- Location and Housing
- Pricing and Dates
- Application Instructions
- Additional Information
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.
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.
Student Mobility Office
Elizabeth Olivares Fontt
+32 (0)2 650 67 68
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.
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.
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.
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.
Items Billed by Pitt
|Study Abroad Fee||$400||$400|
|Total Billed by Pitt*||$10,259||$17,273|
Estimated Additional Out-of-Pocket Costs
|Travel Expenses: Airfare, Passport, Visa, Resident Permit||$2,000|
|Room & Board||$4,050|
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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)