Frequently asked questions

General information

What is the Preparatory One-Year Programme: Dutch as a Foreign Language in an Academic Context?

The Preparatory One-Year Programme: Dutch as a Foreign Language in an Academic Context is a programme aimed at non-Dutch-speaking students who want to prepare to enter higher education in Dutch. The programme consists of a combination of language acquisition and three modules designed to deepen participants’ knowledge. Upon successful completion of the programme, students receive a certificate. One of the final exams is the Interuniversity Test of Dutch as a Foreign Language (ITNA). Students who pass the ITNA meet the language requirements set by Flemish universities and university colleges.

Where can I find information regarding the Preparatory One-Year Programme: Dutch as a Foreign Language in an Academic Context?

All information can be found in the study guide, which can be downloaded from our website: www.linguapolis.eu/prepyear

If you have questions that were not discussed in the study guide, you can always contact us by email: prepyear@linguapolis.be

Is there an age limit?

No, there is no age limit. However, the Preparatory One-Year Programme is primarily aimed at foreign students who wish to start (or complete) their studies at a Flemish University or University college.

Do I get a student card?

Once you are officially registered for the Preparatory One-Year Programme, which happens during the welcome week, you will also be officially registered as a student of the University of Antwerp. In the week(s) following your registration you will be sent a student card to your address in Belgium.

What is the ITNA?

The ITNA is the Interuniversity Test of Dutch as a Foreign Language. If students pass this exam, they meet the language requirements set by universities and university colleges in Flanders.

When you pass the ITNA you will receive a B2 certificate for Dutch. A few programmes (especially those with a focus on language), will require you to have a C1 level. If your results on the B2-test are exceptionally good, you will automatically be invited to do the C1-test.

Further information: www.itna.be

What is the cost of living?

These costs arise whether you are a student or not (e.g. costs of housing, transport, food, leisure...). An average price per month? 

Transport

These are different for every student and depend on where you live and which means of transport you use. On your way to campus

Student accommodation

The average rent for a room on the private market differs depending on whether you opt for shared or individual sanitary facilities and/or a shared or private kitchen. The current average rent prices and costs can be found on Kotweb

Your landlord can charge a fixed amount for utilities such as heating, electricity, water etc. or work with a provisional charge. The provisional charge is paid in advance and actual usage amounts are calculated at the end of the lease. Avoid any nasty surprises and ensure you clarify which of these two systems will be applied before you sign a lease.

To be eligible for a Student room allowance, look for a room with a green quality label!

Food

  • On presentation of a valid student card from a partner of the Antwerp University Association, you get the student rate for sandwiches, snacks and hot meals in komida, the student restaurants of the University of Antwerp: More information. ​
  • Tipping isn’t mandatory. Contrary to social custom in other countries, neglecting to tip your waiter in Belgium doesn’t automatically make you a monster.
  • Belgium has plenty of supermarket chains to choose from. Many will have in-store bakeries that sell a selection of bread and pastries. Some examples: Delhaize, Lidl, Colruyt, Aldi, Carrefour, Albert Heijn…

Leisure

Sports and culture

MOVE will grant you access to an extensive sport and cultural program, organized by the University of Antwerp Sports Office and Rubi The Cultural Factory. You only pay 35 EUR.

Discounts for students and/or -26 

Many museums, exhibitions and public institutions give a discount to students and/or anyone under 26 years old. Make sure you have your student card or ID on you when museum-hopping. 

Discover many activities here: 

Application and admission procedure

Where can I apply for the Preparatory One-Year Programme: Dutch as a Foreign Language in an Academic Context?

You can submit your application via the link on our website: www.linguapolis.eu/prepyear

When can I submit my application? What is the deadline?

We start accepting applications in November of each year.

  • Students who are in need of a student visa need submit their application before the 1st of March ;
  • Students who don’t need a student visa need submit their application before the 31st of August .

What are the admission requirements?

