Belgium operates in a diverse, globalised and open economy. It was ranked first in trading across borders by the World Bank's "Ease of Doing Business Survey" for 2018, and its multilingual and multicultural makeup has created a business environment as varied as its population.
Despite the country’s size, Belgium’s open economy punches far above its geographic weight. Its business culture is largely influenced by Dutch, German and French business structures and etiquette, and the local workforce is known for being skilled, productive and multilingual.
The services sector accounts for the largest part of Belgium’s economy, with its main exports including automobiles, metals, plastics, food products, finished diamonds and petroleum products.
Many of the English-speaking companies at which interns will work are either connected with the European Union or with NATO. These institutions are in themselves extremely competitive and tend to offer attractive employee benefits. Interns will have a robust business experience and will gain many internationally transferable skills.
Leuven is home to many large Belgium companies, many of them regional headquarters, with businesses throughout all of the sectors, including the headquarters of the largest beer company in the world.
It’s an established city of excellence in law, medicine and many other professional fields, as well as a large service sector to cater to the large amount of students in the city.
Business interns can expect to work within any of the sectors, from a small to medium-sized business firm, to a high tech IT company or even an NGO. Interns will hone their skills and learn new ones within a fast-paced, multifaceted environment. We will try our best to match your interests and studies to the placement, keeping in mind that any placement abroad will teach you many skills that you will use later in life, not just in the workplace!
With a population of 90,000, 40,000 of which are students, there are few towns in Flanders that appeal to the imagination more than Leuven. Interns will be immersed in history, culture, architecture, gastronomy and modern science all at the same time. From the Gothic Town Hall and the Great Beguinage, to the student atmosphere of the Old Market Square and the home of Stella Artois, Leuven has it all. Irish College Leuven is within a short walking distance of all of these landmarks, and more!
Most people get around by bicycle (Fiets), foot or bus – the choice will be yours! Being such a small town, you can cover all of it by foot in a single day, which will allow you to treat yourself to one of Belgium’s sweet treats at the end of the day.
Leuven is also only 20 kilometers from Brussels, which is well connected to neighbouring countries Germany, The Netherlands, Luxembourg and France.
Speaking of food, Ireland wasn’t short of amazing places to eat and enjoy night life. I’ll never forget the evenings I spent watching performers dancing in pubs, streets and restaurants just to entertain us! The way the performers interacted with one another and the crowd really made for a genuine and friendly vibe in Ireland. I think about the six weeks I spent in Ireland almost everyday.
It has changed the aspirations I have in life and made my desires more meaningful. It is remarkable how big of an impact this country and program has had on me. I would not change it for a thing."
Airfare, materials for placement, visa, transport, mandatory health insurance, some meals and spending money aren’t included. Please budget accordingly.