management, Industrial Sciences & Technology, Digital Design, Architecture, Healthcare, Education and Social Sciences. Howest is a member of Ghent University Association, which provides high-quality higher education to about 1/3 of Flanders’ student population. All our programmes are fully accredited by NVAO, the Dutch-Flemish Accreditation Organisation.
We constantly develop our course offer in English in order to position Howest as an attractive academic choice for students from abroad. At present, we have 33 programmes for English-speaking students available, ranging from full bachelor’s degrees to English-taught semesters to postgraduate certificates. We warmly welcome degree-seeking students as well as semester-exchange students from our Erasmus and overseas partner universities.
Our four campuses are located in the historical cities of Bruges and Kortrijk, in the province of West Flanders, Belgium. Studying in Bruges or Kortrijk includes having a series of very attractive locations nearby: the Belgian coast as well as our Flemish art cities like Antwerp, Brussels, Ghent... You can also reach famous European places like Paris, London, Amsterdam, Cologne in a one or two hours train journey.
Howest is ranked #21 in the 2020 Princeton Review’s Top 50 of Game Design Undergraduate programmes. In 2021, Howest was ranked as best school in the world to learn game art and development by The Rookies and Grads in Games, after previously being #1 in 2018 and 2017. Several of our students from various programmes received awards over the past few years.
Howest continuously adapts its curricula to include new areas of knowledge and to put the latest research into practice. Creativity and entrepreneurship are part of the Howest DNA. Field-driven assignments and on-the-job training are key components of each programme. That is how we meet the changing needs of today’s society and arm our students with future-proof skills.
Committed and supportive lecturers embody Howest’s core values “serve - empower - care” which stimulate an open, pluralistic and international outlook on education, research and service to society.
Over the years, Howest has built a solid reputation in application-oriented scientific research, services and education, partnering with universities and work-field organisations in Belgium, Europe, and all over the world. Our students and staff are given plenty of opportunities to go global and gain international experience, thanks to international networks, scholarships and exchange programmes. Howest has led or actively participated in many highly successful international projects.
In short, Howest is a university that provides top-notch education, and where learning is both effective and enjoyable.
"Howest was such a welcoming community, from the faculty and professors to my fellow students"
Jessica Navarro (USA)
My time abroad gave me so much insight into myself, it was the best decision I have ever taken. Howest was such a welcoming community, from the faculty and professors to my fellow students. The culture that Howest cultivates for its international students in nothing short of exceptional.
"What really surprised me though was how fast I was able to make friends and build a social network here"
Sabine Steffens (Austria)
If I had to describe my exchange semester in Bruges to someone, I probably wouldn’t even really know where to start because I associate so many memories with it. It was exciting, surprising, emotional, fun, and all around a great experience.
Going to another country and not knowing what to expect can be thrilling and a little bit scary but, personally, I only had positive and excited feelings towards starting this journey to Belgium. It took me over 9 hours and some paperwork to get here, but once I had entered the city I immediately fell in love with Bruges’ charm and beautiful architecture. Experiencing another mentality and culture was also really interesting as the Belgians are actually different from what I expected.
What really surprised me though was how fast I was able to make friends and build a social network here. Being an Erasmus student and spending a lot of my time with other internationals made it pretty easy to find connections and befriend people from all over the world – and some Belgians too! These friendships might actually be the most important and precious thing that I am taking away from this semester and hopefully they will last me for a long or even a lifetime.
I made incredible memories with my friend group, like cycling over an hour to the beach, travelling through France or exploring Belgian cities! Obviously, we also ate our way through the Belgian cuisine and took part in some fun beer-tasting activities and party nights. If anybody tells me they are scared or hesitant to do an exchange semester abroad because they might feel lonely or not find people to hang out with, I can only tell them the complete opposite! At least for an exchange semester at Howest it is basically guaranteed that you will meet others and make friends because Howest actually does a lot to get people connected and organise bonding experiences. There is also a support system of international coordinators and lecturers who have tried their best to make this stay as comfortable and enjoyable as possible for me, which I really appreciate. Studying at Howest as an international student is great as the schedule is relaxed enough to still enjoy your free time and explore the country, but also interesting and diverse enough to gain lots of new knowledge and get insight into some aspects that your home university might not deal with in your regular study programme.
