It has now been 10 years since Erasmus Belgica has been allowing students from universities and colleges in Belgium to study in other communities within the country, announced Epos (Flemish Agency for Exchange Students) in a statement. Launched in 2004 by the Prince Philippe Fund, the program celebrated its 10-year anniversary on Thursday along with the King in Brussels. Since its actual launch during the 2004-2005 academic years, more than 3,300 students have benefited from the program inspired to improve the national language through courses or internships. Erasmus Belgica offers students “a unique opportunity to improve their knowledge of the other national languages, but to also be immersed in a different culture from within their country,” it said in a statement. “The program has also allowed higher education institutions to strengthen their collaborative relationships.”
The Erasmus LLP program, Belgica allows students to take courses across language borders as well as benefit from an internship that lasts from two months to a year. Future bilinguals can also benefit a grant of 100 euros from their community that can be added to a sum for housing assistance.
According to a recent study commissioned by the Prince Philippe Fund, the Flemish Interuniversity Council (VLIR,) and the French Community (CIUF), students who took advantage of this exchange program stated that they are very happy to have been able to improve their knowledge of one of the other national languages and 90% of them believe that this is a real plus on their curriculum vitae.