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From the multicultural streets of Brussels to the quaint architecture in Ghent, this country has a lot to offer to its inhabitants. Moving to Belgium has never been more exciting. It boasts a rich historical heritage as well as an artistic community, which are both impressively represented in many museums and architectural galleries.
When it comes to the local cuisines, the Belgians do not disappoint. Decadence meets design in chocolate stores, while the warm and welcoming bars offer locally brewed beer, and all of this in a picturesque setting. With many interesting destinations within one country, it is important to plan ahead before moving. Here is all the information you need to make sure your move to Belgium is as smooth as the chocolate sauce on your waffle.
When it comes to accommodation, a little online research goes a long way to ensure you find the best house or flat. It is generally easy for expats to find a home in Belgium, as the country sees internationals come and go regularly. You may want to look at the country from a linguistic perspective, and decide whether to move to the French (South), Flemish (North), or German (East) speaking areas. Using estate agents and personal contacts, look at cities individually, and decide whether a central flat or house in the suburbs suits best. Don’t be too quick to pick the capital city, as other places like Bruges or Waterloo are equally charming.
The schooling system in Belgium is broad, and reflective of the nation’s multicultural people. As such it is worth looking at international schools, popular with expats, or local schools that will offer language courses in whichever language is locally used in addition to English. In that context, you’ll find a number of private and state schools with their own set of advantages, and price ranges. For example, if the children attending are younger, it may be worth putting them in a local school as they will learn the local language quicker, and qualify for private international schools later on.
With over 11 million inhabitants spread across a fragmented country, the cultural heritage of Belgium is particularly diverse, and is perfectly balanced between the old and the new. With its medieval castles, northern coastline and bustling political sphere, living in Belgium is like travelling in time. What’s more, the culinary culture is to die for. Feast your eyes on the chocolate fountains and truffles lined up behind the store windows, while letting the intoxicating smell of warm waffles fill your lungs. Yet if for some reason chocolate isn’t your thing, the oh-so-popular savoury dish moules frites (mussels and chips) will surely win you over.
Although travelling to Belgium freely is one of the perks of being an EU citizen, other internationals are allowed in the country visa-free for 90 days, but after that it’s necessary to obtain one to be able to stay. Once you’re in though, you’ll be happy to know that it is very easy to go to neighbouring countries like France, Luxembourg or the Netherlands thanks to the virtually non-existing borders within the European Union.
It is worth noting that Belgium is known for its high tax rate, but makes up for it with its highly qualified social services including health, education and law enforcement.
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