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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Brussels, Belgium
  • Program Terms: Fall, Spring, Year (SH)
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Program Sponsor: ISEP 
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Program Description:
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Vesalius College


Program Snapshot

Brussels plays a very important role in Europe as it is home to both NATO and the European Union. Students will receive individualized attention at this small private college, which offers courses taught entirely in English. Vesalius is ideal for undergraduate students interested in international affairs, business, communications and European studies. Students will also have an opportunity to participate in prestigious internships as a part of their course curriculum. Graduate level students can also take classes in the new one-year Master’s in European Policy program.

Brussels is known as the “Capital of Europe”. A city of approximately 2 million, it is the home of NATO and the European Commission. While largely francophone, Brussels is surrounded by Dutch-speaking communities, a peculiarity of interest in this small country with three national languages (French, Dutch and German). Visitors will be fascinated by the international and multicultural nature of this “small big city”, but will be comforted by the fact that nearly everyone knows at least some English, which is one reason many tourists call Brussels one of Europe’s friendliest cities. Brussels is also the home of some of the world’s most famous foods, drinks and cultural icons, such as “Pommes Frites” (French fries), waffles, chocolate, thousands of different types of beers, comic books (i.e. “TinTin”), Hercule Poirot, Eddie Merckx and Jean-Claude Van Damme.

Brussels’ relatively central location offers an ideal starting point for international travel. Brussels is only 162 miles from Paris, 198 miles from London, 194 miles from Frankfurt and 108 miles from Amsterdam. Public transportation within Brussels as well as to and from Brussels is plentiful, well-designed and economical. For longer trips, students can find attractive fares on high-speed trains or discount airlines.

ISEP Exchange: undergraduate and graduate programs available for an academic year or semester
ISEP Direct: undergraduate and graduate programs available for an academic year, semester, or summer

ISEP-Exchange for International students.
ISEP-Exchange for US students.
ISEP-Direct site for students from all member institutions.
Summer program available.

Program Dates
Academic year: late August to mid-May
Semester 1: late August to mid-December
Semester 2: mid-January to mid-May.

Information about ISEP Direct fees and deadlines.

The ISEP-Direct program fee includes the benefit package for: Tuition and Housing

Tuition only

ISEP-Direct Program fees:
Summer 2013: $6,450

Full Year 13-14: $18,200
Semester 1 13-14: $10,750
Semester 2 13-14: $10,750

For priority consideration, applications for the following semester should be received before February 15 and September 1 unless otherwise noted. Rolling admissions are considered for ISEP-Direct before these final application deadlines:
SM1: April 1, 2013

Summer Program
The Vesalius College Summer 2013 Program – “Focus on Europe” is situated in Brussels, “The Capital of Europe,” offers students a unique summer experience. Lasting six weeks, the Summer Session gives students a focused academic program and the opportunity to experience and explore the best of European culture and travel. The Vesalius College Summer Program consists of courses in the fields of Business, Communications and International Affairs, with a strong focus on Europe. In addition, there are a number of internship opportunities available in high-profile public and private organizations in Brussels.

See summer program information
Fast Facts
Brussels, Belgium (pop. 2 million)
Student Enrollment: 350
University Home Page
Courses in English
The Vesalius Internship Program
Master’s program in European Studies. Study abroad students may follow Master’s courses and pursue a part-time internship during the fall term only.

Academic Notes
By virtue of its location in Brussels, the heart of the European community, Vesalius College has targeted the three disciplines most relevant to the expertise available in the local academic and professional sectors. The Business program thrives on the knowledge of professors and guest lecturers with experience in the headquarters of large multinational corporations. The Communications program has its fingers on the pulse of the latest in international communication by virtue of Brussels being the home of the world’s largest press corps. As the home of NATO and heart of the European Union, Brussels feeds the International Affairs curriculum with the most knowledgeable experts in the field of public policy and European studies. Students can then confirm and apply the theory they acquire in class by participating in prestigious internships in the public and private sectors in such organizations as NATO, the United Nations, Ernst & Young, MasterCard, and many more.


Students can expect their transcripts at the end of January and the end of June. Transcripts are sent to ISEP and and then immediately released to the student's home institution if there are no outstanding financial obligations.

