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

Dublin

07.11.2018

12.11.2018

Tickets from 22

Budapest

07.03.2019

09.03.2019

Tickets from 25

Prague

23.11.2018

26.11.2018

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Bucharest

14.02.2019

17.02.2019

Tickets from 27

Copenhagen

06.12.2018

16.12.2018

Tickets from 27

Krakow

22.03.2019

25.03.2019

Tickets from 32

Riga

22.02.2019

27.02.2019

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Barcelona

30.11.2018

02.12.2018

Tickets from 35

Stockholm

30.11.2018

02.12.2018

Tickets from 36

Warsaw

17.11.2018

19.11.2018

Tickets from 39

Lisbon

07.12.2018

10.12.2018

Tickets from 40

Vilnius

24.01.2019

27.01.2019

Tickets from 46

Bologna

30.11.2018

01.12.2018

Tickets from 53

Porto

19.11.2018

21.11.2018

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Milan

27.12.2018

31.12.2018

Tickets from 58

Rome

23.11.2018

26.11.2018

Tickets from 59

Manchester

05.04.2019

08.04.2019

Tickets from 63

Pisa

26.04.2019

28.04.2019

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Malaga

22.12.2018

05.01.2019

Tickets from 68

Seville

09.12.2018

13.12.2018

Tickets from 72

Geneva

07.12.2018

10.12.2018

Tickets from 75

Lyon

24.11.2018

26.11.2018

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Kiev

23.01.2019

27.01.2019

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Madrid

02.12.2018

16.12.2018

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Berlin

08.12.2018

10.12.2018

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Nice

12.02.2019

14.02.2019

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London

10.01.2019

13.01.2019

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Iasi

14.11.2018

21.11.2018

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Amsterdam

24.01.2019

25.01.2019

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Venice

21.12.2018

24.12.2018

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Sofia

15.11.2018

18.11.2018

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Tel Aviv-Yafo

23.12.2018

04.01.2019

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Fez

07.04.2019

14.04.2019

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Dusseldorf

01.12.2018

08.12.2018

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Moscow

11.12.2018

17.12.2018

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Wroclaw

22.12.2018

23.12.2018

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Vienna

08.11.2018

12.11.2018

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Tallinn

15.04.2019

19.04.2019

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Luqa

17.12.2018

10.01.2019

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Helsinki

31.01.2019

10.02.2019

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Casablanca

08.04.2019

15.04.2019

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Santiago De Compostela

15.01.2019

19.01.2019

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Tangier

15.12.2018

04.01.2019

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Reykjavik

25.11.2018

10.12.2018

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Florence

30.11.2018

02.12.2018

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Saint Petersburg

05.12.2018

11.12.2018

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Munich

01.01.2019

12.01.2019

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Odessa

08.07.2019

17.07.2019

Tickets from 143

Glasgow

16.11.2018

19.11.2018

Tickets from 144

Hurghada

05.12.2018

15.12.2018

Tickets from 147

Faro

14.12.2018

16.12.2018

Tickets from 148

Gran Canaria

11.12.2018

16.12.2018

Tickets from 150

Tenerife

11.12.2018

16.12.2018

Tickets from 152

Paris

24.12.2018

03.01.2019

Tickets from 155

Lviv

29.10.2018

05.11.2018

Tickets from 155

Nottingham

05.07.2019

07.07.2019

Tickets from 155

Algiers

16.12.2018

13.01.2019

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Minsk

14.11.2018

19.01.2019

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Tbilisi

27.08.2019

08.09.2019

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Zaporozhye

23.12.2018

23.01.2019

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Athens

03.07.2019

09.07.2019

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Belfast

12.11.2018

15.11.2018

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Kharkiv

05.11.2018

07.11.2018

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Zurich

22.12.2018

27.12.2018

Tickets from 172

Chisinau

28.12.2018

05.01.2019

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Alicante

12.07.2019

16.07.2019

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Frankfurt

26.12.2018

29.12.2018

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Izmir

28.12.2018

11.01.2019

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Birmingham

14.12.2018

16.12.2018

Tickets from 183

Chernovtsy

02.11.2018

19.11.2018

Tickets from 185

Leeds

05.04.2019

08.04.2019

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Bergen

03.05.2019

10.05.2019

Tickets from 190

Newcastle

28.12.2018

01.01.2019

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Zagreb

31.10.2018

05.11.2018

Tickets from 193

Kutaisi

15.12.2018

10.03.2019

Tickets from 198

Bristol

17.11.2018

26.11.2018

Tickets from 199

Brindisi

08.12.2018

10.12.2018

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Antalya

29.12.2018

12.01.2019

Tickets from 201

Marrakech

08.04.2019

14.04.2019

Tickets from 202

Stuttgart

26.12.2018

29.12.2018

Tickets from 204

Marseille

01.11.2018

08.11.2018

Tickets from 207

Oran

23.12.2018

03.01.2019

Tickets from 209

Split

23.11.2018

26.11.2018

Tickets from 212

Ancona

29.12.2018

02.01.2019

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Nador

01.11.2018

02.11.2018

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Larnaca

03.01.2019

07.01.2019

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Krasnodar

10.11.2018

17.11.2018

Tickets from 233

Kinshasa

22.12.2018

21.01.2019

Tickets from 237

Tirana

02.01.2019

05.01.2019

Tickets from 239

Samara

06.12.2018

10.12.2018

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Rostov

15.11.2018

01.12.2018

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Belgrade

07.11.2018

09.11.2018

Tickets from 249

Ekaterinburg

27.11.2018

04.12.2018

Tickets from 251

Sarajevo

31.10.2018

04.11.2018

Tickets from 255

Montpellier

31.01.2019

31.01.2019

Tickets from 257

Yerevan

20.11.2018

01.12.2018

Tickets from 257

Liverpool

05.07.2019

07.07.2019

Tickets from 258

Tyumen

15.01.2019

25.01.2019

Tickets from 258

Nizhniy Novgorod

13.11.2018

18.11.2018

Tickets from 259

Podgorica

09.11.2018

23.12.2018

Tickets from 259

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