Exchange study at Howest

Nomination info for partner institutions

All incoming exchange students need to be nominated by their home institution via an online form.

Should you not have received the link to our online nomination form by e-mail, please contact us at

The Howest nomination deadlines are:

May 15th for study in the fall Semester

  • April 15thfor nationals from outside the European Economic Area AND for traineeship in Nursing or Psychology. April 15th is the only yearly nomination deadline for traineeships in Nursing, also for spring of the academic year to follow is the only yearly deadline for traineeships in Nursing, also for spring of the academic year to follow.

November 15th for study in spring Semester

  • October 15st 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.

Apply for exchange study at Howest

Incoming exchange students need to be nominated by their home institution via an online form.

After having received the nomination by the sending institution, Howest will send the nominee all information necessary for the application.

Non-exchange students (not affiliated with a Howest partner university) seeking to attend a Howest English-taught semester have a different application procedure

Exchange students from outside the EEA (European Economic Area) must request a valid student visa for Belgium.  Students who come to Belgium without a valid Belgian visa will do so at their own risk, and cannot be enrolled officially at Howest. Count on at least 8 weeks to get a student visa! If your sending institution is already situated in the EEA, the visa or residence permit you already have for your study there is NOT as such a valid visa for (exchange) study in Belgium, BUT you will be entitled to a shorter procedure via our International Office, of which you will be informed upon acceptance. More visa info.

Application deadlines

After your nomination has been accepted by Howest, you will receive a link to register and complete your application by the application deadline of:

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/Psychology, also for Spring of the academic year to follow.

November 30th for study in Spring Semester

  • October 31st for nationals from outside the European Economic Area

More info on start/end dates of our semesters

Non-exchange students

A limited number of non-exchange students (not affiliated with a Howest partner school) can get selected to attend a Howest English-taught semester as a Postgraduate Certificate programme. Three of our exchange programmes qualify for that purpose. More info 

International students who want to study a full (Bachelor or Associate) Degree programme, or a Postgraduate Certificate, can find here the overview of English-taught programmes, and all application info via

Howest language expectations

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. a Duolingo Language Certificate with a minimum score of 105 or higher, 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 & Grade conversion

Howest UAS fully applies the ECTS grading system and awards credits for the successfully achieved course units. Within 4 weeks after the end of the exam period, all exchange students receive an official ECTS Transcript of Records and Certificate.  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.

Our English-taught semesters are an integrated part of the Howest Bachelor courses.

Grade Conversion - Howest Grade Distribution Tables

The Howest scores (out of 20 points) can be easily converted to the scores of the sending institution comparing the grade distribution table of the own institution with the Howest one.  You can find Howest’s grade distribution table under here, or in the EGRACONS conversion tool, which will perform the conversion automatically for you, if your institution also participates in EGRACONS.  We encourage our partners to join us -and many other higher education institutions- in using EGRACONS as a (free of charge) conversion tool. EGRACONS is fully compliant with the guidelines in the ECTS Users’ Guide 2015 and is officially mentioned there as an example of good practice.

Consult the Howest Grade Distribution Table

Partner institutions who don’t use Grade Distribution Tables can find some more information in the definitions below to interpret the Howest scores:

Howest grade on 20 Definition
16/20 up to 20/20 EXCELLENT - outstanding performance with only minor errors
The student has an exceptionally high command of the pursued competence(s)
14/20 &15/20 VERY GOOD - above the average standard but with some errors
The student has a very good command of the pursued competence(s) and distinguishes him/herself
12/20 & 13/20 GOOD - generally sound work with a number of notable errors
The student has a good command of the pursued competence(s)
11/20 SATISFACTORY- fair but with significant shortcomings
The student has an adequate command of the pursued competence(s)
10/20 10/20 is the PASS SCORE  > credits are acquired
SUFFICIENT - performance meets the minimum criteria.
The student has acquired sufficient command of the pursued competence(s) in order to function and/or continue studying.
7/20 - 8/20 - 9/20 FAIL - some work required before the credit can be awarded
The student has not yet acquired sufficient command of the pursued competences in order to function and/or continue studying
6/20 and less FAIL - considerable further work is required
The student has not at all acquired sufficient command of the pursued competences

Tuition fee

Exchange students

For exchange students sent by our Erasmus and intercontinental partner institutions the exchange semester or year is tuition free.  Course or other study materials, or the cost for cultural visits or study excursions (transportation, museum entrance …) will have to be paid on location.

