Brussels, Belgium

Business + International Relations

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Information for term Business + International Relations

Application deadline, and cost information.

Application Deadline

May 1, 2020

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Deadline: May 1, 2020
  • Dates: Aug 17 – Dec 13, 2020 (17 weeks)
  • Credit: 15-18 semester hours / 22.5-27 quarter hours
  • Eligibility: 2.7 Overall GPA


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Get a firsthand look at current political and economic issues by taking classes alongside Belgian students in the capital of the European Union. CIEE’s partner school, Vesalius College is your host for coursework in English on global affairs, human rights, international business and entrepreneurship, and communications and journalism. Centrally located in the heart of the city, students can immerse themselves in the melting pot of cultures and languages with an optional internship at a local business. For students with strong French language skills, classes are available at Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB). All courses are complemented with CIEE co-curricular activities and excursions beyond the city to enhance classroom learning and provide intercultural understanding.

Unique Experiences


    and opt for one in Dutch or French if your skills match up.


    with visits to European Union institutions, as well as other Belgian cities and one of Belgium neighboring countries.


    with strong communications offerings, like intercultural communication, script writing for radio and television, international reporting in Brussels, and more.

  • students

  • European Union entities

  • embassies and consulates


Location & Culture

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Charming and trendy restaurants, nightclubs, shopping, museums, and architecture make beautiful Brussels a must-see European destination. Headquarters of the European Union, Belgium’s capital is also recognized as the political and economic capital of Europe. You’ll see the city’s international character in its neighborhoods, restaurants, and languages. French is the dominant language, though Dutch (Flemish) and English are widely spoken.

The Culture


  • See more of the region with day trips to Leuven, Bruges, Liège, Ghent, or Antwerp.
  • Take an overnight excursion to the Netherlands, France or Germany
  • Go on an urban graffiti tour, participate in a yoga class, make your own waffles, and see a soccer match
  • Get involved on campus by joining a student club or taking advantage of sports facilities
  • Explore favorites like Brussels Museum of Fine Arts and one of Belgium’s celebrated chocolate factories


Internships.  Get credit and on-the-job experience in communications, business, or international affairs. Write for a weekly European magazine, monitor cases at the EU Court of Justice, or experience working at an accounting firm – so many possibilities! Internships are formalized in Brussels with Vesalius College, following interviews and final word from sponsors. Proficiency in a second language is not required.

Peer support. Team up with Belgian students for a mix of social events during CIEE’s Tandem program in which you are paired with a local French speaking student who wants to learn English, or participate in CIEE’s Talking Cafés where both CIEE and local students are invited to socialize in any language they like!

Program Blogs

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Program Blogs

Daily Life

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    Homestay. With a limited number of homestays, some students can live with families in Brussels who have a variety of linguistic backgrounds. Includes daily breakfast and four dinners per week. First-rate public transportation makes it easy to commute.

    Shared housing. Students have individual rooms, and share common areas including the kitchen and bathroom with other CIEE students, young professionals, or landlords. Most students commute to the university by tram or bus up to 45 minutes. First-rate public transportation makes it easy to commute.

    Studios. Students have a fully furnished room with a private bathroom and a small kitchenette in a residence where other CIEE students and international students live. The university is within walking distance.


    Homestay: Host families serve breakfast daily and four dinners per week.

    Shared housing: Meals are not provided, but students have access to cooking facilities, or can dine at university cafeterias or local restaurants.

    Studios: Meals are not provided, but students have their own kitchenette or can dine at university cafeterias or local restaurants.

Brussels, Belgium

Where You'll Study

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    Getting Around

    Reliable, efficient public transportation make commuting easy.

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Program Details

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What you need to know

The program details

In CIEE’s Business + International Relations program, students take five classes per semester, choosing from coursework at Vesalius College and CIEE Brussels. Students with advanced French language skills may replace up to two Vesalius courses with regular Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) courses taught in French.

Vesalius College is an international, English-language college which hosts about 300 international students yearly of 50+ different nationalities. The college offers undergraduate, graduate, and executive programs in English. The three-year undergraduate degree is offered in four fields: Global Business and Entrepreneurship, Global Communication, International Affairs, and International & European Law.

Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) hosts 24,000 students, 32% of whom come from abroad. Students with a strong command of French can potentially take a course through ULB, which offers three-year undergraduate degrees, organized by faculty. The CIEE program is associated with the Faculty of Letters, Translation and Communication, the Faculty of Philosophy and Social Sciences, and the Solvay Brussels School for Management and Economics, all located onthe main campus, Solbosch, situated in southeast Brussels.

CIEE Brussels is conveniently located near the Vesalius College and ULB Solbosch campus.


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    Students take courses at Vesalius College with Belgian students and a number of other international students. CIEE courses are open only to CIEE students.


    Final grades are converted into recommended U.S. grade equivalents. Course grades at Vesalius College are based on attendance and participation, research papers, presentations, and mid-term and final exams. Vesalius grades are assigned with a letter grade based on A-F according to a 1-100 scale. Students taking a direct enrollment class at ULB usually take a final oral exam, and final course grades are often based on a single oral exam. ULB grades are assigned according to a numerical system of 1 to 20; with a 10 considered to be a passing grade.


    CIEE students will take most of their classes through Vesalius College. Class size is 25 max. Classes meet three hours a week for 15 weeks. Students can expect more student-teacher interaction here than at other Belgian schools, but less than they are used to in the U.S. Students can take one or two direct enrollment courses at ULB (Université Libre de Bruxelles), but should expect that lecture-style classes are much larger than at Vesalius. Shifts in course selection from term to term means students need to be flexible with their choices. At ULB the fall semester courses extend into January; spring semester courses extend into June. CIEE students can request early exams, but we cannot guarantee this arrangement.



    Students need to have a GPA of at least 2.7.


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Course Information

Program Credit

  • Total credit, semester: 15-18 semester/22.5-27 quarter hours
  • Total credit, academic year; 30-36 semester/45-54 quarter hours
  • Contact hours: 45; credit – 3 per semester/4.5 quarter hours, unless otherwise noted

Students take five classes per semester:​

  • CIEE students take 15-18 semester credits. Students take a minimum of five courses at Vesalius College taught in English. Students can replace up to two Vesalius courses with CIEE elective courses or opt to take a Vesalius College internship in lieu of one course. Additionally, students with advanced French language skills may replace one or two Vesalius courses with regular Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) courses, taught in French. 

Host Institution Courses

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Placement in the appropriate language level (elementary, intermediate, or advanced) is based on language exams administered by Vesalius College at the beginning of the program, during orientation week.

Elementary French I and II
Intermediate French I and II
Advanced French (sufficient enrollment is necessary for the course to run)
Elementary Dutch


Following are examples of Vesalius College courses, taught in English, grouped by discipline. Other courses in these areas may occasionally be added. The Vesalius courses listed are representative of courses available each year, but CIEE cannot guarantee specific courses will be offered each semester.


  • Introduction to Global Business
  • Financial Accounting
  • Political and Financial Risk Analysis
  • Social Marketing
  • Business Information Systems
  • Digitalization and Business Transformation
  • Social Entrepreneurship
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Scenario Thinking


  • Human Communication
  • Intercultural Communication
  • Writing Across the Media
  • Rhetoric
  • Gamification in Politics, Business and Communications: An Interdisciplinary Approach
  • Political Communication and Public Diplomacy
  • Lobbying in the EU
  • Communication Audiences and Effects
  • International Journalism
  • Communication Law and Policy


  • Introduction to Economics
  • Intermediate Macroeconomics
  • Environmental and Ecological Economics
  • Economic Growth and Development


  • International Relations Between the Wars


  • Introduction to Academic Writing & Critical Thinking
  • Global Ethics
  • Global Ethics, Leadership and Personal Development (GELPD)


  • Internship


  • Introduction to International and European Law
  • Introduction to Legal Principles and Theory
  • Criminal Law
  • Law and Technology
  • Advanced Business Law
  • European Organizations
  • Methods: Legal Analysis, Research and Writing
  • Human Rights


  • Elementary Arabic
  • Elementary Dutch
  • Elementary French I
  • Elementary French II
  • Intermediate French
  • Advanced French


  • Global Politics
  • Introduction to Comparative Regional Studies
  • Understanding Contemporary Conflicts in the Euro-Mediterranean Region
  • Security, Migration & Cultural Diversity in Europe
  •  International Organizations and Global Governance
  • Advanced Theories of International Relations
  • International Political Economy
  • NATO and Transatlantic Approaches to Security
  • Military Approaches to Security


  • Intermediate Qualitative Research Methods
  • Intermediate Quantitative Research Methods
  • Introduction to Statistics


In the fall semester, students may take courses in the European Peace and Security Studies program that Vesalius College has developed with the Conflict Studies Department of the Belgian Royal Military Academy, Institute of European Studies at the Vrije Universiteit Brussels, and University of Kent. Courses in this program are:

Understanding Contemporary Conflicts in the Euro-Mediterranean Region, Security, Migration & Cultural Diversity in Europe, NATO and Transatlantic Approaches to Security, Military Approaches to Promoting Security. In addition, students are required to attend a guest lecture.

