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Université Libre de Bruxelles

Students 3 500
Exchange students 1 500
IEM students 3 000
Autumn Semester September - January
Application deadline June 1st
Spring Semester January - June
Application deadline October 10th
Tuition Fee 853€
Website www.ulb.ac.be
www.solvay.edu

Study Information

Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management (SBS-EM) is part of Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB). SBS-EM has been created through the merger of the SBS and the Economics Department of the ULB and offers degrees in economics and Business Engineering at bachelor and Master's level.


ULB Clock Tower

Concerning IEM, the school offers one Bachelor degree and two Masters degrees: Master in Management Science and Master in Business Engineering. The Master in Management Science is taught completely in English while the other one is taught partly in French and partly in English. The school also offer a bachelor and a master in Economics.

Application

If you wish to apply for an exchange period here, you need to contact the International Office of your home university in order to inquire about its selection procedure. Once you have been selected by the International Office of your home institution, your official application must then be e-mailed by your home coordinator by June 1st for the first term exchange students and by October 10th for the second term exchange students. Thereafter you will be emailed again with the online registration procedure. Please note that the online registration is mandatory and does not include courses registration.

If you desire to apply for one of the masters, you can apply here. The deadlines are September 30th and April 30th if you are not assimilated to a student coming from an EU-country.

Courses

Your choice of courses will depend partly on the amount of ECTS (European Credits Transfer System) your home institution requires you to obtain on your exchange period. Another factor that will influence your choice of courses will no doubt be the language it is taught in (French or English, or sometimes a mix of the two). It is easy to compose a selection of courses in one language if you do not feel confident enough to study in the other.

All the information you need about the courses and their respective ECTS can be found in the course catalogue. Your choice of courses will need to be verified by your home institution coordinator as well as our coordinator for exchange students. Once the validation procedure is complete you can compose your timetable by looking at Gehol, the online schedule. Any cancelled classes or changes are also published there.

Exchange students have access to almost all courses from the last year of bachelors as well as all Master’s courses. Information about courses at SBS-EM can be found on their website, both on Bachelor and Master level.

Quality of Education


Solvay Brussels School of Economics

Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management is well known as the best business school in the French-speaking part of Belgium. The last rankings of the Financial Times in 2014 show Solvay takes 47th place amongst European business schools. The school is currently in a new modern building entirely dedicated to all his course program. Most teachers are both academics as well as professionals and provide students with unique insight on the applications of their subjects in the real world.

Study Practicalities

Language

Most of the courses are taught in English; so, for your own benefit, you should have a good understanding of the language. If you want to improve your English skills while you are in Brussels, you can go to Fondation 9. It is a private school which offers language courses. You should arrange for registration yourself by contacting the schools directly either before your arrival or once you are in Brussels. Discounts are usually offered to exchange students and ULB. If you wish to improve your French while in Brussels, the university offers several French courses at different levels for free. You will have to sign up for these quickly as places are limited. Following your registration you will take a test to measure you level of knowledge of the language so that you can be put in the appropriate class.

Access

The School is located on the Solbosch Campus of the Université Libre de Bruxelles. The campus is easily accessible by tram or bus, with stops right in front of the campus. The trip from the city centre takes about 30 minutes by public transportation.

Student ID Card

Every student is supposed to have his student card with himself all time when he is on campus, but this is not checked. However, you will need it for book loans and it is mandatory to have your student card for the exams otherwise you will not be allowed to take it. Your card will also have your student identification number known as the "numero de matricule" which you will need to access "MonULB" a website where your marks and some important information will be published.

Communication

It is very important that you register on the SBS-EM intranet so that you can access information communicated to all students. There are also several Facebook groups  where you can find lots of information concerning courses and communication with other students on any relevant academic subject.

Practical Information

This information is useful for everyone who wants to come in Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management.

How to get there

By Plane

The most common way is to take a flight directly to Brussels airport, the national company is Brussels Airlines. There are many other companies which operate there. From the airport, the easiest way to reach the town centre is to take the bus 12 or 21 until the station "Diamant" and then the tramway 25  direction "Boondael Gare" until the station "ULB" . Tickets cost 5 euros and credit cards are not accepted in buses. A ticket is valid just for an hour.