Overall, I have to say that going to Bruges for my semester abroad and studying Applied Health & Lifestyle Sciences here was for sure the right decision and helped me make unexpected experiences and grow as a person.
"Coming to a country I had never been in and studying at Howest challenged me in ways I never expected"
Marie Essert (Austria)
Going on an exchange semester sucks - but it is the best decision I have ever made. Why? Coming to a country I had never been in and studying at Howest challenged me in ways I never expected. Every day I had to get out of my comfort zone and was confronted with cultural differences and language barriers. During the last five months, I grew so much as a person and I know I would have never had the same growth if I had not taken the step to go to Kortrijk. I was not only able to grow my academic knowledge, but also my knowledge of cultures, languages and people skills.
While on an exchange, it seems like everyone has one shared thing in their DNA: the love of experiences. No matter if it is cycling to France, bouldering together, taking the train to London, going to karaoke, or just drinking Belgian beers – it is never boring with such amazing people surrounding you.
When you decide to go on an exchange at Howest, you might expect to just do a semester abroad. But it is so much more: you will meet the best people from all over the world and call Belgium your new home.
"Howest's staff and lecturers are smart, respectful and understanding, and a solution can be found together for every problem. "
Kaisa Gutman (Estonia)
In my case, being part of an Erasmus program and moving with my family to Belgium to study in Howest (Brugge) is quite unique. Coming abroad to study with family and young children takes a good piece of courage and planning in advance, but it has made us and me stronger and more determined as a family and as a person. Yes, it has been challenging and sometimes there have been obstacles, but it was all worth it.
Studying in Howest has been useful, experiential and educational. While following the Health and Lifestyle sciences programme, I also learned new skills and learned that I am capable of more. Especially educational and the most enjoyable and favorite courses were eHealth, Solution-Focused Health Coaching, Entrepreneurship and Trends, and a personal development course.
Howest's staff and lecturers are smart, respectful and understanding, and a solution can be found together for every problem.
My fellow students have been nice, friendly and good communicators. Regardless of the age difference, all of the students communicated freely and in a friendly way, which made integration very easy. I am very grateful to have had this opportunity to study in Howest.
"How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard."
Conrad Kagoro (Uganda)
It was really a hustle getting all my documents in time for my maiden European experience. Being the first Exchange Student from Uganda at Howest gives me so much delight and gratification because I believe I am going back to Uganda with a lot of life-changing ideas, plus having a European Certificate on my CV is going to take me places I had never dreamt of. How cool is that?
I came to Belgium during the pandemic, and I expected that I would have a different experience than students from previous years.
The Erasmus experience has given me the opportunity to see life a little bit differently as well as grow professionally. I am so grateful to everyone that made this possible. I am already a Howest Ambassador to Uganda. It’s so exciting!
I have really enjoyed myself here in all aspects of life. The people are lovely, and sociable. I will always keep the kindness in my heart always.
“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” – Winnie the Pooh.
"Studying at Howest helped me to discover new ways of working in teams and individually."
Diana Martinez (Mexico)
I had the opportunity to study at Howest in the Collaborative Design Studio program 2021.
I would describe this experience in three words; exciting, challenging and new… and also extremely fun.
Studying at Howest helped me to discover new ways of working in teams and individually. I learned to work with machines and methods that I had never used before and I dared to get involved in projects and activities that I was afraid of. These were the things I learned the most from.
I got to meet not only other Industrial Designers from countries such as Turkey, Spain, Colombia, US, Netherlands and of course from Belgium, but also awesome people studying DAE, MCT, Journalism and Occupational Therapy.
