Cover Photo Image
Location Description

Why create a Semester Abroad experience in Antwerp, Belgium? Quite simply, it is the heart of the European Union.

Antwerp, chosen in 1993 as the "Cultural Capital of Europe," is a city with a distinctive character, one which combines the charm and tradition of a rich history with the vigor and progress of a modern industrial center. The city boasts many excellent museums and historic monuments, as well as a fast-paced nightlife, fine shopping districts and a booming commercial center. From the eleventh-century Castle on the river Scheldt (the setting of Wagner's Lohengrin) to the Gothic cathedral and the Renaissance Town Hall, the visiting students are surrounded by magnificent buildings and monuments.

Antwerp is a major cultural crossroads. The citizens of Antwerp (or "Antwerpen," as they call it) speak Dutch, but English is spoken everywhere. The city is home to a large international community and it is perfectly feasible to get around with English only, but you will certainly have plenty of opportunities to practice your French, German, or Spanish.

Learn more about Antwerp by visiting this site.

The University of Antwerp

The University of Antwerp was originally founded in 1852 by the fathers of the Societas Jesu as the "Sint-Ignatius Business Institute. In 1965 the institute officially became a university and was renamed "Universitaire Faculteiten Sint-Ignatius te Antwerpen," or UFSIA. In 2003, UFSIA merged with two other Antwerp universities and is now known simply as the University of Antwerp or UA for short.

Today, the University of Antwerp is one of Belgium's most distinguished universities. It attracts students from all over Europe. As a medium-sized university, UA's enrollment totals include +/-19,000 students and 380 staff members.

The Faculty of Applied Economics (the "business school") is one of the largest and most famous in the country, with approximately 3,300 students. It is located in the 16th century historical buildings in the center of the city, while the schools of Law, Languages, History, Literature, Philosophy and Social sciences are accommodated in the modern buildings nearby.

UA may look ancient on the outside, but inside it is furnished with modern facilities. Students will have access to a full business library, complete with computer lab and copy center. There are other campus computer labs as well, in buildings next to the library. Students will meet in modern classrooms, and they may choose to spend time in the Agora, or a student lounge with restaurant and recreational facilities.

There are several small businesses surrounding the university that will provide all the amenities you are seeking while studying in Antwerp. And the university is just a few minutes away by foot from the historic "Grand Place" of Antwerp. Surrounding sites include museums, churches, restaurants, the Diamond district and other historical sites.

For more information about the University of Antwerp, visit the official website.


The operating philosophy of the JMU in Antwerp program is experiential. You will learn about business theory or the European business environment in class, and then you will take field trips to actual businesses, governmental institutions or cultural settings.

For example, you will study distribution, and then you will visit the Port of Antwerp, the second largest port in Europe. Similarly, you will learn about business ethics and operations, followed by a visit to the Antwerp Diamond Trading Center. Or you will learn about the institutions of the European Union in class, and then visit these institutions in Brussels while listening to lectures by European diplomats and politicians.

International field trips are planned to France, Spain, Germany and Czech Republic in the Fall semester and England, Scotland, Germany and Czech Republic in the Spring semester. Field trips within Belgium are planned for Brussels, Brugge, Ghent, Liege and other cities. While in Antwerp, you will visit the Diamond District, the Port of Antwerp, G. Bastin Chocolate Atelier and numerous museums and historical sites.

As an added bonus, you will have three three-day weekends for travel on your own. Since Belgium is centrally located within Europe, you are just a few hours train ride away from many historic European destinations in countries like Holland, France, Germany, Luxembourg, etc. Students may want to take advantage of traveling across Europe with discounted student train tickets. In addition, Ryan Air and Easy Jet are discount airlines that offer cheap student fares.


Semester in Antwerp Participants will stay at that “Montpelier House,” but abbreviated by past students to “The Monty.” The Monty is located just one block from the University of Antwerp. All apartments in the Montpelier House have either two or three students. Each apartment has its own kitchen and bathroom facility. Each room contains a small refrigerator with freezer compartment, an armoire, a desk, chair, bed, mattress, sheets, towels, pillows and other amenities. Laundry facilities are also available.

Within the building, there is a “common room” shared by all students where there are five computers hard wired to the Internet, as well as wifi access and ports for you to plug in your laptops. In addition, there is a magic jack phone that can be used to make emergency calls to the USA for free as well as a projector that students use to watch movies and sports events together. Participants are expected to abide by all apartment policies, and obey directives from the Resident Manager (RM). These policies, especially security related, are spelled out in greater detail in the student guide book.

Back to Top