To provide information about academic and research opportunities available in Belgium, the International Office in collaboration with the Belgian Embassy and the Belgian Alumni Network in Pakistan (BANIP) organized a briefing session titled Studying in Belgium on 17th of October 2017.
The resource person from the Belgian Embassy, Dr. Bruno Vandecasteele, delivered a very insightful presentation highlighting Belgium as a country, its location, its language divisions, administrative divisions, its economy, its culture, art, people and of course its academic and scientific landscape.
He informed that Belgium, having small population of 11 million is a multicultural, multilingual and technologically advanced country located at the center of Europe and has the 6th largest economy in the Eurozone. Its universities are highly ranked and considered very innovative as six of them stand in Reuters Top-100 and two in Shanghai Top-100.
Dr. Bruno explained that the process for preparing to study in Belgium starts by visiting the official Belgium Embassy website. Then a study program has to be located and enrollment obtained at either a Flemish University or a French University, which is an elaborate process. Financing can be secured from the Erasmus+ program and some limited options from the Belgian Foreign Ministry. On average tuition fees in Belgium public universities are as low as Euro 890 per year; while for living expenses an amount of around Euro 650 per month has to budgeted by a potential student.
Besides the Belgian presentation, the program included testimonials of three Belgian alumni about life and study in Belgium. They were Dr. Aqeel Kidwai, Ms. Arjumand Mahmood, and Ms. Iman, who all spoke highly of Belgium and shared their quite lively personal experiences. This was followed by cultural performances by the CIIT's talented students which were very much appreciated and acknowledged with loud clapping. The performances highlighted the traditional dresses from the rich provincial cultures.
On conclusion of the program, Dr. Arshad Malik, Head International Office, delivered closing remarks by thanking the Embassy and the organizers for putting together an exciting program and making a note that tuition fees in Belgium are even less than what CIIT charges from its students.
The best part of the event however was the warm and delicious Belgian waffles courtesy the Belgian Embassy which the students enjoyed very much together with the desi snacks of samosas and spring rolls. The event concluded with a group photograph with the brightly dressed young students as well as the audience.
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