Universite de Liege

Liège, Belgium

The exchange agreement

The exchange agreement between the University of Lethbridge and the Université de Liège was signed in 1999.

Semester dates

Fall semester
middle of September  –  end of January
(or, in special cases, end of December, for U ofL exchange students needing to return for our spring semester.)
Orientation: middle of September
Suggested arrival: 1 week before classes start
Pre-semester French course: 2 weeks prior to classes
Spring semester
beginning of February – end of June
Orientation: beginning of February
Suggested arrival: 1 week before classes start
Pre-semester French course: 2 weeks prior to classes

The country

Belgium is a small, highly developed and densely populated country (10 million of inhabitants) at the cross-roads of Western Europe. Belgium is one of the founding members of the European Community, and its capital, Brussels, is also the capital of the European Union.

It is a federal state, with three relatively autonomous regions: Wallonia in the south where the language is French, Flanders in the north where the language is Dutch ("Flemish"), and the centrally located Brussels, which is officially bilingual. The majority of the people in Brussels speak French. The French in Brussels and Belgium differs only slightly from the one spoken in France. In the east part of Belgium near the German border the population speaks German but most of the population can also speak French.

Belgium has retained its old-world charm in the preservation of its ancient buildings and historical traditions. Belgium is known for its art, architecture, beer, chocolate, waffles, and french fries. Belgium's rich history has left impressive churches, town halls, castles and works of art, dating back to the early Middle Ages, spread around the cities and country-side.

For more information about Belgium see sites such as en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belgium.

The city

Liège is located in east central Belgium and has a population of approximately 400,000. It is an old, industrial city with lots of character. It has been the former capital of an independent principality of over eight centuries. Liège is only 30 km from the Netherlands and 45 km from Germany.

Liège is a rapidly changing city where old meets new. Take a walk through the old city center and discover the typical traffic-free alleys and shopping streets where terraces abound. Liège has a good night life, lots of parks to enjoy, and a big Sunday market selling everything from vegetables to toys, and clothes to live pigeons. It is the third-biggest fluvial port in Europe, a conference centre, the host to international fairs and the economic capital of the Walloon region.

For more information about Liège, visit en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liège_(city)

The university

The university of Liège was founded in 1817 and is the only public community-sponsored university in the French-speaking part of Belgium which offers a complete range of university courses at undergraduate and post-graduate levels. It is divided into eight faculties: Philosophy and Letters; Law and School of Criminology; Sciences; Medicine; Applied Sciences; Veterinary Medicine; Psychology and Educational Sciences; Economics, Management and Social Sciences.

Located in the city of Liège in eastern Belgium, the University of Liège boasts a prestigious reputation as a center of international studies and research. The student population of the University of Liège is approximately 14,000 with 18 percent of this being international students. The international student populations come to Liège from over 70 countries around the world.

Having recently merged with another institution called HEC, the University of Liège now uses two campuses: HEC (in downtown Liège) and Sart Tilman (approximately a 20 minute bus ride outside the city). Students will likely take courses on both campuses. Facilities on the Sart Tilman campus include the main library including computer stations, a gym and a swimming pool. The HEC campus is equipped with wireless internet; some computers stations are set up, or students may bring their own laptop. At the beginning of the semester, a big sports club event showcases the various clubs and teams students can get involved in.

For further information, visit the Université de Liège's website: www2.ulg.ac.be/aeerni/socrates/erasmus-in/index-en.html (English).

Courses

Although the majority of courses taught at the University of Liège are delivered in French, there is also a variety of classes offered in English (approximately 10-15 courses/semester). Most English 'management' courses are in the areas of finance or marketing, while a few others may be in law, math, or statistics. A more complete listing of course availability may be found online.

Most courses are taught once/week. Classes vary in contact hours, ranging from 1-3 hours/week; some classes even start one month later into the semester. While a few courses may require some assignments throughout the semester, most courses have 100% of the course grade dedicated to either a final project or final exam. Some professors use PowerPoint in their lectures, while others simply lecture.

All outgoing U of L exchange students are required to complete at least one French-as-a-foreign-language course while studying in Liège. Several French courses, at various levels, are offered throughout each regular semester (both day and evening courses available). Additionally, there is an optional 2 week intensive French course offered before the beginning of each semester. There is a cost of 50 € associated with each French course. An online course is also offered. More detailed information about French courses can be viewed at www.islvfr.ulg.ac.be.

Please note: As the European university academic structure varies greatly from the North American system, courses completed at a European exchange partner will not be transferred back to the U of L on a course-for-course basis. Rather, students will be required to successfully complete a certain number of ECTS (European Transfer Credit System) credits, in order to earn sufficient credit for U of L credit equivalency.

