Université Libre de Bruxelles

Overview

The Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) is a French-speaking private research university in Brussels.  ULB was founded in 1831 as the first university in Brussels, a year after the city was made the capital of Belgium, and has continued to be historically linked to the city since its establishment. In aligning with the cosmpolitan and international nature of Brussles, ULB has not only established exchange programs, but has also collaborated on joint degrees with partners from around the world, and continues to expand its internationalization efforts, to help to create "a more just and democratic world by contributing a relationship of trust, a critical dimension and the impartiality required in a globalised world." ULB is also committed to spreading the ideals of critical thinking and freedom as a part of its mission. This program is university-wide, meaning any undergraduate Pitt student regardless of major may participate.  

Fact sheet
Learning Objectives

As an active and engaged participant on this program, you will have the opportunity to develop:

  • the ability to succeed independently in a foreign education environment.
  • non-US based perspectives on your field of study and/or future career path.
  • a global network of peer in similar fields of study and connections with faculty in Belgium.
Partner Information

Student Mobility Office

Elizabeth Olivares Fontt

+32 (0)2 650 67 68

elizabeth.olivares.fontt@ulb.ac.be

Location Description

With a population of 1.2 million, Brussels is one of the most cosmpolitan cities in Europe with a long a tradition of mixing cultures and offers all the advantages of a capital city and the quality of life of a large and lively town. Such is evident by the French-speaking and Dutch-speaking communities that coexist in the city, with public signage being presented in both languages. Additionally, Brussels is one of the main centers for international politics and business in Europe. It is the official seat of the European Union and other political and economic decision-making entities, such as NATO. 

Housing Description

ULB offers options for university-affiliated housing or private accommodations. Although Pitt students are not guaranteed spots within university-affiliated housing, ULB will provide instructions on when and how to apply for housing. See ULB’s general housing website

Academic Description

At ULB, courses are taught in French and in English, with a majority in French, and therefore applicants are expected to have a high level of French proficiency. Seniors may be eligible to take courses at ULB at the master's level with special permission. There are more courses at the graduate level, which are offered in English. 
Credits taken at ULB are evaluated on an ECTS scale and will transfer to Pitt according to a 2:1 ratio. For example, 10 ECTS credits will transfer as 5 Pitt credits. All credits taken at ULB require approval by both your academic advisor(s) and study abroad program manager. Additionally, for the purpose of full-time status here at Pitt, students should be prepared to take what is equivalent to at least 12 Pitt credit hours.  
Courses taken at ULB will be treated as transfer credits and will be marked as pass/fail (S/NC) on a Pitt student's transcript. In other words, transfer credits will not affect your Pitt GPA. Actual grades earned will appear on the transcript from the exchange university.
As a part of the cultural experience, ULB offers French Language Courses specifically designed for visiting students. These may be considered for credit or not for credit. Verify with the study abroad program manager regarding their transferability. 
Students may also review ULB's guide for more information.  

Students who have attended this program in the past have taken classes in the areas of:
History
Information Science
Anthropology
Sociology
Grading

Like Pitt, ULB’s grading scale follows the practice of assigning letter grades, such as A, B, C, D and F. For Pitt transfer credit, in order to earn a grade of “S,” (satisfactory) at Pitt, you must make an equivalent to a grade of “C” or higher. An equivalent to a “C-” or lower will result in a grade of “NC” (no credit) at Pitt. Pitt students may utilize the following online resource to understand the grading scale within this host country.
ULB will provide hardcopy (or electronic transcripts) to the University of Pittsburgh’s Study Abroad Office. Make sure to follow their instructions on how to ensure that an official copy of the grades is received. Hardcopies should be sent the following address: 3959 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, USA. Electronic copies should be sent to the designated exchange program manager under “SAO Staff.” 
Exchange university transcripts typically do not arrive from the exchange university until 3 to 4 months after the end of exchange period. Therefore, Pitt students should be mindful of how this may affect their ability to graduate, especially when exchanging during one's senior year. Another consideration is how this may affect your financial aid package, as the S/NC grades are not posted until transcripts are received.
 

Program Fees
Pitt students participating on an exchange program will pay regular Pitt tuition and fees, according to their in-state or out-of-state residency status. In addition to the Study Abroad Administrative Fee, this also includes all Mandatory Fees, such as the Student Activity Fee, Wellness Fee, Computing and Network Services Fee, and the Security, Safety, and Transportation Fee.  
 
Pitt Students on financial aid and/or tuition scholarships will need to consult the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid or respective entity providing the funds to confirm coverage for study abroad. 
 
 

Items Billed by Pitt

  In-State Out-of-State
Tuition* $9,314 $16,328
Mandatory Fees $545 $545
Study Abroad Fee $400 $400
Total Billed by Pitt* $10,259 $17,273
 
*The tuition rate listed is defaulted to reflect the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences. For Pitt students of another Pitt school or campus, the tuition rate will reflect the home school or campus. See posted rates on the Institutional Research page.
 