Another option is to fly to Brussels South Charleroi Airport. In this case, you must take a shuttle  (around 15€) to Brussel South (Gare du Midi). After you must buy a STIB ticket (around 2€) to take the Subway number 2 direction "Elisabeth" until the station "Louise" where you can reuse you ticket to take the tramway number 94 until the station "ULB" .

By Train


Brussels Central Station

The train is the cheapest way to come to Brussels. Brussels is connected to Paris, London, Amsterdam and Frankfurt through high speed train and for a fair price if you book in advance.

Time of travel and price for a return trip: Paris: 1h22 - 50 Euros London: 1h00 - 75 Euros Amsterdam: 2h00 - 50 Euros Frankfurt1: 4h30 - 80 Euros

As a student, you can buy a Go Pass 10 for 50 Euros which gave you 10 journeys for any destinations in Belgium from any depart station in Belgium.

You will need to get off at Brussels South (Gare du Midi) and buy a STIB ticket (around 2€) to take the Subway number 2 direction "Elisabeth" until the station "Louise" where you can reuse you ticket to take the tramway number 94 until the station "ULB" . You can also get off at Brussels Central (Gare Centrale) and take the bus 71 direction "Delta" until the station "ULB".

By bus

It is a long travel but it is possible to get in Brussels by Eurolines, but cheap if you book on time. There is no intercity bus company in Belgium.

Accommodation


European Parliament

Finding appropriate accommodation in Brussels is not easy and it will probably be the hardest part of your exchange period to organize but it will be well worth it once you have settled in! Contracts for properties are annual with some exceptions were a six month contract can be available. This complicates things for exchange students who will be spending 4 or 5 months here. There are however some studios or apartments with rooms that can be rented out monthly which is often what exchange students settle for. The demand for these is higher than the supply so you should be quick.

Here in Brussels we call student rooms "kot". Many students choose to share an apartment with other students as this is usually the cheapest option. The other most popular option is studios but they can be expensive.

There are student rooms on the ULB campus; but, place is very limited and they give priority to non-exchange students, and students staying for the entire academic year. However, it is still worth it to apply for a room. The online registration form is available as from May 31th.

Important Things

European students don't need a visa to study in Brussels. They just have to get registered in the city hall at their arrival. Then, they will receive a residency permit. You ought to have insurance in case of disease. If you come from a tropical country, there are some vaccines you must do before your arrival.

Living

Living cost

The living cost is like in other European countries. Not as expensive as in United Kingdom but not so cheap. At the university, for example, food has a wide range of cost level. Some supermarkets are quite expensive; but, if you look around a bit you can easily find Lidl or Aldi or some other discount stores.

Transportation

Transportation within Brussels is at a good European standard with good connections throughout via metro, tram, pre-metro and bus. To be more flexible, it is better to have an annual subscription. It is 120 euro for a year for students. If you want to buy tickets every day, they are 2,50 euro in the tram or bus and 2,10 euro out. It is obviously better to take an annual one.

Shopping


Grand Place

For students, Brussels is not especially interesting for shopping. You can find most European chain stores here, from retail to technological.

The Louise area is known for being the top of the charts when it comes to known, designer retail labels (Chanel, Armani etc). The Porte de Namur area has several high street shops more geared towards a student wallet.

The city centre has a shopping centre called City2 and 1 main shopping street called Rue Neuve which are right next to each other. Here you can find all the high street retail labels (H&M, Zara, Mango) as well as others, and a Galleria INNO, a kind of department store where you can find a very wide selection of beauty and makeup products. There is also a Mediamarkt here.

If you are looking for alternative fashion, the headquarters for these designers is Rue Antoine Dansaert and place saint-Géry. You can also find some fashionable 2nd hand shops in this area for cheap fashion finds!

Around the city you can find random quirky interesting shops that can give you a feel of Brussels but you will have to discover these while you wonder around the city.

If you are an art and antiques lover, Brussels is quite a paradise. The central area of Le Grand Sablon and the Mont Des Arts is famous for its unique atmosphere as most shops here are art/antiques. The area is definitely business-oriented, but you can also take a stroll just for pleasure in this art of town. You can sometimes go to free exhibitions here.

The Marolles district is an old district, also central, where the "vieux marché" flea market takes place every day until the early afternoon. You can find all kinds of stuff here, it is a real bric-a-brac market. Markets take place all over Brussels every week, some of which can be an excellent place for fruit and vegetable shopping.


