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Dear (future) student,

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When the coronavirus crisis hit VUB, we made an abrupt switch to digital operations. Now that the safety measures have been eased, the university is reviving and so it’s time to explain our plans for the coming academic year.

Our approach for the coming year is based on the following principles:

  • we guarantee the quality of education
  • we are committed to interaction with students
  • we focus on blended learning: a mix of on-campus and online education
  • we guarantee the Brussels experience and the student experience
  • we organise international mobility
  • we are an inclusive university and are attentive to disadvantaged groups

In the coming months, corona will continue to control society around the world. Of course, we are closely monitoring the situation, listening to our experts and respecting the measures imposed by the government. We do this out of solidarity, to respect everybody’s safety and health.

>> Read how the academic year at the VUB will start.

We can't wait to meet you on our campuses and in class!

Continue reading below the video.

We answer your questions about the new academic year

Interaction is paramount

Getting direct and personalised feedback and answers is still one of the best ways to learn. Hence our focus on blended learning: a mix of digital and campus education in which priority is given to education on campus. Yet some course units will be offered digitally as well, because distancing measures mean we have fewer classrooms available. 

For campus education, interactive education forms take priority. These forms include seminars, lectures where physical interaction is important, etcetera. 

As a rule, lectures will be held digitally. But they may take place on campus or at external locations as well, according to priority and the achievement of learning outcomes.

Extra attention is given to the following students, depending on the learning objectives:

  • Generation students and transition students, so they can enjoy a first ‘on campus’ experience
  • International students, so they can get to know Brussels and VUB
  • Disadvantaged students and working students

Welcome

Internationalisation continues to play an important role at our university, with mobility opportunities where the measures allow.

International students no longer have to present a visa or health insurance before their registration is accepted by VUB. A visa is necessary to travel to Belgium, however.

Most of our international programmes guarantee international students who are unable to come to Belgium by the start of the academic year that they will be able to follow most teaching activities online.  Please contact international.relations@vub.be for more details.

VUB is and remains an inclusive university, with  a focus on disadvantaged groups who are harder hit by this crisis.

Travelling to and from the VUB

Update 28/08/2020

Travelling to the VUB

Students and staff who come to the VUB from EEA and non-EEA countries are welcome, and should follow the instructions on the website of Foreign Affairs strictly as well as those of their home country before travelling to Belgium. Once here, they must follow the quarantine and testing guidelines according to their country of origin. They must also be able to submit their contract or letter of acceptance to the VUB as proof.

Travelling from the VUB

The VUB follows the guidelines of the Belgian authorities. Therefore, VUB students cannot travel to countries outside the EEA.

Whether Belgian students can travel to countries within the European Union, depends on the travel policy of the Belgian government. This policy is regularly adjusted. Consult the Foreign Affairs website to find out whether it is possible to travel to countries within the European Union, including the United Kingdom and the four other Schengen countries (Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Iceland and Norway). You should also find out about the specific measures in place to enter a particular country and comply with the instructions that apply, for example, to quarantine in the country of destination and its security measures.

The VUB clarifies this with a detailed colour code:

Green zones

There is no problem and there are no restrictions to travel; the exchange is allowed.

Orange zones

Orange type A)

The Belgian authorities are warning and asking for vigilance because, from a Belgian point of view, the level of infection in this region is high. There may be restrictive measures.

Orange type B)

The government of your host country of destination imposes measures for entry from Belgium as this may pose a risk. Restrictive measures are in place.

In both types, the exchange is allowed but we inform students about the possible restrictions and measures.

Group travel, fieldwork and excursions are not allowed.

Red zones

Red type A)

The Belgian authorities are banning travel to these regions because the level of infection is too high and there are too many local restrictions.

The VUB does not allow these exchanges. Group travel, fieldwork and excursions are not allowed.

Red type B)

The government of your host country prohibits entry from Belgium. The exchange will only be permitted if the host country makes an exception for entry for study purposes.

Group travel, fieldwork and excursions are not allowed.

​​If a country or region is on the Belgian government's red list (colour code Red Type A), students or staff are not allowed to travel to these areas within the framework of VUB activities.

As the situation can change daily, it is important that students and staff travelling abroad consult the website of Foreign Affairs BEFORE purchasing travel tickets and booking accommodation.

More than studying

While student life will look very different, we are doing all we can to make the year as pleasant as possible. It is important that students feel connected with each other. In the coming weeks, we will explore how free time and student life on campus can take shape. We are doing this in line with government regulations about youth work, sport and culture, and in consultation with student representatives.

If there is a new wave of infections, there is a chance that the government will require you to choose a fixed place of residence. When someone living in a student room is infected, we will follow a protocol whereby the whole unit is placed in quarantine.

Have you started your application yet?

Apply now
Do you have any questions?
Contact Student Information

By phone
+32 2 629 20 10

By email
info@vub.be

Get to know the VUB

Take part in the orientation days

Education

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Our aim is to have the classes take place on-campus as much as possible. How we will achieve this? The answer: by focusing on blended learning, rotation systems and learning communities. Read on. 

