Loyola University Maryland

International Programs

Katholieke Universiteit-Leuven, Belgium



Loyola operates a program at Katholieke Universiteit at Leuven (KULeuven). Founded in 1425, KULeuven is the oldest Catholic university in the world and one of the premier academic institutions in the Lowlands. This picturesque, historically rich university has a vibrant intellectual and social life. KULeuven has about 45,000 students; almost 6,000 of whom are internationals. It is world-renowned for philosophy and theology, but our students take courses in many other departments as well.

Belgium is a very small country located in the heart of Europe. It is bordered by four countries: France, the Netherlands, Germany, and Luxembourg. There are 9 million people there, and three official languages (Dutch, French, and German), though English is widely spoken. Leuven is a town of 80,000 people that is located 20 miles east of Brussels, in the Dutch-speaking Flanders region. It is less than three hours by train to Amsterdam, Cologne and London, and just one and a half hours from Paris. In Leuven, the campus is the city and vice versa. With its cobblestone streets and impressive gothic architecture, it is a quaint and charming city that pulses with the life of the university.”

Criteria for Applying

  • Typically sophomores with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 may apply.
  • If you have a CQPA between 2.8–2.99 then you may apply for an appeal.
  • An online application with a brief essay must be submitted by 5:00 P.M. December 3 (Wednesday after Thanksgiving break).
  • Advisor's signature is required on application.
  • You must be able to find courses which fit into your Loyola program and allow full-time participation.
  • You cannot be on disciplinary probation nor have a history of serious disciplinary problems.
  • If you have a CQPA between 2.8– 2.99, then you may apply for an appeal to PECS’ Admissions Office. As part of the appeal process, you must submit the following documents by January 9, 2015 to the Office of International Programs:
    • a letter from you explaining why you did not meet the minimum, cumulative GPA requirement of a 3.00 and why you still want to study at KULeuven for the year and not another study abroad program.
    • an unofficial transcript from Loyola that includes 3 semesters of undergraduate studies
    • an official transcript from any previous institution (s) - transfer students only
    • a recommendation letter from a Loyola faculty member that can attest to your academic abilities (strengths and weaknesses). The letter from the faculty member should be in a sealed envelope and sent directly to the Office of International Programs by January 9, 2015.
    • a list of possible courses you would need to take abroad.
    • The above items will be evaluated and a final decision will be made by the PECS Admissions Office in Belgium. Once all information is submitted to the Office of International Programs, it will be sent to KULeuven. The later you submit the documents the later the final decision on your application. A final decision from PECS may not be made until after February 1.
  • Attend an information session on Leuven.
  • Attend a registration session to determine if your degree program matches the course offered abroad.
  • Discuss with your major advisor the possible courses you can take abroad and see if there are any potential problems he/she sees with your plans to study in Leuven.
  • Academic reviews will be based on current course offerings.
  • Registration will take place abroad and the course offerings for the term you will be abroad will be finalized overseas.
  • Save as many electives for abroad to help with potential registration problems.
  • Discuss with your family if taking a summer course(s) is an option to help with any unexpected academic problems that could occur at Loyola or abroad.


  • All courses are taught in English.
  • All courses, grades and credits transfer from KULeuven to Loyola and are calculated into the student’s GPA.
  • All students must take one 3-credit course in Dutch.
  • You will be in the classroom with other Belgium and international students.
  • Loyola students will be studying in a European educational environment at KULeuven. As an example, for many courses offered at KULeuven, there may be only one test in the course, the final examination. The final examination can be oral or written and this final examination grade will be your final grade earned in the course.
  • There are some lower (initial), master level courses offered at KULeuven that Loyola students take as part of their course program in Belgium.
  • Consult the Office of International Programs as early as possible to get assistance on course selections at Loyola so that you are prepared for Leuven.
  • This program is designed to primarily accommodate humanities, social science and certain business concentrations (international business, marketing, and general business) if certain prerequisites have been met.
  • Registration takes place overseas, with the assistance of the onsite program director. You need to have as many course options as possible to counter any registration problems, like a course cancellation or course time conflict.
  • Consult the Office of International Programs as early as possible to get assistance on course selections at Loyola so that you are prepared for Leuven.
  • If you plan to pursue graduate or professional education and/or take examinations that require you to submit documentation of courses and credits taken abroad, it is your responsibility to ensure in advance of going overseas that your courses and credits abroad will be accepted by the graduate and/or professional schools that you will apply to in the future.
  • Overall, students who study at KULeuven do just as well at KULeuven as they do at Loyola. However, grades earned abroad can be higher or lower than what has been earned at Loyola. Loyola students will be learning in a different educational environment and this may reflect in their (remove their) grades (add earned) abroad.
  • Students have to follow the same prerequisites for courses abroad as you would at Loyola. Therefore, make sure you have satisfied any prerequisite(s) in order to be able to take certain core or major courses at KULeuven.
  • Course information is subject to change without notification. It is best to have as many course options as possible when studying abroad for the year.
  • All students should have at least a 3.00 cumulative GPA at the end of their spring semester prior to studying abroad at KULeuven. Those students who are accepted below the admissions requirement of the cumulative GPA of 3.00 must continue to improve their overall cumulative GPA by the end of the spring semester prior to going abroad.
  • If a student drops below the cumulative GPA on which he/she is accepted, the initial acceptance can be rescinded by either Loyola, KULeuven or both and the student will be financially responsible for any payments made on his/her behalf (airline tickets, housing, tuition, travel assistance plan, etc., at the time of removal from the program.
  • Summer school (away or at Loyola) will not be considered if a student dropped below the admissions GPA requirement.
  • Official transcripts from KULeuven are usually received in late August or early September. Due to this delay, students are often not able to be considered for Dean's List.