Famous Manneken Pis

An IKEA is far out of the centre but accessible by metro making it relatively easy to shop here in case you need to buy anything for your home during your stay. In town you can find two chains "casa" and "blokker" which are quite cheap and you can find the majority of the home products here too.

Antwerp is a short train ride (40 minutes) away from Brussels and is the Belgian capital for shopping. Here you have much more choice of international as well as Belgian designer apparel shops. (You can find shops like American apparel, urban outfitters etc.) It’s very easy to find the shopping area from the train station.

Bank account, mobile phone

There are many banks in Brussels, such as ING, Belfius, BNP Paribas… The only bank on campus is ING so many student chose this bank.

As far as choosing you mobile phone operator goes, there is not a great deal of choice and using your mobile phone is quite expensive in comparison to other European countries. The most common operator amongst students is Base because it is cheaper, SMS is often free between Base users, and calling abroad is not very expensive. All operators offer a variety of promotions so it is best to check them all before making your final choice.

Student Activities

Student Organisations

There are two main student organisations for IEM students; BESolvay and Cercle Solvay. ErasmusBrussels (formerly Express-ULB) is a student association aimed at welcoming students doing an exchange program (Erasmus or the others) in Brussels.

BESolvay

BESolvay is the student office for IEM students. It takes care of all academic related tasks within the school. It basically organises elections for delegates, annual dinners and so on. More information can be found BESolvay's website (in French).

Cercle Solvay

Cercle Solvay is the IEM student society. It is the biggest student society of the campus with 1200 members and around 50 delegates and associations.

Cercle Solvay organise many activities and services such as recruiting and jobs fairs, an annual ball, parties, a ski week, sports activities, a bar, a magazine, a library of comics, daily sandwiches, publishing of course notes, concerts, culture activities, golf, music shows, ESTIEM activities and "folk" activities such as the cantus and rites of passages

Cercle Solvay is the host association of Brussels Local Group. The ESTIEM committee is currently composed of around fifteen people organizing local ESTIEM events and promoting events organised by other Local Groups.

Cercle Solvay organises a welcome drink for incoming exchange students every semester in order to introduce them to the association, informing them on the main activities and possibilities of involvement in the organisation.

More information about the Cercle Solvay organisation can be found on their website (in French)

Erasmus Brussels

Erasmus Brussels (formerly EXPRESS ULB) is a student association dedicated to making your Erasmus experience in the Europe's capital as interesting and as fun as possible.

They organise a variety of activities that will help you to discover the city and meet other Erasmus students. As soon as you arrive in Brussels, a welcome week is organised, keeping you busy every day. Throughout the whole year they organise parties, trips, visits, sports and many other activities to enrich your stay in Brussels.

Joining the association is cheap and with the membership card you will receive discounts to all of their events and activities as well as a welcome pack!

The campus hosts many others students organisations with mainly students offices and folk associations for each faculty. Some of them are also regional, national and politics associations.

Nightlife

If you like beer, you will have fun in our festivities. In our school, each year we have "La noctune" which takes place in September and it is an occasion to spend time with your friend on the campus, the campus is different that nights. It is a really funny activity.

Solvay also organises "Le bal Orange" every December. It is an annual event. It's a big Prom where you ought to be. It is enormous and you spend great moments.

Finally you have TD's which are the parties during the week where you can have some beer . You can decompress, dance with friends and you have some challenges. They are really crazy parties where you definitely have to go at least once if you are staying in Brussels as a student.

Then, there are some trips organized by the Cercle Solvay during year at very low prices. More information are on their website .

Sports

You can register to the ULB Sports at 50 Euros for the whole year.

But the real important sport event of Solvay is the ski event. It takes place every year in February, after the first session of exams. This travel is not expensive, about 250 Euros for the week. It is an occasion to meet other Solvaysiens, have fun and make some BBQ. It is a big event in our school organised by the Sport Committee of the Student Office. For more information visit the website.

Contacts

Study information

If you want more information about the exchange students, or to ask some questions about the registration, you can find some information here.

Practical Information

The current responsible for ESTIEM group in Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management is Alex Schouleur.

 

Feedback

If there are errors, broken links, or missing information in this article, please send a mail to studentguide@estiem.org. We appreciate your help.