What you need to know

We accept exchange students from the European Union and outside of the European Union. There are two options under the term "exchange":

1/ Studies

An agreement is needed between your home university and VUB. This agreement allows you to come and spend one or two semester(s) at VUB as an exchange student. If under Erasmus +, you might benefit from a grant. Ask your International office or Erasmus coordinator for more details.

During your exchange, you will follow courses at VUB, so it is important to check our course offer (under the tab Study fields) and discuss it with your coordinator ; together you will prepare the Learning agreement, that will be signed by the three parties: you, your home university and VUB. Credits/grades obtained at VUB will be transferred to your initial curriculum according to your home university's internal regulations. As well, there will be a tuition fee waiver, so you do not need to pay tuition fees at VUB, only at your home institution.

If you are interested, there is a procedure to follow first at your home university based on your grades, study field, level of studies, etc. Then, if your home uni agrees, you can start the procedure at VUB :-). From there we take over and help you go through the different steps, academically as well as in terms of organising your stay in Brussels (housing, insurance, etc. ) Keep in mind that having successfully passed the procedure at your home university does not mean you are accepted at VUB ; you have to follow VUB's own procedure too.  

2/ Traineeship

Basically the same applies, except that there is no need for a bilateral agreement between the two institutions; nonetheless you need to find out with VUB if there is space to host you.

You can send your most recent CV, traineeship plan, preferred Department at VUB and an indication on when exactly you would like to do your traineeship to exchange.incoming@vub.be who will forward your request to the Faculty’s Exchange Coordinator to see if there is an opportunity to host you.

In both cases, studies and traineeship, we use a platform called Mobility-Online to process your application. Upon approval from your home uni, you will receive a link and guidance to complete all the steps from VUB side.

What about the funding? You might be entitled to get a scholarship from your home university, such as an Erasmus+ scholarship, or a KA107 scholarship. Please enquire at your home university.

Contact us at exchange.incoming@vub.be if you have questions!


Fall Semester

Nomination to VUB by your home university before 1 May (a link is sent to the student)
Application to the VUB before 1 June

Spring semester

Nomination to VUB by your home university before 1 October (a link is sent to the student)
Application to the VUB before 1 November

Applicable for both EU & non-EU citizens.
Late and/or incomplete applications are not considered.

Study in the capital of Europe!

Spend one or two semesters as an exchange student at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), in one of the world's most cosmopolitan cities!

As a general rule, you can only pick courses under your study field.

Changes might occur, please contact us at exchange.incoming@vub.be if needed.


What you should know...

Twice a year we organise an Orientation Week (in September: the week before the start of classes) and an Orientation Day (in February: the Friday before the start of classes) for all new international students, including you as an exchange student! You will receive an invitation. Take this into account when booking your trip to Brussels.

Find below more information to prepare your stay with us.



Does Covid-19 (Corona) have any impact on 'normal' proceedings?

Please have a look at this page (updated regularly) for all details on how VUB is aiming to organise the academic year 2021-2022.

Can I select other courses than those provided in the course overview for my study field?

No, you can only select courses from the course overview for your study field. Some departments allow you to also select courses from other study fields, but these courses are then also mentioned in your department’s course overview.

Does the VUB use ECTS?

Yes, see also here. Certain course descriptions however still mention SP or Study Points, 1 SP = 1 ECTS. One ECTS credit corresponds to no less than 25 and no more than 30 hours of teaching, learning and assessment activities.  In most cases student workload ranges from 1.500 to 1800 hours for an academic year.

Can I combine courses with a training or internship?

No, you either follow courses at the VUB or do a training. You cannot combine both unless you can select the official VUB course ‘Internship’ from the course overview for your field of study.

Do I have to pay a tuition fee?

No, all exchange students that study at the VUB in the framework of an exchange agreement or an exchange scholarship programme managed by the International Relations Office are exempted from a tuition fee. More information on the offered scholarship programmes and their eligibility criteria can be found here.

Can I do an exchange when there is no exchange agreement with my home university?

No, when there is no exchange agreement with your home university or specific cooperation agreement with your government and the VUB you cannot apply for an exchange. More information on the offered scholarship programmes and their eligibility criteria can be found here.

Who can I contact for specific questions about a scholarship programme?

You can contact the International Relations office at international.relations@vub.ac.be

Who can I contact for questions about my application and offered courses?

You can contact the Student Administration Center at exchange.incoming@vub.ac.be

What are the language requirements for an exchange?

All incoming exchange students have to provide a proof of English language knowledge in their online application. This can be an official English test, a proof of English-taught courses taken at the home university, or a statement from the home university confirming that you have sufficient knowledge of English to take English-taught courses at the VUB. A minimum B2 level is recommended. The same level applies if you would need Dutch and/or French language (during an traineeship at the university hospital for example).

Can I take language courses?

Exchange students can take courses at the Academic Language Centre, ACTO. Depending on your VUB department these courses can be recognized for credits or not.
More info can be found here.

Can I take courses taught in Dutch?

Yes, incoming exchange students can select courses from our Dutch-taught programmes, on the condition that you provide us with a proof of Dutch language knowledge in your online application. A minimum B2 level is recommended.

Overview of the Dutch-taught courses:

Bachelor: https://www.vub.be/infoover/onderwijs/bama/opleidingen.html

Master: https://www.vub.be/infoover/onderwijs/bama/m-opleidingen.html

What is the minimum amount of credits I have to take?

All incoming exchange students are required to take a minimum of 21 ECTS per semester.

What about credit recognition at the end of my stay?

The VUB will provide your home university with a Transcript of Records of your obtained grades and credits and an explanation of the grading system at the VUB. Your home university then has to transfer and recognize your obtained grades and credits.

Does the VUB offer housing to incoming students?

We offer a limited number of rooms to exchange students in the on campus U-residence (Brussels Engineering, Sciences & Humanities Campus). More info on U-residence and finding housing in Brussels can be found here.

Who can I contact for questions about studying at the VUB and living in Brussels?

We advise you to first carefully read our ‘Circle of International student life" webpage. Should you have further questions, you can contact the International Relations and office at international.relations@vub.ac.be