Discover Belgium

Be volunteer in Belgium

Belgium is a small, highly developed and densely populated country (10 million of inhabitants) at the cross-roads of Western Europe. Belgium is one of the founding members of the European Community, and its capital, Brussels, is also the capital of the European Union. It is a federal state, with 3 relatively autonomous regions: Flanders in the north, where the language is Dutch (“Flemish”), Wallonia in the south, where the language is French, and the centrally located Brussels, which is officially bilingual. Belgium’s rich history has left impressive churches, town halls, castles and works of art, dating back to the early Middle Ages, spread around the cities and country-side.

Belgium has possibly the highest “quality of life” in the world, as testified by its excellent food, housing, health care, education and infrastructure, its world records for high productivity and low poverty, and the appreciation of foreigners residing in Belgium.

Food in Daily Life.Bread and potatoes are the traditional staple foods. Most meals include, pork, chicken, or beef, and Seafood is popular in the northern part of the country. The national drink is beer, but wine is imported in large quantities. In northern cities, popular dishes include mussels with fries andwaterzooia broth of vegetables and meat or fish. Throughout the country, French fries are eaten with steaks or minced raw meat. Cooking is traditionally done with butter rather than oil; there is also a high consumption of dairy products. Immigration has ensured a diversity of “ethnic” restaurants and is gradually changing the eating habits of the residents in culturally mixed areas.

Food Customs at Ceremonial Occasions.Christmas is an occasion for large family meals with grandparents and cousins. There are many other occasions for long meals at public and private celebrations, such as weddings, funerals, and the days devoted to city and parish saints. Pastries are associated with religious and civil occasions. At Christmas, people eat sweet bread in the form of the child Jesus; at Easter, children are told that eggs are dropped in the gardens by flying churchbells; and sugar beans are distributed to those who visit a young mother.

Classes and Castes.There is a relatively even distribution of wealth, with 5 to 6 percent living close to the poverty line. The majority of the population is middle class. The vast majority has equal opportunities for education and a professional life. There is a very inclusive social security system.

Deep societal cleavages have led to the construction of “pillars,” integrated social structures based on ideology. Although “pillarization” is becoming less important in social life, its influence is clearly noticeable. These pillars encompass every aspect of societal life, including youth, sports and leisure movements, education at all levels, trade unions, health funds, newspapers, and political parties. The three main pillars are the Christian-democrat pillar, the socialist pillar, and the liberal pillar. Until the 1990s, the positions of these pillars were mutually agreed on and anchored through a complex system of “political nominations” in which people with a philosophical affiliation to one of the pillars were appointed to key societal positions as magistrates, top public officials, and leaders of state-controlled companies. The public is turning against this aspect of the pillars, but their influence and power are considerable, especially when their interests are challenged.

The major cleavages are ethnocultural (Flemish speakers versus Francophones), philosophical (the church versus liberals) and economic. The importance of these cleavages has changed over time, often leading to the establishment of new coalitions.

Symbols of Social Stratification.Wealth is most often expressed through houses and cars. In general, there are few external behavioral class markers. The upper classes act discreetly, and people make little distinction between classes or social strata. Exceptions sometimes appear in youth culture, where fashion can turn into a means of social distinction.

Read more: here

Cost of living in Belgium is 5.59% higher than in United States (aggregate data for all cities, rent is not taken into account)

If you would like to have the daily life costs, click here.

  • “Pôle handicap” : Partners with projects with disabled people.
    – Arche
    – Côte à Côte
    – Les Pilotis
    – Accueil et Vie
    – Renaissance
  • Youth Hostels : Jacques Brel Brussels, Tournai, Generation Europe.
  • Project NOW
  • School Projects : Don Bosco, École des petits chemins
  • Le Fagotin
  • The Caves of Han