Blended Learning - Rotation Systems - Learning Communities

ON-CAMPUS CLASSES

Rotation system

Student groups form ‘learning communities’ in which interactivity is important; they may take lectures in fixed ‘bubbles’. Thanks to a rotation system, all students, even in large groups, are sure to have a full campus and contact experience. On campus or at certain external locations, lessons will be given to limited groups that swap each week, while the other group follows the lesson online. We will create external capacity via collaborations with cultural houses, businesses and others.

Brussels City Campus

In order to offer you contact education in safe and inspiring circumstances, we’re expanding our study locations to the heart of Brussels. 

Alongside the existing VUB campuses in Etterbeek, Jette, Usquare, Gooik, Anderlecht, Diest and Leuven, we will be welcoming you to seven additional class locations in the 2020-2021 academic year. This means you might be taking lessons at Flemish Parliament, Jozef II, Flagey, CIVA, KVS, Bozar or Cinematek. 

Check out the page Brussels City Campus for more information about the new class locations and how to get there. 

Timetables available from 14 September

Timetables for the first semester will be available on 14 September. We welcome all students digitally or physically during our orientation days. Keep an eye on the website for further details.

Brussels City Campus

Read all about our class locations in the heart of Brussels

Discover it here

FAQ's about attending classes in 20-21

Read all about education at VUB in 20-21

Every student will have classes both online and on campus next academic year. Your timetable will tell you which classes are held online and which are held on campus. You can download your timetable as of 14 September.

Part of your classes will take place on our campuses in Etterbeek or Jette. To be able to organise as many real life classes as possible, some of them will take place in the heart of BrusselsTherefore, it’s possible that you will attend classes in Jozef II, the Flemish Parliament, BozarFlageyCinematek, KVS or CIVA. 

Check out the page Brussels City Campus for more information about these locations and how you can get there. 

Blended learning means you will have lessons both online and on campus. Educational activities that involve physical interaction, such as labs and seminars, will take place on campus as much as possible. Most lectures will take place online, although some may be organised on campus. 

Thanks to the rotation system, all students will get a campus experience. You will be part of a learning community. That means you will attend classes on campus with a fixed group of fellow students. Each week, a different group will attend the class of a particular subject on campus, while the other groups follow the class online. 

Yes, practical training and seminars will take place on campus. However, it is possible that some of these lessons will be replaced by digital alternatives. Your timetable will clearly indicate whether you need to attend the classes on campus or online. 

If these classes take place on campus, physical attendance is mandatory.

You will be required to attend seminars and practical courses on campus as these activities are part of your final grade. 

You can see which group you are in and when your classes are scheduled on the digital platform Canvas.

To ensure safety, all students are assigned to fixed groups. Unfortunately, this makes it very unlikely that you will be able to change groups during the semester. 

You will always get the opportunity to ask questions, even in an online class. When and how you can ask your questions will depend on your lecturer and whether the class is being livestreamed or has been recorded in advance. In some classes you will be able to ask your questions on the spot, in others you will have to contact the lecturer afterwards or wait for a question moment.

Never hesitate to contact the lecturer if something is not clear to you.

Lecturers can record their classes and publish them online afterwards. Whether you can review the class will depend on your lecturer and the type of class.

There will be plenty of places on campus where you can watch your online classes or study during a break. You will soon get more information about where on campus you can find these study places.

FAQ's about the start of the academic year

Read all about the start of the academic year in September.

At the beginning of September, we are organising orientation days to welcome all new students to VUB and Brussels. This year, you can watch our introductory videos with everything you need to know before starting your studies at VUB. We’ll also be organising in-person tours to introduce you to our campus. Make sure to register if you plan to attend them. 

You are not obliged to attend the orientation days, but they offer the opportunity to get to know VUB and your fellow students.

Classes start on Monday 21 September. From 14 September you can check your timetable to find out where and when your first classes will take place.

You will be able to check your timetable at student.vub.be as of 14 September. You can also use the MyTimetable app or the iCalendar function. 

FAQ's about safety measures on campus

Read all about the safety measures in place on our campuses.

You must always wear a face mask on campus, both outside and inside. You’re also required to wear a mask during classes and exams on campus.

VUB monitors and respects all measures taken by the government to ensure your safety on campus. Wearing a face mask on campus is mandatory and strict hygiene rules regarding hand washing and social distancing apply.

In addition, thanks to the rotation system and online classes, it is possible to avoid large gatherings of students in the auditoriums and on campus.

If Brussels goes into lockdown, all classes will take place online.

Ready for the VUB?

Register now

Get to know the VUB

Take part in our orientation days

STUDENT SERVICES

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Curious about what the VUB has to offer you? You have come to the right place! Find out more about our student restaurants, sports facilities, student jobs and support services below.

STUDENT INFORMATION

Questions?

Ask Student Information

Don’t know how to register your courses? Stuck with your registration? Can't find your classroom or don't know where to go with a problem? Just head to our Student Information and ask them. Or send an e-mail to info@vub.be.

QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR COLLEGE CAREER?

Contact Study Guidance

Need help with your studies? Looking for information, advice, guidance or training? Just turn to our Study Guidance and roll into one of the many workshops. Or make an indiviual apppointment

TASTY MEALS AND DRINKS?

Visit our restaurants

Fancy a nice meal at a bargain price? Then pay a visit to the restaurants on our campuses in Etterbeek and Jette. They do not only serve you a hot meal, but also a crispy sandwich, fresh breakfast or delicious coffee.

WANT TO KEEP FIT?

