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Basic information in English

When you move to a new city, in a country whose language you don’t speak, you want to know where can you quickly find answers to all your questions in a language you understand. Luckily, this is the age of the internet and information, and the online expat community is quite active.

 

Here is a list of main online sources in English that will help you land gently in Gent:

  1. TheSquare.Gent

Ok, we are being cheeky here, but it would be weird if we didn’t think we were one of the essential guides to living in the city. Short, informative and to the point, sharing with you what we know and love about Ghent. And sometimes things that drive us crazy.

  1. The official city guide for expats

English-language guide for expats in Ghent, BelgiumNewly published in autumn 2016, this English-language guide finally puts Ghent on the expat map. Quite comprehensive which can be intimidating at first, but a good source of reliable information. You can also download the expat guide as a pdf, so it’s always at your fingertips.

  1. Expats in Ghent (Facebook group)

The Facebook group for and by all expats in Ghent, happy to answer any questions. Expect incredibly knowledgeable local expats, who seem to have investigated everything, from finding fresh cow’s milk to the best local DIY stores.

  1. Gentse Spruiten (Facebook group and offline meetings)

A bilingual group recommended for anyone coming to Ghent with children. The members are a mix of locals and expats, which means you get the most reliable information and a chance to see some Dutch in action. Founder Jovita, who also happens to write for TheSquare.Gent, makes sure that everybody gets together at least once a week.

  1. Rooms and Apartments for Expats in Gent (Facebook group)

Facebook group for posting housing ads. Especially popular for student rooms and sharing, but you can find other types of rentals too.

  1. Other useful Facebook groups

Ghent Expat Ladies Friendship Group: a nice group for the ladies where you can ask any questions that you might think are too embarrassing for a larger group. Or just organise a girls’ night out.

Second Hand Market Gent: your local second-hand bazaar, where you can find all that you need to quickly furnish your new home.

Meetings, Activities, Event and Parties in Ghent/Gent: does what it says on the box, namely provides info about regular bar nights and other socialising events for expats in Ghent.

  1. News from Belgium

If you are wondering about the current security situation, or just want to know what the Belgian government is up to these days, have a look at one of these news websites:

Flanders Today: what started as a promotional newsletter by the Flemish region, has grown into a solid weekly printed paper and a website with in-depth information about Belgian politics, culture and research.

De Redactie: online news website of the Flemish public broadcaster also has news in French, German and English.

Are there any essential websites or Facebook groups for newcomers that we have missed? Send an email to hello@thesquare.gent to let us know.

Last updated: October, 2016

Nina
Nina came to Ghent many years ago via several other countries, ditching the big city lights for the towers and rivers of Ghent. She has lived in Vienna, Cantabria (Spain), Maastricht, Luxembourg and Brussels. Now she enjoys creating beautiful design, exploring space and talking to people. She is also on a mission to make Ghent and Belgium more welcoming to expats. You can contact her at nina@thesquare.gent

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