With its culture renowned for tolerance and diplomacy, Belgium is an ideal place to begin your international education. Spend a year wandering the cobblestone streets and you’ll understand why this country has produced some of the finest artists and thinkers of Europe. As you go about your daily life, you’re likely to hear a lot of Flemish (a regional variation of Dutch), but you may also come across natives speaking French, German, and English. This is your chance to experience first-hand the cultural melting pot of Belgium by living with a Flemish host family and attending a local high school.
Participants must be between the ages of 15,8- 18,8 years old on the day of departure.
The AFS Program
After your host parents greet you with traditional hospitality, it shouldn’t be long before you feel at home in their open, friendly community. By going to a local high school, you’ll be totally immersed in a new language and customs, and what you learn during the day will be reinforced at night when you spend time with your host family. This is your chance to break out of your comfort zone and join in this diverse and ever-evolving culture.
Your high school
Belgium is known to be a well-educated country with a challenging school system. You’ll likely be enrolled in a general (academic) secondary school, but you might also attend a vocational high school. On Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday classes generally run from around 8 am to 4 or 5 pm. Most schools have Wednesday afternoons off, with classes ending around noon. You should expect to be held to high academic standards in Belgium and may find that your peers are more focused and dedicated to their studies than many in Canada. But don’t worry – you’ll also have time to unwind after school with extracurricular activities offered through community or youth organizations.
Schoolyear and vacation: school starts shortly around September 1. For vacation, there is one week around November 1, two at Christmas (Winter break), one around carnival, two at Easter (Spring break) and the summer vacation starting on July 1.
“Life-changing” is hard to describe, yet it’s nearly always the first thing that AFSers say when asked about their experience abroad.
“Transformed” is another one. When you return home, if you’re like most AFSers, you’ll bring with you a sense of accomplishment unlike any other. You’ll have gained maturity and independence, discovered new passions, and feel like you can do anything you set your mind to. That transformation isn’t visible only to you, though – others see it as well. AFSers gain critical skills for college and careers, ranging from language fluency to intercultural competence and critical reasoning. “Life-changing” means it’s only the beginning.
- Airport Pick-up
- Host Family Placement
- School Placement
- Individual Contact Person
- Medical Insurance
- 24/7 Emergency Support
- School Transport
- Assistance with Application Process
- Visa Application Assistance
- Pre-Departure Orientation
- Orientations during your time abroad
- Re-entry Orientation
- Global Competence Certificate
- Access to Alumni Network
- Continuous Support
- Worldwide Presence
- 70 Years Experience
- Visa and Passport Fees
- School Uniform