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. Beer is the traditional drink, but wine is imported in large quantities. In northern cities, popular dishes include mussels with fries and waterzooia (literally boiling water), a stew made of vegetables and meat or fish. All accross 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. Moreover, 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 “pillarisation” 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.

You might want to note that most stores in Belgium close around 6pm (8pm for supermarkets) and that lots of stores are closed on Sunday.

  • “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

Vienna

22.01.2021

25.01.2021

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Warsaw

22.07.2021

29.07.2021

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Sofia

10.02.2021

17.02.2021

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Budapest

29.05.2021

01.06.2021

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Bucharest

06.02.2021

12.02.2021

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Alicante

09.02.2021

23.02.2021

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Prague

04.06.2021

06.06.2021

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Iasi

06.02.2021

13.02.2021

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Timisoara

03.03.2021

10.03.2021

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Barcelona

01.03.2021

08.03.2021

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Manchester

02.10.2021

08.10.2021

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Geneva

23.04.2021

25.04.2021

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Kiev

01.06.2021

30.06.2021

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Athens

05.04.2021

14.04.2021

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Madrid

10.02.2021

04.03.2021

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Vilnius

07.04.2021

22.04.2021

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Ljubljana

20.09.2021

28.09.2021

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Catania

04.02.2021

08.02.2021

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Cluj-Napoca

09.07.2021

16.07.2021

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Istanbul

13.02.2021

20.02.2021

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Tirana

26.02.2021

05.03.2021

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Valencia

28.01.2021

31.01.2021

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Zagreb

10.06.2021

14.06.2021

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Paris

30.05.2021

01.06.2021

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Marrakech

19.03.2021

28.03.2021

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Lisbon

04.02.2021

07.02.2021

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London

24.01.2021

31.01.2021

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Turin

01.10.2021

03.10.2021

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Saint Petersburg

20.02.2021

27.02.2021

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Nice

22.02.2021

02.03.2021

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Riga

13.05.2021

17.05.2021

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Malaga

30.01.2021

06.02.2021

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Tangier

17.01.2021

01.02.2021

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Palermo

04.02.2021

08.02.2021

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Lviv

11.06.2021

14.06.2021

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Casablanca

22.07.2021

30.07.2021

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Stockholm

05.02.2021

11.02.2021

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Thessaloniki

01.08.2021

02.08.2021

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Moscow

28.03.2021

04.04.2021

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Naples

10.02.2021

16.02.2021

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Copenhagen

30.01.2021

14.02.2021

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Krakow

30.01.2021

05.02.2021

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Bratislava

27.04.2021

29.04.2021

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Venice

19.02.2021

21.02.2021

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Amsterdam

16.04.2021

03.05.2021

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Dusseldorf

24.04.2021

30.04.2021

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Tel Aviv-Yafo

10.05.2021

13.05.2021

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Porto

20.01.2021

30.01.2021

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Bacau

12.07.2021

19.07.2021

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Izmir

23.01.2021

30.01.2021

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Ankara

23.01.2021

30.01.2021

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Verona

15.07.2021

19.07.2021

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Kherson

15.05.2021

22.05.2021

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Adana

23.01.2021

30.01.2021

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Bilbao

29.01.2021

31.01.2021

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Fez

30.01.2021

31.01.2021

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Bari

04.02.2021

08.02.2021

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Bologna

04.02.2021

08.02.2021

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Zaporozhye

28.05.2021

04.06.2021

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Katowice

30.01.2021

05.02.2021

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Glasgow

10.02.2021

15.02.2021

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Krasnodar

07.04.2021

14.04.2021

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Nador

13.02.2021

28.02.2021

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Helsinki

25.02.2021

04.03.2021

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Santander

29.01.2021

31.01.2021

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Suceava

18.02.2021

21.02.2021

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Podgorica

24.02.2021

03.03.2021

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Zurich

26.01.2021

03.02.2021

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Kaliningrad

15.04.2021

18.04.2021

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Hurghada

13.02.2021

06.03.2021

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Tbilisi

14.04.2021

18.04.2021

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Odessa

04.02.2021

07.02.2021

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Algiers

01.09.2021

30.09.2021

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Beziers

11.04.2021

27.04.2021

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Kharkiv

04.02.2021

07.02.2021

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Almeria

21.01.2021

29.01.2021

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Lorient

29.01.2021

06.02.2021

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Kazan

10.03.2021

15.03.2021

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Vladikavkaz

17.02.2021

22.02.2021

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Perm

19.02.2021

23.02.2021

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Volgograd

25.01.2021

01.02.2021

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Leeds

23.01.2021

24.01.2021

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Samara

22.03.2021

05.04.2021

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Yerevan

17.08.2021

27.08.2021

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Anapa

14.04.2021

19.04.2021

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Ekaterinburg

30.01.2021

12.02.2021

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Saratov

20.02.2021

22.02.2021

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Ufa

01.04.2021

11.04.2021

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Chelyabinsk

25.01.2021

31.01.2021

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Stavropol

01.02.2021

28.02.2021

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Brindisi

18.01.2021

24.01.2021

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Biarritz

06.02.2021

13.02.2021

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Monastir

13.02.2021

20.02.2021

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Tunis

23.01.2021

24.01.2021

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Rostov

02.07.2021

09.07.2021

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Sharjah

18.01.2021

30.01.2021

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Bishkek

22.04.2021

01.05.2021

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Alexandroupolis

23.03.2021

28.03.2021

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Dubai

23.01.2021

30.01.2021

Tickets from 351

NQZ

18.10.2021

23.10.2021

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