Feel like studying again? Whether you want to study in Gent to learn a new skill for your hobby, take up a language or get a formal certification to boost your employability, read on. In this guide you can find out all about workshops, courses, classes and study programmes in Gent, with an emphasis on English ones.
To make it easier for you to find what you are looking for you this post is outlined as follows:
- Other Languages
Professional and personal development
- De Stap
- Adult education providers
- Public Speaking
Developing skills for leisure time & hobbies
- Instructor and Coach training
- Learn how to swim
- Learn kayaking
- Practise sports
Arts & Crafts
- Repairing things
- Sewing & knitting
- Arts & Crafts supplies
Health & Well-being
Higher Education in Gent
For learning Dutch read our post about it here.
For other languages see what the following institutions have on offer:
Berlitz language school Ghent offers intensive courses for groups or individuals. They teach English, French, German, Spanish and more upon request.
The adult education institute Het Perspectief offers group evening classes in Arabic, Bulgarian, Chinese, Danish, German, English, French, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Turkish and Swedish. It is best to check with Het Perspectief directly how much/if you need to know Dutch to be able to follow a course there.
University Language Centre
The University Language Centre offers evening courses in groups for the following languages: Arabic, German, English, Flemish sign language, French, Italian, Latin, Portuguese, Spanish, Turkish and Swedish. They also have a la carte lessons such as
Applying for a job in English, French and Dutch, Conversations professionnelles au quotidien, Deutsch im Beruf and French for Pharmacists
The language course centre LerianNti offers courses in English, French, Dutch and German. They have a centre in Gent. For info on the specific options in Gent, email them at email@example.com
Professional and personal development
De Stap information centre – Helps you find the course you need
Visit the people at De Stap for information of what options are available. You can drop into de Krook between 1 and 5pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and you don’t need to make an appointment. Their website is in Dutch but they also support expats hungry to learn in English.
Adult education providers
These centres offer training courses in Dutch – if you cover the basics of Dutch an evening class might help you to practise and find new friends in a fun way.
On top of languages you can study informatics, teaching, bookkeeping, programming, how to start a business, hair & beauty and more at Het Perspectief.
SYNTRA Midden-Vlaanderen gives training courses for companies and entrepreneurial people. They offer more than 500 various practical courses, both evening classes or full time in Dutch. At Syntra you can study how to start a business, and take courses which will help you run it better, like social media management, sales and bookkeeping.
You can also get certifications for professions like real estate agent, winemaker, hairdresser and so on.
At Kisp you can take evening classes in a range of areas, from cooking to bike-fixing to mastering software programmes and sewing.
CVO (Centrum voor Volwassenenonderwijs)
The CVO offers the following courses in English, but unfortunately only in Antwerp or Brussels: Administrative Assistant, Barber, Beard Shaving & Styling, Beautician & Make-Up Artist, Body Massage, Yoga Instructor and more.
These courses are rather short, so perhaps it’s worth the commute to our neighbouring cities.
The CVO offers various courses in Gent, but only in Dutch. You can study investment, administration, sport psychology, photography, coaching and much more.
CVO Panta Rhei
CVO Panta Rhei offers adult education and language lessons in various campuses in Gent. There you can e.g become a bus driver, florist or tour guide.
The school for hotels and tourism, Spermalie offers adult education and evening lessons in these areas: fashion, sewing and knitting, interior, gastronomy, wine connoisseur and more.
Do you want to become a confident public speaker and strong leader? If so, Toastmasters is the place for you. In Gent they organise meetings regularly. See more here.
Developing skills for leisure time & hobbies
Instructor and Coach trainings
You can check ways to certify e.g as a sport instructor, coach or referee here. They are only available in Dutch but physical activities are often self explanatory.
Tip: Did you know you can earn up to 6000€ a year tax free leading leisure time activities, e.g as a sport coach? See more in Dutch here.
Learn how to swim
If you are interested in learning how to swim, or improve your technique, check out the swimming school SOS Gent Zwemschool which also provides classes for adults. The teachers explain in English too if needed. Want to practise? Check out our pool guides, indoor and outdoor.
Gekko kayak club organises weekly Start to Kayak workshops (in Dutch) on Saturdays. See more here.
If you are more interested in knowing where to do sports, you can do a search in Uit in Vlaanderen’s portal for sport events.
The Keramiekatelier Manu Van Steenbergen organises pottery workshops in Gent and can give instructions in English upon request. He offers an introductory lesson or evening classes. For more info see here.
Karwij organises ceramic workshops just outside Gent, in Laarne. English instruction is available upon request. See the agenda here.
Houtbaar’s workshops are mainly in Dutch, but English speakers are welcome too. Either the class will be given completely in English or extra tutoring is provided individually.
Gent Repareert is a collaboration between the city of Gent, the OCMW and IVAGO. You can bring your broken stuff (bikes, small electrical appliances, textile, computers…) and fix them together with volunteer experts. They organise events a few times a month at various locations in Gent.
Sewing & knitting
Funni offers various sewing workshops with English as an instruction language upon request.
Boho organises workshops in knitting, crocheting, pattern drawing etc. See their agenda here. The workshops are generally in Dutch.
Our editor Nina Jere can also organise knitting classes in English upon request, contact her via email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn old academic drawing and painting techniques and apply them to contemporary art in the classes by 21studio.
Atelier ModelStudies has sessions of painting models starting every October. Check their Facebook page for the latest updates here.