Discover our sports facilities

Sporting is healthy and very easy on our campuses in Etterbeek and Jette. Whether you like swimming, badminton, football, pilates or table tennis: there is something for everyone. Do you want to keep fit next academic year? Then discover our wide range of sports!

WANT SOME EXTRA MONEY?

Search our job database

Buy books, organize parties and move into town with friends. Student life is great, but can be expensive. Would you like to earn an extra penny? Then take a look at our job database and who knows, there might be something for you!

FAQ's about student life at VUB in 20-21

Read all about the student life at VUB next academic year.

Being a student is more than just studying. Find out what our campuses have to offer:

  • Food and drinksVisit the restaurants and cafes near the campus such as Complex, Opinio and Bar Pilar. 

  • Sport: Use our indoor and outdoor sports facilities and participate in the Futsal League and Sports Trophy. 

  • Culture: Enjoy Pilarcorona-safe cultural activities and attend concerts, theatre performances and exhibitions during the Pilar ASAP festival in October and November. 

  • Discover Brussels: Head into the city and enjoy the numerous museums, restaurants and cafes, stores, parks, cultural centres... 

Yes, you can! Our student associations haven’t stopped organising activities. If possible, these will take place in real life but the associations will also set up creative digital alternatives if necessary. At the beginning of the academic year, introductory activities will take place so you can get to know the groups and all their members.

You can find more information about our student associations on our website.

Unfortunately, it is not very likely that big parties will be able take place next semester.

Luckily, the members of our student associations are very creative and will do their utmost to set up fun activities for you. For the time being, you will spend most of these activities seated at a table with a fixed group of friends and service at the table. But, most importantlyyou will still be able to spend nice evenings in great company and make lifelong memories.

It’s important to us that you quickly feel at home at VUB. So we have created some initiatives to help you make friends and social connections.

  • If you participate in the buddy system, you will be assigned a buddy who will show you around campus and help you out during your first weeks as a student. The buddy is an experienced VUB student who knows all about studying at VUB and will help you discover all the dos and don’ts of student life.
  • Our kot coach Jelle coordinates life in our student accommodation, prevents loneliness and instigates friendships. Throughout the year, Jelle will organise activities that will help you get to know your fellow residents and experience student life to the fullest.
  • If you ever feel lonely and want to talk to someone about your feelings, don’t hesitate to contact our student psychologists.

FAQ's about student services

Read all about the student services and where to find them.

You can ask the Student Information team all your questions or provide them with feedback. Don’t hesitate to contact them via info@vub.be or by calling 02 629 20 10.

Study Guidance is there to provide you with support, advice and information about your studies at VUB. You can contact them via begeleiding@vub.be or by calling 02 629 23 06. 

If you prefer a face-to-face conversation, you can visit the Student Guidance contact points in Etterbeek and Jette. Naturally, the measures concerning hygiene and social distancing still apply.

Until 11 September, the Study Guidance contact points are closed, but you can still send your questions or concerns about your studies by phone or email.

You can buy your new course material online via the Standaard Student Webshop or in the Standaard Student shop on our campus in Etterbeek. You can also buy your books second hand. Check out our website to discover where you can find the right course material.

Tip: Wait to buy your recommended books until after the first class. The professor usually indicates how often you are likely to use them. 

Yes, the VUB restaurants in Etterbeek and Jette will be open and serving hot meals, snacks, sandwiches, drinks and takeaway meals.

Please take the following measures into account when visiting the restaurants:

  • Clean your seat before you use it.
  • Respect the 1.5m distance between each seat. 
  • Write down your contact information before leaving the restaurant.

Check out our website for more information about the VUB restaurants and the opening hours.

Yes, every VUB student has free access to the physical collections of the university libraries in Etterbeek and Jette. In addition, you can request scans from books or consult the online catalogue. If you are a registered library user, you can also reserve books and pick them up at the counter by appointment.

Check out our website for more information about the use of the VUB libraries.

The libraries provide individual study places for VUB students and staff members who do not have a suitable workplace at home. Group work is currently not permitted. You can reserve your study place through Affluences.

Make sure to take the safety measure into account. Wearing a face mask and registering at the counter is mandatory when visiting the libraries.

Check out our website for more information about studying at the VUB libraries.

Yes, you can! The swimming pool, sports halls and open-air infrastructure on campus are accessible. However, it is mandatory to reserve your spot online and to comply with all safety regulations. For contact sports such as basketball, soccer, field hockey and combat sports, only recognised clubs can make reservations.

Fitness club Basic Fit is open according to the usual opening hours and under specific conditions such as mandatory reservation.

Do you still have questions? Send them to sport@vub.be or check out our website.

Vacancies are still posted in our job database, so you can still look for a student job.

If you work at VUB as a student, you have to take into account the same safety measures as permanent staff. Wearing a face mask and respecting social distancing is mandatory. Depending on the job, it’s possible to work from home.

Check out our website for more information about student jobs at VUB. 

If you have questions about student grants or want to apply for a scholarship, you can contact Social Services. You can reach them from Tuesday to Friday (10.00-12.00 and 13.00-15.00) by phone on 02 629 23 15 or by email via studentenstatuut.studiefinanciering@vub.be. 

You can make an online appointment or arrange a face-to-face conversation. 