Orientation and international office activities

The University of Liège provides a two day orientation session for new students, reviewing important details such as how to register for courses and ending with a barbeque. Throughout the semester, but particularly at the beginning, the International Office also organizes bike tours of the city, and other social events or field trips in the local area. A buddy program called 'Parrainage Erasmus' matches exchange students with local students who can help them out.

Arrival information

The University of Liège does not make arrangements to pick up students. Rather students are provided with detailed instructions on how to take the train to Liege-Guillemins (Luik-Guillemins) train station. From there, the downtown residence is only about 15-minute walk, or an easy bus or taxi ride away. The dormitory building is open 24 hours for check-in.

Housing

The Université de Liège places exchange students in one of two dormitories. While one dormitory is located on the Sart-Tilman campus, the other has the convenience of being located in downtown Liège closer to the HEC campus and all else the city has to offer. For this reason, University of Lethbridge students generally choose to stay in the downtown dorm (Home Ruhl).

In the 'Home Ruhl' dorm rooms are all single-occupancy, with two shared toilets on every floor. While two floors of the dorm building have five shower stalls, the other two floors have shared kitchens (pots supplied, but utensils and plates may be hard to come by). The residence offers internet connections at no extra charge to students who have brought their own computer. A common phone is located on each floor at which to receive calls, and pay phones are available from which to call out. There is a €60 reservation fee, required at time of application. Many students also choose to rent a small refrigerator for their room at a cost of €25 for five months.

Students not wishing to live in a dormitory will be responsible for finding their own apartment. This is not necessarily easy as most landlords require a minimum six-month contract.

Transportation

When living downtown, it is easy to walk to most places around Liège. For longer trips, such as to the Sart Tilman campus, local buses provide the cheapest and most efficient way of traveling within Liège. Individual bus tickets cost about €1.80. Several discount bus passes are also available (ten trips for €5.80 - Carte-Agglo; or a discount zone card which covers twelve zones - Carte-Voyage). For exploring the country of Belgium, a Go-Pass covers ten one-way trips anywhere in Belgium for a cost of €43.

For those planning a lot of travel throughout Europe, it is recommended to buy a Euro Rail pass. The Euro Rail passes must be purchased before going to Belgium. More information about the various types of passes visit www.raileurope.com/us.

Visa requirements

Students going to Belgium for an exchange must apply for a Temporary Residence Visa for Exchange Students.

Students going to Belgium for an exchange must apply for a temporary residence "Visa for Students"There is a fee of $96 that needs to be included in your visa application. This fee includes all legalizations which will need to be done by the Consulate-General, as well as a general application fee.

If you would like to have your passport with visa, and original other original documents returned to you by registered mail, please add an additional $16 to the $96 consular fee (for a total of $112). Or include a pre-paid and pre-addressed (rapid) courier envelope.

The visa application process may have changed since this page was updated. Please email International Programs (int.programs@uleth.ca) for more information.

The Belgian Government centralized visa issuing for Canada is the Consulate General of Belgium in Montréal. For further details about this visa, contact:

Consulate General of Belgium
850-999 de Maisonneuve O
Montréal Quebec H3A 3L4Tel: (514) 849-7394
Fax: (514) 844-3170
Email: montreal@diplobel.org
Website: www.diplomatie.be/montreal

Opening hours (Monday–Friday): 09:00–12:30

Costs

Based on comments from our previous exchange students to Liège, the costs for the exchange are approximately as follows:

  • Housing: C$300–$400/month (dormitory or off-campus flat) (€8.5/day)
  • Textbooks: $50/textbook, but many courses do not require a book
  • Food: groceries are similarly priced to Canada; eating out: $3–20/meal
  • Transportation: approx. $30/month.
  • Visa: approximately $200 (including cost of required supporting documents)

Videos and photos

The Université de Liège website contains photos of the campus: www.ulg.ac.be/photos. It also has additional photos of students, buildings, and research and science.

To view an online video clip of a Belgium exchange student and a former U of L exchange student to Liège, as well as the talk about the Belgium exchange at our February 2005 U of L International Program Info Sessions, see: crdcserve.crdc.uleth.ca/movies/exchange/Belgium.mov (MOV, 00:05:29).

Student contacts

Going on exchange to Liège was the best decision I made in university. Besides having the opportunity to study in a different country, I was able to travel around Europe, learn about many different cultures and I made friends from across the world!

Ryan Sirski, UofL exchange student to the Université de Liège

Former and current U of L exchange students to the Université de Liège, as well as our current incoming exchange students from Liège are happy to talk to students interested in the exchange. To request their contact information, please email int.programs@uleth.ca