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Registration and formalities

You will be informed about various formalities at Howest during the registration process and during Welcome Week. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

Once your application has gone through Admissions and is (nearly) complete, you will hear from your study programme’s Global Community Manager and/or Campus International Coordinator.

The Global Community Managers are here to help prepare you during the pre-arrival stage, to welcome you when you arrive and to be trusted contacts throughout your time at Howest. They can direct you to the right contacts at Howest and beyond for any questions you have related to your studies and your campus and local life here. In addition to providing you with practical information, they arrange (Global) Community events and focus on community building, while keeping an eye on your well-being.

Are you an international student who has gone through the Admissions’ process and you aren’t sure who your Global Community Contact is?

  • For Digital Arts & Entertainment (DAE), contact: isabelle.tassaert [at] howest.be (Isabelle Tassaert) & sofie.ramis [at] howest.be (Sofie Ramis)
  • For all other Howest Kortrijk study programmes, contact: internationalohk [at] howest.be (internationalohk[at]howest[dot]be)
  • For Howest Bruges study programmes, contact: internationalohb [at] howest.be (internationalohb[at]howest[dot]be)

It is important that you inform your community managers and/or your campus international coordinators when you arrive at Howest during Welcome Week.

If you arrive after Welcome Week due to visa issues, email them to let them know you made it so that they can inform you of anything you might have missed. If your arrival is further delayed or cancelled, please also let them know.

For students who arrive before Welcome Week, you can contact your community managers, Howest Student Services (STUVO) or the student admin office, depending on which questions you have.

You can find contact information in the welcome and community info you receive from Admissions, STUVO and/or your community managers via email before you arrive.

You can also find the contact details for your Admission Officers and Campus International Coordinators below.

Contact details of the International Office

  • When you fill in student card application, don’t forget to upload a passport photo, as that is the number one cause of a delayed student card. Student card questions after arrival on campus? Go to the Student Admin office or contact: studentadmin [at] howest.be (studentadmin[at]howest[dot]be)
  • For practical arrangements such as log-in data, electronic learning platform, schedule etc…, make sure to check your emails with such information after finalizing your enrolment with the Student Admin office. During Welcome Week, you will also receive further instructions about how to use Howest’s various platforms. Howest’s IT Helpdesk FAQ’s pages can also answer a lot of your questions and help you to get set up: https://www.howest.be/en/helpdesk
  • Once on campus, why not put money on your student card? Howest has cashless campuses so you will need credit on your student card to print, make copies and to buy lunch, coffee or drinks. It can also come in handy when paying for on-campus events and Howest merch.

NOTE: Devine students are not able to use their student cards to purchase lunch at the cafeteria connected to their Buda campus so should not add too much money to their student card wallet.

Students are supposed to register at the city hall in the city where they are staying within 8 days of their arrival. This, however, is generally not possible. You will be informed by your community manager or your campus international coordinator about city hall registration procedures. They will also let you know which documents are required and the costs for registering. You can contact them if you have questions about the city hall registration process.

Next steps:

After you have registered, a community police officer (“wijkagent”) will most likely check that you are living at the given address by a surprise or planned visit. Please make sure to check your (spam) email and your phone for emails and calls from the officer and the city hall for follow-up appointments. It’s important for you to reply to such emails or call back so that your registration process goes smoothly and isn’t delayed. Once this is confirmed, the city will invite you for a second visit. Unfortunately, you might need to miss about 20 minutes of a Howest class for such appointments. Try to make them for outside class hours, but if not possible, then make sure to go to given appointments and inform your teachers of this I advance.

After completing all city hall registration formalities, you will receive your residence permit or required residence status.

Students who needed a visa to enter Belgium, are usually not allowed to enter Belgium a second time without having received their residence permit! Therefore, you should not leave Belgium (if you want to come back) unless you are absolutely sure that you have a residence permit which allows you to come back in.

Note: Non-EU students who have blocked accounts through Howest will need to have their city hall first registration number (“bilage 15”) at minimum for most nationalities, and – for some nationalities - their residence permit final registration number (“rijksregisternummer”) in order to open a Belgian bank account. All non-EU students will need their “rijksregisternummer” as soon as possible to submit to the Howest Student Admin office as well.

Degree students will need to extend their residence permits each year they stay at Howest and must be sure to do this no later than 15 days before their current permit expires. Exchange students unexpectedly staying an extra semester, need to make sure to do the same.

When you are leaving Howest for good, all students who have an electronic residence permit and/or an official registration number (rijksregisternummer) need to deregister via the city hall one week before you leave!