Come to our orientation days

Get to know VUB and your fellow students

Discover the programme

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You’ve decided to come and study at the VUB? Excellent! Of course, it is best to arrive well prepared, certainly during these strange times. Read on so you know what you need to do to prepare fully for your arrival at VUB:

  1. Make sure you are enrolled at the VUB before you travel. If you haven't enrolled yet, you can't start your studies with us.
  2. Make sure you have health insurance. This is obligatory in Belgium, and you will need it to get your residence card (ID-card) and in case you get ill. 
  3. Get yourself a student visa ('visa D'). Go to the Belgian embassy in your country to obtain it. Having a student visa before you travel will save yourself a lot of problems you will otherwise have to deal with!
  4. You can also come to Belgium with a tourist visa ('short-stay visa'), but that certainly is not a good idea and we don’t recommend it. If you come to Belgium on a tourist visa you will be obliged to convert it into a student visa. This is seen as an exceptional procedure under the discretionary power of the Immigration Department: not an obvious process. Moreover, VUB can do absolutely nothing to help you in that process, so get a student visa before coming to Belgium to avoid hassle and costs
  5. Find out what travel advice applies in your country for travelling to Belgium.
  6. Don’t forget to fill in the Passenger Locator Form, which you can find here. This is obligatory as of 1 August for anyone entering Belgium who is staying at least 48 hours.
  7. Check the colour code of your country to find out which quarantine regime applies upon arrival in Belgium. Everyone coming from a RED country, must go into 14 days of quarantine
  8. Try to arrive in Belgium by 1 September, in case a mandatory quarantine of 14 days is imposed. 

Looking forward to welcoming you! 

A warm welcome to the Vrije Universiteit Brussel!

The Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) plans to resume, where possible, with classroom teaching in the Autumn semester 2020/21 and we're looking forward to welcoming you (back) to campus. Below you will find an overview for future international exchange students, international degree-seeking students and newly arrived international staff/researchers with information related to their arrival and the Covid-19 implications.

The VUB is ensuring a university life that is as safe as possible, so we kindly ask you to comply with the legal provisions and recommendations related to the containment of Covid-19. As the information about entering Belgium may change rapidly, we strongly advise you to contact the Belgian representative authority in your country of residence or consult the re-open Europe website before deciding to travel to Belgium.

FAQs about entering Belgium

Read all about entering Belgium as an international student.

If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the Belgian representative authority in your country of residence or consult the re-open Europe website.

Entry possible, when flights are available and if necessary with medical certificate and/or quarantine for:

  • EU, Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Andorra and UK.
  • Third-country nationals who are residents of the EU/EEA or Schengen area (e.g. proof of registered residence should be shown when crossing the border)
  • Third-country nationals who legally stay in the EU/EEA or Schengen area
  • Third-country nationals who are not residents of the EU/EEA or Schengen area but have a valid Visa D or a residence title*

Entry not possible for:

  • Third-country nationals who are residents outside of the EU/EEA and Schengen area and don’t have a valid visa or Belgian residence card.

*Important remark: Researchers and students with a letter of admission can contact the Belgian representation in charge in their own country to apply for a visa D or a residence title. We strongly advise all incoming students to apply for a student visa rather than a tourist visa to enter the country. Studying is considered an essential mobility, but tourism is not. If you manage to enter Belgium with a non-student visa the procedure to change your status is very long and difficult and requires you to remain in Belgium during the full length of the procedure (which sometimes takes up to 6 months) and the VUB cannot provide any assistance in this process.

Remember that if you are quarantined, you must not leave your accommodation unless under very strict/limited circumstances. We therefore recommend that you bring the following from your country of origin to Brussels in addition to the documents and objects that you would take with you anyway:

  • Medication that you take regularly (if necessary, observe import regulations)
  • Clinical thermometer
  • Face masks – they are compulsory in common spaces in Brussels/Belgium
  • Hand and surface disinfectant (check airline regulations regarding liquids on board)
  • SIM card/phone card with international phone plan, if arriving from outside the EU
  • Sufficient amount of money (preferably via debit/credit card, a small amount of cash (in Euros) is also recommended) in order to sustain yourself during a possible quarantine period of 14 days.
  • If possible verify with your current bank forthe possibility of worldwide payments via debit/credit card.
  • From 1 August all persons entering Belgium and all those travelling through Belgium and are staying at least 48 hours must fill in an identification form (Passenger Locator Form).

This form has to be completed by all persons travelling to Belgium by whichever means (foot, bike, train, car, air, etc.) unless:

  • they stay for less than 48 hours in Belgium,
  • they return following a stay no longer than 48 hours abroad.

 

The social distancing measures and the specific measures in force at the airport must be respected. Anyone aged 12 and over is obliged to wear a mask as soon as they enter the airport. If it is not possible to wear one for medical reasons, a face shield should be worn. For further information on the measures in force, passengers should consult the websites of the respective airports.

FAQs testing & quarantine

Read all about when to take a test or stay in quarantine.

Testing is always done when in Belgium, it is therefore not necessary to take a test in your home country. Also, it depends on your current place of residence or stay, so please contact the Belgian representative authority in your country of residence. The Belgian government uses colour codes for certain regions/countries. Based on the colour of your departure country/area, you will need to take different measures upon arrival in Belgium.

