Learning English & other languages

Belgium has 3 official languages: Dutch, French and German. About 60% of Belgians are Dutch speakers, about 40% are French speakers and only 1% are German speakers. Depending on where you live and work, knowledge of French might be required. Several companies also ask for English proficiency. In addition to this, it is of course possible to learn a lot of other foreign languages in the Leuven region.

Action steps

  • Determine your language goals: which level of proficiency do you want to obtain and for which purposes (hobby or professional)?
  • Define your current proficiency in this language. Most providers of language classes organize proficiency level test sessions before the start of the language courses.
  • Look for a provider of foreign language classes. Take a look at the list of suppliers below.
  • Search for opportunities to practice the language you are learning. Several language classes providers organize opportunities to practice, for example through study trips or conversation groups. The library of Leuven also organizes ad hoc conversation groups: 'Bab(b)el' but the project will only restart later in 2019. There are of course also a lot of online possibilities to practice.

Attention points

  • Some companies offer in-house language courses, if proficiency in this language is required for your job. Inquire about such initiatives in your company.
  • If proficiency in a certain language is required for your job, you might be entitled to paid educational leave. Enquire about the possibilities at the HR department of your company.
  • Most providers of language courses follow the structure of the schoolyear, and offer either classes that start in September and end in June, or classes lasting one semester (September-December or February-June).

Suppliers, channels and tools 


Need help finding an appropriate Dutch language course? Contact


Internationals living/working in the Leuven region, wanting to learn a foreign language. For information on learning Dutch, go to ‘Dutch language classes’ and ‘practicing Dutch’.

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