Language Notes

The language of instruction at Vesalius College is English. French and Dutch are offered as foreign languages.


ISEP Language Proficiency Report may be subsituted for official score: No
TOEFL: 90 iBT/577 pBT
IELTS: 6.5

Special Academic Conditions
If courses for the next fall or spring semester are not available yet, students should review courses currently offered for fall or spring. Fall semester students should review the fall semester schedule, spring semester students the spring semester schedule as they may be different. The “Model United Nations” (POL 315) course, which is offered in the spring and is open to ISEP students, is restricted to students who have applied for and have been previously accepted as delegates for the Geneva International Model United Nations (GIMUN). Students receive preparatory sessions to attend the GIMUN summit, which takes place in March. Applications for the GIMUN must be submitted directly to the GIMUN and are accepted in October/November. This course receives a pass/fail grade.

Certain Vesalius College free elective courses are offered by academic partners such as the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), the Royal Military Academy, the Royal Music Conservatory 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.

Housing and Meals

ISEP Exchange: Students placed on exchange will be required to live with a Belgian host family. Host family stays include 7 breakfasts and 5 dinners (12 meals) per week, plus internet access, sheets, towels and access to the kitchen on 2 nights per week. An additional stipend is provided for additional meals. Host families are committed to enriching the study abroad experience for students. All families are able to communicate effectively with students who have no knowledge of French or Dutch.

ISEP Direct: While housing and meals are not included in the ISEP Direct program fee, students will be assisted in finding housing either with a host family or in apartment. A host family provides an opportunity to experience Belgian family life and is strongly recommended by ISEP. The fee for staying with a host family includes 7 breakfasts and 5 dinners (12 meals) per week, plus internet access, sheets, towels and access to the kitchen on 2 nights per week. Students who choose not to live with a host family will be responsible for arranging their own housing and meal options; Vesalius College may provide suggestions for reasonable apartment or student hostel facilities in the area.


You are responsible for all of your personal expenses including: optional fees (e.g. computer, language, science lab fees), books, local transportation, entertainment, etc. The amount below is provided as a guide; the actual amount needed will vary depending on courses and personal habits. Your personal expenses per month, including books, are estimated at: 300-400 euros.

Orientation will take place when students arrive on campus and will include various information sessions, a tour of campus, lunch and evening activities with local Vesalius students. During orientation students will also take any necessary language placement tests or other aptitude tests, have their computer accounts activated, interview for internships and register for courses. On the final day students will go on a tour of Brussels.


Airport pickup is available for an additional fee if the host coordinator is notified sufficiently in advance.

Student Activities
Many extracurricular activities are sponsored by the Vesalius Student Government (VSG) and the associated Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). The VSG organizes regular student parties, outings, ski trips and other activities. Sports include soccer, basketball, swimming, athletics and fitness at a world class fitness center. ISEP students can also participate in student-driven academic activities such as college publications, forums and assemblies. Every semester, the college offers “European Studies” (ART 361) specifically for study abroad students at an additional fee. This course offers field trips to various European cities, with an in-class seminar introducing each trip and highlighting the art, culture and architecture of each city.

Community Engagement (Internships, Service-Learning, Volunteering, etc.)
Vesalius College offers students the opportunity to earn academic credit and professional experience through a unique graded internship program in Brussels. With over 50 internship sponsors in the public and private sectors and with partners such as the United Nations, NATO, UPS, the European Journalism Center and many more, students acquire the professional skills and make the important contacts that can propel them into the career of their dreams. Internships can earn 3 to 6 US credits depending on the number of hours worked per week.

Vesalius College was founded by a collaboration between the Dutch free university of Brussels, the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and Boston University in order to provide university education in the English language in the heart of Europe. Vesalius is located in the center of Brussels and is surrounded by several universities and other institutes of higher learning, including the VUB and the ULB (the French Free University of Brussels). Although the Vesalius campus is small to accommodate a small student body, the campus is nestled against that of its parent university, the VUB. As such, students have the same privileges that VUB students have, and access to the facilities of the much larger free university, including sports facilities, cafeteria, classrooms, health services, libraries, etc. Vesalius College is conveniently located within rapid walking distance to metro and train stations as well as to tram and bus stops.



Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

This program is currently not accepting applications.