The 3 options are red, orange (also called amber) and green. Below we explain the measures in place behind every colour:

  • Red zones are municipalities, districts, cities, regions or countries which have been put back into lockdown by the country in question or where people are at a very high risk of infection People coming from these zones will be treated as “high-risk contacts”, which means that they will have to be tested and must quarantine upon their arrival in Belgium. The persons travelling will also have to fill in a Passenger Locator Form .
  • Orange zones are municipalities, districts, cities, regions or countries for which a moderately high risk of infection has been identified. Persons returning from these zones will be asked to undergo testing and to quarantine. This is, however, a strong recommendation and not an obligation. The persons travelling will also have to fill in a Passenger Locator Form.
  • Green zones are municipalities, districts, cities, regions or countries where no or low health risks has been identified. People travelling are not subject to additional measures. However, it remains important to follow the travel advice. Hygiene and social distancing rules still apply. The persons travelling will also have to fill in a Passenger Locator Form

Consult the website https://diplomatie.belgium.be/en to check the colour of your country of departure: scroll to “you are returning from…”

Since the Coronavirus outbreak, you may be asked to go into quarantine. 

WHEN?

You go into quarantine and contact your doctor as soon as you meet one of the criteria below:

  • You have one of the following symptoms: cough, breathing difficulties, fever, pain, fatigue, loss of taste and/or sense of smell, diarrhea.
  • You have (possibly) been in contact with a (suspected) COVID-19 patient

If the doctor suspects that you have or may have a COVID-19 infection, s/he will test you or refer you to a triage centre near you. That test will be sent to the lab and they will analyse your test. You will stay at home awaiting your test results.

If you have to stay at home and you're not sick, you'll get a "quarantine certificate". If it is indeed a COVID-19 infection, you will get a disease certificate. VUB staff enters the certificate in TEO**. VUB students send this to their faculty secretariat.

**TEO is the software used by the VUB M&O department where staff members can consult / edit their personal file.

 

Quarantine means staying indoors (including your garden or terrace) in a single place, which must be specified in advance via the Passenger Locator Form. This can be a private address (with family or with friends), or another place such as a hotel. If the person falls ill, all members of the same household are close contacts and must all quarantine.

  • The period of 14 days starts as soon as the person travelling arrives in Belgium.
  • During this period, contact with other people, including people in the same house, must be completely avoided (always keep a distance of 1.5m).
    • Towels, bed linen and eating or drinking utensils should not be shared with other members of the same household and, if possible, the person should use a separate toilet and bathroom.
    • Quarantine in an environment with people at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 is not recommended (e.g. people older than 65, those with a serious underlying medical condition, those with decreased immunity).
  • No visits are allowed.
  • Working and going to university is not allowed. Teleworking, distance learning is possible.
  • For all journeys (from the time of arrival in Belgium) the use of public transport must be avoided.
  • The health situation must be closely monitored. If symptoms of COVID-19 appear, a local doctor must be contacted immediately.
  • It is mandatory to be reachable and cooperate with the health authorities throughout the self-isolation period.

Going outside is only allowed for the following essential trips and provided that you wear a face mask:

  • Urgent medical attention;
  • Purchase of basic necessities, such as food and medicines, but only if no one else can provide them;
  • Settling urgent legal/financial issues (opening a Belgian bank account is not considered an urgent financial issue!);
  • For key workers or those who have a recognised compelling reason whose essential activities cannot be postponed until after the period of quarantine has ended, e.g. the funeral of a family member.
  • If you have to stay at home and you're not sick, you'll get a "quarantine certificate". If it is indeed a COVID-19 infection, you will get a disease certificate. VUB staff enters the certificate in TEO**. VUB students send this to their faculty secretariat.

**TEO is the software used by the VUB M&O department where staff members can consult / edit their personal files.

We recommend careful planning and preparation of your quarantine, especially with regard to accommodation. As you are not allowed to leave your accommodation for 14 days, preferably everything you need should be available on site upon arrival. Get familiar with the following topics at an early stage to prepare the quarantine in the best possible way:

  • Accommodation:
    • Is the accommodation suitable for quarantine? See WHO regulations for quarantine
    • Can I enter my accommodation upon arrival to quarantine, or do I need a temporary housing solution?
    • We strongly advise you to inform your landlord and/or house- and roommates of your quarantine. Discuss how you can live together in a safe way during the quarantine: avoid contact, use separate bathrooms, help you out with practical matters, … When residing in a VUB dorm, please inform the housing department via huisvesting.housing@vub.be and follow the guidelines.
  • Communication :
    • WiFi or internet access that can be used immediately after arrival
    • SIM card or phone
    • Laptop/computer
    • For staff/students with accommodation provided by the university: access to a VUB Net Id and password
  • Facility : Are all necessary items in the accommodation? Think of bedding, sheets, towels, etc.
  • Food supply: Do you have acquaintances, friends/family in Brussels who can take care of you during the quarantine, i.e. grocery shopping?
  • Medical care: What medication do you need during quarantine and can you bring it with you?
  • Transport: using public transport is not recommended. In case you absolutely need to get around (transport from the airport, getting to your doctor or testing facility, …), consider alternatives: taxi, bike/step, …

Check also the FAQ “What should I bring with me from my country of residence?”

