Exchange study at Howest

Apply for exchange study at Howest

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This is the application link for Erasmus, Erasmus Belgica and exchange students from our overseas partner institutions, and here you find a an explanation on how to apply via this link. Also students coming in for an internship through one of the Howest study departments need to apply via this link.

Erasmus+ students should use the Learning Agreement form from their home university. Other exchange students can use their own institution’s form or this Learning Agreement.

Non-EEA students (students from outside the European Economic Area) must request a valid student visa for Belgium, even when your home institution is already situated in the EEA. Students who come to Belgium without a valid Belgian visa, cannot be enrolled officially at Howest and are here at their own risk. Count on at least 8 weeks to get a student visa! More visa info.

Application deadlines

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The Howest application form has to be submitted by:

June 1st for study in Autumn Semester.

  • May 1st for nationals from outside the European Economic Area AND for traineeship in Nursing or Psychology. May 1st is the only yearly deadline for traineeships in Nursing, also for Spring of the academic year to follow.

November 30th for study in Spring Semester.

  • October 30th for nationals from outside the European Economic Area

Non-exchange students

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You find the Howest admission requirements in the Education and Examination Regulations. For enrolment you need to present yourself in person at the student administration office of the Howest campus where you want to enrol.

Non-exchange students who want to apply for our English-taught semester programmes can do so via the online Application Form above. They can attend those programmes as Postgraduate courses. In that case the minimum diploma requirement is a Bachelor Degree. The fee for each of the Postgraduate semester programmes is a €1000, non-refundable. Please note that our English-taught Semester/Postgraduate programmes are not in themselves degree programmes. An admission letter for those programmes is not sufficient for the Belgian Consular Offices in quite some countries to grant the applicant the necessary entrance visa to Belgium.

Howest language expectations

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The minimum proficiency level expected from incoming students is the B2 level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Foreign Languages (CEFR), in reading, speaking and understanding skills.

Howest has either English or Dutch as teaching languages. 

We expect applying students* to provide proof of their proficiency in the language of instruction in the chosen programme in one of the following ways:

  • The results of a (free) online language test which can be related to the CEFR B2 level,such as Dialang and Testpodium. The online test should have been taken under the supervision of the sending institution. The result sheet needs to be stamped and signed by a staff member of the sending institution.  (only valid for exchange students)
  • An official certificate or score report referring to the European Framework or from one of the recognized language tests, e.g. TOEFL: paper based 550/internet based 79/computer based 213 or IETLS: 5.5, no partial results below 5.

Howest reserves the right to contact the sending university to verify the information on language proficiency, or to contact the applicant to have a telephone or Skype conversation in English.

*The following applicants are not required to document their language skills for study in English or Dutch respectively at Howest:

  • applicants from Erasmus programme countries for study/traineeship at Howest coming under the Erasmus programme.
  • applicants from countries having the chosen modules´ teaching language as their national language.
  • applicants attending a full-time degree programme at their home institution taught in the same language as the Howest modules they are applying for.

Academic recognition

English-taught semesters are an integrated part of the Howest Bachelor courses. Howest fully applies the ECTS grading system and awards credits for the successfully achieved course units. After concluding the semester, all students receive an official ECTS transcript of records and Certificate.

Howest grading system

The Transcript issued by Howest contains both the Howest and the ECTS grades. The Howest (and Flemish) grading system is based on evaluations out of 20 points. 10/20 is the pass score. A 16/20 is considered excellent in Flanders, and students obtaining results of 18/20 and more are rather exceptional.

ECTS grade % of successful students normally achieving the grade Definition Howest grade on 20
A 10 EXCELLENT - outstanding performance with only minor errors 16/20 and more
B 25 VERY GOOD - above the average standard but with some errors 14/20 &15/20
C 30 GOOD - generally sound work with a number of notable errors 12/20 & 13/20
D 25 SATISFACTORY- fair but with significant shortcomings 11/20
E 10 SUFFICIENT - performance meets the minimum criteria 10/20
FX - FAIL - some work required before the credit can be awarded 8/20 & 9/20
F - FAIL - considerable further work is required 7/20 and less

For partner universities who prefer to work with grading tables:

Howest participates in the European EGRACONS project, which enables universities to convert grades based on a Grading Table system. EGRACONS is fully compliant with the guidelines in the ECTS Users’ Guide 2015 and is officially mentioned there as an example of good practice.

