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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

Warsaw

27.04.2021

18.05.2021

Tickets from 16

Budapest

28.05.2021

30.05.2021

Tickets from 20

Manchester

17.05.2021

21.05.2021

Tickets from 22

Dublin

13.06.2021

20.06.2021

Tickets from 23

Bordeaux

21.05.2021

23.05.2021

Tickets from 26

Porto

28.05.2021

30.05.2021

Tickets from 27

Lisbon

21.05.2021

23.05.2021

Tickets from 27

Madrid

29.05.2021

01.06.2021

Tickets from 27

Barcelona

22.05.2021

24.05.2021

Tickets from 28

Sofia

12.05.2021

16.05.2021

Tickets from 29

Turin

04.06.2021

11.06.2021

Tickets from 30

Vilnius

05.06.2021

12.06.2021

Tickets from 33

Milan

14.05.2021

17.05.2021

Tickets from 34

Bacau

20.07.2021

27.07.2021

Tickets from 34

Toulouse

29.05.2021

05.06.2021

Tickets from 34

Vienna

20.05.2021

24.05.2021

Tickets from 34

Bucharest

18.06.2021

21.06.2021

Tickets from 35

Prague

14.06.2021

18.06.2021

Tickets from 39

Kiev

21.05.2021

26.05.2021

Tickets from 44

Cluj-Napoca

25.04.2021

02.05.2021

Tickets from 45

Palermo

17.05.2021

24.05.2021

Tickets from 46

Rome

13.05.2021

17.05.2021

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Krakow

15.10.2021

17.10.2021

Tickets from 50

London

20.04.2021

27.04.2021

Tickets from 51

Catania

08.06.2021

15.06.2021

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Oslo

08.06.2021

13.06.2021

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Stockholm

13.06.2021

11.07.2021

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Athens

16.05.2021

22.05.2021

Tickets from 54

Iasi

11.06.2021

18.06.2021

Tickets from 55

Naples

09.05.2021

14.05.2021

Tickets from 59

Malaga

03.06.2021

11.06.2021

Tickets from 62

Tel Aviv-Yafo

01.06.2021

14.06.2021

Tickets from 62

Amsterdam

16.05.2021

10.06.2021

Tickets from 63

Cologne

26.06.2021

30.06.2021

Tickets from 63

Paris

01.06.2021

30.06.2021

Tickets from 64

Kharkiv

09.06.2021

23.06.2021

Tickets from 65

Marseille

15.05.2021

29.05.2021

Tickets from 66

Geneva

01.07.2021

08.07.2021

Tickets from 66

Istanbul

17.05.2021

27.05.2021

Tickets from 68

Birmingham

09.12.2021

12.12.2021

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Odessa

09.06.2021

23.06.2021

Tickets from 76

Berlin

15.05.2021

12.06.2021

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Santander

17.08.2021

20.08.2021

Tickets from 77

Lviv

01.06.2021

15.06.2021

Tickets from 84

Tirana

09.05.2021

23.05.2021

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Verona

15.07.2021

19.07.2021

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Thessaloniki

06.07.2021

08.07.2021

Tickets from 87

Valencia

09.09.2021

10.09.2021

Tickets from 93

Saint Petersburg

02.07.2021

07.07.2021

Tickets from 97

Suceava

18.06.2021

28.06.2021

Tickets from 98

Riga

19.05.2021

23.05.2021

Tickets from 99

Alicante

19.04.2021

19.05.2021

Tickets from 102

Timisoara

11.05.2021

16.05.2021

Tickets from 105

Leeds

25.08.2021

29.08.2021

Tickets from 108

Lublin

01.05.2021

02.05.2021

Tickets from 110

Nice

30.04.2021

01.05.2021

Tickets from 112

Chisinau

10.06.2021

13.06.2021

Tickets from 112

Poznan

04.07.2021

11.07.2021

Tickets from 113

Mulhouse

14.05.2021

28.05.2021

Tickets from 113

Palma de Mallorca

25.04.2021

30.04.2021

Tickets from 113

Zurich

07.05.2021

09.05.2021

Tickets from 116

Munich

23.04.2021

28.04.2021

Tickets from 121

Seville

28.04.2021

02.05.2021

Tickets from 123

Zagreb

30.04.2021

05.05.2021

Tickets from 123

Faro

28.10.2021

31.10.2021

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Tallinn

16.05.2021

25.05.2021

Tickets from 126

Minsk

22.05.2021

05.06.2021

Tickets from 128

Ibiza

20.04.2021

21.04.2021

Tickets from 133

Bologna

01.05.2021

09.05.2021

Tickets from 134

Antalya

01.05.2021

14.05.2021

Tickets from 135

Heraklion

02.08.2021

11.08.2021

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Kayseri

24.04.2021

01.05.2021

Tickets from 138

Izmir

24.04.2021

01.05.2021

Tickets from 139

Tenerife

24.04.2021

01.05.2021

Tickets from 140

Helsinki

14.05.2021

23.05.2021

Tickets from 140

Moscow

18.02.2022

26.02.2022

Tickets from 141

Nantes

13.05.2021

16.05.2021

Tickets from 144

Yerevan

02.06.2021

25.06.2021

Tickets from 146

Samsun

25.04.2021

02.05.2021

Tickets from 146

Tbilisi

22.04.2021

29.04.2021

Tickets from 150

Tunis

30.06.2021

07.07.2021

Tickets from 151

San Sebastian

04.09.2021

10.09.2021

Tickets from 154

Tangier

23.08.2021

30.08.2021

Tickets from 155

Funchal

24.06.2021

30.06.2021

Tickets from 155

Hamburg

27.04.2021

29.04.2021

Tickets from 156

Podgorica

21.05.2021

28.05.2021

Tickets from 163

Adana

01.11.2021

15.11.2021

Tickets from 163

Wroclaw

30.04.2021

03.05.2021

Tickets from 164

Dusseldorf

29.04.2021

03.05.2021

Tickets from 173

Kherson

04.05.2021

16.05.2021

Tickets from 177

Copenhagen

28.04.2021

02.05.2021

Tickets from 180

Kutaisi

04.06.2021

07.06.2021

Tickets from 189

Krasnodar

24.05.2021

28.05.2021

Tickets from 212

Perpignan

24.05.2021

28.05.2021

Tickets from 220

Larnaca

29.04.2021

06.05.2021

Tickets from 221

Ancona

08.08.2021

09.08.2021

Tickets from 221

Newcastle

04.07.2021

04.07.2021

Tickets from 222

Arkhangelsk

11.10.2021

19.10.2021

Tickets from 228

Batumi

03.05.2021

09.05.2021

Tickets from 233

Stuttgart

28.04.2021

29.04.2021

Tickets from 233

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