Anyone who may have been infected by the Coronavirus needs to be tested. Specifically, for people coming to Belgium from a RED zone it is an obligation to be tested, for those coming from an ORANGE zone it is recommended. See also the 4 bullet points under the FAQ "when do I have to quarantine".

People entering Belgium from a RED zone by airplane will receive a text message on the cell phone number they’ve filled in on the obligatory Passenger Locator Form. With this SMS you can obtain a test at one of the specific triage centers for travellers without symptoms.

People entering Belgium by train or car from a red zone, those who come from an orange zone, those who had high-risk contacts with a confirmed or people showing covid-19 symptoms should consult a doctor first.. S/he will test you or refer you to a triage centre near you.

For detailed information on where to test, please see bullet 11. Where can I take a corona-test.

In short, these are testing/referral options:

  • The VUB general medical practice – advised for students who do not have a GP in Brussels yet. Make an appointment by calling +32 2 897 19 50. To schedule a corona test you can e-mail ugpcorona@gmail.com. Make sure to explain your travel background of symptoms  and how long you've had them. Also mention that you are a VUB student/staff member, your name and address + phone number and date of birth. They may refer you to another GP or triage testing centre depending on your distance to the practice and on availability of the doctors. Don’t hesitate to contact them with any medical questions!
  • Specific testing centres are available for those who have obtained either a referral from a doctor or a text message after return by airplane from a red zone. They are listed below bullet 11. Please ask your doctor for advise if you are not sure where to go, and when.
  • A testing facility for persons returning from a red zone should open at Brussels Airport soon. If you can test over there it avoids extra displacements from your accommodation in Brussels to a doctor or triage testing centre. https://www.brusselsairport.be/en/passengers/the-impact-of-the-coronavirus/covid-19-test-centre-soon-at-brussels-airport
  • If you have a regular family doctor already, of course you can consult him or her for a test, referral or advise. 

A test will be sent to the lab and they will analyse it. You will stay at home awaiting your test results. The doctor will ask you to note down the details of all the people you were in contact with up to two days before your symptoms started (if you have symptoms). This list will only be used if your test is positive, within the framework of contact tracing. You will always get the result of your test, regardless of whether it is positive or negative. You should continue your quarantine regardless of the test result!

You can, but do not have to, be tested twice, at the beginning and at the end of your quarantine. The second test at the end of the quarantine period is especially recommended for people working with people at risk (e.g. nurses in a residential care centre). Other people are preferably tested at the beginning of the quarantine.

In consultation between doctor and patient, a second test may be performed if the first test is done within 7 days of exposure. There should be at least 5 days between the two tests. The second test can be done at least 9 days after the last risk contact. If the second test is negative, the isolation may be lifted, i.e. not earlier than 10 days after exposure.

Contact tracing is the process where people who were in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 are traced.  If these people themselves run a high risk of being infected with the virus, they are asked to quarantine themselves as a preventive measure. In this way we avoid lockdown of the whole population and replace it by a more targeted quarantine of certain individuals.

This is necessary to prevent a resurgence of the virus. Whether a contact runs a high risk of being infected with the virus is determined on the basis of several elements: the moment of exposure (in relation to the occurrence of symptoms of the index patient), the duration and type of exposure, and in the case of healthcare workers, wearing personal protective equipment.

Contact tracing at VUB?

Students who reside in VUB dorms need to fill in this form for internal contact tracing purposes.

Please note that other departments may also ask you to do the same after visiting their facilities on campus. Please provide them with the necessary info. This info will only be used when students or staff test positive with Covid19. All possible other students that might have been in the same area on campus will be notified by VUB.

You can only leave quarantine if the doctor approves it. Under no circumstances will you decide this yourself. You have a responsibility to your fellow students, colleagues … and society.

If your neighbours, acquaintances or relatives cannot supply you with food or necessary medication during quarantine, you can use the following services.

VOLUNTEERING OPTIONS

ONLINE/SMARTPHONE APPS FOR FOOD DELIVERY

DELIVERY SERVICES GROCERIES SUPERMARKETS

Home delivery:

You need to buy online for a minimum of €60. Delhaize delivers your groceries from Monday to Saturday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. depending on where you live. You can choose the time of delivery that suits you best according to the possibilities.

Home delivery price depending on the time of day (week/weekend & hours) is between €5 & €11.

When the total amount of your order is less than €150, you pay €4.50 preparation costs. If you choose a delivery to your home or to an address of your choice, you pay €5 delivery costs, so €9.5 extra in total. If the total amount of your order is higher than €150, you do not have to pay any preparation and delivery costs.

Your groceries will always be delivered to the front door of the house. In an apartment building without elevator, your groceries will be delivered to the door of your apartment up to the 3rd floor. The carrier never goes inside the house.

*When websites are only available in French or Dutch please make use of Google Translate or Deep.com online translation software.

Yes, the police, health department or the university (when residing in VUB dorms) can carry out checks at the specified place of residence. If you fail to comply with the quarantine and thereby endanger others, a severe sentence canbe expected. If you are not at the specified location during a check, disciplinary proceedings can be taken with consequences which may include suspension/exclusion from the programme.

We prefer that students contact the university general medical group practice. f.  To schedule a corona test you can mail ugpcorona@gmail.comor make an appointment by calling 02 897 19 50. Make sure to explain your symptoms and how long you've had them. Also mention that you are a VUB student/staff member, your name and address + phone number and date of birth. Do not hesitate to get in touch with any medical or corona-related question. More information about the practice can be found here.