You can find our tables in the EGRACONS tool. We invite you to join the steadily growing group of EGRACONS users, which will it make it really easy for both parties to operate the correct conversions.

Tuition fee

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Exchange students

For exchange students sent by our Erasmus and overseas partner institutions this course is tuition free.

Non-exchange students

Non-exchange students pay a tuition fee of a € 1000 per postgraduate semester. The fee does not include course or other materials, nor the cost for cultural visits or study excursions (transportation, museum entrance …). Those have to be paid on location.

Howest has cashless campuses.

Accommodation incoming exchange student

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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 tipically cost you between €250 and €400 per month; a studio flat between €400 and €600. A student room in Kortrijk will generally cost you between €270 and €470 per month.

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

Visa requirements

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Insurance incoming students

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University Insurance Policy incoming students

Incoming exchange students without insurance coverage by their home institution will be covered by the Howest insurance policy for third-party liability and physical accidents during the school related activities and on their way to and back from the campus or work placement, but not during private time of the exchange period.  That coverage does not replace a normal health and travel assistance insurance, which each incoming student needs to take.  The Howest insurance will only come into action after exhausting the student’s Home School Insurance coverage.

  • Health, medical and assistance Insurance
    All incoming students need to arrange themselves sufficient health, medical and travel assistance insurance, including repatriation of corps. More information

Student counselling

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For students who need study counselling, Howest offers support through:

  • International Coordinator: the international coordinators of your campus and of your study department are your first contact persons when you have problems or when you simply need someone to talk to. They will welcome you upon your arrival at the campus, and often have been your mail correspondents for quite some time. They are your closest coaches during your studies here at Howest.
  • Tutorship
  • Monitoring
  • Diversity and Talent coaching

Read more about our student counselling services

Student services

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Information will be available soon.

Student life


A BUDDY for every International Student!

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

For incoming international students

What is a buddy?

A Howest student who 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!

Starting your studies at Howest soon and haven’t heard from your buddy yet? Contact us!

For Howest regular students

Interested in being a buddy in Kortrijk or Bruges? Read more

Contact us


Manmohan and Thibeau

Manmohan and Thibeau

"Good friends are hard to find, harder to leave and impossible to forget."

Coloma and Gildo

Coloma and Gildo

"Ten months after Gildo and I met, we still remember it as if it was yesterday. Even though I have seen him very little, he knows how much I appreciate him.

Since day one, he has been there to hug me whenever I asked him. Always humble, this is how I would describe you, dear Gildo! Thank you, Gildo, for all the moments. Thank you for making me feel comfortable and protected with you. Good luck in life. You will always have a friend in Spain ❤️!"


Kira and Maxim

"Kira Altomari, from Chestnut Hill College Philadelphia, with an Erasmus+ grant:  “I was so impressed with your buddy program. I had Maxim, and I could not have asked for a better buddy. I have to say he was so welcoming and helpful.

I was very excited to receive his message before I had left the U.S. When I got to Brugge I was very nervous, especially about the City Hall meeting, but I didn’t even have to ask Maxim, he offered to take me and make sure everything went smoothly.

There are endless amounts of things I could say about him and everything he did for me. I am so happy to say that I have made a lifelong friend."

Claudia and Lisanne

"For me this Erasmus has been also an opportunity to see a girl that I met in Berlin the previous year, Lisanne Traas, and indeed she ended up being the buddy that Howest assigned to me. It was so good to see her after such a long time and we became very good friends through the buddy programme.

We kept in touch throughout the semester, went to parties together, biked together to university and grabbed coffees in the weekends.

We shared memories that I will cherish forever and I hope we will manage to see each other in a not so distant future. "

Julia & Leonida and Rhuwe & Marlies

"In the picture, you see us, Julia and Leonida, together with our buddies Rhuwe and Marlies. Rhuwe picked us up from the train station on our arrival day and from that moment on our friendship started. We not only met at university for lunch, we also went out for a coffee at Kaffee Renée or went out for a great party night. It was nice to have someone at our side, whenever we needed advice, or you just wanted to meet up somewhere for a coffee.

We very much appreciated that Rhuwe took some time for us on our last day to grab a burger at Paul's Boutique. He also surprised us with Belgium pralines and a goodbye card, as a goodbye present – for Rhuwe it was self-evident that he also cared about the internationals he wasn’t even Buddy for – including Leonida, which we are very grateful for. You saw that he loves being a buddy and meeting internationals. We are glad that we had such nice Buddies and we are looking forward to seeing them again."

