FAQ International students

As an international student, you probably have a lot of questions.

We'll answer some of the most common ones on this page.

Why is my contract in Dutch/French when I speak English?

All contracts and other official documents have to be signed in the French or Dutch version, since those are the official languages in Belgium. Exemplary copies will be provided in English to make sure you understand the content of the documents.

What is the difference between a regular and an international contract?

If you are an international student who will stay in Belgium for a longer period (meaning more than one year) we can offer you a regular contract. The document you can use as proof are for example:

  • a residence permit 
  • a student card from a Belgium institution
  • a proof of enrollment from a Belgium institution

The proof should show that you will be staying in Belgium for more than one year.

If this is not the case, then we will offer you an international contract. 

In case of a regular contract you pay each month the rent and the charges. 
In case of an international contract you pay the rent and charges for the whole year in one amount.


Do I need a visa when coming to Belgium and what should I do when I arrive?

Visa requirements depend on the length of your stay, your nationality and the purpose of your stay upon arrival, you will in any case need to register (within 8 days) at the town hall.

All information you need to know about the visa and registration you will find here:
- Flemish community (Flanders / Brussels)
- French community (Wallonia / Brussels)

On these websites, you will also find a lot more information about living and studying in Belgium: cost of living, tuition fees, etc.

Can I cancel my contract and what are the consequences?

As soon as you sign your contract, this is of course a legal and binding document that cannot simply be cancelled whenever you want. This is also the case if you don’t obtain a visa or if you have any other reason you unfortunately cannot make it to Belgium.

Following Belgian law, we offer the following options depending on the region and the moment you would like to cancel your contract.


  • >3 months before the start date: free cancellation
  • <3 months before the start date: cancellation fee of 2 months’ rent


  • >3 months before the start date: free cancellation
  • <3 months before the start date and >1 month before the start date: cancellation fee of 1 months’ rent
  • <1 month before the start date: cancellation period of 2 months, starting on 1/9 and ending 31/10


  • If you cancel before the start date, you pay a cancellation fee of 3 months and there is also a cancellation period of 2 months
Where do I find the BIC (= SWIFT) code and other payment details?

You can find all BIC codes via the following link : BIC Transformator.
You simply need to enter the IBAN, which you’ll find on your personal payment page.

Other payment information (such as bank names and addresses) you'll also find with the transfomator here above.

Do I need to open a Belgian bank account to set up the payments?

Before your arrival in Belgium, we will ask you to complete the payment steps via your personal payment page in order to pay the monthly rent and the monthly costs (electricity, gas, water, internet and waste disposal).

As an international student from a SEPA country* you have two options :

  1. You can choose to fill in your current bank account number on the personal payment page.
  2. You can choose to open a Belgian bank account. Even if you don’t currently have Belgian citizenship or a permanent address in Belgium, you can still apply online for a current account with some banks. All you need to do once you arrive in Belgium is go to your branch to sign for and get your debit card.

For example: KBC Bank

*If you are a student from a non SEPA country, you will have to open a Belgium bank account. If this is not possible before arriving in Belgium, please contact backoffice@upkot.be for more information.

Do I need fire insurance for my accommodation?

You are obliged to take out an insurance policy with an approved Belgian insurance company to cover your liability and to cover the contents of the room against fire, storm, explosion, lightning and water damage, in accordance with the statutory requirements and obligations. It is your responsibility to ensure that the contents you bring into the room are properly covered.

Also check the insurance policy you or your parents already have. In a lot of cases, studying periods abroad are already completely covered.

How can you arrange insurance as a student?

Your parents’ fire insurance may cover your student accommodation, since you are only temporarily moving to Belgium. Check this in your parents’ insurance policy.

If you are not covered by your parents’ insurance policy, you will have to take out an extra fire insurance for your student room. This should cover two risks
- your liability (tenant’s liability and liability vis-à-vis third parties)
- the contents

You can contact a Belgium insurance provider or a bank for more information.

Is the room furnished?

The room is almost completely furnished, the only things you’ll need to bring are an office chair, mattress and bedding. At Upkot we have our own webshop, where you can buy these things. Please take into account that the estimated delivery time is 2-3 weeks.

In the shared kitchens, the kitchen supplies need to be provided by the students. In other words, you’ll need to bring : plates, glasses, pots and pans, cutlery, etc. This is also the case for students who rent an Upstudio or Uptwin+ (rooms with private kitchen).

When can I enter my student room?

Before booking your flight, you need to contact your Upkot Coach to see when he/she is available to do the check-in of the room. During this check-in, the coach does the inspection of the room and afterwards he/she hands you over the keys to the room. Afterwards you can start moving in.

The Upkot projects are not like hotels where there is 24/7 reception, so you really need to make an appointment with the Upkot Coach in time.

What about public transport in Belgium?

Click here for all information on public transport.

Tip: consult your school to check whether you are entitled to a student discount.

How do I get to know my neighborhood?

Use Google maps to search the area and find all the hotspots in the neighborhood.

What in case of an international transaction?

The tenant must always pay the full amount of the rent/charges to the appropriate owner.

If an international transaction is made, the student must be the guarantor of the additional charges, not the person who must receive the payment.

Therefore, the person who should receive the payment must always receive the full amount stated in the contract.