Study at Howest
"Howest is a university that provides top-notch education, and where learning is both effective and enjoyable. "
Howest is an entrepreneurial University of Applied Sciences known for its innovative and interdisciplinary approach to education and research, and its close collaboration with industry, business and the social profit sector.
We offer 25 Bachelors, 12 Associate Degrees and many Postgraduate Certificate programmes, all with a strong practical focus, in the areas of Business & Management, Industrial Sciences & Technology, Digital Design, Architecture, Healthcare, Education and Social Sciences. Howest is a member of Ghent University Association, which provides high-quality higher education to about 1/3 of Flanders’ student population. All our programmes are fully accredited by NVAO, the Dutch-Flemish Accreditation Organisation.
We constantly develop our course offer in English in order to position Howest as an attractive academic choice for students from abroad. At present, we have 33 programmes for English-speaking students available, ranging from full bachelor’s degrees to English-taught semesters to postgraduate certificates. We warmly welcome degree-seeking students as well as semester-exchange students from our Erasmus and overseas partner universities.
Our four campuses are located in the historical cities of Bruges and Kortrijk, in the province of West Flanders, Belgium. Studying in Bruges or Kortrijk includes having a series of very attractive locations nearby: the Belgian coast as well as our Flemish art cities like Antwerp, Brussels, Ghent... You can also reach famous European places like Paris, London, Amsterdam, Cologne in a one or two hours train journey.
Howest is ranked #21 in the 2020 Princeton Review’s Top 50 of Game Design Undergraduate programmes. In 2021, Howest was ranked as best school in the world to learn game art and development by The Rookies and Grads in Games, after previously being #1 in 2018 and 2017. Several of our students from various programmes received awards over the past few years.
Howest continuously adapts its curricula to include new areas of knowledge and to put the latest research into practice. Creativity and entrepreneurship are part of the Howest DNA. Field-driven assignments and on-the-job training are key components of each programme. That is how we meet the changing needs of today’s society and arm our students with future-proof skills.
Committed and supportive lecturers embody Howest’s core values “serve - empower - care” which stimulate an open, pluralistic and international outlook on education, research and service to society.
Over the years, Howest has built a solid reputation in application-oriented scientific research, services and education, partnering with universities and work-field organisations in Belgium, Europe, and all over the world. Our students and staff are given plenty of opportunities to go global and gain international experience, thanks to international networks, scholarships and exchange programmes. Howest has led or actively participated in many highly successful international projects.
In short, Howest is a university that provides top-notch education, and where learning is both effective and enjoyable.
"Come to Belgium in the summer they said - it's gonna be nice they said..."
Johannes Weyer (Germany)
...and then you come to Belgium and it is windy and it rains. The picture was taken in June by the way. Therefore, one thing you should be aware of before coming to West Flanders is the weather, which can completely change from one to the next moment on some days. So, make sure to bring some waterproof clothes. But this is definitely nothing that should scare you off from coming here. I was able to see Bruges in many different facets. There were cold and cloudy days, lots of beautiful spring days, long summer days with around 30°C, rainy days, and we even had snow. And what I can personally say is that Bruges looked beautiful on all of those days. The charming narrow cobblestone roads, the numerous old buildings and tall churches, the many canals in the city centre...I won't tell too much now, you kind of have to see it yourself.
I enjoyed all the beautiful views each time I walked to the university. At Howest, I experienced lectures and a general learning and teaching mentality which is, in some regards, quite different from what I knew from Germany. But despite some busy and, in my opinion, sometimes a bit chaotic weeks, we managed to properly make it through this semester. The staff and the teachers were always friendly and try to help you as well as possible. And as part of the international group, you can be pretty sure that you will not be alone during your stay. With some amazing people from many different countries that I met, there were a lot of different possibilities of how to spend your time. Other countries are close, bigger Belgian cities are very easy to reach, and the beach is always just some minutes away - whether rainy and windy or sunny, all have their unique charm.
I learned a lot here and will never regret choosing Belgium for my Erasmus semester. If you come here, I am sure that you can also have an amazing time in Bruges
"I am truly grateful to have been an international student at Howest"
Yaojia Ma (South Korea)
The 5 months I spent studying at Howest was one of the happiest times of my life. All the friends, classmates, teachers, and even the staff in the shops, that I met were much sweeter than Belgian chocolate and waffles 😄
I am truly grateful to have been an international student at Howest and the experience will remain one of the most valuable treasures in my life.
"My year at Howest completely changed me, I created amazing friendships which I know will last."