For Exchange and Degree students who will be living in Kortrijk, you can find more information about Kortrijk City Hall procedures, required documents and costs here.

In and around campus


Te voet, de fiets, de bus, de trein of toch met de auto? Ontdek hier de bereikbaarheid van de Howest-campussen.

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Cashless campuses

Howest has cashless campuses. Do not forget to charge your student card.

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IT Support

Problems with Wi-Fi, logging in or your laptop? The ICT helpdesk is ready to help!

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Coaching and student services


In Howest staat jouw persoonlijke ontwikkeling centraal. We kiezen er dan ook voor om de begeleiding zo dicht mogelijk bij jou te organiseren. Doorheen je studietraject word je gecoacht door de lectoren van je opleiding.

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English for Exchange Students

Howest offers a weekly English course in Kortrijk and Bruges.

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Studentenvoorzieningen (Stuvo)

De dienst studentenvoorzieningen (Stuvo) is een professionele dienst die alle studenten van Howest en UGent (campus Kortrijk) de kans geeft om in optimale omstandigheden te studeren en die het leven aan de hogeschool of universiteit boeiend, aangenaam en zorgeloos wil maken.

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Student life

Buddies for international students

International students, in Kortrijk and Bruges, will have buddies to help them find their way around and to feel at home at Howest.

Buddies are Howest students who welcome and inform international students, show them around campus and town, introduce them to student life, and make them feel at home. We want all incoming students to feel supported during their stay, and there’s no better way to do that than by connecting international students with from our Howest buddy community.

Studenten amuseren zich op campus.
Studenten amuseren zich op de campus. Studentenvoorzieningen

Student life

Studying is more than just studying. Discover everything about sports, leisure, culture and student organizations here.

More about student life

Living as a student in Belgium

All Howest campuses have fully-equipped first aid rooms. A permanent staff member in each campus vouches for first aid administration. Howest doesn’t have its own medical service, though.

When you have medical problems, it is common practice in Belgium to consult a general practitioner first. Most general practitioners give consultations in the morning and early evening. Sometimes only consultation by appointment is possible.

Contact data of several general practitioners, both in Bruges and Kortrijk, are included in the welcome information, given by the Campus International Coordinator during the welcome activities. Your buddy can also assist you in finding a general practitioner.

More information about general practitioners
This website is aimed at expats who plann a long term stay in Belgium but offers lots of useful information for incoming students as well.

Whenever you need a dentist or a pharmacy, see Mediwacht.be. This website offers all important medical contact data in your neighbourhood as well as their availability and however the website is only available in Dutch, with google translator you will manage to find the person/pharmacy you need.

You can find a list of dentists (Dutch translation is ‘tandarts’) by googling ‘tandartsen Brugge’ or ‘tandartsen Kortrijk’. You will see a map where dentists in Brugge or Kortrijk are located as well as their contact details.

Chemist’s shops have the same opening hours as other retail shops on weekdays. In larger towns, most of them are also open on Saturday mornings. More details about the chemist on night duty can be found on the facade of most chemist’s shops (open 24 h/24). Information can be found on pharmacie.be (in Dutch and French).

In urgent and serious medical cases, immediately go to the emergency department of the nearest hospital or dial the European emergency number 112, which is available everywhere in the European Union (EU), free of charge, 24/7 for the police, the emergency medical services or the fire brigade.

Read the previous section on ‘insurance’ for more information about the financial matters of medical assistance. Howest does not provide any type of medical or health insurance to incoming students.

When you want to open a free bank account in Belgium as a foreign student, you need to fulfil the following conditions:

Account for young persons (+18y) (account free of charge)


To be of age and younger than 25 years (minimum 17 years and 10 months and maximum 24 years and 9 months)

Being competent

Not married

Have a domicile address in a EU member country other than Belgium or a candidate country for EU membership (in the country where the identity card was issued).

Documents needed

Foreign identity card/passport

Certificate of domicile (if not mentioned on the identity card or passport)

Holding a valid Application Form of a Belgian University or University College

Holding a valid, complete rental agreement of a student residence in Belgium, signed by all parties.

The account cannot be opened if the student

  • Is minor or incompetent
  • Does not hold a foreign identity card/passport
  • Has no foreign domicile address

If other conditions are not fulfilled (eg. older than 25 years, married, no Application Form or rental agreement of a student residence in Belgium), only a regular bank account can be opened (with costs).

Please note that if you are a non EU student, your fully signed rental agreement of your student residence in Belgium may not be accepted by the bank for opening a Belgian bank account. In that case you are recommended to request the city hall for a document called ‘Model 2’, which will confirm your residence address in Belgium.

