How To Open A Bank Account In Belgium

Serving as the main seat of the European Parliament, Belgium has more to offer than just delicious waffles, which is perhaps why so many expats choose to call the country home. If you’re looking to join them, there’s lots to consider, including with regard to your finances. This article will take you through everything you … Read more

How To Apply For A Visa In Belgium

If you wish to travel to Belgium, you will need a passport that is valid for at least three months after your intended departure date from the country and the Schengen Zone. Your passport will also need to have been issued within the last 10 years. British passport holders are currently exempt from this, however … Read more

How To Find A Job In Belgium

If you are an EU citizen then you can work in Belgium without a visa or work permit. Citizens of Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein or Iceland do not need work permits but they will need to register if they stay for more than 90 days. Citizens from any other country will need a long-term visa and … Read more

How To Keep Your Health Insurance Costs Low In Belgium

In order to keep your health insurance costs low in Belgium, you have two main options: either signing up with Belgian’s national health insurance scheme, or by shopping around for the best private health insurance plan from international coverage for your own treatment needs.Belgium’s healthcare system is based on a two-tier insurance model, consisting of … Read more

Dental And Opthalmic Care In Belgium: How To Find The Right Options For You

If you are registered with the Belgian health insurance provider, which is run by a series of state-regulated private funds, then this will cover some of your dental fees. However, it is compulsory (as a preventative measure) to have an annual check up in order to maintain your insurance coverage. Your national insurance – which … Read more

How Does Cancer Care In Belgium Compare With The UK?

Both Belgium and the UK have a high standard of healthcare and oncological treatment is generally considered to be good in both countries, although there have been contentions that cancer care in the UK lags behind that of other European nations. Macmillan Cancer Support, the UK’s main cancer charity, notes that survival rates are not … Read more

How Much Do Health Procedures Cost In Belgium?

The cost of medical procedures in Belgium will depend on one of four factors: whether you, as an expat resident: • are signed up with the national insurance scheme • have private health insurance • have a combination of national and top-up private insurance to cover procedures (such as dental and optical care) which do … Read more

How To Keep Fit And Healthy In Belgium

Belgium is an easy country to keep fit and healthy in if you’re an expat – though perhaps its national culinary reputation of frites, chocolate and beer might need a little revision if you’re to maintain your waistline!The country has many beautiful parks and forests if you want to keep fit by being outdoors – … Read more

How To Register With The Health System In Belgium

Belgium’s healthcare system is based on a two-tier insurance model, consisting of both national and private health insurance. As an expat, you’ll be able to sign up for the national system as long as you are paying contributions into it, which are usually deducted from your salary if you are working in the country. You … Read more

Sam Jenkinson, Leuven

Who are you? I am Sam Jenkinson. I am a PhD student, studying demography at the university of Leuven, Belgium. I am 31 years old and from Hull in the UK. I am currently moving in with my partner, Arne, who is a dance teacher from Belgium, and I am entering the final year of … Read more

Rebecca Bramlett, Ghent

Who are you?I am Rebecca Bramlett, an American living in Belgium.Prior to my move abroad, I worked in higher education as a fundraiser and marketer. Now I am studying digital storytelling and working to document my experiences living abroad. I also stay busy as a mother, wife, and volunteer for humanitarian and animal welfare causes. … Read more

How To Apply For A Long-Term Visa In Belgium

Belgium is the country of waffles, craft beer and glorious Art Nouveau architecture. However, it’s also so much more. It has jobs, culture and opportunities for something new, which is why more and more people are moving to the country.But what steps do you need to take in order to reside there long-term? Do I … Read more

How Does Cancer Care In Belgium Compare With The UK?

Made up of a group of illnesses that cause uncontrolled and abnormal cell growth, cancer is one of the most difficult diseases to cure in modern times. Cancer Care in The United Kingdom In the UK, cancer care has often been touted as some of the worst in Europe, with a report published in 2017 … Read more

A Guide To Renting Property In Brussels

Whilst it’s often thought of as the centre of continental bureaucracy, Brussels has so much more to offer than just the European Parliament. With its quirky atmosphere, incredible waffles and flavoursome beer, it’s easy to see why so many people want to live here.However, due to high property costs in the Belgian capital, many people … Read more

An Expat Guide To Taxes In Belgium

As well as the waffles, fries, chocolate and beer, Belgium is famous for its high taxes. However, if you understand the rules that apply, you can plan your financial affairs accordingly. Here, we set out the important basics to consider. What Is Your Tax Status In Belgium? If you are living or working in Belgium, … Read more

