Naturally, planning a budget depends on specific situations. Generally speaking, a single person should plan on an annual budget of approximately €13,200. Families and shared households should assume an additional budget of at least €3,500 for each extra person.
Accommodation costs are the greatest expense. Average monthly rent for UCLouvain accommodation (a room) is €295. Average rent for privately owned accommodation is between €600 and €800 for a one-bedroom flat, and between €750 and €900 for a two-bedroom flat.
Other costs depend on lifestyle and use of university services (University Restaurants, certain university library services, sports facilities).
For students, a significant portion of these costs is due in September: enrolment fees, health insurance premiums, fees for most courses and syllabuses, first month’s rent, security deposit and initial accommodation costs. As a result, a minimum of €2,500 (excluding tuition fees) will be required in September. Thereafter, students must anticipate monthly rental payments and living expenses.
Sample prices of everyday items:
- Train ticket from Brussels to Louvain-la-Neuve: €5,50
- Daily newspaper: €2
- Cinema ticket: €8
- Private restaurant daily special: €10-13
- Sandwich: €3.50
- Loaf of bread (800 g): €2.10
- 250 g of chocolates: €6
- 1 kg of apples: €1.50-2.50
- Litre of milk: €0.60-1
- Package of ground coffee (250 g): €4-5
- University Restaurant daily special: €(3.35 (student), €5.25 (staff)
Paid employment and student status
Undertaking paid employment or a student job is conditional on having a residence permit indicating access to the labor market. This is called the single permit. Access to the labor market can be limited or unlimited. Students from outside the European Union are limited to a maximum of 20 hours of service per week. EU students are not subject to this limitation, but must respect the conditions imposed on Belgian students. More information is available at the federal website ‘Studentatwork’.