Nearly-Free University Education at K.U. Leuven

While universities across Europe are adopting or increasing tuition fees, the Katholieke Universitet Leuven (aka the Catholic University Leuven) in Belgium remains a relatively inexpensive and high-quality choice for non-EU citizens wishing to study abroad in English in Europe.

I completed a Master of Philosophy (MA) there in 2009-2010. It was only a one-year program, but that was good, since I only had about a year of brainpower in me.

1 year tuition = 580 Euros (=700 CAD (= nothing! (relatively speaking)))

Having googled around a bit, previously free universities such as Uppsala and the University of Copenhagen now charge fees that rival North American prices. There still may be some scott-free schools in Europe, however, but you'll have to google around yourself and search.

I can vouch that the Katholieke Universitet Leuven has 3-year BA programs in several fields, plus 1 & 2 year Master programs, in English.

List of programs:

A semi-confusing list of fees can be found here:

Basically, what it means is that most programs charge roughly 560 Euros for a year of study. Some specific programs (scroll down on list) charge more. K.U. Leuven is a popular school. It's the oldest Catholic university in Europe and the most renown in Belgium. (You need not be Catholic to study there. My studies were religion-free.) It's located in the town of Leuven, which is the home of Stella Artois. Around 36,000 students study there per year (figures here) and the school has a vibrant international student population. I wish I had done my BA there as well (and not just my MA), since it would have saved me some serious cash.

Speaking in terms of finances, education, and pleasure, it's a good place for a few years of life.


lion head in leuven

some thing

22 thoughts on “Nearly-Free University Education at K.U. Leuven

  1. […] Link: Nearly-Free University Education at K.U. Leuven, Belguim […]

  2. Liv

    So glad you posted this. I’m actively looking at this college, and it’s a labyrinth of a website to figure out any information. Out of curiosity, what were your costs outside of the tuition, say for, room and board, etc.

    • admin

      Hello. I did a master of Philosophy. as per the chart you can find in the list of programs’ (link above and also here =, my master program was the standard 564 euros. all master progarms are this price except for the ones listed in the table of ‘advanced programs with increased fees’.

      there are plenty of student rooms in leuven. for 300 euro a month you can get a room with a bed and desk. for 400 euro, you can get a bit more (e.g. maybe your own kitchen that you don’t have to share with others).

      i hope that helps! if you want more information, talk to people in this group:!/groups/6351902047/

      • Brilliant find, thanks for sharing… I am a student in Further Education going to start my degree at Edinburgh University. I am interested in doing a Masters in European Politics after I graduate and this seems like a good option for me… How did you fund yourself for costs outside of tuition fees? I am lucky that the Scottish Government will fund my tuition fees and give me a living allowance but if I want to do a masters I will struggle and will need to find alternative sources of funding, I was just wondering what may be available and how it is getting by.



        • Gary; I worked in Tokyo for 4 years before doing my one-year master programme. I think I arrived with about 7,000 euros, and after a year, I still had 2,000 or so. It’s not that expensive to live in Leuven. Rent is cheap (you’ll be living in a shithole). the only expenses are beer.

          I don’t know any foreign students who received scholarships, though you might want to research it nevertheless. the tuition fees for my program were negligible. hopefully the program you’ve chosen is cheap too.

  3. drew

    what have you done since the program? i am starting the same program in february and was wondering if you went on to do a phd and where you are attending? also, what was your thesis title? did feel like you were able to have enough of your own say on the topic?

    • hey. i didnt’ do a phd. i wrote on interpersonal love. my advisor and i got along well so i didn’t have any barriers re: expression

      • Ayako

        Hi, im so glad that you posted this!
        I have just got an acceptance from master program(MSc) in Leuven university.
        However i am very worried since I have almost NO previous knowledge on belgim.

        I have a few question about KU Leuven.
        -Do you need to learn Flemish or French to live there?
        -How is the living condition?
        -Is the campus international?
        -Have you heard of any info about science programms in Leuven?

        • mb

          1) No. But it would be good to learn some Flemish upon arrival. Leuven is a Flemish town. Most of the Flemmings can speak English well. French is only required if you go to Brussels for the weekend.

          2) The living conditions are fine. Though, it can be hard to find accommodation if you arrive late. Check the Facebook group I posted above for more info.

          3) Leuven is basically a student town. There are thousands of international students. All of my friends were international students. It’s hard to get to know Belgians. Yes, it is very international.

          4) No, I haven’t. I studied philosophy so I don’t know much about their science programs.

          Good luck.

        • Roger

          Most students, shopkeepers, waiters etc. speak English.
          And if you are in an English program, the professors should speak English.

  4. I want to know is there any lawn for tution fee?
    can I study and work?

    • Roger

      The Tuition fee if you are an EU student is very affordable. No need to take a loan.

  5. Michael

    Thanks a lot for posting this. I am a Nigerian and I would like to study medicine in belgium but am poorly informed. Like the average cost of studies and the cost of living. Thanks

  6. Francis Aboagye Boateng

    I am an HND Purchasing and Supply graduate from Ghana. Please may I know the documents I should submits to before you process my documents for admission and also the cost of application fees.
    Hoping to hear from you soon.

    • Anonymous

      Please contact the university directly.

  7. Anonymous

    Please i want to study in germany. Do they teach in english?

    • Anonymous

      You’d have to check the websites of the particular universities there.

  8. muhammad azam shaukat

    sir my electrical experiance 3 year (uae), please sir i read electrical doploma please help me and send visa and work permit. thank you.
    i am poor man help me


    I studied French Education for my first degree in the year2000. I have a master Degree in Teacher Education (Language option) in 2007.
    I have conducted series of research in Language teaching and learning.I have also presented papers at various Academic conferences both at local and international levels.Also ,i have publications to my credit in learned journals.
    My institution is ready to sponsor me for the programme upon presentation of Admission letter.
    Kindly assist me as i am going to perform exemplarily well as the Admission to your University will be the first oppotunity for me to face Studies alone without distractions.

    • MB

      I do not work for the university. Good luck.

  10. Shahin

    Hello sir;
    I am Shahin and from Afghanitan and I like to study my master digree hare, could you please give me the email adress from the university for more information and will speak about how I can give admition and other dacument?
    thanks in advance.

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