Université Libre de Bruxelles Courses

Students with a very high French language level may take one or possibly two courses at the Université Libre de Bruxelles. Students in the past have taken French literature courses or area studies courses in political science, geography, or history. A specific meeting is organized by the Center Director at the beginning of the semester where students are informed about the differences in the academic system, examinations, and administration at traditional European universities. Students also review course offerings at that time.

Note: This course listing is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a contract between CIEE and any applicant, student, institution, or other party. The courses, as described, may be subject to change as a result of ongoing curricular revisions, assignment of lecturers and teaching staff, and program development. Courses may be canceled due to insufficient enrollment.


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Scholarships & Grants

CIEE offers more than $8 million in scholarships and grants annually to help students like you make your study abroad dream a reality.

Students who apply to this program are eligible for the following scholarships and grants:

  • Ping Scholarships for Academic Excellence
  • Global Access Initiative (GAIN) Grants
  • CIEE Gilman Go Global Grant
  • MSI Grant

To be considered, submit the CIEE Scholarships & Grants application within your CIEE program application. Learn more at the Scholarships & Grants section of our website.

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Dates & Fees

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Dates & Fees

You get more for every dollar when you study abroad with CIEE, because our high-quality programs include everything from excursions to insurance. There are no hidden charges, and no disappointing surprises when you arrive.


  • Tuition
  • Housing
  • Advising before you depart to set goals and answer questions
  • Optional on-site airport meet-and-greet
  • Three-day orientation – an introduction to Belgian culture, your academic program, and the city, plus practical information about living in your host city
  • Full-time program leadership and support in your host city
  • Cultural and/or Co-curricular Activities
  • Excursions and/or Study Tours
  • Insurance and other travel benefits, with CIEE iNext
  • 24/7 emergency on-site support


Application Due

Start Date

End Date

Fees & Housing

Fall 2020 17 weeks May 1, 2020 Aug 17, 2020 Dec 13, 2020
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Program Fees

CIEE offers the most student support of any provider in its program fee, including an airport greeting, full-time leadership and support, orientation, cultural activities, local excursions, pre-departure advising, and CIEE iNext travel insurance with benefits.

Participation Confirmation = $300 *

Educational Costs = $15,533 **

Housing = $3,850

Insurance = $167

Total Fees = $19,850

Estimated Costs

Students are responsible and manage costs related to travel, meals, books, and personal expenses. Below are estimates for consideration.

Meals not included in program fee = $1,700

International Airfare = $1,150

Local Transportation = $70

Books & Supplies = $275

Visa Fees = $420 ††

Personal expenses = $1,650

Total Estimated Costs = $5,265

Financial Aid

CIEE offers the most grants and scholarships of any study abroad organization, including $8 million/year in travel grants, merit-based scholarships, institutional and MSI grants, and Gilman Go Global Grants.

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This breakdown has been prepared from the program budget for the purpose of calculating eligibility for financial aid. During the course of program operations, actual figures may vary. It should not, therefore, be used as a basis for calculation of refunds. CIEE reserves the right to adjust fees at any time.

Students required to study on CIEE programs through a School of Record will be charged a $500 administrative fee in addition to the Program Fees listed.

* non-refundable

** direct cost of education charged uniformly to all students; students who elect to take ART 361, European Studies, at Vesalius College will be billed a supplemental tuition fee of approximately $1,200 for required overnight field trips, 4-6 weeks after the program starts.

round-trip based on U.S. East Coast departure

†† Insert this note: "***There might be an additional cost of 500USD depending on whether travel is necessary to the Belgium consulate.

To help you budget, keep in mind that students are responsible for the cost of international airfare, local transportation, books and supplies, visas, and personal expenses. In addition, ask your college or university study abroad advisor if your school charges additional fees for study abroad.

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