PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

• Experience one of the most international cities in the world while living in Brussel’s university district, named one of the coolest neighborhoods to live in all of Europe. 

• Engage in specialty seminars and workshops featuring key decision-makers in the European Union, alongside a diverse study body composed of more than 300 international students of 60 nationalities. 

• Taste the wonders of Belgium, a country famous for its chocolate, beer, waffles, and invention of the “French” fry. 

• The Brussels School of Governance (BSoG) offers a distinctive opportunity to take classes in the hub of the EU in policy-relevant fields, including energy & environment, security & diplomacy, migration & diversity, and digitalization & democracy.   

LIFE ABROAD 

Enjoy living in the “small, big city” of Brussels, home to a vast student and international community where there is always a concert, museum, or mesmerizingly spacious park nearby to explore! Known as the “capital of Europe”, Brussels has tremendous global significance and has been shaped by a distinctive combination of cultural influences as evidenced in the fact there are three national languages: French, Dutch, and German.  

LIVE 

Experience the Belgian culture fully by living in a single bedroom in a homestay with a local family who is committed to enriching the study abroad experience of their host students! Students will have access to do laundry at their accommodation up to two times per week. No language skills are required as host families have a good understanding of English and experience living with international students. Families who speak French or Dutch are available upon request for any student wanting to enhance their language proficiency. 

DINE  

Enjoy 11 included meals per week in a Belgian homestay! Families provide breakfast daily and dinners during the week, and you’ll have access to the kitchen to prepare your own meals at other times as well as fridge space to store food. After class, enjoy the indulgent food scene of Brussels and sample some local staples like Moules-Frites (Mussels) or Speculaas (caramel cookies), while enjoying world-famous beer! 

EXPERIENCE 

At Brussels School of Governance there are endless opportunities to get involved! Foster new connections through the many social activities the student government plans, including ski trips, outings, and parties with peers. Dive into a wide range of extracurriculars by joining a sports team, participating in a student-run forum, or attending a specialty seminar with leaders in the European Union. 

EXPLORE 

Brussels is known as one of the friendliest cities in Europe and serves as a centralized hub providing ample opportunities to travel by train to other countries and Belgian cities. Whether you attend a music festival, political discussion, or explore the world-renowned comic book scene, there is always something to do in Brussels!  

THRIVE 

Connect with a student support specialist to discuss available accommodations for students with documented learning disabilities such as ADHD or Dyslexia. Resources are also available for students with physical disabilities including those with visual impairments or mobility concerns. 

INTERN 

Participate in an internship for academic credit during your time in Belgium and earn 6-12 ECTS (3-6 U.S. credits). The BSoG Internship Program provides an excellent opportunity to take the knowledge from coursework and apply it in a complementary professional setting. Students will also enroll in courses at Vesalius College to complement their part-time internship. 

The ‘single’ internship involves 150–180 hours of work over the course of the semester (roughly 12–15 hours per week). Interns are required to keep a daily log and to write a 3,000-word paper at the end of the term. The single internship is evaluated with a letter grade and is worth 1 academic course, or 6 ECTS (equivalent to 3 U.S. academic credits).  

Looking for more? Consider applying for the ‘double’ internship, which is offered by a selection of Vesalius' internship partners. The ‘double’ internship is worth 2 academic courses or 12 ECTS (6 U.S. academic credits). With the ‘double’ internship, students are expected to work 280 hours per semester (approximately 25 hours per week) and, in addition to the 3,000-word paper and daily log, are required to conduct an academic research project over the course of the term. 

What We Love About Brussels 

There is always something to do! Explore the food scene, visit museums, or attend a parade among a welcoming, multicultural community! 

See budget and estimated expenses

Program Website

Course Description

The Brussels School of Governance (BSoG) delivers a broad range of academic programs and classes in policy-relevant fields, including energy & environment, security & diplomacy, migration & diversity, and digitalization & democracy.  By virtue of its location in Brussels, the heart of the European political community, BSoG can leverage local expertise in the classroom, offering exceptional opportunities to be involved in evolving public policy and business problems.  BSoG offers two distinctive opportunities for ISEP students: A Peace and Security Certificate (Fall Semester only) and credit-bearing internships that allow students to apply their learning in unique internship placements. 

