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Program Description




As a center of international finance and politics and the home to stunning architecture, a vibrant arts scene, and vast cross-section of cultures, Brussels is as fascinating a city as it is beautiful. Given its resources, it’s also the perfect site to examine the relationship between business, politics, and the rapidly changing face of new media and communication.

Through language study, cultural excursions, and internships with local and international organizations, you’ll deepen your understanding not only of the field of communications, but also its European society and culture. Study abroad in Brussels and you will have the opportunity to:
  • Choose from courses in business, communications, and international relations taught in English; undertake a for-credit internship
  • Immerse yourself in Belgian and European culture and society through day excursions to places such as Bruges and the caves of Han; educational activities such as attending French films and visiting local museums; and an excursion to another country such as France, the Netherlands, or Germany


Triumph Arch


Location Details

Beautiful, historic Brussels has become one of Europe’s must-see destinations because of its charm, trendy restaurants and nightclubs, shopping, museums, festivals, and more. The capital and largest city of Belgium is a mecca of fashion, art, design, and culture. 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 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. Because of this, Brussels does not necessarily provide the language immersion one might get in another, less multilingual location. For the same reason, students feel quickly at home.

Visa Information

U.S. citizens do not require a visa in order to participate in this program*. Limited information about the visa application process may be provided by the ASU Study Abroad Office and/or your host institution, but it is your sole responsibility to research, apply, and secure a visa if required. Failure to obtain a visa may result in your inability to participate and, ultimately, your withdrawal from the program, subject to the terms of the Study Abroad Withdrawal Policy. 

Consult this page for additional information regarding visas.  If you need assistance securing a U.S. Passport, visit the ASU U.S. Passport Acceptance Office in Tempe.

PLEASE NOTE: Visa requirements for non U.S. citizens may differ from those for U.S. citizens; students who are not U.S. citizens are advised to contact their International Coordinator and begin independently researching the visa requirements for their nationality as soon as possible.

*At the time of writing. This information is subject to change without notice; students should independently confirm this requirement with the relevant consulate/embassy.


Academic Program & Courses

Where You'll Study - Vesalius College
Vesalius College, the international English-language college in Brussels, is a small, independent, academic institution with a student body of approximately 300. Vesalius is located southeast of central Brussels, next to the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), a partner of Vesalius College. 

Academic Program

The CIEE Study Center in Brussels, Belgium was established in 1994 and moved to its current host institution, Vesalius College, in 2002. Vesalius College is unique among academic institutions in Brussels in that it is the only institution that offers a selection of courses taught in English at the undergraduate level. 

Vesalius College offers for-credit and unpaid internship opportunities to juniors and seniors, who are awarded a letter grade upon completion. CIEE participants may apply for available slots. However, because internships are competitive, there is no guarantee that students will be assigned an internship. Interested students should submit a résumé and cover letter with their course registration form. All internships require interviews with the sponsor of the internship. Foreign language skills may be an asset. However, a lack of foreign language skills is not an impediment to obtaining an internship in Brussels.

Students should be prepared for a workload of 150 hours over the course of the semester. There will be a mid-term meeting with and report given to the supervising professor. Participants should verify with their ASU Internship Coordinator whether credit may be awarded. Registration for internships takes place only after arrival in Brussels and only after the student has been accepted by the institution, organization, or company offering the internship.

Academic Culture
Vesalius College, like other European universities, offers three-year undergraduate degrees. These fall into three main areas: business, communications, and international affairs.

Class size is 20 max. Summer classes are intensive, meeting eight hours a week for six weeks. Internships require 150 hours of work, and a report for the supervising professor. Vesalius professors provide more student-teacher interaction than you’d find at typical Belgian educational institution, but less than U.S. students experience.

Program Requirements

For the summer program, all students take two courses (3 credits each) or one course plus the internship.

Total recommended credit for the summer is 6 semester/9 quarter hours.

Course contact hours are 45 hours and recommended credit is 3 semester/4.5 quarter hours, unless otherwise indicated.

The Internship has 150 contact hours and recommended credit is 3 semester/4.5 quarter hours.

Prior to the start of each semester, there is a mandatory three-day orientation organized and conducted by CIEE at a hostel in downtown Brussels. The orientation introduces students to Belgium and Brussels; provides practical information about the host country, daily life, the academic program, housing, cultural and educational differences; and enables participants and staff to get to know one another while participating in structured and informal activities that can include visits to museums, a bus tour, walking tours, and group meals. "Survival French" prepares the participants to live in a primarily French-speaking environment. Some "Survival Dutch" is introduced as well. Vesalius also offers a three-day program of academic orientation and social activities prior to the start of semester courses. CIEE students participate in both orientation programs. Ongoing support is provided on an individual and group basis throughout the program.

CIEE Brussels Vesalius
Town Hall

Photos courtesy of CIEE


CIEE Brussels

CIEE Brussels

Photos courtesy of CIEE

Program Housing

Housing is included in the study abroad program fee. There are a number of homestays available with families from a variety of linguistic backgrounds. Students participating in a homestay pay a supplementary fee (approximately $560; see estimated additional expenses) to be are provided with some meals with the families including breakfast every day of the week and, typically, dinners from Monday to Thursday, depending on the family’s weekly schedule.

