Top 7 Scholarships in Belgium for International Students 2022–2023


Updated on Sep 01 • 6 minute read

With its top-quality education system, continuing your studies in Belgium is a no-brainer. But what if you can’t exactly afford it? Luckily, with Belgium’s scholarships for international students, you might even be able to study here for free!

Since you’ve already set your mind to moving to Belgium, let’s see how you can save some money while doing so!

Can I get a scholarship in Belgium?

Yes, if you’ve been a top-performing student in your previous studies, you’ve a good shot at getting a scholarship in one of the Belgian universities. Besides academic excellence, Belgian scholarships are usually awarded based on your country of residence, professional experience and motivation.

What kinds of Belgian scholarships for international students are there?

You’ll come across 2 main types of financial aid to study in Belgium: government scholarships for foreign students and scholarships sponsored by individual universities. Belgian scholarships will also differ in how many expenses they cover, from a tuition fee reduction to a fully-funded scholarship.

Scholarship or grant can be one of the ways to prove your solvency for a student visa application.

Can I study for free in Belgium?

The short answer is yes if you’re eligible for one of the fully-funded scholarships. However, most of those scholarships in Belgium are reserved for exceptional students from developing countries and spots are very limited.

Luckily, if you’re granted only a partial scholarship grant, there are many ways to cover the rest of your study expenses. For example, you can get a work-study job at your educational institution, a part-time job in your city, or a paid internship.

If you end up not getting any financial aid at all but you’re from one of the least developed countries, consider studying in one of the universities of Wallonia or Brussels. The fees for students from those countries are reduced from €4,175/year to €835/year, which is the amount EU students pay. Also,

always research the websites of the universities you’re interested in to see if they offer any financial support besides the scholarships we list in this article.

The governments of Flanders and Wallonia and Brussels also issue study allowances for students from disadvantaged families. However, strict nationality requirements apply to non-Belgians.

Top 7 Belgian scholarships for international students:

  1. ARES scholarship for developing countries
  2. VLIR-UOS scholarship for developing countries
  3. Global minds PhD Scholarship
  4. Master Mind scholarship
  5. Erasmus Mundus Joint Masters
  6. Belgian American Educational Foundation Fellowship
  7. Ghent University Top-up Grant

1. ARES scholarships in Belgium for developing countries

For whom?

Students from developing countries who wish to pursue a 1-year advanced bachelor’s or master’s degree or a 2-to-6-month training course in Wallonia or Brussels in the area of community development.

How much?

This fully funded Belgian government scholarship will cover your international travel costs, living expenses, tuition fees, and insurance for the duration of your studies.


To qualify for the ARES scholarship in Belgium you must:

  • demonstrate your commitment to development (e.g. helping disadvantaged social groups)
  • be under 40 years old for degree programs, or under 45 for training courses
  • complete the application in the language of the chosen course and possess a good written and spoken knowledge of it
  • hold a diploma equivalent to the Belgian undergraduate degree for advanced bachelors or a diploma equivalent to the Belgian bachelor’s degree for advanced master’s and short training courses
  • be a citizen and reside and work in one of the following developing countries: Benin, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cuba, DR Congo, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Haiti, Indonesia, Kenya, Madagascar, Morocco, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Peru, Philippines, Republic of Guinea (Conakry), Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, Vietnam and Zimbabwe
  • have a relevant professional experience of at least 2 years in one of the aforementioned countries

How to apply

You must submit your application via GIRAF platform.

2. VLIR-UOS scholarships for developing countries

For whom?

Students from Africa, Asia and Latin America who want to attend a training or master's programme at a Flemish university.

How much?

This fully-funded Belgian scholarship for developing countries covers tuition fees, travel, insurance and living expenses for the full duration of the master's programme (12/24 months).


To be eligible for the VLIR-UOS scholarship you must:

  • be a national and reside in one of the following developing countries: Benin, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroun, Cuba, DR Congo, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Guinee, Haiti, Indonesia, Kenya, Madagascar, Morocco, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Niger, Peru, Philippines, Palestina, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Vietnam, Zimbabwe
  • be younger than 35 for a master's course and under 45 for an advanced master
  • previous employment or interest in the areas of higher education, government or civil society is a plus

How to apply

Once you chose one of the selected master’s courses, you should apply for the programme and scholarship directly on the website of the host Belgian university.

3. Global minds PhD Scholarships

For whom?

