Study in Louvain-la-Neuve

Louvain-la-Neuve as a student city

Louvain-la Neuve is located in the Walloon Brabant region, 30 kilometres from Brussels, the capital of Europe. The entire city was founded around Université Catholique de Louvain, born of the Catholic University of Leuven (KU Leven), one of the oldest universities in Europe. Founded in 1425, Erasmus, Mercator and Vesalius are some of the famous names who have attended KU Leven. But UCLouvain has also encouraged many great minds in making breakthrough discoveries. For instance, Georges Lemaître, who formulated his Big Bang Theory there, or Christian de Duve, who obtained the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1974.

Louvain-la-Neuve is the youngest city in Belgium, as it was founded in 1970, initially to host UCL and its students. Since then, it has flourished and expanded through the years and now hosts several museums, a cinema and different sporting events throughout the year in a lively atmosphere. It also incorporates an extremely dynamical Science park, hosting a very large panel of companies (280 in total in 2023), from international groups such as AGC Glass Europe IBA or aerospacelab, to UCLouvain spin offs, such as VOCSens, e-PEAS and INCIZE and technology centers, offering opportunities for internships. Close to the capital (30 min by direct train), Louvain-la-Neuve is a good compromise between city life and campus life, with a direct access to real gems of natures, such as the Wood of Lauzelle.

Study in UCLouvain

UCLouvain, as a complete university, offers programs in all areas of knowledge, with a total of 210 masters. UCLouvain counts some master programs entirely taught in English, especially at the “Louvain School of Engineering” (Ecole Polytechnique de Louvain, or “EPL”, in French). It is ranked at the 170th position in the Times Higher education 2022-2023, 195th position in the QS Magazine ranking and the 204th position in the Shanghai ranking. UCLouvain participates in many international networks (Erasmus Mundus, CLUSTER, TIME, CEMS, etc.) and has partnerships all over the world including 580 international mobility destinations for exchange or internships.  Out of the 40,000 students at UCL, 19% of them are foreign students, who represent 120 nationalities.  

UCLouvain is also a multisite university: Louvain-la-Neuve, Brussels Woluwe, Mons, Tournai, Brussels Saint-Gilles, Namur and Charleroi are the seven locations where the university expands education and knowledge, pursues fundamental and applied research, establishes links with the socio-economic world, and welcomes students from across the world.

UCLouvain was ranked 195th in the 2022-23 edition of the QS World Universtity Ranking, 170th position in the Times Higher education and 204th position in the Shanghai ranking. It is in the top 14% of the world’s best universities. It is the 1st Belgian French-speaking university according to the THE and QS Ranking.



As a multicultural and multilingual university open to the world, UCLouvain welcomes more international researchers with each passing year, 40% of its research staff is international.  Among doctoral students, the proportion is nearly one in two.

2,500 search projects are created each year. 3,207 PhDs of which 45% are international are also under way there, which means that more than 500 PhDs are awarded each year.

UCLouvain also has 2 scientific parks, 2 university hospitals, 29 technological platforms and 4 incubators. More than 72 spin-offs have been created.

For more information, please read:


International student services:

You can find information regarding accommodation, visa validation, residence permit applications, health, budget, insurances, daily life on the UCLouvain website.

A Welcome guide covering formalities and procedures before and after arrival can be found here:

A brochure with general information is also available at:

Welcome activities and programmes exist for international students.

The Buddy Programme allows UCLouvain local students to offer a personalized welcome (such as support for administrative procedures, one-to-one visit of the city and much more) to  buddy students, European or non-European, newly arrived in Belgium.

Getting to Louvain-la-Neuve :

Louvain-la-Neuve is located 30 kilometers from Brussels and its international airport, and can be easily reached by train (to the station “Louvain-la-Neuve Université”). Brussels itself is a central hub in Europe, with easy access by train to Paris (1h20 by train), London (2h by train) or Amsterdam (1h50), for example.