In order to apply for the Preparatory One-Year Programme: Dutch as a Foreign Language in an Academic Context you will need to comply with the following requirements:

  • You have successfully completed secondary school* and the degree must give access to higher studies in the country where the diploma was obtained;
  • You have an intermediate knowledge of English (= level B1 in the CEFR)
  • Native speakers of English, and/or students who attended a secondary school where the language of instruction was English, must have experience in studying a European language as a foreign language.

    * Applicants currently completing their final year of secondary school must submit a copy of an original and signed letter from their secondary school confirming that they are expected to successfully complete secondary school at the end of the current academic year.

 

You will also be required to upload the following documents:

  • A copy of a valid passport or identity card;
  • A copy of your secondary school certificate (translated into Dutch, English, French or German);
  • A copy of your secondary school transcript of records (translated into Dutch, English, French or German);
  • Proof that you have studied a European language as a foreign language;
  • (if applicable) copies of other diplomas, degrees or certificates;
  • (if applicable) for Chinese students: the APS certificate.

Why do I need to know English and what level of English is required?

Since all communication with regard to the Preparatory One-Year Programme: Dutch as a Foreign Language in an Academic Context is in English, you need to have at least an intermediate knowledge of English (which corresponds with level B1 in the CEFR).

English is my mother tongue (or language of instruction in my secondary school), why do I need to prove that I have studied another European language?

The Preparatory One-Year Programme is based on the assumption that you are familiar with foreign language learning. As a result, you will need to prove that you have studied a European language as a foreign language in a curricular or extracurricular course of at least 50 contact hours.

I need to apply for a student visa. How can I do this?

In order to obtain a student visa for the Preparatory One-Year Programme: Dutch as a Foreign Language in an Academic Context, candidates will need to be accepted for both the Preparatory One-Year Programme and the (under)graduate degree they intend to start in the following academic year.

Please note: When you plan to continue your studies at the University of Antwerp, Artesis Plantijn University College or Karel de Grote University College, you only need to submit one application; the application for the Dutch language year will automatically be included if your level of Dutch is insufficient. Upon successfully completing your application you will receive both Letters of Acceptance needed to apply for a student visa.

A visa will not be approved if it is just for a language course. As a result, a second Letter of Acceptance from Flemish university or college is required.

For more information, see the UAntwerp Visa page


Important information for students with a Chinese diploma 

 All students with a Chinese diploma who want to come to Belgium to study will have to obtain a certificate of academic screening issued by the Academic Evaluation Centre (APS) of the German Embassy in Beijing before being granted admission to any higher education institution, language course or other preparatory course in Flanders. APS formulates a non-binding recommendation for the university concerning the level of the student. Please note that an APS certificate is a required condition, but not sufficient for being admitted to any higher education institute. The APS certificate is also required for obtaining a Belgian student visa. Chinese students planning to study in Flanders are advised to contact the Academic Evaluation Centre in Beijing as soon as possible in order to make the necessary arrangements. They should do this before applying for a visa. More information on APS can be found at the website www.aps.org.cn.

What happens when my visa-application is rejected?

If your visa-application is rejected you cannot come to Belgium as a student, and you cannot participate in the Preparatory One-Year Dutch Programme. Upon receiving proof of the rejection, we will issue a refund of the fee, minus €300 administrative costs.

Is it true that I need to submit a second application?

Yes, but only if you need to apply for a student visa and you are planning to continue your studies at an institute other than the University of Antwerp, Artesis Plantijn University College or Karel de Grote University College (see previous question: "I need to apply for a student visa. How can I do this?").

Can I extend my current Belgian residence permit based on a registration for the Dutch Language Year Programme?

Yes and No.

Foreign students who are enrolled in a preparatory programme can obtain or extend their Belgian residence permit, provided that this programme is organised by a higher education institution, either to provide the additional knowledge required to gain access to the envisaged higher studies or to master one of the national languages, provided that the envisaged studies are taught in this language.

In this way, it will not be possible to extend your residence permit based on a registration for the Preparatory One-Year Programme: Dutch as a Foreign Language in an Academic contextalone. You can only extend your residence permit based on a registration for the Dutch Language Year Programme if you can also prove that you will be continuing your studies in Belgium after the preparatory year with a programme taught in Dutch. 

