Pictogram Freedom-seeker


Pictogram Freedom-seeker

CHercheur.euse de liberté

Pictogram Homeless person


Pictogram Asylum seeker


Pictogram Asylum seeker

Demandeur.euse.s de protection internationale

Pictogram Refugee


Pictogram Refugee


Pictogram Professional


Pictogram Professional



To work, study and contact people in Belgium, you need to learn the language. For newly arrived non-native speakers, depending on where you live in Belgium (Brussels, Wallonia (French-speaking region) or Flanders (Dutch-speaking region)) and as a part of your integration process, you may take French, Dutch or German language courses. Only, in a small part of the country in the province of Liège people speak German.

Language courses at the arrival centre

At the arrival centre (Petit Château), before dispatching of asylum seekers to the reception centres, there are some French, Dutch or English language lessons at a very basic level. Volunteer teachers normally arrange language courses twice or three times in a week. 

Language courses in the reception centres

There might be some free language courses managed by the reception centres, mostly collaborating with volunteer teachers in some asylum receptions for people who are interested while waiting to go to school. 

Language courses out of the centre

To take a language course in French, Dutch or German courses, you may refer to your social assistant in the centre. He/she will help you find a proper course in a suitable place. 

If you are a minor (under 18), you need to learn Dutch, French or German at school. And If you are an adult, you can enrol in a language course.

Applicants for international protection do not have to pay enrolment fees in some language centres, or only very little. Ask your social worker which costs you have to pay before enrolling. You need to register for the course and pay the registration fee and book. The centre will reimburse the half of your expenses.  

  • Learning French or German: To find the right course, someone from the language centre will schedule a meeting with you. If you cannot yet read Latin characters (well), you can follow the class 'Alphabetisation' ('oral' or 'écrit') in small groups. If you can already read Latin characters, you can follow the class "Français langue étrangère" (FLE). In Brussels, there are a lot of options for language courses. Cire and EPFC would be two suitable examples. 
  • Learning Dutch: In Flanders, you need to make an appointment with the Agentschap Integratie & Inburgering. In Brussels, learning Dutch in is possible via "Het Huis van het Nederlands".

Interview to determine language level

During an intake interview, a member of staff will help you find the course that best suits you. The member of staff will ask questions about which languages you already know, which diplomas you have, why you would like to learn the language, whether you have much time. You will sometimes need to take a test to find out your language skills. After the interview and the test, the language centre will propose a course.

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