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|Learn French in Belgium
As the seat of the European Union, Brussels, Belgium is a world capital. In addition to politics, it is a lavishly gilded historical center, with a lively arts scene and café culture that rivals Paris. Understated, yet elegant, Belgium is an enticing destination for people who want to learn French via an immersion program in Brussels, and discover the heart of Europe. Joining an accredited French language learning program offering intensive courses, or a semester long university program here is a fine way not only to get to learn French, but to get to know one of the most important French-speaking countries in the world. The high quality of life enjoyed in Brussels isn’t cheap, so you’ll want to find ways to economize without skimping on the quality of your education—accredited courses culminating in a certificate are definitely the way to go. If you want to learn French in Brussels, a little bit of legwork can save you big bucks. In this metropolitan city, immersion programs are available for all levels—from businesspeople who need to achieve basic proficiency fast, to advanced students hoping to brush up on their literary tenses, going to a government school to learn French in Brussels is just one option. Many private schools have capitalized on the expanding business and political opportunities here—to the benefit of those looking for cost-effective intensive courses.
Package deals—including airfare plus room and board—can make focusing on your studies a snap. The better packages include institutional and city-based orientation sessions, and have advisers on hand for academic support. The abundance of grants and subsidies enjoyed by institutions for studying French in Bruxelles mean that not all programs are priced equally—even within program type. For this reason, it’s important to evaluate both package programs and “a la carte” courses on an individual basis. Although you won’t necessarily need to choose between quality and price, you should be sure to consider both factors.
Many students studying for certification exams attend courses through fall, winter, and spring terms in preparation for summer testing. These students find that immersion is a snap in cosmopolitan Brussels. If you want to learn French in Belgium, there are centers that have any need covered. Belgium, as a bilingual nation, has a vested interest in providing excellent French instruction. Although it’s a great idea to supplement your classroom French with lots of socializing with locals, many students find it pays to hit the books regularly for formal review—especially if you’re preparing for testing for one of the three internationally recognized French certificates.
The Diplôme d’Études en Langue Française (DELF) and the Diplôme Approfondi de Langue Française (DALF) are highly respected certificates awarded by the French Ministry of Education. For many students of French, high marks on these certificates are the end goal of their formal studies. While the exam is administered only at Alliance française locations, you can prepare at any certified institution, which includes all accredited French courses in Brussels and throughout Belgium. The DELF A1, A2 and B1, B2 are certification levels accepted throughout the European Union—passing these exams open a lot of doors in terms of employment and other opportunities. The DALF C1 and C2 are for very high-level students of French, and are oriented toward those who wish to demonstrate their proficiency in literary French.
The Test of Knowledge in the French Language (TCF) results in another widely recognized certification. The TCF can be used to satisfy proficiency requirements for entry into colleges and universities, or simply as a less formal credential that some employers may recognize as satisfactory. The TCF can be accompanied by more targeted, supplemental examinations. The Higher Certificate in French Studies (DHEF) is another C2 level exam pursued only by the best foreign speakers of French. All of the above exams require significant preparation and are infrequently administered. If you plan to pursue certification, select an accredited French learning center in Belgium that offers instructional sessions geared toward exam preparation.
While Brussels is home to an Alliance française center, its outward looking nature is what makes it such a great place to study French. The curious Belgians are easily befriended, and eager to share their cuisine, art, and culture with new arrivals—so be sure to pack some smiles along with your passport!
Accredited French language schools