Course concept

What makes this semester unique?


What makes this semester unique?

  • its focus on digital skills vital to today’s communication context
  • its focus on creative, innovative communication management
  • the collaboration between Belgian and international students from Europe and beyond
  • a challenging, integrated project in which you will be coached to take up the role of the communication expert in a multidisciplinary team
  • the exclusive use of English as the working language
  • the focus on the international dimension in various course units

English-taught semesters, what are they?

howest illustraties_Nog vragen- cropped.png

An English-taught semester is a coherent package of course units which a Howest Bachelor programme offers in English, as an option for semester exchange , to incoming students from its partner universities abroad, and as a study abroad option to other international students.

Read more

Course overview

Crisis communication
Crisis communication is one of the corner stones of effective and efficient corporate communication management. What if? What do we say? When? How? To whom? In this course, students will combine in-depth theoretical background and practical experiences. Issues covered can be: how to evaluate the impact of a crisis on the company reputation? How to set up a detailed crisis communication plan? How to monitor media coverage? How to distil key messages in times of trouble, reactive versus proactive communications, and so forth. Apart from these theoretical viewpoints, students will work out a concrete – yet hypothetical – crisis communication plan in a very ‘hands-on’ way.
Public affairs
In this case-based course, students will investigate the relationship between organisations and groups that influence their environment, such as the media, business, government and civil society groups.  They will learn to map and analyse the position of these different stakeholders and how to engage with them best in order to realise organisational goals and avoid roadblocks. Students will design their own public affairs campaign and apply the concepts and theories   in an assignment focusing on the following public affairs topics: defining what public affairs is; looking at corporate storytelling within public affairs; understanding who the stakeholders are; evaluating the impact of an organisation on the external world and on the public landscape and seeing the role of communication and lobbying within public affairs strategy. By the end of this course, students will have mastered a methodology to assess which topics organisations should focus on in the future in their public relations communications.
Sales management
Students will become familiar with sales techniques, customer relations management and sales and account management. Students discuss the impact of digital disruption on sales, the development and role of selling in marketing sales strategies, consumer and organisational buyer behaviour, sales settings, international selling, sales responsibilities and preparation and personal selling skills.
Consumer behaviour
Students will be introduced to consumer behaviour and consumer society, with focus not only on the individual but also on groups and social media. Students will learn about: Consumers in the marketplace (an introduction to consumer behaviour, a consumer society, shopping, buying and disposing); How consumers see the world and themselves (perception, the self, motivation, lifestyles and values); Consumers as decision-makers (learning and memory, attitudes, individual decision-making); Consumers and their social groups (groups and social media, household decision-making and age cohorts, income and social class); and Culture and consumption (culture and consumer behaviour, cultural change processes, consumption and cultural differences).


Blogging and Vlogging
In this module, we study the importance of personal branding. Students apply what they have learned in their own blogs. By using a Content Management System (Wordpress) on their own webspace, students build a platform for their own personal branding. Students will also translate a content strategy into a content marketing plan, learn how to improve the user experience, how to optimize their blogs for search engines and how to use appropriate content (both text and video) and social media channels to activate the blog and diffuse it to the target groups.
Students will be introduced into the art of writing texts, slogans, headlines, television or radio commercial scripts, leaflets, brochures, internet content and other written material incorporated into advertising material.


Basic Dutch
Through short and lively lessons, you will learn basic Dutch grammar along with typical expressions and introductory vocabulary to help you during your stay in Kortrijk and Flanders. This language course gives additional insights into Flemish and Belgian society and culture.


Applied Creativity Project
In this module we focus heavily on creativity: what is it, how can we use it and various techniques to handle any problem you come across. Later in the semester, you tackle a real-life communication project. By applying creativity techniques and your newly acquired skills and communication knowledge, you will deliver a qualitative, creative and deadline-driven result that satisfies the customer. You will learn to handle communication challenges, group dynamics, feedback and self-reflection, all which go hand-in-hand with project management.
Cross-cultural communication
In this module we explore intercultural communication. What are the differences and resemblances between different cultures? What challenges does this pose for an effective communication? What difficulties can we expect when we work in international teams? How can we achieve a truly cross-cultural collaboration? After developing a framework, students will form cross-cultural teams and organize an event. After the event, they reflect on their experience in working cross-culturally.


English for exchange students - evening course (optional)
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 that 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 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.

Course Unit Descriptions for All English-taught semester programmes

(if not available yet for the upcoming academic year please select the current year)

  • Next to ‘Taal’ select ‘English’
  • Next to ‘Opleiding’ select: Creative Communication Project - ETS CM CCP
  • Next to ‘Traject’ select the top, blank line for the main courses and select the bottom blank line for the optional modules.

Orientation week & buddies


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, some entrance fees and your own food & drinks. Prices are kept as low as possible and as close to 100 euro total as possible.

The estimated price for the orientation week in 2020-21 (for under 26y) is about €53 for the train tickets and €47 for the excursions, to be paid in cash at the start of the orientation week.

Dates of the Orientation Week:

  • Autumn Semester: 14 – 18 September 2020
  • Spring Semester: 1- 5 February 2021

You'll also have a Howest buddy or two to welcome you and show you around! For more information about buddies, click here.


Minimum 2 successfully completed semesters or an equivalent of 60 ECTS in a Bachelor programme. 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.

All students should bring their own laptop. To be sufficient the laptop should have a minimum i5 intel processor and minimum 6Gb RAM. Howest is focused on innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship. Explicit respect for intellectual property is the logical consequence. Howest wants every student to work with legal software. For the required software Howest has an agreement for all its students with Academic Software. You will benefit from the Howest discount on the license fee. During the first classes, an English version of MS Office (required MS Word, MS Excel, MS Powerpoint, MS Outlook) and an English version of Adobe CC14 will be installed on your laptop. There is no need to install the software beforehand.

Click here for Howest language expectations.

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.

Timing and location

The course takes place in Kortrijk.

Our Spring semester runs from 1 February to 2 July 2021.

Classes start on the 8 February, but all newly arriving incoming students are expected on Monday, 1 February, for our fulltime Orientation Week. From 05/04/2021 - 16/04/2021 there is a two-week Easter Holiday.

The examination period starts on 24 May. From 21 June to 2 July there are feedback sessions for students.
The Howest 2nd chance exams take place in the 3rd exam period (Aug/Sept). As an exceptional service for exchange students AND only after explicit approval by the head of the study department, 2nd chance exams can be taken by the end of the 2nd exam period, at a date to be determined by the study department.

Address of the campus

Howest, Campus Kortrijk Weide - The Penta 
Sint-Martens-Latemlaan 1B - 8500 Kortrijk

Opleiding / Dienst