Checklist: international PhD student at Ghent University

Preparing your stay...

  • PhD candidates whose application procedure was taken care of via the PhD Wizard are advised to bring their original (and/or legalized) documents with them.
  • Please make sure you have adequate funding in place to support you for the duration of your stay. Check the information on cost of living.
  • Check immigration regulations. Contact the Belgian Embassy or the office of the Flemish representative in your country. Gather all necessary documents. Please note that it is your responsibility to apply for the correct entry clearance or visa to study in Belgium before leaving home and in good time to begin your study. You will be asked to provide proof of a planned stay at Ghent University (letter of admission and/or proof of sufficient financial means).
  • Arrange a place to life. Either the programme coordinator will apply for accommodation or you will be expected to look for a room yourself through the housing application for PhD students.
  • If you are planning to bring your family with you, you must make careful preparations. You will need to do a considerable amount of research into issues such as insurance (get coverage for the entire family, not just you), accommodation and other facilities (nursery, schools, job etc. - for instance: should you need childcare, be sure to apply at least one year in advance). Please bring also the legalised copies of your marriage certificate and of the birth certificate(s) of your child(ren) if applicable: they might be necessary for certain administratives services.
  • Check your insurance status before you leave. You should consider taking out medical insurance for your journey to Belgium, and to cover emergency repatriation to your home country in the event of a serious accident or illness.
  • Make your travel plans. Arrange travel tickets and travel insurance. If you are arriving into Ghent in the late afternoon or on a weekend, we recommend that you pre-book a Ghent hotel for your first night.
  • Check your government's restrictions on taking money out of the country. Check with your bank about regulations concerning transferring money to Belgium. Obtain the correct currency for use during the first few days or weeks (train tickets, phone calls etc.).
  • Check regulations on bringing belongings to Belgium. You are advised to insure your luggage before your journey and label it clearly. Check your luggage weight against your airline's allowances. Check the information on weather conditions and what to wear.
  • Visit the doctor, dentist and/or optician if necessary. Obtain a letter of explanation from your doctor for any prescribed medication you may need to bring with you. Students with a disability can count on a specialised support service called Cursief during their stay - contact the coordinator for details before you leave.
  • Make a folder to bring with you: travel plan and tickets, accommodation details, list of contacts, letter of admission, ... Include photocopies of the personal details pages of your passport and visa stamp. Top tip: also make a contact card for your family before you leave - include contact information about Ghent University (faculty department, student administration, etc.).
  • Throughout the preparation process it is advisable to stay in close contact with your PhD supervisor or department office. You are welcome to contact GUIDe or IRO Student Support with additional questions. Please make good use of the information available on the Ghent University website.