To assist with class selection, the chart below reflects some of the more popular classes students have taken at BSoG in the past. 

Credits Earned 

Students who complete the program in good standing can expect to earn 24-30 ECTS which ISEP recommends is the equivalent of 12-15 U.S. Credit Hours. Each course will usually be worth 6-9 ECTS.  Students should plan to commit 10-15 hours per week per class to lectures, discussions and readings. 

If you use financial aid, please speak with a qualified financial aid advisor to understand your academic obligations and the requirements for using financial aid. 

Sample Classes Available: 

 
 
 
 
 

International/ Global Studies

 
 
 
 

Business

 
 
 
 

Social Sciences

 
 
 
 

Political Science

 
 
 
 

Global Politics 

 
 

Business Information Systems 

 
 

Intermediate Qualitative Research Methods 

 
 

Understanding Contemporary Conflicts in the Euro-Mediterranean Region 

 
 
 
 

Global Terrorism, Counter-Terrorism & (De-) Radicalisation 

 
 

International Business Management 

 
 

Global Ethics 

 
 

Comparative Political Systems 

 
 
 
 

Security, Migration and Cultural Diversity in Europe 

 
 

Global Leadership 

 
 

Human Rights 

 
 

Ethnic Conflict, Reconciliation and Post-war Reconstruction 

 
 
 
 

The United Nations and Global Governance 

 
 

e-Business 

 
 

Security, Migration, & Cultural Diversity in Europe 

 
 

The EU’s Approach to Democratisation and Human Rights

 

For detailed instructions on how to search for all available courses, please click on the "other academic conditions" dropdown link below.

Website for Course Availability

ISEP STUDENT SERVICES OFFICER Gretchen McCarthy 703-504-9980 | gmccarthy@isep.org Thanks for your interest in ISEP Study Abroad! I’m your Student Services Officer and main point of contact here at ISEP. As you search for programs, I'll be available to answer any questions you might have. Feel free to contact me at any point in your search process for help, tips or advice.

Academics

Undergraduate
(in English)

Fields of Study

  • Business: Recommended!

    Accounting Business Management E-Commerce Economics Entrepreneurship Finance International Business/Trade/Commerce Marketing

  • Communication:

    Advertising Intercultural Communication Journalism Mass Communication/Media Studies Photojournalism Public Relations Speech Communication and Rhetoric

  • Foreign Languages and Literatures:

    Arabic Language and Literature Chinese Language and Literature Dutch/Flemish Language and Literature French Language and Literature

  • History:

    Asian History European History

  • International/Global Studies: Recommended!

    International Relations and Affairs Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution

  • Law/Criminal Justice:

    Business Law International Business, Trade, and Tax Law International Law Legal Studies Pre-Law Studies

  • Mathematics

    Statistics

  • Social Sciences Recommended!

    Political Science and Government

  • Visual and Performing Arts

    Art History

Academic Requirements

  • U.S. GPA: 2.75 or higher
    *accepts lower GPA with explanation
  • TOEFL iBT Score: 90
  • IELTS Score: 6.5

Special Application Instructions

Students are required to submit an internal application following their placement which is required of the host institution. Instructions will be sent by the ISEP Host Coordinator by email. 

As part of the ISEP application any student potentially interested in applying for an internship must attach to a copy of their resume/CV and a general cover letter that outlines his or her internship objectives, preferred job responsibilities and qualifications.

Non-native English speakers must submit language scores to determine their level of language proficiency. 

PASSPORT: All students must have a valid passport to participate in this program. If you do not have a valid passport, we suggest you start the application process as soon as possible. 

VISA/RESIDENCE PERMIT: Most students attending this program will be required to obtain a visa/residence permit. For more information on the process and estimated cost, please review the ISEP Country Handbook here.

Special Needs Support

  • Mental Health
  • Mobility
  • Hearing
  • Visual
  • Speech
  • Learning

Other Academic Conditions

COURSES 

As an ISEP student, you can build your own program by choosing your courses from a variety of fields. Use the notes for course searching to help you find which courses are available. 

