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  • Locations: Brussels, Belgium
  • Program Terms: Fall Semester, Spring Semester
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Program Sponsor: IFE - Institute for Field Education 
  • Restrictions: UVA applicants only
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Fall Semester 2021 01-APR-2021 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Click here for a definition of this term Class Status: 2nd year, 3rd year, 4th year, Graduate student Minimum GPA Requirement: 3.0
Click here for a definition of this term Language Requirement: 3000 level, 4000 level, native Click here for a definition of this term Open to Non-UVa Students: No
Housing: Apartment, Homestay, Student's responsibility Language Courses Offered: Yes
Language of Instruction: French Click here for a definition of this term Credit Type: Transfer Credit
Click here for a definition of this term Program Type: Field Study/ Experiential, Internship Click here for a definition of this term Tuition Payments Made To: Program Provider
Click here for a definition of this term Education Abroad Advisor: Leah Hicks Click here for a definition of this term Application Fee: Yes
Click here for a definition of this term Study Abroad Administrative Fee: Yes Click here for a definition of this term Subject Area: African-American & African Studies, American Studies, Anthropology, Arabic, Architectural History, Architecture, Art, Art - Art History, Art - Studio Art, Asian Studies, Astronomy, Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry, Classics, Commerce, Communications, Computer Science, Cultural Studies, Dance, Drama, Economics, Education, Engineering, Environmental Sciences, European Studies, Film Studies, Foreign Affairs, French, Geography, Geology, German, Global Studies, History, Independent Study, Internship, Jewish Studies, Law, Linguistics, Marketing, Mathematics & Statistics, Media Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, Music, Neuroscience, Other Languages & Literatures, Philosophy, Photography, Physics, Political Science, Pre-Medical, Psychology, Public Health, Public Policy and Administration, Public Relations, Religious Studies, Service Learning, Sociology, Theater, Urban and Environmental Planning, Urban Studies, Women, Gender & Sexuality
Program Description:

The Brussels Field Study and Internship Program



IFE is a European not-for-profit institute founded in 1988 committed to trans-Atlantic understanding through exploration of European perspectives. IFE provides language-based, credit-bearing education abroad programming to US colleges and universities.

Field Study and Internship programs in Andalucía, Asturias, Strasbourg, Paris, and Brussels are built around in-depth field experience and guided research, for which students prepare through classroom instruction and inter-cultural training.


-The City-

Brussels is not only the policy center of the European Union, but a lively, multi-lingual European capital with a distinct culture. At a geographic and cultural crossroads, Brussels offers opportunities to explore a multitude of fields from both local and European perspectives.

It is a city with a youthful population, a center of research and intellectual activity, suffused by an intense cultural life focused on contemporary creativity in all the arts. Neighborhood-based but thoroughly international, Brussels is an exciting place to live while offering students the fullest range of internship possibilities from IR research to a theater and cultural center, or neighborhood activist organizations.


-Program Overview-

The Brussels Field Study and Internship program takes place in both the fall and spring, over the course of an 18 week semester. The first 5 weeks are spent in intensive interdisciplinary courses taught by local university professors at the IFE center, followed by a 12-week full-time internship in the student’s field. As part of the internship, students conduct field research, delving into an issue and producing a 30-page independent study. Placements can be found for any discipline.

-Program in Detail-

Weeks 1-5: Preparation

All students take part in 3 interdisciplinary courses covering politics, history, culture, and the urban development of the city. There are also site visits around the city, and a discussion-based course focused on oral expression. During this period students become comfortable navigating the city, the culture, and especially the language.

I. Belgium: A Contemporary European Culture 
II. Brussels in Belgium and in Europe: A socio-urbanist approach 
III. Belgium in Europe and the World: A historical approach 

Week 6: Travel Break:

Students have a week to relax and explore the city, the surrounding countryside, and visit the rest of Europe, which is easily accessible by train and air travel.

Weeks 7-18: The Internship

The Internship Placement
The core of the semester is a full-time internship where students improve their language skills and cultural expertise while gaining insight into Belgian and European society. IFE works closely with each student – and with a broad variety of organization types -- to ensure a productive fit between the intern’s objectives, the work environment, and the subject matter of the internship.

The independent field research project
IFE students engage even further with their individually-tailored internship through a guided research project using primary sources to examine an important issue in the work of their host organization. Individual advising and instruction in methodology are an integral part of this project.

The European Seminar 
One night a week students leave their internships early to take a seminar addressing contemporary European issues, entitled ' What is Europe?: Culture, Institutions, Society(ies)'.

-Practical Information-


Housing: IFE finds French-speaking housing for students, either with homestay families, or in shared apartments with other students or young professionals. Housing options with full, partial, or no meals are available, and are priced accordingly.

IFE Center: multi-level center in Brussels is located on a quiet courtyard in the bustling Ixelles district, between the historic center and the university district.


Language Level: The program is entirely French-speaking. Students should have taken 5 semesters of college-level French, or the equivalent. They should be comfortable taking a topical course taught in French.


Suggested Academic Credit:

I. Belgium: A Contemporary European Culture..........................................3

II. Brussels in Belgium and in Europe: A socio-urbanist approach.............3

III. Belgium in Europe and the World: A historical approach.......................3

IV. What is Europe?: Culture, Institutions, Society(ies)...............................2

V. Independent Study / Guided Field Research......................................... 7