Non-exchange students

Non-exchange students pay a tuition fee that differs according to the programme they choose. You find the fees on the international applications page FAQs.  The fee does not include course or other materials, nor the cost for cultural visits or study excursions (transportation, museum entrance …). 

Howest has cashless campuses.


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 €300 and €520 per month, costs included; a studio flat between €450 and €600. A student room in Kortrijk will generally cost you between €300 and €540 per month, costs included.

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

Students from a country outside the European Economic Area must request a valid visa to study in Belgium. If your sending institution is already situated in the EEA, the visa or residence permit you already have for your study there is NOT as such a valid visa for (exchange) study in Belgium, BUT you will be entitled to a shorter procedure via our International Office, of which you will be informed upon acceptance.

Students who come to Belgium without a valid Belgian student visa, cannot be enrolled officially at Howest and will be here at their own risk. Count on at least 8 weeks to get a student visa! 

Insurance incoming students

University Insurance Policy incoming students

Howest strives to properly insure incoming international students with a 24/7 assistance by a professional multilingual alarm centre in case of emergency. Via the Howest insurance policy incoming international students will be covered 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.

However, this insurance is NOT a health insurance and it does NOT cover all risks, such as activities during PRIVATE time of the exchange period. Hence, all incoming students need to arrange themselves sufficient health, third-party (civil) liability and travel assistance insurance, including repatriation of corpse.

More information about the different insurances

We recommend to take out the Student Insurance of Expat & Co before you travel to Belgium since this extensive insurance complies with the very strict guidelines of the European Commission’s Erasmus programme (which are the minimum insurance requirements). 

There are of course also other insurance formulas that will cover you sufficiently but it is impossible for Howest to screen them all.

If you take out another insurance policy, please make sure you have thoroughly screened it and all risks are covered, including third-party liability outside the school related activities.

The ‘BASIC’ formula of the Expat & Co ‘Student Insurance’ covers:

  • Medical treatment costs: this part of the insurance covers your hospitalization costs, treatment costs, urgent dental care, dental care, dental surgery following an accident and psychological help after trauma
  • Assistance abroad: such as repatriation or evacuation, forwarding essential medications, legal assistance abroad
  • Accidents: permanent disability or death due to an accident
  • Non-contractual liability in private life (= third-party liability)
  • Option: Sports (winter and underwater sports and speleology)

This BASIS formula can be taken out in a ‘Full Cover’ package that will reimburse you from the very first € or can work as a ‘Top-Up’ plan which is complementary to a European health insurance. For non EU students we advise the ‘Full Cover’ package.

After admission Howest will send you the link to the Expat&Co webtool where you can calculate your quote or buy the insurance online as a Howest student.

The full Expat & Co brochure can be found here.

For further information, you can contact Expat & Co:

After admission, International students will not be allowed to complete their enrolment (degree students) or registration (exchange students) at Howest without having provided proof or a signed declaration of their insurance coverage for at least the (first complete) semester of their stay. 

Student counselling

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

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 Bachelor Degree students

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

Contact us


Buddy -Pal Group: Yana, Viktoria Cedric, Hamza

“It has been amazing semester so far!  I like my buddy and because of him I got the chance to meet other DAE classmates and to be honest so far this is one of my best experiences.” –  Viktoria

“I met my buddy and he introduced me to most of his friends and we go sometimes to the center of Kortrijk to grab something to eat or just have a walk. It's fun all together and he is ready to help/answer any questions that I have.” –  Yana

Buddy -Pal Group: Marie, George and Lorenzo 

“Due to corona we weren’t able to meet up much in-person, but that can’t stop us from spending time together! Ever since we got each other’s contact Information, through Howest, we met up online to play games, chat and get to know each other. The buddies were always willing to lend a helping hand and give feedback on schoolwork or answer questions. They even introduced us to the rest of their friend group at Howest to ensure we would always be able to receive an answer to our questions as fast as possible. Both my buddies are extremely talented in my opinion and after I introduced them to my new friends, they instantly “adopted them“ by giving helpful tips and corrections in their fields of expertise. Whenever we were able to meet in person it was a blast! We’re already talking about what we’re going to do when we’re allowed to go out again.” – Mari