Course schedules will be made available by April 1 for the following Fall semester courses and by November 1 for the following Spring semester courses. Course flexibility is necessary.  

Fall semester students should review the sample fall semester schedule and spring semester students the sample spring semester schedule, as different courses are offered in the fall and spring semesters. 

Sample Fall Course Schedule 

Sample Spring Course Schedule 

The list of Course Descriptions for the 2021-2022 academic year will provide you with a better understanding of the course offering and prerequisites. 

CERTIFICATE PROGRAM (Fall Only) 

BSoG offers the opportunity for students to obtain a certificate in Peace & Security Studies during the Fall semester only. To obtain this certificate, students must take all four courses within the ‘Certificate Programme in European Peace and Security Studies’. 

The courses in the European Peace and Security Studies program emphasize theoretical and practical analysis of the comprehensive, civil-military nature of contemporary conflict and crisis management from a NATO, UN and EU perspective. They also examine the history, institutional procedures and policies of, and interrelations between, these three organizations, as well as their interaction with a wide range of civilian and military partners. 

The program sheds light on the complex roots and causes of contemporary conflicts in Europe’s periphery and beyond. At the end of the semester, students will have acquired an extensive knowledge of the institutional, theoretical and practical dimensions of contemporary issues and of the core actors in the field of European peace and security. 

For every fall term semester, four courses that will constitute this program are selected from the range of courses. Past courses have included those mentioned below. The fall 2023 courses will be announced in early 2023.  

• The EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy  

• Understanding Contemporary Conflicts in the Euro-Mediterranean Region 

• Global Terrorism, Counter-terrorism and (De-) Radicalisation 

• Security, Migration and Cultural Diversity in Europe 

• NATO and Transatlantic Approaches to Security 

• Military Approaches to Promoting Security 

• International Approaches to State-Building, Reform and Good Governance 

• Russian Foreign Policy 

For details, please refer to the course description links above. 

INTERNSHIPS 

There are 2 types of credit-bearing internships available to Study Abroad students. Students will also enroll in courses at BSoG to complement their part-time internship.  

• The ‘single’ internship involves 150–180 hours of work over the course of the semester (roughly 12–15 hours per week). Students are also required to keep a daily log and to write a 2,000- to 2,500-word paper at the end of the term. The single internship is evaluated with a letter grade and is worth 1 academic course, or 6 ECTS (equivalent to 3 U.S. academic credits). 

• Motivated study abroad students are also allowed to apply for the ‘double’ internship, which is offered by a selection of BSoG's internship partners. The ‘double’ internship is worth 2 academic courses or 12 ECTS (6 U.S. academic credits). With the ‘double’ internship, students are expected to work 280 hours per semester (approximately 25 hours per week) and, in addition to the 2,000- to 2,500-word paper and daily log, are required to conduct an academic research project over the course of the term.  

In addition to the single or double internship, students will enroll in additional regular university courses for a total semester credit load of 24 to 30 ECTS. You can build your own program by choosing courses from a variety of fields.

Additional Class Specific Details: 

• Certain BSoG free elective courses are offered by academic partners such as the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, the Royal Military Academy, and others. Students should note that some of these courses follow the Belgian academic grading system and the Belgian academic calendar (i.e. they start and end later than regular Vesalius College courses). Not all free electives have different dates, only the one or two offered by Brussels partner schools. ISEP Direct students can take these courses at no additional cost other than the extended housing cost. Partner courses with extended calendar dates are not open to ISEP exchange students.  

• Students wishing to take a foreign language (French or Dutch) that is above the introductory (101) level must take a placement test (offered in the fall and spring during orientation week) in order to determine their true proficiency level and the best corresponding course level.  

• Students wishing to take a 300-level (advanced) political science course on the European Union will be required to take a European Union aptitude test during orientation week (fall and spring). Those that fail the test will not be allowed to register for the 300-level EU courses until they have participated in the EU crash course, which will be organized, free of charge for the student, in the first week of classes. 

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Brussels School of Governance

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