Noémie Dupont-Polat (France)
I had always dreamed of studying abroad, where I could learn another language and meet new people from all over the world. And you know what? I am so glad I got the opportunity to do so in Kortrijk! At first, going on this adventure, towards the unknown, was scary but exciting. I was always questioning and doubting myself: “Can you actually pull that off? How are you going to handle living in another country, far from your family?”. At first, it’s normal to be scared or lost, but believe me, you’ll have the most amazing time of your life! Thanks to the incredible people I met, I discovered a new version of myself. My year at Howest completely changed me, I created amazing friendships which I know will last. Although going on an Erasmus is mostly about meeting new people and traveling, it’s also a valuable learning experience, and I am so grateful to Howest for its compelling study programs. So, if you’re thinking of going abroad, especially to Howest, just go for it, you’re going to have the most wonderful time of your life!
"I would describe my experience abroad as enriching, unexpected and fun. Originally, because of Covid, this experience was cancelled, but a turn of events made it possible. "
Carlos Silva (Mexico)
I was enrolled in the English taught semester of MCT, AI Engineer. My classes were amazing and I learned so much because back in Mexico we did not use a lot of these tools. I had the opportunity to work with a robot developed in France called Reachy, and it was fun using my knowledge and applying it to the robot.
Originally, I was only going to stay for one semester, but because I liked this experience so much, I decided to stay for an Internship at the Sizing Server Research Laboratory in Howest itself. I got to work with Reachy for a little longer and do some other side projects as well.
I know I will stay friends forever with some of the people I met in Belgium. In the second semester I was there, I went to Norway to visit some friends I met on my previous semester and by the time you’re reading this, they will have visited me in Mexico too!
Going abroad was one of the best decisions I have ever made, and I am so thankful to my family, Howest and Tec de Monterrey for giving me this opportunity.
"Thank you Howest, to give my life an unexpected but positive turn."
Patricia López Arahuetes (Spain)
I met my buddy during the first semester. He always helped me in everything he could and thanks to him I was able to get to know Belgium as it really is and not from the perspective of a tourist, and I also showed him my life in Spain. We went out to parties every week, made a lot of plans and even went on trips. I never thought that I could have so many things in common with someone who doesn't even speak my language. We always had a great time. For this reason, I decided to extend my Erasmus for another six months. Over time, the friendship turned into love and now I will extend my stay here forever.
"Howest was such a welcoming community, from the faculty and professors to my fellow students"
Jessica Navarro (USA)
My time abroad gave me so much insight into myself, it was the best decision I have ever taken. Howest was such a welcoming community, from the faculty and professors to my fellow students. The culture that Howest cultivates for its international students in nothing short of exceptional.
"What really surprised me though was how fast I was able to make friends and build a social network here"
Sabine Steffens (Austria)
If I had to describe my exchange semester in Bruges to someone, I probably wouldn’t even really know where to start because I associate so many memories with it. It was exciting, surprising, emotional, fun, and all around a great experience.
Going to another country and not knowing what to expect can be thrilling and a little bit scary but, personally, I only had positive and excited feelings towards starting this journey to Belgium. It took me over 9 hours and some paperwork to get here, but once I had entered the city I immediately fell in love with Bruges’ charm and beautiful architecture. Experiencing another mentality and culture was also really interesting as the Belgians are actually different from what I expected.
What really surprised me though was how fast I was able to make friends and build a social network here. Being an Erasmus student and spending a lot of my time with other internationals made it pretty easy to find connections and befriend people from all over the world – and some Belgians too! These friendships might actually be the most important and precious thing that I am taking away from this semester and hopefully they will last me for a long or even a lifetime.
I made incredible memories with my friend group, like cycling over an hour to the beach, travelling through France or exploring Belgian cities! Obviously, we also ate our way through the Belgian cuisine and took part in some fun beer-tasting activities and party nights. If anybody tells me they are scared or hesitant to do an exchange semester abroad because they might feel lonely or not find people to hang out with, I can only tell them the complete opposite! At least for an exchange semester at Howest it is basically guaranteed that you will meet others and make friends because Howest actually does a lot to get people connected and organise bonding experiences. There is also a support system of international coordinators and lecturers who have tried their best to make this stay as comfortable and enjoyable as possible for me, which I really appreciate. Studying at Howest as an international student is great as the schedule is relaxed enough to still enjoy your free time and explore the country, but also interesting and diverse enough to gain lots of new knowledge and get insight into some aspects that your home university might not deal with in your regular study programme.
Overall, I have to say that going to Bruges for my semester abroad and studying Applied Health & Lifestyle Sciences here was for sure the right decision and helped me make unexpected experiences and grow as a person.
