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How to Enroll Your Children in School in Belgium

If you're a newcomer in Belgium and enrolling your children in school in Belgium, here's how:
|-How to Enroll Your Children in School in Belgium

Enrolling your child in a public school in Belgium as an expat can seem like a daunting task, but with the right preparation and understanding of the process, it can be made simpler. The Belgian education system is highly regarded and offers a variety of languages of instruction, making it a popular choice for expats. However, the enrollment process involves several steps and requires certain documents. These include your child’s birth certificate, proof of residence, and sometimes, a report from the previous school. It’s also important to note that the school year in Belgium typically starts in September, so it’s advisable to start the enrollment process well in advance.

  1. Research Schools: Start by researching the different public schools available in your area. Consider factors such as the language of instruction, the curriculum, and the school’s proximity to your home or work. Belgium has three communities – Flemish, French, and German-speaking – and each has its own school system. Choose the one that best suits your child’s needs.
  2. Visit Schools: Once you have a shortlist of schools, arrange to visit them. This will give you a better understanding of the school environment and teaching methods. It’s also a good opportunity to ask any questions you may have.
  3. Prepare Documents: Gather all the necessary documents for enrollment. This typically includes your child’s birth certificate, proof of residence (such as a utility bill or rental agreement), and a report from your child’s previous school. If these documents are not in Dutch, French, or German, they may need to be translated.
  4. Apply for Enrollment: Once you’ve chosen a school, you can apply for enrollment. This is usually done by filling out an application form provided by the school. Some schools may also require an interview with the child and parents.
  5. Wait for Confirmation: After submitting your application, you will need to wait for confirmation of your child’s place. This can take a few weeks, so be patient. If your application is successful, the school will provide you with further information about the start of the school year, school supplies, etc.
  6. Register for School Services: If needed, register for additional school services such as school transport, school meals, and after-school care. These services often require separate registration and may have additional costs.

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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