Buddy -Pal Group: Justin, Kenneth Tan, Catharina, Mikail, Elias and Salomé

“We don’t really know how to describe our buddy/pall experience during the corona times, but what we do know is that if we weren’t in lockdown this is 100% what we would be doing IRL” - Catharina


Pjotr, a buddy to numerous international pals during his Howest studies

"Last semester was the third time that I was a buddy. I really love how this international community connects people from all over the globe. 
This semester differed from the previous ones. I am starting my own international experience in the 2nd semester, which meant I was in the international class at Industrial Product Design. Having class with international students brought me closer to a lot of them. It was really nice to not only show them around at school but also in Kortrijk. Most of them became more than just classmates to me.
One day, 2 of the Mexican students invited me and some other Belgian students over to try the Mexican food they cooked. This was such a heart-warming evening, with delicious food of course. This little evening changed into a little tradition. We had 3 country dinners, starting with Mexican chilaquiles, going to Belgian stoofpot, and finishing with pintxos from the Basque Country. These were evenings filled with good food and friends.
It was so cool having these amazing people around and I’m glad that I could be part of their international experience. 
The international community teaches you about this weird place we call earth and all its amazing people. It’s an opportunity to broaden your horizons.

Kain, a buddy to numerous international pals during his Howest studies

"I’m Kaïn, and next to me is my American international pal, Sara!
Fantastic right? I’m just getting started…

I've been a buddy for the past 3 years and I still enjoy it every time. I’m going be honest, at first, I didn’t know what to expect and if this is a thing for me. But I said let's do it! And, well, that was the best choice of my life. You get to know so many people of the international community, share stories, learn new ways of doing stuff! And, you get to have homes all over the world!

Now being buddy means being a friend, a tour guide, a helpline, … whatever you want it to be!

My personal favorite part was bringing my buddy home for a Belgian dinner! International students always seem to be surprised about fries and mayo, haha.

Next to the fun stuff, it’s also good for your international career, as I am now studying in America for a semester at the Howest partner school that several of my American buddies came from! Isn’t that great?

So what are you waiting for? Let your life-time experience begin!"

Aizpea with buddies, Bruno and Noor 

"Our first contact happened before starting the Erasmus experience. They were ready to help and they came to welcome us at the train station when we arrived. Since then, we have shared talks, meals, beers and laughs.

During one’s international experience, it is always a good plan to have contact with locals, and even better with these people!"

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."

Thibo Destatsbader & Amber Debo

"Being a Buddy has changed our lives in ways we could not have imagined. The experiences and friendships we have gained have exceeded our expectations. Thanks to our buddies, we have visited places we would never have visited without them. They have made us tourists in our own country.

Getting to know people from other cultures, with different interests or different branches improved our open-mindedness. Even with corona, it was the best period of our college days."


Kain Kerkhove - Uber *Buddy - Howest IPO & AppState exchange alumni 

"Having Internationals over at my house is always a blast! From serving them traditional foods to showing them how I live and explaining all the interesting stuff I have laying around.

It's not only for them a fun day but my parents too as they love to meet and share stories with them!"

Sarah Hoffman and Maider Gardoki

"Being a **buddy is like visiting the whole world while still being in your own environment. The experiences and connections you create, change you into a person of the world. I really love being a buddy but it’s hard to put into words sometimes because it’s something you have to feel and experience. I love my pals, we are in very close contact and I enjoy spending time with them and I learn a lot about their countries and language!”

Sarah Hoffman (far right in photo) – Howest Industrial Product Design - Local ‘Uber’ Buddy for (from left to right in photo) Mikel Smithers (Spain), Luis Tellez & Diana Martinez (Mexico) & Maider Gardoki (Spain)

"A kind and friendly door to go to, that's what meeting my buddy has been for me. When you go to a new place it's always scary to start communicating: to find a place, the most convenient train or places to go to do your shopping or get your bike fixed. It's lucky to have a person on the other side to ask those absurd but necessary questions that we sometimes struggle with. And the snowball grows, a person who welcomes you with a smile, who lends you their bike to make that crazy 4-hour trip when your chain has broken the day before... A helping hand, a smile and a valuable encyclopedia to consult in confidence. That has been for me, thank you Sarah Hoffman.”

