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

Sofia

23.01.2019

25.01.2019

Tickets from 22

Prague

23.11.2018

26.11.2018

Tickets from 25

Bucharest

17.01.2019

24.01.2019

Tickets from 30

Lisbon

23.11.2018

25.11.2018

Tickets from 32

Krakow

22.03.2019

25.03.2019

Tickets from 32

Riga

15.02.2019

20.02.2019

Tickets from 32

Porto

08.02.2019

13.02.2019

Tickets from 36

Bologna

19.11.2018

20.11.2018

Tickets from 37

Warsaw

17.11.2018

19.11.2018

Tickets from 40

Athens

14.02.2019

18.02.2019

Tickets from 42

Vilnius

24.01.2019

27.01.2019

Tickets from 46

Barcelona

20.12.2018

03.01.2019

Tickets from 52

Madrid

14.12.2018

03.01.2019

Tickets from 54

Rome

23.11.2018

26.11.2018

Tickets from 59

Milan

30.10.2018

06.11.2018

Tickets from 61

Stockholm

28.12.2018

09.01.2019

Tickets from 62

Manchester

05.04.2019

08.04.2019

Tickets from 63

Pisa

26.04.2019

28.04.2019

Tickets from 64

Malaga

22.12.2018

05.01.2019

Tickets from 68

Seville

10.12.2018

14.12.2018

Tickets from 72

Budapest

29.12.2018

03.01.2019

Tickets from 77

London

04.12.2018

05.12.2018

Tickets from 78

Nice

19.08.2019

21.08.2019

Tickets from 81

Lyon

24.11.2018

26.11.2018

Tickets from 82

Kiev

23.01.2019

27.01.2019

Tickets from 84

Alicante

25.11.2018

28.11.2018

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Katowice

30.12.2018

10.01.2019

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Berlin

12.03.2019

21.03.2019

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Geneva

16.11.2018

16.11.2018

Tickets from 99

Amsterdam

24.01.2019

25.01.2019

Tickets from 107

Venice

21.12.2018

24.12.2018

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Iasi

12.11.2018

19.11.2018

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Hamburg

26.12.2018

28.12.2018

Tickets from 112

Paris

29.01.2019

31.01.2019

Tickets from 115

Tel Aviv-Yafo

23.12.2018

04.01.2019

Tickets from 118

Moscow

02.12.2018

05.12.2018

Tickets from 120

Vienna

08.11.2018

12.11.2018

Tickets from 122

Tallinn

15.04.2019

19.04.2019

Tickets from 125

Tirana

17.12.2018

07.01.2019

Tickets from 128

Helsinki

15.02.2019

20.02.2019

Tickets from 131

Tangier

15.12.2018

04.01.2019

Tickets from 139

Reykjavik

25.11.2018

10.12.2018

Tickets from 139

Munich

22.11.2018

24.11.2018

Tickets from 140

Florence

30.11.2018

02.12.2018

Tickets from 140

Saint Petersburg

05.12.2018

11.12.2018

Tickets from 141

Odessa

08.07.2019

17.07.2019

Tickets from 143

Glasgow

16.11.2018

19.11.2018

Tickets from 144

Eilat

09.12.2018

16.12.2018

Tickets from 146

Bremen

11.03.2019

19.03.2019

Tickets from 149

Gran Canaria

11.12.2018

16.12.2018

Tickets from 150

Turin

09.11.2018

12.11.2018

Tickets from 151

Tenerife

11.12.2018

16.12.2018

Tickets from 152

Cardiff

21.12.2018

24.12.2018

Tickets from 153

Timisoara

07.11.2018

11.11.2018

Tickets from 153

Nottingham

05.07.2019

07.07.2019

Tickets from 155

Minsk

26.12.2018

16.01.2019

Tickets from 156

Tbilisi

27.08.2019

08.09.2019

Tickets from 157

Algiers

16.12.2018

13.01.2019

Tickets from 158

Chernovtsy

29.11.2018

01.12.2018

Tickets from 166

Belfast

12.11.2018

15.11.2018

Tickets from 166

Bristol

21.12.2018

24.12.2018

Tickets from 167

Kharkiv

05.11.2018

07.11.2018

Tickets from 168

Zurich

22.12.2018

27.12.2018

Tickets from 172

Chisinau

26.01.2019

29.01.2019

Tickets from 177

Poznan

26.10.2018

28.10.2018

Tickets from 177

Lviv

24.12.2018

28.12.2018

Tickets from 178

Ponta Delgada

14.01.2019

19.01.2019

Tickets from 181

Belgrade

05.11.2018

10.11.2018

Tickets from 184

Leeds

05.04.2019

08.04.2019

Tickets from 185

Bergen

03.05.2019

10.05.2019

Tickets from 190

Newcastle

28.12.2018

01.01.2019

Tickets from 192

Santa Cruz De La Palma

15.01.2019

29.01.2019

Tickets from 195

Larnaca

14.11.2018

19.11.2018

Tickets from 195

Fez

30.10.2018

07.11.2018

Tickets from 196

Kutaisi

15.12.2018

10.03.2019

Tickets from 198

Oran

08.01.2019

20.01.2019

Tickets from 202

Zagreb

20.11.2018

22.11.2018

Tickets from 204

Marseille

01.11.2018

08.11.2018

Tickets from 207

Split

23.11.2018

26.11.2018

Tickets from 212

Sibiu

30.10.2018

06.11.2018

Tickets from 217

Boston

20.01.2019

27.01.2019

Tickets from 223

Casablanca

06.11.2018

13.11.2018

Tickets from 225

Liverpool

05.07.2019

07.07.2019

Tickets from 226

Nador

01.11.2018

02.11.2018

Tickets from 230

Cork

27.12.2018

03.01.2019

Tickets from 232

Thessaloniki

31.10.2018

01.11.2018

Tickets from 232

Krasnodar

10.11.2018

17.11.2018

Tickets from 233

Kinshasa

20.11.2018

09.12.2018

Tickets from 237

Samara

06.12.2018

10.12.2018

Tickets from 239

Kazan

29.01.2019

01.02.2019

Tickets from 241

Rostov

15.11.2018

01.12.2018

Tickets from 243

Kherson

31.10.2018

04.11.2018

Tickets from 244

Yerevan

01.11.2018

07.11.2018

Tickets from 246

Ekaterinburg

27.11.2018

04.12.2018

Tickets from 251

Montpellier

31.01.2019

31.01.2019

Tickets from 257

Tyumen

15.01.2019

25.01.2019

Tickets from 258

Nantes

01.11.2018

04.11.2018

Tickets from 258

Nizhniy Novgorod

13.11.2018

18.11.2018

Tickets from 259

Ancona

02.11.2018

02.11.2018

Tickets from 259

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