Orientation week for incoming students

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We organise a fulltime orientation week before the start of the actual lessons. We warmly recommend all incoming students to attend it, 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 & Kortrijk together with our local students and dive into student life
  • discover some Belgian cultural treasures through student-friendly sightseeing trips to our most beautiful art cities like Ghent, Antwerp, Brussels, …
  • get loads of practical tips from our students while getting installed in your student room

Howest does not charge any participation fee for the orientation week, but students do need to pay for their own expenses, such as a couple of train trips (with a Go Pass for 10 rides this comes down to max. €5,3/train journey if you're under 26 / single tickets cost €6,4 if you're under 26), some entrance fees (at student & group fares) and your own food & drinks. Everything in the low-cost way, and without any obligation as to participate in the paying activities.

Price for the orientation week in 2019-20 is €53 for the train tickets (some trips will be left) and €47 for the excursions. To be paid cash at the first day of the orientation week.

Dates of the Orientation Week:

  • Autumn Semester: 16 – 20 September 2019
  • Spring Semester: 3 - 7 February 2020

English for exchange students

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Howest offers - as well for outgoing as incoming students - an intensive English course within the institution. The course is offered on a weekly base at Howest Kortrijk and Howest Bruges.

Incoming students

Incoming students can obtain 3 ECTS by adding the English course to their Learning Agreement. Students following the English course within their Learning Agreement have priority over students following the course on a free base. The course is intended for students on different levels, from beginners, to intermediate and advanced. Students who are positively assessed obtain 3 ECTS credits.

Outgoing students

Learn how to communicate in an internatonal context by practicing the four communicative skills: reading, writing, listening and speaking.Outgoing students with little knowledge of English can be admitted to the English course. Students with some knowledge or students who wish to review the basics are also very welcome to attend. However, the outgoing students have to follow the English course on a free base without obtaining credits.


This English course provides exchange students with an intensive training in speaking, listening, reading and writing skills, all focused on their ongoing or upcoming academic experience. The lecturer will take the diversity of academic areas of the participants into account, by addressing a range of topics and choosing subjects which are relevant to the attending students wherever possible.

The course aims at the B2 proficiency level and uses the IELTS methodology. We strongly recommended it to all inbound and outbound exchange students who have not fully achieved the B2-level in English at the moment of application for their mobility project. For the more proficient students, we still see the course as a useful immersion experience.

The course will also function as an excellent networking opportunity for both the local and the international students.

“English for exchange students” will start in the week of 23 September and will take place in as well in Bruges as in Kortrijk. The examination period is organised at the end of the semester, with exams on the courses completed in that semester.

Howest charges no tuition fee for the course, but the study book has to be paid for by the participating student.

Locations for Autumn semester 2019


  • Duration: 24 h.
  • Start: Thursday 26 September
  • Every Thursday, from 6.15 (18.15) till 8.15 pm (20.15)
  • Campus Rijselstraat (RSS) in room C.0.06
    Rijselstraat 5, 8200 Brugge



Complete IELTS, Bands 5-6.5 Student’s Book with answers, Guy Brook-Hart and Vanessa Jakeman.



Outgoing Howest-students

This subscription is only for Howest students planning (or who are selected) to go abroad for study/internship and who are following a training programme that does not recognise English for Exchange Students.


Incoming students

Incoming exchange students can only register AFTER receiving the official admission notification by the Howest International Office.


Cashless campuses

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Howest has cashless campuses.

Howest has cashless campuses. All payments should be done through a bank (BE), debit (EU) or credit card (International).  This is also the case for the “petty cash” payments like in our beverage machines or the purchase of a coffee in our cafeterias:  no cash allowed in any of those.  Those payments are made through your Howest student card, which you will receive during the welcome activities, on which you can upload money through your bank, debit or credit card.

If possible please activate the (European) MAESTRO function on your regular bank card via a request in your home bank agency. You should do this before departing to Belgium.

Academic calendar

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Contact if you have specific questions.

Academic calendar

Education and Exam Regulation

Discover Howest in Bruges & Kortrijk

Transport in Belgium and between campuses

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Information will be available soon.

Experiences of international students at Howest

Howest University of Applied Sciences in Kortrijk and Brugge, Belgium is a great place to study!

Check out French student Oriane’s video from our International Day made for her internship at Howest’s MediaLab Quindo.

Check out testimonies from our international exchange students!

Practical information upon arrival

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Information will be available soon.

The practical information package for incoming students