Sam Dowle, Ardennes

Who are you? My name is Sam Dowle, I am originally from the UK, I am 35yrs old. Where, when and why did you move abroad? I moved to the Ardennes region of Belgium with my husband.We had a holiday home there for 13 years. We moved over there as I had a head injury … Read more

Ana Elisa Miranda

Who are you? My name is Ana Elisa, I’m from Brazil and I’m a teacher. I taught English as a Second Language before I moved abroad for the first time.After two au pair experiences I went back to teaching and today I work at an international school. Where, when and why did you move abroad? … Read more

A Guide To Homeschooling In Belgium

Setting up a life in a new country is no easy task. There are several considerations to keep in mind such as finding accommodation, picking up a new language, enrolling in healthcare and finding cost-effective and efficient ways to commute to work. Expats with children must also take into consideration the education of their young … Read more

9 Reasons Why You Should Consider Brussels As Your Next Expat Home

Brussels, the capital of Belgium, is also known as the Capital of Europe as it is the administrative center of the European Union. Growing from a tiny rural settlement along the river Senne, Brussels has now become a vital destination in Europe.Brussels has been a hub for international politics since the end of World War … Read more

Belgium – Recommended Expat Blogs

At Expat Focus, we like to be on the lookout for resources around the web that could help prospective expats adjust to their new countries. Today, we’re taking a look at Belgium and some of the blogs that might be useful for expats there.Travel Pray Love Jaimee is (in no particular order) an expat, cat … Read more

An Expat Guide To Schools In Brussels

As an expat living in Brussels, you will have a wide range of choices when it comes to your children’s schooling options. Choosing the right school can make a world of difference in the experience that you and your family have living abroad, and luckily being the cosmopolitan centre that it is, Brussels has something … Read more

An Expat Guide To The Neighbourhoods Of Brussels

Belgium’s cosmopolitan capital is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful, interesting and vibrant places across the globe. Famous for its chocolate, diamonds, beer, waffles and frites (avoid calling them French Fries or you may offend the locals), Brussels has become the center of political, cultural and international activities in Europe. This dynamic city has a … Read more

Where To Find The Best Fries In Brussels

The humble frit is as steeped in history as it is in oil and fat, with tales of the origins of Belgian fries stretching back to the 17th century. As the story goes, it all begins during the harsh winters in areas surrounding the river Meuse in the southern part of the country. When the … Read more

Belgian Festivals To Keep You Busy In 2017

Belgium is a little country that packs a lot of punch when it comes to the world of festivals and events. With an impressive array of options ranging from film to food, from music to the downright quirky (dragon slaying or a bathtub regatta, anyone?), there truly is something for everyone. As well as having … Read more

Belgium – Recommended Social Media Accounts

At Expat Focus, we like to be on the lookout for resources around the web that could help prospective expats adjust to their new countries. Today, we’re taking a look at Belgium and some of the social media accounts you should be following if you’re thinking of moving there.Expat ClubFacebook Page This thriving international community … Read more

A Guide For Expats Moving To Belgium

There’s also a lot of culture, history and art in Belgium so there is always something to do, with lots of festivals, theatres and museums. Let’s not forget the country is also renowned for its chocolate and beer. While English is widely spoken, expats need to appreciate that there are two official languages; Dutch is … Read more

Eleven Dishes You Should Try In Belgium That Don’t Involve Chocolate

Belgium is a trilingual country with France, Germany and the Netherlands as its neighbors. In some regions, the cuisine is influenced by classic French cooking, while in other areas, hearty German-style food dominates. Many of the savory and sweet delicacies have a distinct Dutch influence too. Belgium’s culinary offerings are rich and satisfying, and there … Read more

Belgium’s Major Cities: Which One Should You Move To?

Belgium is most widely known for its delicious chocolates, many varieties of beer and French fries. But the country has so much more to offer. Belgium has not one, but three official languages – Dutch, German and French. The nation’s constitution is also trilingual, on account of the different languages and communities. Belgium is home … Read more

Belgium – Recommended Blogs

At Expat Focus, we like to be on the lookout for resources around the web that could help prospective expats adjust to their new countries. Today, we’re taking a look at Belgium and some of the blogs that might be useful for expats there. La Petite Rose à Bruxelles Currently wrestling with being allocated … Read more

Ten Of The Best Recreational Activities In Belgium

Living in a new country presents many opportunities for change; career, lifestyle, housing and finances being some of the main aspects people overhaul when moving abroad. But as well as the more prosaic aspects of life, moving also provides a chance to find new hobbies and recreational activities. We asked Françoise Haffreingue from Visit Belgium … Read more