Maider Gardoki (2nd from right in photo) – International Pal of Sarah Hoffman - Industrial Product Design - Mondragon University - Spain

Meet Local Buddy Tijl & International Pal Conrad!

"Tijl is a local Howest Social Work student who signed up to be a buddy. Conrad is an international Howest MCT student from Uganda at Howest in Kortrijk during the fall 2021 semester. As Conrad says, “his buddy became his pal!” Listen to their buddy/pal story!”

Orientation week

We organise a full-time Orientation Week before the start of the actual lessons. During Orientation Week, there are also often kick-off activities per study programme. We strongly recommend attending the full Orientation & Kick-off Week, 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
  • get loads of practical tips from our students and staff to prepare you for your time at Howest
  • get settled in your student rooms and set up on the Howest IT systems before classes begin

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 2022-23 (for under 26y) is about €55 for the train tickets and €45 for the excursions, to be paid in cash at the start of the orientation week.

Dates of the Orientation Week:

  • Autumn Semester: 12 – 16 September 2022
  • Spring Semester: 06 – 10 February 2023

You'll also have a Howest buddy or two to welcome you and show you around!

More information about buddies

English for exchange students

Howest offers – for both incoming and outgoing students - an intensive, weekly English course 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 voluntary basis. The course is intended for students with various levels, from beginner to intermediate to advanced. Students who are positively assessed and officially enrolled for the course obtain 3 ECTS credits.

Outgoing students

Learn how to communicate in an international 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. Outgoing students, however, have to follow the English course on a voluntary basis 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 when possible.

The course aims at the B2 proficiency level and combines various methodologies, including but not limited to the IELTS approach. We strongly recommended it to all inbound and outbound exchange students who have not fully achieved the B2-level in English at the time 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 take place in both Bruges and in Kortrijk. The examination period is organised at the end of the semester, with exams on the courses completed in that semester. Students enrolled voluntarily are not able to sit for the exams.

Howest charges no tuition fee for the course, but some learning material has to be paid for by the participating student.

Time & location for autumn semester 2022


  • Duration: 24 h
  • Start: Tuesday, 20 September 2022
  • Every Tuesday, from 6:00 (18:00) till 8:00 pm (20:00)
  • Location: Campus Kortrijk Weide - The Penta - room KWE.P.0.002
  • Teacher: Kristin Keller


  • Duration: 24 h
  • Start: Monday, 26 September 2022
  • Every Monday, from 6:00 (18:00) till 8:00 pm (20:00)
  • Location: Campus Brugge station 5 – BST5 - room BST.A.2.001
  • Teacher: Siglinde Masselis


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

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

Contact if you have specific questions.

Academic calendar

Timing and location – spring 2023

Our spring semester runs from 06 February 2023 to 30 June 2023

  • The first week is the full-time Orientation Week, as well as some kick-off activities per study programme. We strongly recommend attending the full Orientation & Kick-off Week.
  • The actual lessons start on 13 February. 
  • From 03 April to 14 April, there are two weeks of spring holiday. 
  • In the last week of the semester, from 26 June to 30 June, there are still exams, as well as 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.

Timing and location – autumn 2023

Our autumn semester runs from 11 September 2023 to 02 February 2024

  • The first week is the full-time Orientation Week, as well as some kick-off activities per study programme. We strongly recommend attending the full Orientation & Kick-off Week.
  • The actual lessons start on 18 September. 
  • From 30 October to 03 November, there is one week of autumn holiday. 
  • Winter holidays are from 25 December 2023 to 05 January 2024.
  • The examination period starts immediately after on 08 January 2024. 
  • Some study programmes, such as Digital Design and Development (Devine) and Multimedia & Creative Technologies (MCT) – AI Engineer, have exams in December and courses until the end of January.
  • In the last week of the semester, from 29 January to 02 February, there are still exams, as well as 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, a 2nd exam can be taken by the end of the 1st exam period, at a date to be determined by the study department.