Cheap flight to Belgium

Ville de départ Date de départ Date de retour Find Ticket

Warsaw

06.03.2020

08.03.2020

Tickets from 19

Krakow

27.01.2020

30.01.2020

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Wroclaw

06.02.2020

08.02.2020

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Budapest

28.01.2020

29.01.2020

Tickets from 20

Marseille

10.01.2020

17.01.2020

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Berlin

26.01.2020

28.01.2020

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Bratislava

13.01.2020

17.01.2020

Tickets from 21

Milan

09.01.2020

14.01.2020

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Venice

29.01.2020

31.01.2020

Tickets from 25

Prague

17.01.2020

19.01.2020

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Porto

16.12.2019

07.01.2020

Tickets from 26

Barcelona

24.01.2020

27.01.2020

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Pisa

24.12.2019

31.12.2019

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Rome

17.01.2020

20.01.2020

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Copenhagen

13.02.2020

16.02.2020

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Sofia

31.01.2020

03.02.2020

Tickets from 28

Toulouse

13.02.2020

18.02.2020

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Lisbon

16.12.2019

07.01.2020

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Biarritz

16.02.2020

31.03.2020

Tickets from 30

Vienna

20.01.2020

23.01.2020

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Madrid

13.02.2020

27.02.2020

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Bologna

04.03.2020

09.03.2020

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Stockholm

29.01.2020

02.02.2020

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Vilnius

23.02.2020

27.02.2020

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Bordeaux

18.02.2020

22.02.2020

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Luqa

21.01.2020

25.01.2020

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Riga

28.02.2020

01.03.2020

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Fez

01.02.2020

08.02.2020

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Santander

17.01.2020

22.01.2020

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Bucharest

14.01.2020

17.01.2020

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Ljubljana

24.12.2019

26.12.2019

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Craiova

15.12.2019

29.12.2019

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Kutaisi

26.02.2020

01.03.2020

Tickets from 44

Dublin

09.03.2020

12.03.2020

Tickets from 45

Podgorica

27.01.2020

03.02.2020

Tickets from 47

Skopje

12.01.2020

18.01.2020

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Paris

14.01.2020

20.01.2020

Tickets from 49

Gerona

08.05.2020

10.05.2020

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Gdansk

10.02.2020

14.02.2020

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Naples

05.03.2020

08.03.2020

Tickets from 52

Tel Aviv-Yafo

18.01.2020

21.01.2020

Tickets from 55

Amman

23.12.2019

06.01.2020

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Cologne

28.01.2020

31.01.2020

Tickets from 57

Athens

10.02.2020

15.02.2020

Tickets from 58

Kiev

22.01.2020

28.01.2020

Tickets from 59

Hamburg

21.02.2020

24.02.2020

Tickets from 60

Oslo

18.12.2019

19.03.2020

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Valencia

15.01.2020

26.01.2020

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Alicante

19.12.2019

08.01.2020

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Larnaca

27.01.2020

31.01.2020

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London

31.01.2020

02.02.2020

Tickets from 61

Almeria

24.04.2020

08.05.2020

Tickets from 62

Nuremberg

13.01.2020

17.01.2020

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Beziers

22.02.2020

25.02.2020

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Faro

08.01.2020

14.01.2020

Tickets from 63

Birmingham

28.01.2020

30.01.2020

Tickets from 63

Debrecen

19.01.2020

24.01.2020

Tickets from 63

Thessaloniki

15.01.2020

21.01.2020

Tickets from 63

Catania

11.01.2020

15.01.2020

Tickets from 64

Edinburgh

13.12.2019

15.12.2019

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Odessa

13.01.2020

15.01.2020

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Tirana

01.02.2020

10.02.2020

Tickets from 71

Lviv

24.01.2020

26.01.2020

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Palma de Mallorca

18.12.2019

08.01.2020

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Reus

30.04.2020

03.05.2020

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Seville

08.03.2020

11.03.2020

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Santiago De Compostela

22.01.2020

29.01.2020

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Chisinau

08.02.2020

11.02.2020

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Genova

17.01.2020

23.01.2020

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Bilbao

16.01.2020

19.01.2020

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Palermo

02.03.2020

07.03.2020

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Saint Petersburg

23.01.2020

27.01.2020

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Kharkiv

23.02.2020

28.02.2020

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Nantes

01.02.2020

03.02.2020

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Iasi

09.05.2020

16.05.2020

Tickets from 80

Tallinn

05.02.2020

07.02.2020

Tickets from 81

Pescara

06.03.2020

08.03.2020

Tickets from 83

Malaga

15.02.2020

16.02.2020

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Timisoara

10.01.2020

31.01.2020

Tickets from 84

Paphos

06.03.2020

09.03.2020

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Geneva

08.02.2020

12.02.2020

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Banja Luka

20.01.2020

24.01.2020

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Tangier

20.12.2019

02.01.2020

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Tunis

10.02.2020

20.02.2020

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Ibiza

10.01.2020

18.01.2020

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Helsinki

16.01.2020

16.02.2020

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Yerevan

25.01.2020

03.02.2020

Tickets from 99

Dusseldorf

06.01.2020

08.01.2020

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Frankfurt

17.12.2019

18.12.2019

Tickets from 101

Manchester

13.11.2020

16.11.2020

Tickets from 102

Amsterdam

11.03.2020

21.03.2020

Tickets from 102

Luxembourg

13.12.2019

15.12.2019

Tickets from 103

Mulhouse

16.12.2019

19.12.2019

Tickets from 104

Moscow

11.02.2020

15.02.2020

Tickets from 106

Tenerife

22.12.2019

01.01.2020

Tickets from 107

Rabat

10.02.2020

17.02.2020

Tickets from 107

Zaporozhye

29.03.2020

01.04.2020

Tickets from 112

Istanbul

11.02.2020

18.02.2020

Tickets from 112

Tbilisi

10.02.2020

20.02.2020

Tickets from 114

Zurich

07.01.2020

13.01.2020

Tickets from 116

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