The Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) offers high-quality English-taught programmes, supported by outstanding research. Being a student at VUB means learning in an open atmosphere of tolerance and diversity and growing into an independent and critical-thinking individual. At the VUB, students have easy access to their lecturers and assistants. Faculty members are available and open to answer questions: small group workshops are used to ensure close interaction and hand-on experience. VUB is a dynamic and modern university with almost two centuries of history. There are 14.000 students, more than 20% of which are international students from more than 120 different countries.
A good staring point to check out lots of practical information is MY.VUB: https://my.vub.ac.be/en/
This portal which gives an overview of relevant info regarding
- Planning of the academic year and administration;
- study programmes and research;
- student life, including social services, housing and mobility; and
- activities and events off campus
BEFORE YOU GET TO BRUSSELS
Visa requirements are mainly determined by 3 factors:
- How long the person will be staying in Belgium (more or less than 90 days)
- The applicant’s nationality, EEA or non-EEA
- The purpose of the stay (studying, working, family reunion, etc.)
Depending on the applicant’s profile, some formalities may have to be performed in the country of origin (visa) and a number of administrative steps will have to be taken once in Belgium (ID card).
More information: http://www.vub.ac.be/en/preparing-your-stay/visa
Sufficient funds and living costs
We recommend you provide at least € 900 a month for personal expenses. Note that during the first month of your stay, you will have exceptional costs for registration and accommodation (warrant).
Students coming for a short period are advised to bring either cash money or an international credit card. Most banks refuse customers who are here for less than 6 months. Even when you have the necessary means, financial problems can still arise.
More information: http://www.vub.ac.be/en/studying-at-the-vub/expenses
Students and scholars with friends or family in Belgium could try to contact those relatives or friends and set up a transit stay with them. You can also find affordable accommodation at the various youth hostels and hotels in Brussels.
To find a student room in Brussels, we advise you to start with one of the university partners: Br(ik and U-Residence. If you do not find your thing there, you can hit the Brussels private housing market.
On this webpage, we offer you some tips and tricks: https://my.vub.ac.be/en/how-look-student-housing-city
Any electronic equipment you bring along should be compatible with Belgium’s voltage, 230 Volt, 50 Hz. The plug has a grounding pin in socket (European Type E).
Getting there and transport
The Joint Master in Digital Communication Leadership is co-organized by the Department of Communication Studies of the Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences and Solvay Business School. We are located on the green Campus Etterbeek: http://www.vub.ac.be/sites/vub/files/campus/plans_VUB_Etterbeek_ENG_2015_nieuwe_layout.pdf
Train, tram, bus
The Campus is only a 2 minute walk away from Etterbeek station, which connects to the large Brussels train stations (North, Central and Midi). More information on how to reach the Campus site with public transport: http://www.vub.ac.be/en/campus-etterbeek
We recommend to fly directly to Brussels Airport (http://www.brusselsairport.be/en/). Then take either a direct train to Etterbeek or transfer at Brussels North train station, both for less than 10 euro.
More information on arrival in Brussels? https://my.vub.ac.be/en/arrival-brussels
Prepare your stay
All additional information on how to prepare for your stay at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and for your stay in general, like “what to bring?”, “health insurance?”, “first contact”, … is available on: http://www.vub.ac.be/en/preparing-your-stay
STUDYING AT VUB
The department of communication studies of the VUB provides research-driven excellent education in the field of media and communication. Many of the professors in the programme are active in the research centre iMinds-SMIT , which focuses on business, user and policy aspects of media and ICT. The department’s programmes have consistently ranked top in quality of education in Belgium. We have ample experience with international programmes and students. In addition, several curricular and extracurricular activities and events are organized, including:
- lectures by international speakers from business and policy;
- visits to the European institutions and NATO;
- the Communication studies Film Club; and
- events concerning research or other societal topics. On the third of May, which is World Press Freedom Day, for example, each year the department organizes a Difference Day.
