Starting at UAntwerp

Starting your exchange in a new environment is exciting but also a daunting experience for most students. To make the transition to your new environment as smooth as possible we have collected an overview of survival tips for your first days. If you have any questions, we'll answer them during the Orientation Days!

Checklists to prepare your arrival

Certificate of attendance/ arrival 

In case you need a signed certificate to confirm your arrival to your home university, you can indicate the date of your arrival in Mobility Online -> in the step 'Certificate of attendance (confirmation of arrival)'. If you have a template from your home university, make sure you bring it with you at the Orientation day!

The arrival date is based on academic activities and therefore can only be limited to: 

  • Friday 8/2: if you come to the Orientation Days  
  • Monday 11/2: first day of the semester
  • Monday 5/2: if you participate in the Dutch course 'survival on arrival' 

Registration at the university

Before the start of Orientation Days you will receive your registration details by email. You will need this account to use your student portal. Through the portal you can connect with the following services:

  • Webmail: You will receive a UAntwerp email address (format: You can check your email at All communication with students is sent to the UAntwerp email address, so make sure you check your UAntwerp inbox regularly. 
  • Learning environment (courses) This is your electronic learning environment. All the courses you have enrolled in are listed in Blackboard learning environment. Lecturers can upload information about their course, the PowerPoint presentation used during lectures, and so on.​

If you can't make it to the orientation days, let us know and you will be able to pick up your student card at our office. In the meantime you can find a digital student card in your SisA account in case you already need it. 


The international housing officers will welcome you in person during the Orientation Day. Still need help in finding housing? Questions on your rental agreement or fire insurance? need short-term accommodation? Come to the Orientation Day and get an answer to all your questions about housing & accommodation. If you can't make it there, you can contact them at  

Residence permit

All students staying for a minimum of 90 days should apply for a residence permit upon arrival in Belgium. The only exception is students with an EU nationality staying for one semester, they do not have to apply for a residence permit, but are welcome to do so if they wish. You can find all information about the application procedure right here on the website. 

Our colleagues Nadia and Hilde will organise an online session and question time on Tuesday 26 September at 5pm. Use this link to access the session.

If you have any remaining questions you can always contact

Opening a bank account

If you have a European bank card you should have no problem to make payments or withdraw money in Belgium. If you use a non-European bank card you might be subject to extra charges, check this with your current bank at home. In order to avoid high bank costs you can choose to open a bank account in Belgium or create a WISE account:

WISE is an online transfer platform you can use to reduce extra bank charges. You can transfer and receive money at a significantly lower cost. The advantage of  a WISE account is that you can already create it from home. On the website you can find information on how to use your euro account details. If you want a debit card, you need to order it.  

The advantage of opening a Belgian bank account is that there are no costs when making a transfer and you will automatically receive a bank card. If you want to open a Belgian bank account, you can already make an appointment with a Belgian bank from home.  Which bank you choose is totally up to you. 

Health care

If you feel sick or have medical problems you can turn to a general practitioner and make an appointment.

Check with your personal health insurance how you can get reimbursed, and also how you can get reimbursed, if you need to buy medical drugs on prescription.

Students who hold a European Health Insurance Card can find all information about healthcare and insurance with your blue EHIC card here.

Health insurance

All students should have adequate health insurance to cover their stay in Antwerp. Although the University of Antwerp does offer accident-liability insurance to all its students, your health insurance is not covered, so please make sure you are sufficiently insured. You can find all info on the website. If you need further information don't hesitate to reach out:

Please be advised we cannot recommend one health insurance over the other, seeing as these are paid service providers.


Getting around in Antwerp

Antwerp has an extensive network of tram and bus lines that can take you all across the city. You can check out the bus timetable to get you to different places. Here you can find out how to buy a travel pass if you are an international student. 

The city offers quite some transport options to get around, you can travel  by boat "de waterbus" or train as well. Find out your Smart ways to Antwerp 

Getting around in Belgium and Europe

Belgium is such a small country, you can find a train to almost every city and it's a nice way to discover the country while enjoying the view at the same time. 

Check out some ways to make the most out of your journey while traveling around! Since Belgium is at the centre of Europe, you can reach  many European destinations in less than 6 hours. Get inspired by Erasmus by train while planing your journey and enjoy the diversity of countries and landscapes you travel through in the comfort of your train seat.

Waste sorting