6 reasons why you’ll want to go to business school in Brussels | Top Universities

6 reasons why you’ll want to go to business school in Brussels

By Stephanie L

Updated April 1, 2021 Updated April 1, 2021

Sponsored by Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management

Located in the heart of western Europe is Brussels: the capital city of Belgium and the European capital of international governance and business. Beyond its reputation as a centre for business and bureaucracy, Brussels offers a world-class education experience steeped in rich history and vibrant culture which has attracted thousands of international students in recent years.

If you’re looking to go to business school in Europe, here are six reasons why we think Brussels should be top of your list.

Brussels is the leading international centre of business, politics and travel in Europe

As home to many major international organisations such as the European Union, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the World Customs Organisation (WCO), Brussels is where major political decisions and laws are made.

Its significance as an established hub for international business and politics makes the capital an attractive prospect if you intend to study a subject such as international business or finance and are interested in starting a career here too.

Brussels is also a culture capital celebrated for its street art, architecture and indulgent cuisine

Brussels may be the centre of international bureaucracy in Europe, but there’s much more to the capital than this. Behind the business and politics is a city rich with culture and history, examples of which can be found around almost every street corner.

From museums and art galleries to open-air markets, bistros, bars and indulgent restaurants, eclectic nightlife venues to exclusive shopping districts – Brussels is celebrated as a truly global city that has something for everyone and is what attracted Solvay Advanced Master in Finance graduate Jonathan to study here.

“It’s the kind of place that I was looking forward to thrive in,” said Jonathan.

Originally from France, Jonathan remembers the “hustle and bustle that characterised the city” when he first arrived in 2019.

“I was instantaneously mesmerized by the art deco/nouveau and Dutch renaissance architecture and also thrilled by the number of landmarks and monuments.

“And because the Solvay campus is in one of Brussels’ 19 municipalities, I quickly realised there was definitely more to discover in Brussels than its historical city centre,” he added.

However, unlike Jonathan, Advanced Master in Innovation and Strategic Management student Gergana only had a few weeks to explore her new home before the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic in October 2020. Originally from Sofia in Bulgaria, in those few weeks Gergana enjoyed simply walking around the capital and its array of green parks, as well as sampling famous local delicacies such as waffles and Belgium beer.

She also recalls how friendly and welcoming the locals are.

“Everyone spoke English and took the time to ask me about my experience so far and why I had chosen to study there,” Gergana said.

It’s one of the best student cities in Europe

In the QS Best Student Cities Ranking, Brussels ranked in the top 50 worldwide and 18th in Europe. Its bustling international student community makes for strong scores in both the student mix and student view indicators, while the university rankings indicator sees Brussels rank within the top 30 in Europe.

Speaking of universities… 

Brussels’ reputation for world-class higher education 

Many universities in Belgium – particularly in Brussels – have a strong international outlook and strong positions in global rankings, making it a great place to study if you’re looking for academic excellence.

In the most recent QS World University Rankings, a total of 10 universities in Belgium are featured – with the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB), which is home to Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management, being one of them.

Gergana researched many business schools and master’s programmes before choosing ‘the one’. At the time, where the school was, wasn’t particularly significant.

“I chose to apply for this programme not because of the place but mostly because of the programme itself, and the fact that it encompassed a broader view on innovation and strategy while providing an in-depth look into a topic of interest.”

Despite having only experienced living and studying in Brussels during the coronavirus pandemic, Gergana tells us how much she has enjoyed her studies so far. 

“I have enjoyed all the classes and group work. I really like the fact that there are different opportunities on campus like the consulting and mentoring clubs. I like my bright-minded and driven classmates, and despite communicating with them mostly online, every group project has been fun and insightful.”

For Jonathan, being able to study a high-quality advanced master’s that offered the “perfect balance between theory and practical coursework” in a city in which he was already very fond of, was the proverbial ‘icing on the cake’.

“Plus, the fact that the school is ranked among the top business schools in the world and is part of a top-tier research university confirmed my motivations to choose Solvay.”

Reflecting on his study experience at Solvay, Jonathan had only positive things to say.

“My classmates were very friendly and helpful and were an inspiring source of motivation. The lecturers were also passionate and instilled a sense of eagerness to learn and embrace abstract concepts,” he said.

“I also enjoyed participating in weekly seminars where I had the opportunity to speak with executives from the corporate world and enhance my network,” he added.

English is widely spoken with many international degrees taught in English

Brussels is a truly multilingual city and is home to a diverse selection of national languages – French, Flemish (Dutch) and German. English is also commonly spoken here, meaning the option to study a high-quality degree programme in English is available.

Looking beyond business school and to the world of work, there are many international organisations with offices based in Brussels meaning job opportunities are typically in abundance.

“This reflects Brussels’ strength as a cosmopolitan alpha city,” said Jonathan. “This made it easier after my graduation to step into the labour market.”

As a graduate, you will usually be competing with locals who are typically bilingual or even multilingual meaning competition for English-speaking job roles can be fierce. But don’t let that put you off – an impressive 85 percent of Solvay Advanced Master’s graduates find a job within three months of graduating.

Opportunities to explore nearby Europe

One of the biggest advantages to studying abroad is the unique opportunity to visit and explore places you may not otherwise be able to.

From trying new foods, to visiting iconic landmarks Brussels is a capital city that has much to offer those who live, work and travel here. But there’s also the luxury of living so close to other cities such as Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam and even London – and it’s never been easier to hop on the Eurostar or an airplane for a quick and affordable getaway.

This article was originally published in March 2021 . It was last updated in April 2021

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Written by

As the Head of Sponsored Content for TopUniversities.com and TopMBA.com, Stephanie creates and publishes a wide range of articles for universities and business schools across the world. She attended the University of Portsmouth where she earned a BA in English Language and an MA in Communication and Applied Linguistics.

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