    • Students are eligible for consideration for all forms of federal, state, institutional and private sources of aid, with the exception of the federal work-study assignment.
    • Loyola's financial aid can be used on this program.
    • All students must have a comprehensive health plan, which includes hospitalization and accident coverage that can be used while overseas.
    • All students must have a valid passport. The passport must have at least 18 months left after the study abroad program end date.
    • Federal College Workstudy is forfeited for the entire year a student  is abroad. It is possible a student may lose their College Workstudy for the returning semester at Loyola.  Contact the office of Financial Aid for specific information.
    • Bedding and towels can be rented and reserved your arrival in Belgium. 
    • Students should budget for any start-up costs associated with study abroad.
    • Students pay a study abroad fee and a reduced comprehensive fee. Accepted students must submit a study abroad deposit to hold his/her spot in the program.
    • Please consult the Financial Aid office regarding your financial aid package.

Items not included in the Loyola charges but that should be budgeted for:


    • *Meals (past students suggest budgeting $1,500–$5500);
    • *Passport;
    • Bedding packages;
    • *Immigration fee (to enter and stay in Leuven);
    • Cell phones and other communication expenses;
    • Medical and dental check-ups (immunizations up to date);
    • Renting bedding packages (appr. $25 for the year)
    • Refundable room and key deposit (approx. $115)
    • *Start-up costs (bedding, etc.);
    • *Health insurance (if you do not have a health plan that is valid abroad or you purchase the recommended Belgian health plan while abroad);
    • Travel to and from the departure city/airport (United States);
    • Personal travel (hostels, hotels, airline or rail tickets, food, etc.); and
    • Bike rentals (optional: approx. $75 per year).


These program benefits are subject to change.  They are reviewed and updated every year.  Please consult your program director for the most recent list.

The Loyola-Leuven Program is a fully packaged, comprehensive study-abroad option. In 2015-207 it will be directed by Elizabeth Kennedy, a faculty member of the Sellinger School of Business, assisted by a permanent part-time Belgian associate director.
  • Tuition and registration fees
  • Housing with Belgian and international students in Loyola International Nachbahr Huis
  • 10-day trip to Italy guided by the program director
  • 7-day trip to France (Paris and Normandy) guided by the program director
  • Weekend trip to Amsterdam (2 nights) guided by the program director
  • Four day trips (Brugge, Gent, Cologne, Wallonia) guided by the program director
  • Three or four extra day trips organized by PECS (KU Leuven): Flanders Fields, Antwerp, Brussels, Tongeren, etc.
  • Several free meals: welcome meal, home cooked meal at director’s house, Thanksgiving dinner, Easter dinner or lunch in Tuscany, Spring barbecue
  • two welcome receptions (beginning of each semester) at the Director’s house
  • two-round trip tickets, students come home for Christmas (2,5 weeks)
  • sponsored student activities, such as international dinners, Halloween party, Christmas party, Valentine’s party, bowling, ice-skating

Documents for Abroad

Currently, the following documents are required to travel and study in Leuven:

    • Valid, signed passport (with 18 months left after the program end date);
    • Student visa (allows students entry into the country and requirements can change at any time);
    • Letter from health insurance company verifying health coverage that is valid abroad;
    • Official letter of acceptance from KULeuven;
    • Letter of support from Loyola University Maryland; and
    • Photos for visa, KULeuven application and file in Leuven
    • Prepaid envelope with a tracking system (to receive your passport and visa)
    • Students who will be 21 years of age or older BEFORE departure will have to obtain an FBI background check as part of the visa application.
    • Residence Card (obtained at City Hall in Leuven)

    Internships in the States and Studying in Leuven

    • Due to the dates of the Leuven program (August – June), it may be difficult to arrange for a summer internship after studying abroad. Please keep this in mind when applying to the Leuven program.

    **Please keep in mind that study abroad information, dates, benefits, and fees are subject to change without notification. You are encouraged to contact the Office of International Programs directly for the most up-to-date information regarding any study abroad programs offered at Loyola.