Ready to experience this story yourself?

Plan Your Trip

Welcome to the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB); A short guide to the student life.

4 minutes to read

Continuing my “Promoting Erasmus and studying abroad” pages, I now introduce you to the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB). Let’s suppose that you are an Erasmus student or in general a student planning to study abroad for a semester or so. What are the factors that you would take into consideration before choosing your next destination and university? How would you organize your background research? What are the things that you’d love to know about your university in advance? Here’s a short research I did about one of the biggest universities in Belgium that welcomes thousands of Erasmus students every year.

Welcome to the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB)!


Background info; The university; Founded in 1834, the Universite libre de Bruxelles (ULB) is located in the city center and provides the perfect mix of study and leisure. Students studying at ULB will join an international community, where nearly one-third of enrolled students come from outside Belgium. ULB's commitment to research and its central location close to the headquarters of the European Union and NATO, among other multinational organizations and NGOs, provide AU graduate students opportunities to engage with students and practitioners from around the world.

ULB, Université libre de Bruxelles
ULB, Université libre de Bruxelles
1050 Isel, Belgium

Each year, almost 26.000 students – 33% of whom are foreign students – come to build their future at ULB, in the capital of Europe. More than 100 nationalities are represented, making it a place where cultures, philosophies and religions intermix. As a wide-ranging university extremely active at the European level, ULB has based its teaching and research on a long tradition of tolerance and defence of freedom.

Location; Brussels, international city and European capital In the heart of Europe, just 1h20 by train from Paris, 1h30 from Amsterdam, and 1h50 from London and Cologne, Brussels offers all the advantages of a capital city and the quality of life of a large and lively town. Brussels is home to all the major European institutions. It is the official seat of the EU and many other political and economic decision-making entities, and boasts a growing number of businesses, organisations and international experts. The long tradition of hospitality and exchange in Europe's greenest capital means visitors and residents alike can enjoy a broad mix of world food and music, while culture vultures can choose from a host of museums and shows. Located in the heart of the city, the Université libre de Bruxelles or ULB also offers many cultural, festive and sports activities. The university campuses and surrounding areas are extremely attractive, providing just the right mix between study and leisure.

Housing and accommodation;

The Solbosch campus, the University's main location, houses the University's administration and many facilities and services. Most Faculties of human sciences are based here, as well as the Faculty of Applied Sciences, the Human Sciences Library and among the ULB museums: the Zoology museum and the contemporary art centre. • The Plaine campus, situated at less than a mile from the Solbosch site, accommodates many science departments as the Faculty of Pharmacy and the Faculty of Sciences are based there. • The Erasme campus houses the Erasmus Hospital, the Health Pole (i.e. the Medical School, the School of Public Health, the Faculty for Motor Sciences, the Faculty of Pharmacy being settled at Plaine) as well as the School of Nursing, which is run by ULB and Haute École libre de Bruxelles Ilya Prigogyne.

The Solbosch Campus, Brussels
The Solbosch Campus, Brussels
Solbosch, 1050 Ixelles, Belgique

Further info regarding the housing and accommodation can be found here;

The life in the city: A Cosmopolitan City with a Small Town Heart

Although it occupies a rather serious and somber position as the seat of the European Union, Brussels is a lively, sophisticated city that is resplendent with international flair and a cosmopolitan outlook. As a crossroads for Europe, you will find expatriates from all over the world living peacefully side-by-side here and this translates to a fascinating living environment that is culturally rich while retaining the intimacy of a local town. In many ways the spirit and resilience of the people of Brussels is mirrored in their seemingly reserved nature. Once you are able to break through the tough exterior, however, you will be pleasantly surprised by a people with an enchanting fascination with the world of comics, fine food and beer. More importantly, they appreciate a truly high standard of living with strong family bonds and an appreciation of the fine things in life. The fact that the single, most photographed item in Belgium is a statue/fountain of a naked little boy's public indiscretion (Mannekin Pis) goes a long way to explaining the sense of humor and love of art that typifies Brussels and Belgium in general. In keeping with the city’s cosmopolitan stance, the entertainment, dining opportunities and nightlife on offer in this city are varied and energetic. Often regarded as one of the gourmet capitals of the world, the food on offer rivals that of any other major European city and you can enjoy a wide range of delicacies. Mussels in Brussels are, of course, a must.

But how do international students experience Brussels & ULB???

Important info!!!

Average rent; 442 euros. Monthly transportation subscription; 49 euros. Monthly food cost; 250 euros. Average lunch price at a restaurant; 15euros. Average Fitness subscription; 30 euros. Beer Price at a bar; 3,60 euros.

..and of course do not forget to join the local ESN community!


ESN works in the interest of all international students, not just for Erasmus students. ESN offers a clear introductory programme for all international students to introduce them to the laws, rules and customs of their host country.

And last but not least... Find out all the reasons why you should choose the ULB for your studies in the video that follows!

Pack your bags and choose Brussels as your Erasmus or studying abroad destination!

...and for dessert (since I've already convinced you) you have a few extra recommendations made by Itinari! ENjoy! :)

Interesting towns related to this story

The author

Chrisa Lepida

Chrisa Lepida

My name is Chrisa and I come from Greece. As nature lover, winter sports addict and Erasmus obsessed, I’m always writing about these topics.

Are you ready to experience this story yourself?

Plan Your Trip

Stories you might also like