Depending on your distance to the practice and on availability of the doctors, they may refer you to a triage testing centre, to another GP, or to the Patio practice, with whom we are collaborating at our campus in Jette.

If you are returning from a red zone via Brussels Airplane, a mobile testing facility should soon be available at the airport. This is a quick and safe way to get tested and avoids further displacements afterwards. Consult the airport website to check if the testing facility is up and running. Anyone arriving from a red zone by airplane should receive a text message on the cell phone number they’ve filled in on the obligatory Passenger Locator Form. With this SMS you can obtain a test at one of the specific triage centers for travellers without symptoms.

You can find a map of test centers for those who’ve received a SMS here – select the orange dots, please.

If you have a regular family doctor, you can call them.

If you're at home or in a room in Brussels, and you don't have a regular doctor and suspect you're infected with the coronavirus, you can also call 1710. Via that number you will be referred to a dispatching service of doctors, who will advise you and refer you if necessary. For those in Brussels, the new number 1710 is preferred to the emergency number 112, which can be overloaded more quickly.

You inform the VUB by sending an email to backtocampus@vub.be Your email will be followed up immediately.

You notify the VUB immediately via backtocampus@vub.be if:

  • You are a VUB student or employee and you have been diagnosed with the coronavirus. In this case, you fill in your sick days on TEO (if you are a staff member) or report your illness to the faculty secretariat (as a student). In case of force majeure, as a student you can ask for the exam to be rescheduled.
  • You are a VUB student or employee and you suspect that you are infected with the coronavirus,
  • You are a VUB student or employee and you have come into contact with a corona patient;
  • You have come into contact with a corona patient and shortly afterwards you visited one of the VUB campuses.

If you do not have accommodation yet, if your arranged accommodation is not timely available upon arrival, or if your accommodation is not suitable for a quarantine period, please take a look at the LIST of options we’ve received from housing partners and (apart-)hotels for a quarantine stay.

You should arrange a quarantine accommodation before arrival so you can quarantine immediately upon arrival. Different accommodation options may be available via hotels or landlords. 

FAQs visa & residence permit

This information is only for third-country nationals.

If you are a prospective student or researcher at the VUB, you can contact the Belgian representation in charge for an appointment for the visa or residence permit application. You should attach a confirmation of your status, such as an admission letter (students) or a hosting agreement/proof of employment (researchers). Please check the website of the Belgian representative authority in your country of residence for details.

To come to Belgium you must be able to present certain identity and residence documents. Otherwise, you will be unable to gain access

For EU citizens, an identity card or passport is generally sufficient. Foreigners with non-EU nationality may need a visa. To come to Belgium for a long period or permanently, there are other types of residence status.

The documents needed will depend on:

  • the nationality of the person wanting to come to Belgium
  • the length of the stay in Belgium
  • the purpose of the stay in Belgium

Visa

A visa is a sticker which is put in your passport at the consulate. It allows you to stay in Belgium for a given period, or to travel through it. The issue of visas is the responsibility of the department Foreign Affairs.

There are different types of visa. When you apply at the embassy or consulate you will be told directly which kind of visa you need.

Visa application

You must apply for a visa at the Belgian Embassy or the consulate in the country where you live.

If there is no Belgian embassy or consulate in the country where you live, you must apply to the Belgian Embassy which has been appointed for your country. This is usually in a neighbouring country.

In some cases, the visa application procedure may take a long time. You are advised to make your application at least four weeks before you plan to travel.

All information about visas for Belgium can be found on the website of the FPS [KH1] Department of Foreign Affairs. You can also always ask for information at the local Belgian embassy or consulate.

Residence permit

If you want to stay longer than mentioned on your visa or permanently in Belgium, you will need another residence document after your visa has expired. These residence documents are the responsibility of the Department of Home Affairs, and the Department of Immigration

Residence permit application

The immigration department of the local Belgian town hall where you live will ask you to provide the list of documents outlined below:

  • A valid national passport with visa for Belgium and current ID card
  • Registration certificate academic year 2020–21 from VUB
  • Certificate of health insurance
  • Proof of solvency: Either a scholarship attestation, guarantor certificate or a blocked account certificate
  • Rental contract of your accommodation in Belgium
  • Transcript of records or proof of participation in all exams of your programme (only for students who need to prolong their residence permit for their second, third, etc year of study. If you cannot provide these documents 15 days prior to the expiry date of your Belgian ID card, the town hall administration has the right to refuse the extension of your ID card! This implies that you can no longer stay in Belgium and continue your studies.)

FAQs Living in Belgium

Read all about how to handle your administration.

In order to open a bank account in Belgium, you must have already initiated the process of requesting a residence permit at your local town hall. The bank will ask you to provide the documents listed below in order to open a Belgian bank account:

  • Proof of registration at VUB
  • Signed rental contract
  • A copy of your passport/Visa
  • Scholarship students need to provide a scholarship attestation
  • Annex 15 or annex 19 (= document provided by the town hall stating that you provided the necessary documents to request a Belgian residence permit)

Please contact a bank of your choice and inquire about any changes in the procedures before opening a bank account due to Covid-19. If possible, bring sufficient funds (Euros) for the first weeks.

