Belgium? Flanders? Brussels?

What's the difference between Flanders and Belgium? What language do people speak in Brussels? These questions and many more will be answered in this section!


On the map
Belgium is situated in Western Europe, and borders the Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg and France. The surface area of Belgium is 30 528 km².

Although Belgium is a small country, it has a population of 11.5 million: Brussels Capital Region has a population of 1.2 million; the Flemish Region has 6.6 million inhabitants; the Walloon Region has 3.6 million inhabitants.

Belgium has three official languages: Dutch, French and German.

  • Flanders, the northern part of Belgium, is Dutch-speaking
  • Wallonia, the southern part of Belgium, is French-speaking
  • In the east of Belgium, there is a small German-speaking community (70 000 inhabitants)
  • Brussels, the capital, is officially Dutch-French bilingual.

Besides the official languages, English is also widely spoken. And Belgium has a very diverse population, so you will hear many different languages spoken on and off campus.

Political structure

Belgium is a federal state, which was founded as a constitutional monarchy in 1831. It is a founding member of the European Union and the eurozone.

The federal state of Belgium is composed of communities and regions.

The three communities, delimited on linguistic grounds are:

  • The Flemish Community
  • The French Community
  • The German-speaking Community

The three regions are:

  • The Flemish Region (or simply Flanders)
  • The Walloon Region
  • The Brussels Capital Region

The Flemish government is responsible for education, research, innovation, etc. Visa applications are the responsibility of the federal government.

Map of Belgium.

Study in Flanders

Study in Flanders represents the 18 Flemish higher education institutions of Flanders and Brussels. The main language of instruction at these institutions is Dutch, but they also have a wide range of English-taught study programmes on offer. For more information about studying and living in Flanders and Brussels, you can contact us or meet us at international recruitment fairs (virtual or face-to-face).

Study in Flanders exhibition stand at recruting fair.

More information

More information can be found through these links:

  • - official website of the Government of Flanders
  • - Portal for official information and services
  • The Bulletin The platform for Belgium's international community
  • Brussels Times - Belgium’s daily news media in English