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Welkom in Vlaanderen – Welcome to Flanders!

Are you ready to spend a year or a semester making a new life in beautiful Belgium Flanders? Learn Flemish Dutch, cycle to your high school, live with a warm and welcoming host family, and embrace Flanders as your second home. You will love getting to know the medieval cities, delicious food, and warm-hearted and open people of Flanders, as well as the incredible community of fellow exchange students, passionate volunteers, and loving host families which make up AFS Vlaanderen.

What's included in your experience

  • Airfare
  • Airport Pick-up
  • Host Family Placement
  • Housing
  • Meals
  • School Placement
  • Individual Contact Person
  • Medical Insurance
  • 24/7 Emergency Support
  • School Transport
  • Language Instruction
  • Assistance with Application Process
  • Visa Application Assistance
  • Pre-Departure Orientation
  • Orientations during your time abroad
  • Global Competence Certificate
  • Access to Alumni Network
  • Continuous Support
  • Worldwide Presence
  • 70 Years Experience

What you are responsible for

  • Vaccinations
  • Field Trips
  • Visa and Passport Fees
  • School Materials


School in Belgium is quite demanding – teachers are hard to impress and students spend a lot of time studying 10 to 18 different subjects! School starts between 8 and 8.30am and finishes between 4 and 5pm, with breaks for lunch and snacks. Class groups usually stay together in the same classroom, and the teachers come to you. You will be placed in one of four types of public school according to your preference and skills. General (ASO) is academic-focused; Vocational (BSO) combines general education with practice-oriented training for a specific occupation; Arts (KSO) combines general education with active practice of art; and Technical (TSO) focuses on general and technical subjects. KSO and TSO are usually best for AFS students!


There is no typical Belgian family; your Belgian host family can be a married or unmarried couple, with kids of your age or not, a retired couple, a single mother, etc. Most likely, you’ll find that your Belgian host family is different from your own, both in composition and in their way of life.

Dinner time is a very important family gathering in Belgium, and is an opportunity to share your day, discuss problems, and share feelings. Belgians are kind, fun-loving, and direct in their communication – everyone says what they think. It is usual in Belgian families to talk about oneself and ask for advice.


Most Belgians see themselves as good-natured, modest, individualistic, hardworking, tolerant, and family-oriented people with a good amount of common sense. If there is a problem to be solved, Belgians prefer to consult with all those concerned, which leads to slow decision making and low risk-taking. Belgians are also bricoleurs – do-it-yourself enthusiasts – who like to show their personality through their houses. Working on renovation projects or in the garden with the help of friends and relatives, even over a period of years, is a favourite leisure activity.

Teen Life

Belgian teenagers usually enjoy going to concerts or the movies and watching or playing sports – especially soccer and cycling. Many teenagers also participate in youth groups like Scouts or Girl Guides. Your social life will probably centre on your host family and a small group of friends.

Belgian parents are also used to monitoring their child’s social life and school results, and teens are often required to ask permission to go out and to say where they are going, with whom and to respect a curfew.

Am I Eligible?

  • Language requirement: Start learning Dutch with Rosetta Stone app before departure
  • Age on departure: 15 years, 8 months – 18 years, 8 months
  • Other: LGBTQIA+ friendly; non-smoking; vegan and gluten-free participants may be difficult to place

Let AFS guide your intercultural adventure

Go abroad with AFS to discover who you really are, make new lifetime friendships and immerse yourself in a fascinating intercultural experience.

Enquire now!

In the months before your departure, AFSers have the opportunity to participate in various preparatory activities, including in-person orientation camps and an online Student Learning Journey, which is an interactive course that brings AFSers from around the world together. You will learn how to develop essential global skills, intercultural communication techniques, and practice social impact. 

This journey will help you maximise your experience, cope with the challenges of navigating a new culture and community, and gain knowledge, skills, and a global understanding throughout your time abroad and as you return to your home country. AFS volunteers will be there to support and guide you and your host family the whole way through.