One of the requirements for applying at a Flemish university or college is that I have a B2 or C1 certificate of Dutch. How can I submit an application for the following academic year if I have not yet completed the Preparatory One-Year Programme?

We advise that you first submit your application for the Preparatory One-Year Programme. Once you have submitted your application you will receive a confirmation email which you can use to prove that you are registered to take a one-year Dutch language course.

Applicants who wish to study at the University of Antwerp, Artesis Plantijn University College or Karel de Grote University College in the academic year following the Preparatory One-Year Programme should register directly at the institution in question. If there is a Dutch language requirement that you do not meet yet, you will be forwarded to a subform for the Preparatory One-Year Programme.

Do my diploma certificate and transcript of records need to be translated into Dutch?

If your diploma certificate and transcript of records are written in a language other than Dutch, English, French or German, then they will need to be translated into one of these four languages.

What is a blocked account? How can I open one?

As the name suggests, a blocked account is an account to which a certain amount is transferred. Every month, a part of the amount is transferred back to the student, which can then be used to pay for food, rent, etc.

In order to obtain a student visa, you will need to prove that you have sufficient financial means for studying abroad; a blocked account generally suffices to prove this.

The University of Antwerp can open a blocked account for you. In order to do so, you will need to submit a ticket at the helpdesk for international students: https://studhelp.uantwerpen.be/ro_helpdesk/

Tuition fee and payment

How much does the Preparatory One-Year Programme: Dutch as a Foreign Language in an Academic Context cost?

The total tuition fee for students who are nationals of a member state of the European Academic Area is €4795.

The total tuition fee for students who are not nationals of a member state of the European Academic Area is €6495.

€2000 of the total amount needs to be paid in advance.

Is accommodation included in the tuition fee?

No.

For information regarding student housing we suggest you browse Kotweb: https://www.studentkotweb.be/en

How much does student accommodation cost?

For information regarding student housing we suggest you browse Kotweb: https://www.studentkotweb.be/en

I have already got some knowledge of Dutch. Can I start at a later date and get a discount?

No, if you do not attend classes once the programme has started, you will no longer be admitted. No discounts will be offered if you already have some knowledge of Dutch.

Are any scholarships available?

Every year, some scholarships are made available for students who are already in Belgium and have a (recognized) refugee status.

Further information: Scholarships for refugees

How can I pay?

All payments can be executed by bank transfer. Our bank details are as follows:

KBC BANK
Antwerpen Centrum
Schoenmarkt 6
2000 Antwerpen
Belgium
ACCOUNT: 734-0509693-64
IBAN: BE29 7340 5096 9364
BIC: KREDBEBB

Beneficiary:
Universiteit Antwerpen
Linguapolis
Prinsstraat 13
2000 Antwerpen
Belgium


It is also possible to pay by card at the secretary’s office (Kleine Kauwenberg 12, 2000 Antwerpen). We accept Bancontact, Visa and Mastercard. We do not accept cash payments.

Can I get a refund when I cancel my application?

Whether or not you can get a refund depends on when you cancel your application:

  • When you cancel your application before the programme starts, you will receive a refund minus €300 administrative costs.
  • When your visa is rejected and you provided us with proof of this before 1 November of the year in which your registered for the Dutch language year, you will also receive a refund, minus €300 administrative costs.
  • Once the programme has started, and you have already attended classes, it will no longer be possible to get a refund.

Calendar

When does it start?

The Preparatory One-Year Programme starts with a welcome week, one week before the actual start of the academic year.

The academic year always starts in September. There is no possibility to start the Preparatory One-Year Programme at a different time.

Do I have to be present for the welcome week?

Yes.

The welcome week is part of the Preparatory One-Year Programme. In this week your registration as a student of the University will be completed and you will have a first introductory class.

Will I be finishing school in June?

Unless you need to repeat a level, or fail one of the modules, you will be able to finish the programme in June.

When do we have classes? Where can I find the schedule?

The schedule will be provided at the start of the programme. Since the One-Year Programme is a full-time programme, we expect our students to be available during the day from Monday until Friday.

Additionally, the schedule will change throughout the year.