University City – Welcome In Ghent, Belgium

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Even though Brussels is the most cosmopolitan city in Belgium due to it being the headquarters of the EU, Ghent holds its own place and is known as the university city of Belgium. Over 25 percent of the population comprises of university students and a fairly large percentage of these are foreigners.

Ghent university in historical old building with garden and labyrinth

History of Ghent

The establishment of the city goes back to the medieval times and right since those times Ghent has been the city with the highest earning people of Belgium. With the coming together of the Scheldt and Leie rivers Ghent is said to have had the best grasslands in Europe resulting in the breeding of sheep which led to it becoming the centre for wool and woolen textiles. At one time Ghent was the second largest city in Europe, after Paris.

Old narrow street in Ghent

Far from being the grasslands for herding sheep, Ghent is today a modern city that has maintained its medieval atmosphere in the form of architecture that has been surprisingly well preserved.

One way of safeguarding the impressive ancient buildings is to avoid pollution. To this effect all of the city centre of Ghent is car free and has charming pathways only for pedestrians and cyclists. Students find it quite easy commuting in this exquisite city using either public transport or bicycles.

A walk around the city, the cruises on the canals, cycling down the pathways and the cafes are a pleasure in themselves. Interestingly, Ghent is perhaps the only city in the world that observes a vegetarian day each week. Thursdays are therefore vegetarian and a pretty good fare is offered by the cafes and restaurants.

University City

Education in Ghent is considered par excellence and added to studies, students have a pretty good life whether it be food, drink, mingling with other students, cycling, walks, sports and entertainment. Furthermore, since Belgium is a small country, Bruges and Brussels are a short distance away and good for day trips.

A little reminder. As we had mentioned in our article on Brussels, higher education is supposed to be free in Belgium, however, many of the institutions charge nominal fees and this would have to be determined by visiting the website of the universities or by writing to them.

As always we would propose that you visit the websites of the universities to determine what would suit your aspirations the most.

Ghent University
Official website

Hogent School
Official website

Cost Of Living

The same as Brussels, for Ghent as well, the writer would recommend around 1,300 Euros to meet your monthly expenses.

Photos: Shutterstock

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