Howest International Semester Applied Health and Lifestyle Sciences

Course concept

Course concept

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The international semester Applied Health and Lifestyle Sciences is aimed at both bachelor 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, 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.

Course overview

International 30 ECTS Applied Health & Life Style Sciences - Autumn

Introduction Course - Innovation in applied health & lifestyle sciences - 3 ECTS
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.
10 65 75
English for exchange students - 3 ECTS
This course provides (exchange) students with an intensive training in professional speaking, listening, reading and writing skills. The diversity of the academic backgrounds of the participants will be taken into account by choosing and covering a wide range of relevant topics. 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.
24 51 75
Trends and entrepreneurship - 6 ECTS
This course aims at improving your ability to generate new ideas. You will learn a range of techniques which stimulate creativity and lateral thinking. Furthermore the course focuses on the process of harvesting ideas. Innovation implies the transformation of ideas to goods and services that create value for others. With this module, we encourage the entrepreneurial, sustainable and innovative thinking of the students. The student will have to look for trends and innovations in the health, leisure and exercise market and translate them into specific and executable ideas in perspective to their future job in the labor market. The students have to design infographics and a mood board which will be presented to a jury.
40 110 75
International conferences in applied psychology - 3 ECTS
International Conferences in Applied Psychology will be organized for students from different University Colleges in Psychology coming from Flanders, the Netherlands, Germany and several Erasmus students from other European countries. During this event, the students follow a programme of workshops, visits and cultural activities. The concrete programme with the content of the workshops and visits will be published in the course of the semester. One of the main challenges for the students within this framework is the communication on different levels with people from different backgrounds, in another context, etc. (extra cost 165 euro)
40 35 75
eHealth - 3 ECTS
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.
24 51 75


Prevention@work - 3 ECTS
The aim of this course is to introduce students in the different methods to promote health in populations and individuals. Starting from a specific health problem, students have to apply the Intervention Mapping Protocol to develop a population based intervention. Secondly, students are introduced in the basic techniques of motivational interviewing as a method to induce behavior change in individuals.
20 55 75
Trainer-coach@work - 3 ECTS
Students are challenged to develop and implement in small project groups a training. Following topics are covered: Organization Context, Learning Objectives, Participants, Teaching methods, Tools and conditions, The person of the trainer, Training on transfer.
28 47 75
Human Resource management is a specific approach in personnel management which in recent years has set the norm. In this course the focus will be on operational human resource management. Examples of topics that will be discussed are selection, appraisal, rewarding, socialization, performance, development.
24 51 75
User experience design - 3 ECTS
In this course we analyze the User Experience. We ask ourselves when, why and how someone uses a product. And off course who uses it. We focus on the design of a website or application although User Experience Design is much more than that. A good User Experience Design enhances the Return On Investment for a company. If your “buy” button (or what we call a “call to action”) is on the right spot of your website, people or more likely to buy a product. So making a good analysis is crucial before you do any design or programing at all. At the end of the course we ask a deliverable (or paper). We will give you an existing website or application and we will ask you to run the learned steps of a good UXD.
24 51 75
Ethics - 3 ECTS
Ethics is the discipline concerned with what is morally good and bad, with what is right and wrong. The term is also applied to any system or theory of moral values or principles. In this course the students will broaden their knowledge of ethics in general and of normative ethics specifically. The central question of normative ethics is determining how basic moral standards are arrived at and justified. There will be a focus on deontological ethics and various deontological codes existing within the field of psychology will be studied. In this course, we will also study the application of normative theories to practical ethical problems (applied) psychologists might encounter daily in their jobs (applied ethics) and will deal with major contemporary issues including the moral implications of scientific research and experiments.
20 55 75
Personal development and group processes - 3 ECTS
In this module you will learn more about experiential learning, group dynamics, team coaching and situational leadership. A coaching boot camp guides the students through experiential learning and group dynamic exercises in nature to become more aware of their own behavior and role within the group. After the bootcamp the students have to reflect on their experiences by writing an experience report/paper. Minimum 5 inscriptions needed to organize this module (extra cost 270 euro bootcamp all inclusive)
30 45 75
Health and lifestyle coaching - 12 ECTS
The content of the module Health and lifestyle coaching concerns the set-up of an intervention programme within a company or organization focusing on physical activity and health in general. The students are assigned to an organization and are expected to offer a tailored intervention including movement activities and workshops. The student learns to: analyze a start situation; search for challenging, innovative and meaningful movement activities; apply principles of safe movement activities in practice; give correct instructions; remediate and provide feedback; organize movement activities and tailored workshops on health-related topics. Theoretical input will be alternated with the practical step-by-step implementation of the intervention programme within the school walls.
50 250 300

Individual movement skills - 3 ECTS
Start to swim: Basic insights for the technique of breaststroke and crawl with corresponding start technique + progressive condition building up to 1000m.
Start to run: Basic insights for the running technique, training plan “start to run” and build up to 10 km. The student is introduced to alternative ways of running.
Start to dance: Discovering rhythm and music structure. The students is initiated in the basic dance steps and gets an introduction to different dance styles and rhythmic skills.

40 35 75
Bootcamp - sport and game design - teamsports - 3 ECTS
In this course we analyze the User Experience. We ask ourselves when, why and how someone uses a product. And off course who uses it. We focus on the design of a website or application although User Experience Design is much more than that. A good User Experience Design enhances the Return On Investment for a company. If your “buy” button (or what we call a “call to action”) is on the right spot of your website, people or more likely to buy a product. So making a good analysis is crucial before you do any design or programing at all. At the end of the course we ask a deliverable (or paper). We will give you an existing website or application and we will ask you to run the learned steps of a good UXD.
80 70 150
  • HTC = Hours of Teaching and Coaching
  • n-HTC = non-Teaching or Coaching Hours
  • SL = Study Load 

Orientation week & buddies


We organise a full-time 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 a 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 this comes down to max. €5,1/train journey 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.

"You'll get a Howest buddy to welcome you and show you around!"


Minimum 3 successfully completed semesters or an equivalent of 90 ECTS in a Bachelor of Sports and Movement, 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 counseling and coaching assessments and show engagement.

The English proficiency level we expect from incoming students is the B2 level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Foreign Languages (CEFR), in reading, writing, speaking and understanding skills. We expect applying students to provide proof of their proficiency in English in one of the following ways:

  • A signed confirmation letter from the sending university, stating that the applicant’s language skills reach the B2 level and thus are sufficient to attend courses, participate in different types of classroom and examination activities. (Only valid for exchange students)
  • The results of a (free) online language test which can be related to the CEFR B2 level, such as Dialang, Testpodium or the Erasmus online language test. 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 recognised language tests, e.g. TOEFL: paper based 550/internet based 79/computer based 213 or IELTS: 5.5, no partial results below 5.

The following applicants are not required to document their language skills for study at Howest:

  • applicants from countries having English as their national language;
  • applicants attending a full-time degree programme at their home institution taught in English.

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

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 can only attend the international semester as a Postgraduate course and need to have completed at least a full Bachelor degree programme at the time they start the international semester course at Howest.