Students from developing countries wishing to conduct a 4-year PhD research and obtain their PhD from KU Leuven.

How much?

This Belgian scholarship program is divided into 2 parts where 2 years are sponsored by your home country and 2 other years take place and are financed by KU Leuven in Belgium.

The scholarship waives your tuition fees and covers your flight tickets and insurance, and provides a supervision allowance of €300 and a monthly living allowance. While the living allowance in your home country will differ per institution, KU Leuven estimates you pay in Belgium around €2,199/month for doctoral students and €1,500/month for pre-doctoral students.


To qualify for the Global minds PhD Scholarship at KU Leuven you must:

  • be a national of one of the following developing countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Guinea, Kenya, Madagascar, Morocco, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe, South Africa Asia, Cambodia, Indonesia, Philippines, Palestinian Territories, Vietnam, Latin America, Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Haiti, Nicaragua, Peru
  • have an excellent research proposal that deals with a development-relevant topic, approved by a KU Leuven professor who has expertise in the relevant field

How to apply

Once your research proposal is endorsed by one of the KU Leuven professors, you must apply for a PhD programme at KU Leuven. Only then your supervisor can apply for the scholarship for you.

4. Master Mind scholarships

For whom?

Outstanding international students who wish to pursue a master's degree programme in Flanders.

How much?

This master’s scholarship in Belgium allows you to get a grant of €8,400 and a tuition fee waiver per academic year.


To qualify for this Belgian government scholarship, you must first be accepted by one of the partner universities in Flanders. You’ll then be judged by your academic performance (at least a GPA of 3.5 out of 4.0.), your motivation and attitude, knowledge of English and relevant work experience.

How to apply

Each year Flemish universities select a maximum of 20 candidates per institution and submit their applications for the scholarship. The Flemish Government then makes the final selection based on the lists.

To qualify, you must apply for the master's program of your choice in one of the participating universities. Indicate your interest in the Master Mind Scholarship and make it clear in your motivational letter why you should be selected.

5. Erasmus Mundus Joint Masters

For whom?

Best-performing international students who wish to pursue a master’s course in at least 2 different countries.

How much?

This EU-funded scholarship covers all your participation costs such as tuition fees and library costs (up to €3,000 for 10 months), insurance coverage, return ticket and allowance to cover your living expenses of €1,000/month.


Anyone with a bachelor's degree or equivalent can apply for this scholarship for international students. The candidates are selected based on their academic performance, motivation, work experience and recommendation letters.

How to apply

To study in Belgium with this scholarship, you should choose up to 3 programs_ from the Erasmus Mundus catalogue and contact the program coordinators directly.

6. Belgian American Educational Foundation Fellowships

For whom?

American citizens moving to Belgium to follow a graduate or postgraduate program in a Belgian university.

How much?

This fellowship offers coverage of your Belgian health insurance costs as well as a non-renewable grant of $29,000 for master’s and PhD students and $33,000 for post-doctoral fellows.


To apply for the BAEF fellowship in Belgium, you must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States and either have a master’s or equivalent degree or be working towards a PhD or equivalent degree. If you’re under 30 and have a working knowledge of one of Belgium’s national languages it’s a plus.

How to apply

For this fellowship, you must submit the application form, together with your transcript of records, a brief autobiographical statement, a statement of purpose, and 3 letters of recommendation to

Keep in mind that you’ll have to make arrangements with a Belgian university or research institution yourself.

7. Ghent University Top-up Grants

For whom?

Students from less developed countries who wish to obtain a master’s or master-after-master’s degree at Ghent University in English.

How much?

This university scholarship for international students covers all insurance costs and grants an allowance of €1,000/month. Regardless of your nationality, you’ll pay a tuition fee the same as EEA students.


To qualify for this grant you must come from a country on the OESO-DAC country list where students from the first 3 columns are given the preference.

Naturally, you also must have a relevant degree such as a bachelor's to apply for a master's programme and a master's degree to follow a master-after-master course.

How to apply

There is no specific application procedure for this scholarship. The coordinator of your program will choose their top 3 master applicants for the grant. However, you can stress the need for the grant to your course coordinator.

We hope that one of these Belgian scholarships for international students can relieve you from some of the financial burdens of studying abroad. But your options don’t end here. Just take a look at our budgeting tips for living abroad for inspiration!

Please reach out to if you have any suggestions or inquiries about the content on this page.

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