You want to discover a history that has been in the making since the Medieval era, you want to hear the sounds coming out of many music bars where people with same and different tastes meet.
You want to hear, recognise and even talk the many languages that are spoken. Or just stroll through the cosy streets and enjoy a blend of many architectural styles.
Want to step out of Ghent for a weekend? Did you know we’re situated at the heart of Europe? Travelling has never been so convenient as Flanders is situated right on 2 major axes: Amsterdam and Paris in the North and South, Berlin and London in the East and West. You will find more information on how to discover Europe easily and student-friendly.
Oh, and don’t forget to attend the Welcome Days at the beginning of the academic year. Here you can make yourself more familiar with the institution and the city, but also meet and greet the many others who joined you on your journey!
Ghent is the busy capital of the province of East Flanders. It is a city with many faces: not only does it count 65,000 students in higher education, it is also a city where many fairs and conferences are organised, an industrial city with a harbour, a “flower city” and a city in which many cultural events take place.
In 1537 Emperor Charles V, who was born in Ghent in 1500, found the inhabitants of Ghent guilty of disobedience and rebellion: they had to walk the streets barefoot, wearing only a shirt and a noose. For that reason the inhabitants of Ghent are called noose-wearers.
Today, the historical centre enjoys the unique atmosphere provided by the rivers and canals. In the pedestrian city centre, the history of Ghent surrounds you. The impressive medieval Castle of the Counts bears witness to an illustrious past. The city of Ghent bathes every evening in the enchanting light of its buildings and monuments - the city was awarded three Michelin stars for its lighting.
Ghent is situated 55 km to the west of Brussels and covers 156 square kilometres. It is the capital of the East Flanders Province and the second largest city of the region Flanders, which is one of the three regions of Belgium. Cities such as Paris, London and Amsterdam are within easy reach.
Knowledge and culture have ever been at the city’s heart and you can still see that today. Ghent is home to a university and 3 Universities of Applied Sciences and Arts. Over 60.000 students of higher education study here and make of Ghent the education capital of Flanders.
Ghent has 8 museums, 2 art halls, 7 art centres, 5 theatres and 5 concert halls, 1 music hall, 1 opera and 22 film screens. In addition to all this, dozens of organisations are located either in one of the above or elsewhere in the city.
We are also known for our Burgundian nature. In Gent there are 426 restaurants and eating-houses and 346 cafés and pubs; nice places to have a drink with your friends!
Ghent can be reached easily by train. There are direct trains from Brussels International Airport. Any train to one of the following destinations stops in Ghent: Gent (= Gent-Sint-Pieters), Knokke-Blankenberge, De Panne, Brugge, Oostende.
Campus Schoonmeersen, our main campus, is located within walking distance from Sint-Pieters station, Ghent's main railway station.
The easiest way to get around in Ghent is riding your bike or walking. But the public transport is also very well organized. There are trams and buses. Each ride costs 3.00 euros when you buy it on the spot. For a ticket via text message you pay 1.80 euros but if you buy a 10-ride card a ride will cost you 1.40 euros. You can save up to 20% when you buy your ticket in advance at the presale points of ‘De Lijn’ (‘De Lijn’ shop or newspaper shops) or at a presale ticket machine. The tickets of De Lijn can be used in all the Flemish cities except for some buses in Limburg.
In European history, Flanders has had a lot of faces. The name itself is related to the county that was formed around the region of Bruges in the early 8th century.
From that point on, a wide variety of European nations (France, Spain, Austria-Hungary, the Netherlands,…) reigned over the region at some point in history. Traces of this can still be found in the culture, language and monuments that are scattered over the lands.
After the Belgian independence of the Netherlands in 1830, Flanders became what it is now. A versatile and innovative region, with warm and welcoming inhabitants.
At first, they appear to be modest and introverted. Initially, most of them do not make contact easily with people they do not know. From the moment they get to know you, however, they become very sociable. Never hesitate to start a conversation, as the Flemish are helpful and friendly, especially when you try to talk their language. In Flanders Dutch is the main language, although French is spoken in the southern part of Belgium, Wallonia, and to a large extent in Brussels as well.. If people hear that you do not speak Dutch easily they will switch to French, English, German or even another language to help you.