Tolerance and diplomacy are key words for Belgium, a country that has been influenced by the French, Dutch, Austrian, and Spanish, a unique combination of cutting edge and traditional cultures.

Belgian teenagers are very casual and usually enjoy sports, especially soccer and cycling, going to concerts, cinemas and scouting on weekends. Your social life will probably center on the family and a small group of friends.

AFS Youth exchange in Belgium flemish

AFS Youth exchange in Belgium french

People & Community

Belgians tend to be tolerant, flexible, modest, and open-minded. They value privacy, enjoy a safe and comfortable life, work hard and are self-disciplined. You will most likely be staying in a suburban or rural area. Public transportation is well organized and safe, which will enable you to explore the host community whenever you get the chance. The bicycle is a popular transportation mode.


You’ll likely be enrolled in a general (academic) secondary school, but you might also attend a vocational high school. Most days classes run from 8 am to 4 or 5 pm, with Wednesday afternoons off. Studying hard and focusing on academic success is common in Belgium. Most common subjects in Belgian schools are Flemish, math, history, geography, sciences, religion or ethics, and physical education.


People in Belgium speak Flemish – the Belgian version or French. Many people also speak German or English. To help you learn Dutch, AFS will give you access to an online Rosetta Stone language course to study on your own before and during the intercultural exchange. AFS will also provide language classes during the first weeks of the program, and knowing English will be helpful to you in the beginning.


Belgian cuisine is much more than good chocolate and beer – this is where you can enjoy waffles and fries, mussels and carbonade flamande (beef stew) along with potatoes and bread. Belgians take their time to eat, so even with all these options you’ll have the chance to savor each new flavor. Most families consider eating together very important, especially at dinner.

Explore the Programs Available in Belgio