Our International Office (IRMO) offers social and administrative assistance to students and staff in mobility and provides students of all nationalities with information on university life and facilitates their integration by organizing a wide range of cultural, social and sports activities, in collaboration with student associations. Additionally, they offer support in the design and implementation of selected international projects in collaboration with VUB-academics and international partners.
The Study Guidance Center offers personalized study guidance. During each phase of your academic career you are welcome for individual guidance on subjects like: study path, exam results, study progress, special student facilities, motivation, study skills, study stress or performance anxiety, writing a bachelor’s paper or master’s thesis. More information on the Study Guidance Center: https://my.vub.ac.be/en/study-guidance
At the Vrije Universiteit Brussel you can have a nice, healthy meal at a very reasonable price. Every day, the student restaurant free-flow (self-service with free-standing counters) serves a wide range of hot and cold meals, while the cafeteria is the place to go for snacks, sandwiches and drinks. And all this at student-friendly prices.
The VUB provides medical and psychological services to her students. These services are all located on or close to the campuses. More information: https://my.vub.ac.be/en/health-wellbeing
The public transport in Brussels is organized in trains, trams and buses. Visit the website of the Belgian Railways to find more information and to consult the timetables: http://www.belgianrail.be/en/Default.aspx Subways, trams and buses in Brussels are run by the MIVB.
Additional information can be found in the FAQ section. We recommend you to scroll through these questions, as answers could be very useful.
BRUSSELS IS …
Mix of cultures
Brussels is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world. The Brussels-Capital Region, one of Belgium’s three regions, is also a city with 19 boroughs covering 162 km2 and housing a million inhabitants. It is officially bilingual (French and Dutch), although it boasts an astonishing variety of cultures, styles and nationalities. Being the capital of an expanding Europe, Brussels is an international city like no other. 31% of its population is of foreign origin, and this makes for a unique atmosphere in which cultures interact easily with one another. English is rapidly becoming an important language in Brussels because of the numerous international political organizations. Language is not a barrier in the capital of Europe. These same differences and contrasts can be found in architectural Brussels’ various styles, where you will find Gothic cathedrals and churches next to beautiful art nouveau and art deco houses.
A lot of people study in Brussels. Education is free and compulsory until the age of 18. The cost of attending university is very reasonable (especially compared to the US and the UK). This investment in people pays off.
Brussels is a historical centre. Whether you want to unravel the mysteries of Brussels by exploring the Atomium, symbol of the 1958 Brussels world fair, or by checking out the different outfits of the world famous Manneken Pis, discovering Brussels will yield many surprises.
Brussels is also a centre for the arts. Feel like delving into its rich cultural heritage? A wide variety of museums, theatres, and concert halls will see to your every need. Grab a movie at Kinepolis, one of the largest in Europe with 24 cinema theaters and a giant IMAX movie screen. Catch a glimpse of the Eiffel tower, the Brandenburg Gate, and other miniature sized major European monuments at MINI EUROPE. Or relive the adventures of Belgium’s comic book heroes like Tintin and his dog Snowy at the Comic Book Museum.
Brussels is also a delight for your taste buds. Chocolate, delicious local cuisine, the smell of hot waffles on a cold winter’s day, bars and pubs that never close. You’ll find it all. Belgium boasts an incredible diversity of beers, many of them flavoured with herbs, spices and fruits.
A great many people work in Brussels. It is the headquarters of the European Commission, the European Council, the European Parliament and also plays host to NATO’s European headquarters. The reason for this is Brussels’ specific advantages: its central location in Europe, the fact that it is a multilingual city, the presence of different cultures and the population mix.
The Brussels- Capital Region accounts for nearly 18% of all of Belgium’s exported goods and services. The compulsory medical insurance system provides comprehensive coverage, making health care affordable for all. Patients have free choice of hospital and insurance provider.
More information on Brussels (Do & See, Sleep, Eat & Drink, Nightlife, Essential Brussels, etc.) is available on https://visit.brussels/en