Timing and location – spring 2024

Our spring semester runs from 12 February 2024 to 28 June 2024

  • The first week is the full-time Orientation Week, as well as some kick-off activities per study programme. We strongly recommend attending the full Orientation & Kick-off Week.
  • The actual lessons start on 19 February. 
  • From 01 April to 12 April, there are two weeks of spring holiday. 
  • In the last week of the semester, from 24 June to 28 June, there are still exams, as well as 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.

Education and Exam Regulation

Practical information upon arrival


Go to the internationalisation coordinator of your Howest department on the agreed day and time. You will have received an email informing you about the exact time of the welcome session for international students at your campus before your arrival.  The coordinator will help you with your registration at the student administration office. For those students who arrive way before the agreed day and time, please make an appointment with the administrative support officer of your campus.  You find her email address on the contact page.

Formalities to be accomplished:

  • student card application (don’t forget a passport photo!)
  • filling in of the online “local contact data & emergency” tool
  • preparation of your registration at the local register office (City Hall)
  • practical arrangements such as log-in data, electronic learning platform, schedule etc.
  • upload your student card with the sum you will need to print, make photocopies or buy items at the Cafeteria at the reception desks (see also the item “Howest cashless campuses”)

All Howest and exchange students should bring their own laptop, with all necessary and officially licenced software.  The course overview mentions the specific software (if any) necessary for the course unit.

Within the first 8 days of your stay you have to present yourself at the City Register Office, if you are staying longer than three months in Belgium.  For non EU students in Kortrijk, Howest will arrange you a registration appointment at the city hall (normally during the Orientation Week).


(your campus international coordinator will inform you of other requirements)

  • your identity card/passport + visa
  • your address during your study period at     Howest
  • 3 to 4 passport photos, depending on the town you will be staying in
  • For EU citizens: the residence document costs in Kortrijk €17,70, in Bruges €19,20
  • For non-EU citizens: the residence document costs in Kortrijk €18,20, in Bruges €19,70

After you have been registered, the policeman on the beat will come around to check whether you really live at the given address. The town services will invite you then for a second visit. 

After completing all these formalities you will receive your residence permit. Students who needed a Visa to enter Belgium, are usually not allowed to enter Belgium a second time without having received their residence permit first!  So do not leave Belgium (if you want to come back) unless you are absolutely sure that you have the right residence permit which allows you to come back in.  

Don’t forget to deregister at the same register office about one week before you leave!

Medical facilities

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 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 (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.

Costs of living

In general we can state that you will monthly spend about €240 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.

Below you find a few prices of some current food products to give you an idea of the costs of living in Belgium:

  • small loaf of bread (400 g): €1.60
  • big loaf of bread (800 g): €2.20
  • 1 litre of milk: €1.14
  • 1,5 l of Coca Cola: €1.49
  • 1 kg of potatoes: €1
  • 1 kg of oranges: €2.30
  • ham/kg: €16.90
  • cheese/kg: €7,59
  • 1 pint of beer (in a pub): €2.00
  • 1 coke (in a pub): €1.80 à €2.00

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.


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 (see that item below).

Banking in Belgium for foreign 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 AND
  • certificate of domicile (if not mentioned on the identity card or passport)
  • holding a valid Application Form of a Belgian University or University College AND
  • 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. 

Are incoming students allowed to work during their study period at Howest?

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 Brugge (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 Brugge 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:



  • Near Campus Rijselstraat: Laundrette ‘t Zeepbelletje’, Rijselstraat 118, 8200 Sint-Michiels (Brugge)
  • Near Campus Sint-Jorisstraat: Laundrette ‘Belfort’, Ezelstraat 51, 8000 Brugge (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’

Sorting waste

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.

Transport in Belgium and between campuses

Experiences of international students at Howest

Howest University of Applied Sciences in Kortrijk and Brugge, Belgium is a great place to study. Don’t believe us? Listen to what our students have to say!

Check out this slideshow with testimonies from recent Howest exchange students and this video about Howest’s International Day, made by French Erasmus student Oriane for her internship at Howest’s MediaLab Quindo.

Have a look at more testimonies from our international exchange students!

Discover Howest, Bruges & Kortrijk


Erasmus Charter for Higher Education 2021-2027

Axel Brabants / Industrieel Productontwerpen / Portugal / Erasmus studie