The opening of a bank account is not considered as an urgent financial procedure. Students who need to quarantine can only start the procedure after their quarantine has ended.

Residence permit

If you want to stay longer than mentioned on your visa or permanently in Belgium, you will need a residence permit after your visa has expired. Residence permits are the responsibility of the Department of Home Affairs and the Department of Immigration.

Residence permit application

The immigration department of the local Belgian town hall where you live will ask you to provide the list of documents below:

  • A valid national passport with visa for Belgium and current ID card
  • Registration certificate academic year 2020–21 from VUB
  • Certificate of health insurance
  • Proof of solvency: either a scholarship attestation, guarantor certificate or a blocked account certificate
  • Rental contract of your accommodation in Belgium
  • Transcript of records or proof of participation in all exams of your programme (only for students who need to prolong their residence permit for their second, third, etc year of study. If you cannot provide these documents 15 days prior to the expiry date of your Belgian ID card the town hall administration has the right to refuse the extension of your ID card! This implies that you can no longer stay in Belgium and continue your studies.)

We advise you to only start the procedure when you have obtained all the above mentioned documents. Due to the current Covid-19 measures each town hall uses different methods to request the residence permit. In most town hallsyou will need to book an appointment online to present yourself at the immigration desk of your town hall.

Since the academic year ’20–‘21 the health insurance certificate is no longer compulsory during the enrolment process. VUB expects students to register for the Belgian state insurance as soon as possible after arrival. Depending on the nature of the residency status, international students and acadmics have the possibility to join the Belgian state health insurance system which guarantees them the same benefits that Belgian nationals are entitled to. The government determines the amount of the contribution as well as the reimbursement rate for all recognised medical interventions and medication. The practical matters are left to the care of several agencies. The agency VUB works with is called PARTENAMUT. More information.

EEA Citizens

EEA citizens are usually covered through their national healthcare system, on the condition that they bring along the European Insurance Card, provided by their home insurance agency. The card guarantees access to medical care in any EEA member state. Patients are expected to pay the bills in Belgium and claim the refunds in their home country. Bear in mind that this card is also required when applying for the Belgian ID card.

In order to obtain a refund in Belgium, the European Insurance Card also allows additional registration with the Belgian system, free of charge, if your stay is less than 1 year. If longer, a mandatory contribution of +/- €6.5/month will be charged. Hospitals will send the bills to the Belgian insurance agency with which the student or academic has registered, and the insurance agency will take care of the follow up. The International Relations office can assist students and academics in registering with the Belgian state health insurance system upon arrival. Please contact International.relations@vub.be or VUB@partenamut.be

EEA citizens who, for whatever reason, do not have (or no longer have) medical cover in their home country can still join the Belgian state health insurance system. Please check the non-EEA citizen section.

Although Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkey and Morocco are not part of the EEA, similar agreements exist in the framework of bilateral agreements.

Non-EEA Citizens

Students and academics are expected to have health insurance coverage during their stay in Belgium. The International Relations office can assist students and academics in registering with the Belgian state health insurance system upon arrival. Please contact International.relations@vub.be or VUB@partenamut.be

Although Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkey and Morocco are not part of the EEA, similar agreements exist in the framework of bilateral agreements. Students and academics from these countries can find more information in the EEA citizen section.

FAQs Further info & contacts

Find all the useful contact information for your stay in Belgium.

FAQs Well-being and support

When not feeling well, you're not alone at VUB and we're here to help you.

Students

Feeling confused or anxious about the coronavirus situation? As a student, you can contact the VUB student psychologists with your concerns. You can schedule an appointment via the student website. When making your appointment, you can use the online scheduling tool to indicate your preferred contact method.

The same working method applies to appointments with a Learning Path Counsellor or Study Advisor.

Staff

BRUCC is a centre for psychological counselling, psychotherapy and psychodiagnostics linked to the Faculty of Psychology of the VUB. You can contact the experienced BRUCC psychologists with questions about various mental complaints such as anxiety, burn-out, depressive feelings and thoughts, procrastination... BRUCC also offers various group trainings (e.g. mindfulness) that can increase your coping skills and stress resistance. All info can be found on the website www.brucc.be.

The Centre for General Welfare (CAW) helps people with all their questions and problems related to welfare. A difficult relationship. Personal difficulties. Financial, administrative, legal or material problems. Problems in your family or your wider social environment... We also offer help to victims and perpetrators of violence, abuse and those involved in traffic accidents and crimes.

Imagine how you felt on your very first day at the VUB. Now add on face masks, social distancing and fewer physical classes on campus. These days seem to bring uncertainty and anxiety with them. So we are asking for your help: show our new students at VUB kindness and become a VUBuddy!

As a VUBuddy you’ll be a ‘buddy’ to a small group of students. Your role is to guide your buddy group across the VUB community and to enable social cohesion within your group. How you do this is partly up to you: answering their questions, sharing fun facts about VUB, your top tips of where to eat, etc.

Fancy being a VUBuddy? Then sign up for the digital info session on 10 September.

You can also share all your questions here and we will give you more practical information. We will inform you of the exact time.

Thank you for your enthusiasm!

Interested in becoming a buddy even after the deadline? Please contact Ella.Vermeylen@vub.be.