Top Ten Insider Tips About Brussels

Brussels bears the impressive reputation of being the de facto capital of Europe. This modern and cosmopolitan city is the abode of the institutions of the European Union and is the home of many diplomats, politicians and civil servants. The city’s place in global politics may be known the world over, but how much do … Read more

Managing Your Money As An Expat In Belgium

Belgium has a considerable expat population and much of it is concentrated in the capital city of Brussels, which is also the de facto capital of the European Union. There are approximately 10.8 million people living in Belgium and of these, nearly 13 percent were not actually born there. The expat community comprises of businesspeople, … Read more

An Overview Of International Schools In Belgium

Belgium has a variety of childcare and educational facilities that will benefit expat families. Expats can choose to enroll their children in local or international schools. Local schools can lead to better integration into a new culture. International schools, on the other hand, enable children to continue in the same education system once they return … Read more

Moving To Brussels? Read Our Expat Guide To Travelling On Public Transport

Brussels’s integrated public transport system makes it quick and convenient to get around the city. The STIB (Société des Transports Intercommunaux de Bruxelles) organizes the public transport network including the Brussels metro, buses, night buses and tram. There is a standardized ticketing system in place and STIB tickets can also be used in trains and … Read more

Belgium – Five Recommended Expat Blogs

When you’re thinking of living abroad, especially for the first time, it’s good to be able to hear from people who have already made the move. Today we’re looking at blogs from expats who live in Belgium; here are our recommended reads for anyone who’s thinking about moving there. Belgium or Bust A Navy wife … Read more

5 Great Restaurants For Expats In Brussels

The Belgian capital of Brussels offers rich culinary fare through its many Michelin-starred restaurants that can be found in almost every part of the city. In fact, Brussels stands proudly alongside Paris, New York and Honk Kong as one of the finest cities for eating. Here are five great restaurants in Brussels that will allow … Read more

Self-Employment in Belgium: Know the Rules

If you’re moving to a new country for the sake of a lifestyle change rather than because your employer is sending you elsewhere, self-employment can be one of the best ways to ensure you still make enough to pay the mortgage whilst maintaining a level of control over what you’re doing and when. A huge … Read more

Jessica Knopp, Antwerp

Who are you? My name is Jessica and I am a twenty six year old freelance writer and photographer living in Antwerp. I am originally from the South Island of New Zealand, which is quite literally the located further than any other country from Belgium. In New Zealand I lived next to the Fiordland National … Read more

Oli Duncan, Brussels

Who are you? My name is Oli Duncan, I’m 34, and a freelance writer. My work to date includes sports documentary scripts, feature articles for travel magazines, and content for luxury services websites. I’m currently finalising the script of an off-beat thriller, planned as a 6-part TV series. I’m from Suffolk, in South East England … Read more

Working for the EU in Brussels

Although the European Union has not formally declared a capital city, the degree to which “Brussels” has become shorthand for “EU” should tell us much of what we need to know about the city’s relation to that expanding federation of states. The history of Brussels’ assent to this lofty position is a long and convoluted … Read more

The Best Areas in Brussels for Expat Professionals

Today Brussels is best known as being the seat of the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, as well as being one of the more notable polyglot cities within Europe (both large French-speaking and Flemish-speaking communities are resident there.) It is unfair, though, to see Brussels as simply being reserved for the affairs … Read more

All You Need to Know About Working as an Expat in Brussels

Employment in Brussels has, since its ascendancy to the seat of the European Union, always been a distinct possibility for expatriates: with nearly half of the city’s population working within the EU administration or for a business that caters primarily to EU workers, it is a place of convergence for residents of both European Union … Read more

Living as an Expat in Brussels, Capital of the EU

Expats in the city of Brussels enjoy a good quality of life in an attractive, trendy and cosmopolitan city. Those moving to the city can access the help of numerous organizations in finding accommodation and employment. In recent years, particularly with the rise of the EU, the capital of Belgium has become a popular choice … Read more

Mel, Antwerp

My name is Mel and I am an American woman, married to a Dutch man. I’m a geek, reader, blogger and photographer. You know. Just a girl. I moved from the US to Antwerp, Belgium, in 2009. We came because my husband was (and still is) in university over here and we did not want … Read more

Alison Cornford-Matheson, Brussels

I’m a Canadian expat living in the centre of Brussels, Belgium. I’m a photographer, artist and writer and I run a blog for expats in Belgium and abroad called My very first ‘expat’ experience was back in 2004. My husband was transferred to the Netherlands for 3 months to help start up an office … Read more