As a student here, you can get an excellent college education, and in general, the cost of living and tuition fees are quite affordable.
Living expenses in Belgium
The cost of living in Belgium varies depending on the city you live in, with Brussels, the capital, as the most expensive city in the country. The largest amounts of your budget will be spent on accommodation, and if you choose to eat mostly in a restaurant, you should be aware that some of them are expensive.
Check out the average cost of living in some of Belgium’s student cities:
- Antwerp: about 850 EUR / year
- Brussels and Ghent: between 800 and 950 EUR / year
- Leuven: about 720 – 820 EUR / year
- Liege: around 750 – 800 EUR / year
Accommodation in Belgium
Accommodation prices correspond to the international average (200 – 400 EUR / month) only in student dormitories. For other housing options, especially when it comes to renting an apartment, prices are usually higher than 400 EUR / month.
The main options for student accommodation in Belgium:
- University dormitories – room on campus varies from 200 to 450 EUR / month.
- Rent / share an apartment – the average rental price for a one-bedroom apartment is 400 EUR / month (excluding utilities).
- Homestay – Homestay can be very expensive in some Belgian cities, but the usual price is anywhere between 400 and 600 EUR / month for one person, including at least one meal/day.
If you live with your partner and/or child (s), the rental price will vary from 600 to 850 euros/month, and in some cases, you may pay even more. Utility bills (electricity, water, internet) will be another 150 euros/month.
Cost of food in Belgium
Shopping at the supermarket and cooking at home is the cheapest option when it comes to food costs. On average, you spend around 150 EUR / month on groceries and you should check out the cheapest supermarkets: Lidl, Aldi, Red Market, and Colruyt.
However, there is a delicious meal from time to time, and in Belgium, it is worth it. Food in a budget restaurant costs between 7 and 12 EUR, and Antwerp, for example, even less.
With prices between 4 and 16 EUR, you can eat soups, salads, cheese, and cold cuts and pastries at the Le Pain Quotidien restaurant chain.
Try a trendy Brussels restaurant called La Mer du Nord / De Nordsee, serving sour cream croquettes, snails de Mer (cheeks), fish soup, pickled herring, smoked mackerel and salmon, hot crab, and scallop dishes – all about 6 – 8 EUR.
Transport in Belgium
The easiest and cheapest way to travel while living in a Belgian city is by trains and buses.
A monthly student public transport pass usually costs around 20 EUR / month.
The train network in Belgium is one of the best in Europe and the fares are low. For example, a 40-minute trip from Ghent to Brussels costs 7.50 EUR.
Taxi prices: around 25 EUR for city trips.
Here are some examples of other living expenses in Belgium:
Books: 35-50 euros / month
Entertainment: 50 EUR / month
Insurance / medical care: 30 EUR / month
Tip: buy used books; You can search for message boards on your campus as some students sell their books at good prices. You can also check out Studbooks. be an online platform where students buy and sell their second-hand books (only available in Dutch).