nursing schools in belgium taught in english

Last Updated on August 12, 2023 by Oluwajuwon Alvina

How to Study Nursing in Belgium for International Students

Belgium is considered one of the best countries to work in. This holds true for nurses as well. The Belgian government takes vigilant measures to create better working conditions and environments for the healthcare professionals.

Even though there have been reports of nurse shortage in the country, the average number of practicing nurses in Belgium is well above the EU average. This may be due to nurses in Belgium having a lower workload; they may also enjoy higher social recognition and remuneration.

What Degrees are there for Nursing in Belgium?

There are two different levels of nursing education in Belgium – diploma degree and bachelor’s degree. You would find the latter more commonly at a university college.

To become a registered nurse in Belgium, you can study nursing in Belgium for four years. The program consists of 2,300 hours of practical training and corresponds to 240 ECTS credits. Upon completion, graduates will obtain a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the institution and a license to practice from the Recognition Commission of the Federal Council of Nursing Practitioners and the Provincial Medical Commission.

Those with a bachelor’s degree in nursing may choose to further their studies or go into specialization by enrolling in a master’s or Ph.D. program. For those who had previously obtained a diploma in nursing, they will be able to obtain a professional bachelor’s degree by attending a bridging program or a shortened educational pathway at an institution that provides this program.

Cost of Studying Nursing

Depending on your nationality, the cost of your nursing education in a Belgian university will range between a few hundred to a few thousand euros annually. In general, citizens of the European Union or European Economic Area countries would need less than 1,000 euros a year to study in a public university in Belgium.

Besides the affordable tuition, the low cost of living is another factor that attracts countless students from across the world to study in Belgium. On average, you would need about 800 euros or less to cover your monthly living expenses in Belgium.

Requirements to Study Nursing in Belgium

As there are three Communities in Belgium – the Flemish, French, and German-speaking Communities, you will need to be able to communicate in either Dutch, French, or German based on the location of the school you wish to attend.

For example, the Howest University of Applied Sciences offers courses in English or Dutch because it is an institution that is based in West Flanders, a province of the Flemish Region. International students who wish to study nursing at Howest must, therefore, know the Dutch language and meet a minimum requirement of B2 level as it is the teaching language that is used in the program.

You will also need to hold a diploma or education qualification that is recognized by the institution you are applying to. The admission requirements may vary depending on your nationality, the type of diploma or qualification you have, and the institution of your choice.

Best Nursing Schools in Belgium

1. Erasmus Brussels University of Applied Sciences and Arts (EhB)

Also known as Eramushogeschool Brussel (EhB), this higher education institution has about 7,000 students in its 11 campuses located throughout Brussels, Belgium. Working together with Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), EhB provides a myriad of degree programs in Dutch and exchange programs in English for students across the world.

International students who wish to pursue their nursing education can apply to this nursing school in Belgium as it offers a professional bachelor’s degree program in nursing. The language of instruction is Dutch. Students can choose to study the program full time at the Jette campus or follow the course through distance learning. Students with a diploma in nursing can also obtain a bachelor’s degree by undergoing a bridge training program at EhB.

2. Haute École Galilée (HEG)

The Haute École Galilée (HEG) is a French-speaking private higher education institution located in Brussels. The university college offers training in four distinct areas – Communication and Journalism, Office Management and Tourism, Healthcare, and Education. HEG is considered to have one of the best nursing schools in Belgium.

At the healthcare department, also known as Institut Supérieur de Soins Infirmiers Galilée (ISSIG), students can study a four-year program to become a nurse responsible in general care. The school also offers three specializations courses – Community Health, Diagnostic and Interventional Medical Imaging, and Radiotherapy. The duration of these specialization programs is one year.

3. Karel de Grote University of Applied Sciences and Arts (KdG)

Named after a European emperor (Charles the Great), the Karel de Grote University of Applied Sciences and Arts was officially opened in 1995. It is a non-profit private higher education institution formed from a merger of 13 catholic institutions in Antwerp. Each year, more than 13,000 students are enrolled in one of the six fields of study offered by the institution.

Aspiring nurses can study at KdG and obtain a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Over the course of four years, students will learn about all the different fields of nursing in theory and in practice. Students will undergo 2,300 hours of internship in various healthcare settings such as primary care and home nursing, medicine and surgery, mental health care, geriatrics and chronic care, mother-child care, and pediatrics.

To apply for this program, international students are required to provide a Dutch language certificate (level B2) as proof of proficiency. You will also need a high school graduation certificate that is accepted by the school.

4. Howest University of Applied Sciences (Howest)

You can study nursing in Belgium in Howest University of Applied Sciences (also known as Hogeschool West-Vlaanderen), a public higher education institution that is located in the province of West Flanders. Besides offering courses in Dutch, the school also provides many programs in English to cater to international students who wish to study in Belgium.

The nursing program at Howest is a four-year bachelor program delivered in Dutch. Applicants who wish to enroll in this program should provide proof of proficiency in Dutch that meets the minimum requirement of the B2 level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Foreign Languages (CEFR).

5. Ghent University (UGent)

The final top nursing school in Belgium is Ghent University, one of the major universities in Belgium that is located in Ghent, a city in the Flemish Region. Established in 1817 by King William I of the Netherlands, this public research university has 11 faculties and offers over 200 courses to 46,000 students annually. As most programs in UGent are taught in Dutch (with exception to some master programs and exchange programs), students are advised to learn Dutch before or during their time in the university.

Exchange students can apply to the university’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences to obtain a qualification in Master of Science in Nursing and Midwifery. It is a two-year, 120-ECTS credit master’s degree program that aims to equip students with precise and in-depth knowledge in either nursing, midwifery, or mental health nursing. Graduates of this program will be able to pursue a career in various fields such as advanced practice roles, research, education, and management.

To apply for this program, applicants must be enrolled in a university that has a bilateral agreement with UGent and possess a professional bachelor’s degree in nursing or midwifery or a bachelor’s degree in nursing that is approved by UGent. Applicants are also required to have at least a level B2 in English proficiency upon enrolment. For more information, please refer to the admission requirements on the website.

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