How Much To Budget

Estimated Additional Out-of-Pocket Costs

Travel Expenses: Airfare, Passport, Visa, Resident Permit  $2,000
Room & Board $4,050
Personal Expenses $600
 
The Estimated Costs reflect information provided by ULB and are reported to OAFA to calculate financial aid packages.The listed costs are defaulted to one semester. Multiply the costs by two for two semesters. 
 
Personal expenses vary with individual students. Review the ULB's website for more information, and visit our budgeting page for more information. 

Students studying abroad through Pitt Study Abroad are automatically provided health insurance coverage during the official program dates. However, you may need to purchase additional insurance if the exchange university you will attend requires purchase of a specific health insurance coverage per their regulations. It is your responsibility to ensure you know the cost of that insurance prior to committing to the program.

Program Dates

Pitt students enroll at ULB for either a full semester (fall or spring) or a full academic year (two full semesters). ULB's academic calendars may differ from Pitt's normal fall (August through December) and spring (January through April) semesters, so Pitt students should check the academic calendar at the exchange university. Like Pitt, ULB’s academic calendar follows a Fall-Spring progression, meaning Fall is the first semester followed by the Spring semester as the second. Because ULB’s academic calendar varies significantly from Pitt’s, exchanging for only the fall semester is not possible. However, if a single semester at ULB is desired, then the Spring (or second) semester is the only option. The dates listed above are estimated and therefore subject to change according to the host university’s schedule.

Jessica Sun

Hailing from the great state of Texas, I am the exchange program manager at the Study Abroad Office at Pitt.  I am so excited to be a part of your exchange experience, be it here at Pitt or over at another institution overseas.  I studied abroad in Tuscany, Italy, while I was in school and absolutely loved all the experiences that came with exploring fresh pasta, Renaissance art and new experiences.  I certainly hope that you will love your exchange experience just as much wherever you choose.  Outside of the office, I am all about cities, food, art history and tea.  Good eating and traveling!  Let me know if you should have any questions at jessicasun@pitt.edu or at +1 412-383-7165.  

 

Application Instructions

Pitt sends a limited number of students per semester to ULB. In addition to applying to the Pitt Study Abroad application above, be sure to review ULB's website regarding their application requirements for incoming exchange students. A formal nomination from Pitt Study Abroad is required for Pitt students to be recognized as an exchange student at ULB. Therefore, Pitt students must complete all necessary Pitt Study Abroad steps in addition to ULB's requirements. In other words, acceptance by Pitt Study Abroad does not guarantee acceptance by the exchange university.  
 
The exchange university may require the following to be submitted through an online application. Requirements may include but are not limited to the following:  

  • Application Form 
  • Copy of Valid Passport 
  • Official Pitt Transcript 
  • Official Pitt Verification of Enrollment 
  • Statement of Intent or Purpose 
  • Resume or CV 
  • Official Language Evaluation 
  • Up to 2 instructor letters of recommendations 
  • Up to 2 passport photos 

 

Additional Information

Language Requirements: Non-native English speakers are advised to show evidence of English proficiency either through the IELTS or the TOELF. In order to take courses in French at ULB, Pitt students are advised to submit evidence of B1 level French proficiency. Upon arrival at ULB, Pitt students maybe asked to undergo a French language assessment to evaluate the level of proficiency. Please check with ULB regarding these requirements. 

Insurance Requirements

Students studying abroad through Pitt Study Abroad are automatically provided health insurance coverage during the official program dates. However, ULB requires Pitt students to purchase additional civil liabilities coverage through their university plans. See the details here.   

 

Students studying abroad through Pitt Study Abroad are automatically provided health insurance coverage during the official program dates.  

 

However, <<country>> requires Pitt students to purchase additional coverage through their national health plans. See the details here.   

Visa Requirements

In order to study as a student in specific countries, a visa is required. A visa is formal endorsement by the host country to grant permission for an individual to enter, live or stay in that country for a specific purpose and period. In addition to a visa, some host countries may require a residency permit upon arrival. 

 

For those without EU/EEA nationalities, students must obtain a student visa to study in Belgium. For an overview regarding the visa process, please review ULB's requirements.  Also, check the Belgium Embassy or consulate closest to you for additional information. ULB will provide general direction after formal admission on for how to apply for either the visa and/or residency permit. Pitt students should also research the visa and/or permit process through the specified country consulate website. In general visa and/or permit application requirements include but are not limited to the following requirements:  

  • Visa application 
  • Valid Passport 
  • Verification of acceptance from sponsoring university (exchange university) 
  • Financial Documents, such as bank statements, tax documents or pay statements.   
  • Passport photos 
  • Application fee 
  • Medical/physical examination (likely to require a doctor's appointment so plan accordingly)