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It is important to start preparing for the trip well in advance to avoid that unforeseen problems result in unwanted situations such as a delayed or cancelled departure.

Citizens

The main priority for EEA-citizens is arranging accommodation. The sooner one starts to search for accommodation the better, for this reason it is recommended to start the search as soon as one has received the letter of acceptance or invitation, preferably a couple of months before departure.

It is also important that all the necessary documents, such as passport or ID card, the letter of acceptance etc. are ready as early as possible prior to departure.

For non-scholarship students, or scholarship students whose flights are not arranged by their scholarship programme, it is also wise to start looking for a flight to Brussels as soon as possible, as an early booking can reduce the cost of a ticket significantly.

Citizens

For non-EEA-citizens, the first and most important thing to arrange is a visa. This should be done as soon as possible, preferably immediately after receiving the letter of acceptance or the letter of invitation. It is best to count on two months for the procedure of arranging a visa.

Accommodation is the next aspect of the stay non-EEA-citizens should arrange. The sooner one starts to search for accommodation the better. For this reason it is recommended to begin searching for accommodation immediately after receiving the letter of acceptance or invitation, preferably a couple of months before departure.

It is also important that all the necessary documents, such as passport or ID card, the letter of acceptance etc. are ready as early as possible prior to departure.

For non-scholarship students, or scholarship students whose flights are not arranged by their scholarship programme, it is also wise to start looking for a flight to Brussels as soon as possible, as an early booking can reduce the cost of a ticket significantly.

When to depart for Brussels?

Some scholarship programmes (VLIR-UOS, Erasmus Mundus, Vrije Universiteit Brussel and the Belgian Development Agency (BTC)) arrange the flights for the students and scholars and thus decide on the time of arrival in Brussels. Students and scholars from these programmes don’t need to be concerned about when to depart for Brussels as this is arranged by their scholarship programme.

In order not to miss any classes, students are advised to arrive in Brussels about a week prior to the start of the semester. This will give students time to arrange many aspects about their stay which need to be made upon arrival, such as registration at the local administration setting up a bank account etc. Students who have not arranged housing before their departure to Brussels must account for extra time to search for housing.

An Orientation Day, which newly arrived international students are advised to attend, is organized by the International Relations & Mobility Office of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. The Orientation Day usually takes place the Friday prior to the start of the semester.

EU + Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway.

EU: Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Finland, France, Greece, United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, Luxemburg, Holland, Austria, Portugal, Spain, Sweden Cyprus, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic. 
New EU member states with restrictions: Romania and Bulgaria.
Switzerland is neither EU nor EEA, but has bilateral agreements with the EU which means that Swiss citizens do not require a visa to travel within the EEA.

EEA: EU + Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway.

EU: Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Finland, France, Greece, United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, Luxemburg, Holland, Austria, Portugal, Spain, Sweden Cyprus, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic. 
New EU member states with restrictions: Romania and Bulgaria.
Switzerland is neither EU nor EEA, but has bilateral agreements with the EU which means that Swiss citizens do not require a visa to travel within the EEA.

The local administration is the whole of public services and departments managing the communication between the local authorities (city, town or village) and the citizen, usually the local town hall, which is in charge of issuing residence permits, building permits, driving licences, registration of births and deaths, etc.

Embassy, Consulate, or other local official representation.

Commune: town, city or village. Brussels consists of 19 communes, these are: Anderlecht, Brussel Centrum (Bruxelles centre), Elsene (Ixelles), Etterbeek, Evere, Ganshoren, Jette, Koekelberg, Oudergem (Auderghem), Schaarbeek (Schaerbeek), Sint-Agatha Berchem (Berchem Saint-Agathe), Sint-Gillis (Saint-Gilles), Sint-Jans-Molenbeek (Molenbeek Saint-Jean), Sint-Joost ten Noode (Saint-Josse ten Noode), Sint-Lambrechts Woluwe (Woluwe Saint-Lambert), Sint-Pieters Woluwe (Woluwe Saint-Pierre), Ukkel (Uccle), Vorst (Forrest), Watermaal-Bosvoorde (Watermael-Boitsfort).

EU: Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Austria, Greece, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland Slovakia, Slovenia

Schengen non-EU : Iceland, Norway and Switzerland.

Ireland and UK are EU but NOT part of the Schengen area.

Special rules may apply to students from specific countries. Students from China need to deposit an amount of €6000 on a blocked account in China. They also need to pass a selection procedure called APS.

Type D visa for entire families are only delivered in the framework of economic migration. Under the student status the family can only travel after the student has obtained his ID card, has arranged medical insurance for the family and can present proof of suitable accommodation (registered rental contract).

charter awarded by the European Commission. The Charter sets out the fundamental principles and the minimum requirements with which the higher education institution must comply when implementing its ERASMUS activities.