I arrived to Belgium feeling not that confident in myself as a student, but my teachers, classmates, and now good-friend- for-life, made me realize that I was capable of doing everything I want to do.
For me, studying at Howest was more than studying abroad , it was about learning by doing inside the classrooms, laughing instead of stressing out with my colleagues every time something didn't go as expected.
Other experiences in my past (and future) will never match my experience of studying at Howest.
"One of the best times in my life!"
Barbara Veit (Austria)
When I think about my Erasmus semester a lot comes to my mind. Adventure, frightening, educative, joy and – most important – one of the best times in my life!
From week one, there was not a single day that I regretted my decision. Because the international community at Howest is open-minded and very welcoming, I found new friends very easily. Together we enjoyed the sunset at the Leie, a bike-trip to France, visiting different cities, dancing in the “uitgaansbuurt” of Kortrijk, and cooking different traditional meals. Furthermore, we supported each other during stressful times at university and celebrated successful projects and exams afterwards.
Of course, it is hard to leave one’s new home after the semester. However, I know that we will see us again and that I will always have a place to stay all over the world.
"I can still call Kortrijk my second home"
Stephany Garcia Henao (USA)
Howest has opened doors to help me know myself better on a personal and professional level. Having time to travel and study at the same time is something I never thought could have been possible and I am grateful that Howest encourages students to do so. As a full-year Erasmus-Exchange student, I feel fulfilled with the programs I am doing (IPO). After one semester, I can still call Kortrijk my second home.
"An Erasmus+ experience is certainly a journey that you will tell your grandchildren about!"
Amer al Qadah (Turkey/Palestine)
Going to Erasmus was one of my university goals. Getting to do that in Belgium, at one of its most innovative universities (Howest), was something to be grateful for. It was an experience of a lifetime! Especially during our study time, with all the extraordinary (corona) circumstances - and with all of the stories with people that were like family!
If there were one piece of advice that I could give to students, it would be to go on more journeys that make you find yourself. An Erasmus+ experience is certainly a journey that you will tell your grandchildren about!
"If it was forever it wouldn't have been so special"
Marconi Melissa (Italy)
Everybody that had been on Erasmus told me "You will find a new family there," but I was like "No way it's going to happen, I already have my safe place at home."
It didn't take long to change my mind completely. These people...I can't really explain. It's like we were meant to meet. They have been part of my life for 5 months and I can't believe it's over. I found caring, kind and special friends. Each of them will have a place in my heart. It's true and sad that Erasmus has an ending point, but as a wise girl told me on our last night together: "If it was forever it wouldn't have been so special."
"I made friendships along the way that'll hopefully last a lifetime"
Doğan Mert Güven (Turkey)
I always wanted to see more, hear more and experience more of Europe. Erasmus allowed me to do just that. I made friendships along the way that'll hopefully last a lifetime. I encourage everyone to get out of their comfort-zones and travel all over the world!
Laura Rabasco Hernández (Spain)
I feel very fortunate to say that I have been one of the first international students to have the opportunity to study the Design and Development English Bachelor Howest program. And you may never guess, but this picture was actually taken inside Campus Buda located in Kortrijk! (Yes, they have a seesaw next to the main classrooms)!
Howest is all about getting the best out of each student, pushing them out of the box and helping them excel in fields they would never expect to. The creative environment, the friendly touch of the teachers and the interesting projects makes the Devine English degree a really wonderful experience. Besides that, there is a wonderful team of professionals working at STUVO, willing to help the students with any issue or complication we might be facing.
I must say that it is not an easy degree: you need to invest time and give the best that you can offer every day, but all of it will be rewarded. This is just the first year and I'm amazed at how much I have learnt and improved, I promise it is worth the effort.
My classmates have been a blessing during this course, we give each other feedback and share our tricks in order to be helpful and grow up as a team. I can't say much about the social life at the campus due to the Corona situation we all have been living in, but I can't wait to see what the following years are going to be like!