The non-homestay option, shared housing, includes a combination of individual rooms, with or without other students, and shared common spaces with landlords. Housing is mainly located in the southeast of central Brussels. An excellent public transportation system makes it easy to commute to Vesalius College. All housing placements are made on site at the beginning of the semester. For shared housing students, 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 eat meals in Vesalius College cafeterias or area restaurants.

You are encouraged to bring a wireless-enabled laptop. All housing placements provide Internet connections. You'll have access to a small computer lab at Vesalius College, as well as computer labs on the VUB campus; however, hours are limited. Campus is provided with WiFi.

Cultural Activities and Field Trips
Extracurricular activities and group excursions are organized throughout the study abroad program. Day trips may include visits to Bruges and the caves of Han, Waterloo, and Tournai, and will introduce you to some of the cultural and historical highlights of your host country. Viewings of French and European films and visits to cultural events like the famous Ommegang complete the program’s activities.

Special Considerations

Below you will find information that may help you in planning for your study abroad experience. Early discussions and planning can help to support you in having a positive experience abroad. We invite you to meet with the International Coordinator for this program to discuss any questions or concerns you may have.

Physical Considerations

Study abroad participants may find themselves walking or taking public transit abroad more frequently than they are accustomed at their home campus.

Disability Accommodations Abroad

Individuals with disabilities can and do study abroad, but may find accessibility and accommodation in one of more of this program’s locations very different from the United States. For example, in Belgium, older areas of Brussels and older and rural towns and villages often have narrow streets and sidewalks that may prove difficult to navigate.

In general, the Study Abroad Office cannot guarantee access to public transportation, buildings, or public sites on this program. Any student who anticipates needing any kind of special accommodation due to a disability should contact the ASU Study Abroad Office early in the planning process to investigate the availability of accommodations (including accessible facilities) on this specific program. Contact the Disability Resource Center and your Disability Access Consultant to include them in the discussion; be sure to give your Disability Access Consultant permission to speak with the Study Abroad Office on your behalf. You can find additional information and resources on our Students with Disabilities page.

LGBTQIA Students Abroad

Students of diverse sexual orientations or gender identities will find that the social climate, laws, and norms of other cultures will often differ from the U.S. If you identify as a lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, or queer student - or if you are still exploring your identity - you may face unique challenges when traveling abroad. 

We encourage students who identify as members of the LGBTQIA community to visit the U.S. Department of State website for helpful information about laws and attitudes in this program’s locations, including pre-travel tips and advice on staying safe while abroad. You can find additional information and resources on our LGBTQIA Students page.

Gender Identity Abroad

When traveling abroad, you may find different gender roles and norms than you’re used to. It’s possible that you may be treated differently or be expected to treat others differently based on your (or their) gender identity. 

You can find additional information and resources on our Gender Identity Abroad page.

Racial and Ethnic Minorities Abroad

Students of different ethnic and racial backgrounds may encounter unique challenges transitioning from life here in the United States to life as a student living abroad, including but not limited to access to personal care products and services. For example, in Belgium, racism and discrimination do occur, but seem to be directed more towards immigrants from Africa or the Middle East. Students not of European descent may have difficulty finding personal care products and services.

You can prepare yourself for the situations you may experience by researching the ethnic composition of your host country and exploring its history of racial and ethnic relations. We encourage students to start that research on our Racial and Ethnic Minority Students page.


Cost Information

Partnership program participants will NOT pay ASU tuition for the courses completed abroad.  Instead, participants will pay a Program Fee as a condition of participation. Partnership program participants are also responsible for paying a non-refundable $50 Application Fee, in addition to the published Program Fee. All other costs associated with participation in the program are the responsibility of the individual student. Be sure to reference the Summer semester cost sheet for information on current program fees and any additional estimated expenses.

The program may allow for time which can be spent in non-program activities. Participants may wish to travel, sightsee or participate in activities or events in which they have a personal interest. Please note that the participant is fully responsible for making arrangements and for all costs of transportation, lodging, food and additional expenses that may be associated with any non-program activities.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Please see Financing Your Study Abroad Program for detailed information about financial aid and scholarships.


Funding Your Study Abroad Program

Studying abroad is an investment in your future, which requires careful planning and management. However, the personal, academic, and professional rewards that you will gain from this experience will last a lifetime. You should carefully consider costs, budgets and financing when selecting and preparing for your experience abroad. If you have questions at any step of the process, we encourage you to reach out to your International Coordinator for guidance.

Steps to Financing Your Study Abroad Program

  1. Review the Considering Costs Table for a general overview and cost comparison of popular programs.
  2. Be sure to reference the program cost sheet to find a breakdown of program expenses.
  3. Attend a Financing Your Study Abroad Workshop.
  4. Consider your Financial Aid options.
  5. Search and Apply for Scholarships and Grants.
  6. Exhaust your options by exploring Additional Funding Resources including our Community-Based Funding Guide.
  7. View our  Financing Your Study Abroad Program Handbook for more information, including Payment Information.

Unique Funding Opportunities for This Program



Dates & Deadlines
Dates & Deadlines
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2020 03/01/2020 ** Rolling Admission 05/29/2020 07/21/2020
NOTE: Dates are subject to change. Do not purchase airfare until dates are confirmed by the Study Abroad Office and/or in any host institution acceptance materials.

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Students will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision tasks prior to the term's application deadline.