"Coming to a country I had never been in and studying at Howest challenged me in ways I never expected"
Marie Essert (Austria)
Going on an exchange semester sucks - but it is the best decision I have ever made. Why? Coming to a country I had never been in and studying at Howest challenged me in ways I never expected. Every day I had to get out of my comfort zone and was confronted with cultural differences and language barriers. During the last five months, I grew so much as a person and I know I would have never had the same growth if I had not taken the step to go to Kortrijk. I was not only able to grow my academic knowledge, but also my knowledge of cultures, languages and people skills.
While on an exchange, it seems like everyone has one shared thing in their DNA: the love of experiences. No matter if it is cycling to France, bouldering together, taking the train to London, going to karaoke, or just drinking Belgian beers – it is never boring with such amazing people surrounding you.
When you decide to go on an exchange at Howest, you might expect to just do a semester abroad. But it is so much more: you will meet the best people from all over the world and call Belgium your new home.
"Howest's staff and lecturers are smart, respectful and understanding, and a solution can be found together for every problem. "
Kaisa Gutman (Estonia)
In my case, being part of an Erasmus program and moving with my family to Belgium to study in Howest (Brugge) is quite unique. Coming abroad to study with family and young children takes a good piece of courage and planning in advance, but it has made us and me stronger and more determined as a family and as a person. Yes, it has been challenging and sometimes there have been obstacles, but it was all worth it.
Studying in Howest has been useful, experiential and educational. While following the Health and Lifestyle sciences programme, I also learned new skills and learned that I am capable of more. Especially educational and the most enjoyable and favorite courses were eHealth, Solution-Focused Health Coaching, Entrepreneurship and Trends, and a personal development course.
Howest's staff and lecturers are smart, respectful and understanding, and a solution can be found together for every problem.
My fellow students have been nice, friendly and good communicators. Regardless of the age difference, all of the students communicated freely and in a friendly way, which made integration very easy. I am very grateful to have had this opportunity to study in Howest.
"How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard."
Conrad Kagoro (Uganda)
It was really a hustle getting all my documents in time for my maiden European experience. Being the first Exchange Student from Uganda at Howest gives me so much delight and gratification because I believe I am going back to Uganda with a lot of life-changing ideas, plus having a European Certificate on my CV is going to take me places I had never dreamt of. How cool is that?
I came to Belgium during the pandemic, and I expected that I would have a different experience than students from previous years.
The Erasmus experience has given me the opportunity to see life a little bit differently as well as grow professionally. I am so grateful to everyone that made this possible. I am already a Howest Ambassador to Uganda. It’s so exciting!
I have really enjoyed myself here in all aspects of life. The people are lovely, and sociable. I will always keep the kindness in my heart always.
“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” – Winnie the Pooh.
"Studying at Howest helped me to discover new ways of working in teams and individually."
Diana Martinez (Mexico)
I had the opportunity to study at Howest in the Collaborative Design Studio program 2021.
I would describe this experience in three words; exciting, challenging and new… and also extremely fun.
Studying at Howest helped me to discover new ways of working in teams and individually. I learned to work with machines and methods that I had never used before and I dared to get involved in projects and activities that I was afraid of. These were the things I learned the most from.
I got to meet not only other Industrial Designers from countries such as Turkey, Spain, Colombia, US, Netherlands and of course from Belgium, but also awesome people studying DAE, MCT, Journalism and Occupational Therapy.
I arrived to Belgium feeling not that confident in myself as a student, but my teachers, classmates, and now good-friend- for-life, made me realize that I was capable of doing everything I want to do.
For me, studying at Howest was more than studying abroad , it was about learning by doing inside the classrooms, laughing instead of stressing out with my colleagues every time something didn't go as expected.
Other experiences in my past (and future) will never match my experience of studying at Howest.
"One of the best times in my life!"
Barbara Veit (Austria)
When I think about my Erasmus semester a lot comes to my mind. Adventure, frightening, educative, joy and – most important – one of the best times in my life!
From week one, there was not a single day that I regretted my decision. Because the international community at Howest is open-minded and very welcoming, I found new friends very easily. Together we enjoyed the sunset at the Leie, a bike-trip to France, visiting different cities, dancing in the “uitgaansbuurt” of Kortrijk, and cooking different traditional meals. Furthermore, we supported each other during stressful times at university and celebrated successful projects and exams afterwards.
Of course, it is hard to leave one’s new home after the semester. However, I know that we will see us again and that I will always have a place to stay all over the world.