Students are allowed to work during their study period at Howest. You have to apply for your work permit once you arrive, because you need your residence permit to do the registration.

How to apply

apply for the work permit at the work migration office in Bruges (tel 050/24.74.70). You are not allowed to work more than 20 hours/week and not during school time.

it will take 1 to 2 weeks before you’ll receive your work permit

final step: once you have received this work permit, you go, together with your residence permit, to the immigration office in the Town Hall of Kortrijk or Bruges to do the registration.

More information

Dienst Economische Migratie Provincies Oost- en West-Vlaanderen

Address: Koningin Maria Hendrikaplein 70 bus 60 - 9000 Gent
Monday, Tuesday and Friday: 9u - 12u
Tel: 02/553.43.00
E-mail: arbeidskaart.gent [at] vlaanderen.be

As a student, managing your finances becomes a crucial part of your educational journey. It is essential to have a clear understanding of the cost of living in order to budget wisely and make the most of your experience. In general to cover your living expenses in Belgium you will need around €950 to €1,350 per month. This estimate includes study materials, housing costs (rent, heating, water, electricity, etc.), food, clothing, laundry, medical & insurance costs, and other expenses — e.g. leisure, groceries, transport, etc. More specifically, we can state that you will monthly spend about €250 on food, €80 on social life, €20 on printing costs, €50 (per 3 months) on public transport and/or €6 on bike rental in Bruges /€5 on bike rental in Kortrijk.

Accommodation prices can be found in the respective sections.

Check the prices of day-to-day costs in Belgium and compare these to other cities and countries.

Cost of living in Bruges

Cost of living in Kortrijk

You can keep a lid on these costs by shopping in cheaper supermarkets (like Aldi, Lidl or even Colruyt if you stick to their cheap generic brand) and visiting student-friendly places. Moreover, students enjoy reductions on many sports events, culture and leisure activities, and in some shops.

Please note that Belgium applies a general indexation mechanism, which has an impact on all expenses such as food, rent, transport, tuition fees, ... Given that costs are always on the rise, the average cost of your studies might evolve. Consult the current consumer price index in Belgium.

Each Howest campus has a restaurant, a cafeteria or a bar where you can buy a hot midday meal, snacks, soup, bread rolls and drinks at very democratic prices. Of course, each campus has all necessary facilities to eat your own packed lunch. The cafeteria is the place to be for meeting other students and participating in social campus life.

Here are some prices to give you an idea (these are indicative prices):

  • fresh soup costs €0,70
  • a daily special can be bought at €4,00
  • warm snacks cost €1,80 to €3,00

Bear in mind that Howest has cashless campuses.

In Belgium waste is being sorted in order to be recycled. Some types of rubbish are collected at your house. But you can also get rid of it at collection points and container parks.

You can reduce your waste by buying products with less packaging, by using glass instead of plastic bottles etc. The following categories of rubbish can be sorted:

  • Glass
  • Paper and cardboard
  • PMD waste
  • Organic waste
  • Small hazardous waste
  • Old and expired medications
  • Building waste and rubble
  • Reusable textiles
  • Discarded electrical and electronic appliances

Every waste type has a specific pick-up day and needs to be put in front of the house or residence between 6:00 and 7:00 am on collection mornings. The waste collection calendar, provided by the City of Kortrijk, shows the different pick-up days.

Incorrect sorting or not respecting the pick-up days will result in fines. The official bags for waste collection can be bought in most supermarkets.

Container parks

Every city has one or more recycling centres where people can bring their large domestic waste, small dangerous waste and other specific waste fractions such as construction debris, wood etc. In the Kortrijk area, there are four recycling centres.

You can only access the recycling centre with your electronic ID-card. Small dangerous waste and old electronic appliances can be brought in for free. For all other waste you will need to pay a fee depending on the kind of waste and the volume.


Near Campus Rijselstraat: Laundrette ‘t Zeepbelletje’, Rijselstraat 118, 8200 Sint-Michiels (Bruges)

Near Campus Sint-Jorisstraat: Laundrette ‘Belfort’, Ezelstraat 51, 8000 Bruges (next to youth hostel ‘De Snuffel’)


Hendrik Consciencestraat 44a: Laundrette ‘den Appel’

Rijselsestraat 52, 8500 Kortrijk

Koning Albertstraat 100: Laundrette ‘Was O Matic’

Sint-Denijsestraat 4: Laundrette ‘Comfort Wash’