Skip to main content

Leuven, Belgium

A lively and beautifully lit city street at dusk in Leuven

Check out how students in Leuven are staying safe and getting festive in Leuven!

Apply to this Program


Katholieke Universiteit at Leuven (KU Leuven) is the world’s oldest Catholic university settled in the center of Leuven, just 20 miles outside of Belgium’s capitol of Brussels. The picturesque and historically rich university is one of the premier academic institutions in the Lowlands and has almost 45,000 students, almost 6,000 of whom are international students. Loyola students at KU Leuven benefit from PECS (Program in European Culture and Society) which offers courses designed specifically for study abroad students and features historically and culturally relevant trips to accompany classroom learning for deeper enrichment. 

Belgium has three official languages (Dutch, French, and German), though English is widely spoken. Leuven is a town of 100,000 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. Leuven is a small city, home to about 100,000 people. The large student population makes Leuven a dynamic and engaging community with a vibrant and energetic social scene. In Leuven, the campus is the city and vice versa The city boasts lively bars and restaurants, beautiful monuments and museums and the opportunity to connect with students from all over the world. With its cobblestone streets and impressive gothic architecture, it is a quaint and charming city that pulses with the life of the university.

Choosing When to Study in Leuven

Students have the option of studying in Leuven for either the fall or spring semester, or for the full academic year. The fall term runs from late August until late December and the spring term runs from early February until early July. Fall semester students depart together in late August and returns home for the Christmas break. Spring semester students depart together in early February and return in early July.

Year-long students take their Fall exams when they return to Leuven after the Christmas holiday.


  • All courses are taught in English
  • Students take two required courses while abroad:
    • Dutch as a Foreign Language (3 credits) 
    • ML102 European Culture & Civilization (1 credit) - taught by Loyola faculty! 
  • Must have at least one free elective available to complete the Dutch language requirement
  • All courses (aside from ML 102) are made up of both international and Belgian students
  • While this program is open to students of all majors and offers both core requirements and free electives, it best accommodates humanities, social science, and certain business concentrations.
  • Course information is subject to change

Disclaimer: In case of strikes or unexpected disruption to the academic semester Loyola University will work with the host university abroad to provide additional support or other academic arrangements to enable students to complete their coursework in agreement with the rules and regulations of the host university and the laws of the host country. Loyola University Maryland will not makes any changes to its course, grade, or credit transfer policies following such circumstances.

Housing and Meals

  • Students live in Nachbahr Huis, a student residence building within walking distance of the university and the city center.
  • Nachbahr Huis has an international community that is made up of Loyola students as well as Belgian and international students.
  • Loyola students typically live in either double or triple style fully furnished rooms. 
  • Each floor of Nachbahr Huis has a full kitchen with stove, refrigerator, and dining space.


  • 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. Contact the office of Financial Aid for specific information.
  • The cost is equivalent to tuition, room and board charge and a reduced comprehensive fee paid to Loyola. 
  • Accepted students will pay a study abroad program deposit to confirm their participation in the program.


  • Support of two full time dedicated on-site directors
  • Tuition and registration fees
  • Living community with students from all over the world in Loyola's International Nachbahr Huis
  • One-round trip ticket for semester only students. Two-round trip tickets for year-long students; year-long students come home for Christmas. 
  • Organized trips for Loyola students ranging from day excursions to week-long trips. Past groups have visited: Italy, France, Amsterdam, Brussels, Antwerp and more!
  • Group meals upon arrival and over the holidays
  • A welcome reception at the director's home
  • Sponsored student activities


Onsite Support

This program offers the unique benefit of having two on-site directors dedicated to the support of our Loyola students abroad. The on-site Director is a Loyola faculty member serving a two-year post in Leuven. The director works with the students to ensure academic success, organizes and leads group trips throughout Belgium and Europe and supports students in their transitions to life abroad. 

The on-site Associate Director is a native Belgian who has worked with our Loyola students for 30 years and seamlessly coordinates the resident community and assists students with getting immersed in Belgian culture and life in Leuven.


Interested students are encouraged to apply!

Application Requirements

  • Students will attend one Study Abroad 101 session (virtual or in-person) to obtain access to Loyola's online study abroad application, Terra Dotta.
  • Students must submit an online application through Terra Dotta by 11:59 p.m. on the second Wednesday after Thanksgiving break.
  • All applications, regardless of major, are review equally.

Criteria for Acceptance

  • Sophomores with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.
  • Students who can find courses which fit their Loyola program and allow full-time participation and who are neither on disciplinary probation nor have a history of serious disciplinary problems.
  • An in-person interview with the program coordinator at Loyola University Maryland is required.

Apply to this 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.

Coronavirus/COVID-19 Updates

Contact Us

Phone: 410-617-2910
Office: Humanities 132

Additional contact information


In order to apply, all students must attend a Study Abroad 101 session before the application deadline. The application deadline for all Fall, Spring, and year-long opportunities during academic year 2024-25 is December 6, 2023.

The deadline for opportunities taking place during academic year 2025-26 will be announced during the Spring 2024 semester.

Study Abroad 101