Arts & Crafts supplies
Need supplies for your hobby? Check our post Explore The Creative Shops Of Ghent
See also Spermalie mentioned earlier for diplomas in cooking
Belgian Cooking Class
Belgian Cooking Class teaches you how to cook traditional Belgian food.
If you are a fanatic chocolate lover check out the English workshops by Callebaut. They are not in Gent but it’s only a 40 minute drive there so we decided to include the Chocolate Academy Centre in the list anyway.
Food photography & styling
French Beans regularly organises food photography & styling workshops – with English instructions upon request.
Academie de Kunstbrug Gent
See Academie de Kunstbrug Gent for various music lessons, from music history to jazz-rock-pop and learning how to play instruments. Their classes are taught mainly in Dutch. But teachers might be willing to give instructions in English too, so contact them directly to check this. They also offer dance and drama lessons.
At Popcollege you can follow music lessons ranging from learning how to play an instrument to singing. They also offer classes for DJing and recording. Technical aspects are taught upon request in English.
On Wisper you can find art & music workshops, with a filter to see workshops in English.
Check the app Apprentus to find private tutors if you want to learn how to play an instrument.
Here is a list of links to a bunch of dance schools by the city of Gent.
Kamaworld does Burlesque workshops and classes.
Health & Wellbeing
The School of Ayurveda organises various training courses, lectures and seminars. See more on their website (in English) here.
Alternative, sustainable and ecological co-living space Levensbloem organises various workshops like yoga and meditation within their community for free donations. Check their Facebook page for their event agenda.
Tip: Do check the institutions for higher education in Gent and the centres for adult learning mentioned in this post to see their options for art and leisure studies.
Please note that some employers offer subsidies and/or paid time off for studying. Check with your manager or HR department for more information.
The VDAB also offers training cheques and might reimburse you for half of the price of the course. See more details (only in Dutch) here. You also might have the right to subsidised career coaching, known as loopbaanbegeleiding. See more info (in Dutch) here.
Check for subsidy options for training via the KMO portefeuille.
Tip: If you want to teach a relevant skill for personal development, check if you are eligible to give training to other people who are entitled to reimbursement via KMO portefeuille or VDAB cheques.
You also might have the right to subsidised career coaching, loopbaanbegeleiding, both as as an employee or self employed. See more info (in Dutch) here.
Check with VDAB which training you are eligible to take while getting unemployment benefits. Here is information to start with (in Dutch). E.g ICT courses have plenty of their study material in English and the employability is high. But beware – some courses are mostly self guided meaning you will not sit in a classroom with a teacher much. Best to check with your VDAB agent to find out more about specific courses.
You are also eligible for financial compensation if you study to get a degree for a so-called knelpuntberoep, an occupation where there is a shortage of skilled people for the amount of available jobs. You can find a list of the eligible jobs (in Dutch) here.
Higher education in Gent
Here is a list of all the institutions providing higher education in Gent and what they offer in English.
All their bachelor degree programmes are provided in Dutch. There are a few masters degree and post grads on offer in English – see here for more details.
HoGent has three faculties: Education, Health and Social Work, Science and Technology and Business and Information Management and School of Arts. All Bachelor degrees require that you know Dutch. Many master diplomas are taught in English. Get more info here.
Artevelde Hogeschool offers study programmes in teacher training, business and graphic education, health care and social work. International Business and
International Office Management are the only bachelor programmes taught in English. Be aware you need to prove that your level of English is good enough.
The professional degree programmes offered at Odisee campus Gent are taught in Dutch. There you can study facility management, chemistry, electronics-ICT, energy technology, design and production technology, biomedical laboratory technology and nutrition and dietetics. See more here.
Luca School of Arts
LUCA School of Arts offers both professional and academic Bachelor, Master and Postgraduate degrees. Audiovisual Arts & Techniques, Interior Design & Construction, Music & Drama and Visual Arts & Design. Most of the programmes are taught in Dutch and proficiency in Dutch is recommended.
KU Leuven’s Faculty for Engineering Technology and the one for Architects are based in Gent. Again, Bachelor programmes are not available fully in English – but some master programmes are taught in English.
School of Arts Gent
The School of Arts Gent or KASK offers some master programmes and postgrads in English in art and music.
Tip 1: To find more information check when the institution you are interested in is hosting its next open day.
Tip 2: Not interested in studying for a degree, but would like to take a one-off course at an institution for higher degrees? Check the options for studying under a credit contract. You might also be able to just take an exam based on previous studies or self education.
Tip 3. Brussels has more options for higher education in English.
If you know about a workshop, class, course or study programme in Gent that we forgot to mention here, please send us an email at email@example.com or comment below!
Special thanks to the expats in the Expats in Gent, and the ladies in ZekerVanHaarZaak Facebook groups who contributed with their favourite workshops and classes.
Disclaimer: The information on this page is based on the information found on official government and local websites, and on the experience of the authors. While we have done our best to make sure it is accurate, rules and regulations change and each individual situation might be different, so it is always a good idea to check with appropriate authorities for the latest information. Consequently, the authors do not assume any responsibility or liability for any issues or damages stemming from the use of the information on this website.
Updated August 2018
About the author:
Jenny is originally from Finland and moved to Ghent in 2009. Now she works as self-employed organising events, supporting businesses with marketing and helping people starting their own businesses by being a community manager of Entrepreneurs Anonymous & co-organiser of Freelance Business Day. Find out more and connect with her on LinkedIn.