If you’re searching for a vibrant mix of European culture, look no further than Belgium. As the headquarters of the European Union and NATO, it’s a hub of international activity. Join students from around the world to explore a country with three official languages and ties to French, Dutch, and German cultures. By living with a host family in the southern half of the country and attending a local high school, you can get an inside look at the customs, the language, and the people of Belgium. This is your chance to redefine the meaning of international education and spend a year or a trimester immersed in the Belgian way of life.
Participants must be between the ages of 15,8 and 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
In the south part of Belgium where you’ll be hosted, all classes are given in French.
There are two basic types of educational institutions: the schools run by the regional, provincial or local authorities and the independent or “free” schools directed by private individuals or by non-‐profit organisations, usually religious and, for the most part, catholic. The law sets standards for all schools, but allows more flexibility to set curricula in the “free” or independent sector than in the public one.
A normal school day starts at 8 AM and ends at 4 PM. There is a break of about 1 hour at noon and two other 15 minutes breaks during the day. Wednesday afternoon is free and there is no school on Saturday.
School year 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
- School Materials
- Access to Alumni Network
- Continuous Support
- Worldwide Presence
- 70 Years Experience
- Visa and Passport Fees
- School Uniform