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CIEE Advanced Liberal Arts Program in Brussels, Belgium
Brussels, Belgium
Program Terms: Academic Year,
Homepage: Click to visit
Program Sponsor: CIEE 
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Fall 2018 02/25/2018 03/15/2018 TBA TBA
Academic Year 2018-2019 02/25/2018 03/15/2018 TBA TBA
Fact Sheet:
Areas of Study: Anthropology, Art History, Communication Studies, Economics, French, History, Management, Philosophy, Political Science, Religious Studies, Sociology Minimum GPA Requirement: 2.75
Academic Level: Senior Language of Instruction: French
Housing Options: Apartment
Program Description:


Looking to put your upper-level French language skills to use? Intrigued by the challenge of direct matriculation within a European university? Come immerse yourself in Brussels.

Study abroad in Brussels and you have the opportunity to enroll in a European university, taking classes in French; gain insight into Belgium and Brussels’ unique political, cultural, and linguistic situation in Europe; and dramatically improve your French language skills.

And with student mentors, internships opportunities, and cultural activities and excursions, studying abroad in Brussels gives you a truly unique and absorbing  international experience.

In Brussels you will:

  • Enroll in French-taught courses in the humanities; take classes with Belgian and other European students; join a university club
  • Integrate into the university environment with the help of student mentors
  • Participate in field trips to EU institutions, excursions within Belgium and to France, the Netherlands, and Germany
  • Visit places such as the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in the Hague, NATO, and the Museum of Fine Arts

The CIEE Difference


In addition to a course on Belgian history, and culture – supplemented with seminars and site visits by the CIEE Resident Director – you’ll have full access to the curriculum at Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB). That means you can study anything from Anthropology and Art History, to Language, Film, Economics and Political Science.
For students who wish to improve their language skills to better follow their regular university courses at the ULB, courses are offered in advanced grammar and composition.

Cultural Activities

Extracurricular activities and occasional group excursions are organized throughout the semester. Day trips may include Bruges, Luxembourg, Ypres, Bastogne, and Aachen as well as weekend excursions to France and Germany. Visit the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague, or the Brussels Museum of Fine Arts. You’ll also have access to sports facilities at the ULB and may participate in student clubs and activities.


Total recommended credit for a semester is 15 semester/22.5 quarter hours. Total recommended credit for the academic year is 30 semester/45 quarter hours.

Course contact hours vary, but average 24 contact hours for ULB courses. The CIEE/ULB core course is 40 hours each semester. Recommended credit is 3 U.S. credits for the CIEE courses and 1 U.S. credit per 2 ECTS credits earned.

Program Requirements

All study abroad students take at least six courses, including the CIEE/ULB core course. At least three courses should be chosen from the courses offered within one Faculty of specialization (either the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters, the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences, or the Solvay Brussels School for Economics and Management). Two other courses can be chosen from the course offering of that same Faculty or from one of the other two Faculties. The number of ULB courses that each student takes may vary a bit, as ULB courses can range in credit from 3–10 ECTS each. However, a typical course load consists of 6 courses of 5 ECTS each. All participants are required to enroll in the equivalent of 15 U.S. credits (30 ECTS).

About Brussels

Brussels has emerged as the “Capital of Europe” in political and economic terms. As the headquarters of the European Union, it is at the forefront of European integration and EU policy. Brussels is also very international; its diversity is reflected in its neighborhoods, restaurants, and languages. While French is the dominant language, Dutch (Flemish) and English are widely spoken.

Where You’ll Study

The French-language Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) was founded in 1834 as an alternative to the Catholic or state universities in Leuven, Gent, and Liège. It now has a student population of over 24,000 and is the largest university in Brussels. ULB has several campuses in different areas of the city. The main campus where the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters, the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences, and the Solvay Brussels School for Economics and Management, the library, and University administration are located is known as the Solbosch campus and is located in southeast Brussels.

Housing & Meals

Housing is included in the study abroad program fee. CIEE housing consists of shared housing. This is a combination of individual rooms with or without other students and sharing common spaces with landlords. Housing is mainly located in the southeast of central Brussels. An excellent public transportation system makes it easy to commute. All housing placements are made on site at the beginning of the semester.
Meals are not included in the program fee and are the responsibility of the student. Students have access to cooking facilities in order to prepare their own meals and may take meals in University cafeterias and restaurants in the area.

Academic Program

The CIEE Study Center in Brussels, Belgium was established in 1994 and began its pilot program at the ULB in 2006. The CIEE Advanced Liberal Arts program opened its doors in spring 2009.
The Advanced Liberal Arts study abroad program is specifically designed for students with upper-level French language skills who want the challenge of direct matriculation within a European university. The program is particularly well-suited for those with an interest in communications, language, literature, philosophy, history, political science, and business and economics.

Academic Culture

ULB, like other European universities, offers three-year undergraduate degrees, organized into different faculties. The CIEE Advanced Liberal Arts program is located at the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters.
The academic culture of ULB courses follows a traditional European model. Students attend lectures for a semester or year and usually take a single exam at the end of the course to determine their grade. Papers are usually not required for these courses, making the final oral exam that much more important. Some courses may also include presentations or written assignments.

Class size at ULB varies, but is generally much larger than typical U.S. courses. The teaching method at ULB is primarily lecture-style. Students are advised that due to possible changes in the courses offered each term they should be flexible in course selection. Fall semester ULB courses extend into January, and spring semester courses extend into June. Professors may be willing to administer the final exam earlier than the officially scheduled date, allowing fall students to depart mid-to late December and spring students to depart in late May to early June, but CIEE cannot be responsible for arranging or guaranteeing early exams.