FAQ for INcoming Students

How do I know if my university has a bilateral agreement with the ULB?

Please contact the international relations office at your university, asking if such an agreement exists and in what area.

If my university has signed an agreement with the ULB, how do I go about applying for an exchange?

You need to contact your university’s international relations office or mobility office, asking for the information and forms required to apply to the ULB. Your application needs to be sent to us via your university's mobility office.

What is the language of instruction?

ULB is a French-speaking university. The teaching language is French, even if many Masters are offered in whole or in part in English, but all within a French-speaking environment.

How do I go about preparing my study programme?

Based on your area of studies, please consult the ULB’s course catalogue for the current academic year. The catalogue for the coming year is not updated until June/July, but generally only minor changes are made, meaning that you can use this year’s programme as a base.

Your study programme (or « learning agreement ») ) must contain courses equivalent to those you would have taken if you had stayed at your home university and must be approved beforehand by your Academic Coordinator. At least 60% of your programme must consist of courses given by the principal Faculty to which you will be linked. This Faculty should correspond to the principal area of studies at your home university.

Please remember that, as an exchange student, you are theoretically not stuck within a defined programme : you might have the opportunity to chose courses from another academic year than yours (providing of course you have the sufficient academic background to join and/or that course is not access-restricted).

When the course catalogue specifies that the course selected will be given in the "1st and 2nd quadrimester”, does this means that the course lasts a whole year?

Exactly, the specification “1st and 2nd quadrimester” indicates a year-long course, which can only be taken by a student doing an exchange for a whole academic year.
If your stay is only foreseen for 1st or 2nd quadrimestre, you will not be allowed to chose such courses for your learning agreement.
Though a quadrimester is a four-month period, it is basically equivalent to a semester.

When are the course schedules corresponding to my exchange period posted on the Web?

Course schedules are not posted on the Faculty websites until the end of August (for the first quadrimester) or mid-January (for the second quadrimester).
If you cannot wait until that moment to issue your provisional learning agreement, do not hesitate to use the current year's catalog. Nonetheless the changes will certainly not be numerous, but on top of this, the more accurate your provisional learning agreement will be, the easier you'll compose your definitive learning agreement once the catalog is available.

How do I go about registering for courses?

There is (usually) no course registration at the ULB. You are however required to consult the schedules and attend classes in accordance with your study programme. In general, attendance is not mandatory except when practice work is being done.

Do I have to register with the local authorities? ["administration communale"]

No, this is not mandatory for EU citizens, though we do recommend you to do so when staying for a whole year, as this will allow you, amongst other things, to take up a student job.

As I already have private medical insurance cover, do I need to register with a Belgian health insurance fund ["Mutualité"]?

No, registration with a Belgian health insurance fund is not mandatory, though we do highly recommend you to register if you have no private health cover. Registration with a health insurance fund could even turn out to be cheaper than private health cover. To register on arrival in Belgium, you will need an official copy of your ULB registration and your passport or other proof of identity.

Students coming from other EU countries need to bring with them proof of health insurance in their home country (European Health Insurance Card - EHIC). This insurance will cover them in the case of illness in Belgium.

How will I find a room in Brussels?

Once we have received details about you from your university, you will be provided by e-mail with the useful hints about how to find and rent a room in our city.

Please check the website of ULB's Accommodation Office ("Office du Logement) (click here).

Not having a place to live, where can I get temporary lodgings on my arrival?

We advise you to first book into a youth hostel (click here). This will give you time to look for suitable accommodation.

What level of French is needed for a study period at the ULB?

Each Faculty has its own requirements, but in general we strongly recommend that applicants (Erasmus or Exchanges'students) should have at least basic knowledge of French (B1 level), no certificate is required.

Who do I need to contact to take a French language course in ULB?

If your university has given you permission for a study period at the ULB and you have already been announced as an exchange student, our office will be sending you all information necessary to register for French language courses.

How do I best prepare for my study period as an exchange student at the ULB?

Please look at the guide that our office has prepared for future exchange students (click here)pdf. It is a good source of information about life in Belgium and at the university, and will help you prepare for your study period at the ULB.