Michelle Arboleda Jalon

Hello! I am Michelle Arboleda , I come from Guayaquil- Ecuador and it’s been one year already that I’ve been living here in Gent. I’m here to guide you with some advices! I am following a Preparatory and Master programme in Business Engineering.

Why UGent and Business Engineering

UGent belongs to the top 100 universities in the world!

I found the program in Business Engineering very complete, it includes Python and R-studio as tools for the decision making analysis and it combines all types of engineering. I worked before in the operations field and I wanted to specialize in that.

Baby steps

Moving abroad is an amazing experience but also very challenging. You are very brave !

In order to be completely regularized you need to be very patient.

  • Belgian ID: you first need to register your address(all international students need to it), later you will receive a letter to start your ID. It will take a while, but once you receive the attest you can continue with …
  • Bank account: choose a Bank, and book an appointment ( check the bank requirements) and present the attest.
  • Health insurance: International office has some options for you , try to sign a contract with them as soon as possible , later on when you have your ID they will ask for it and then the procedure is finished.

Combine your studies with a job

You are allowed to work only 20 hours per week. However, I consider it not worth it , most of the time some of your classes will overlap and when you read the “Course specification” it specifies the amount of  extra self- study hours you need to accomplish.

If you don't work during your studies and your parents want to send you money ,I found the cheapest, fastest and safe way by using the app Wise ( Blue icon).  https://wise.com/ . There are also other options as SWIFT and Wester Union.

What is life like as a student?

You will meet a lot of international students , I consider Gent a multicultural city with freedom of speech and it is very safe living here .

The student association VEK organises good parties and events for all students , they also organize the book sales and job fairs. Make sure you follow them on Facebook or Instagram!

Are you into sports? UGent offers lots of sport facilities: https://www.ugent.be/en/facilities/sport/sportsoverview. You need to register before October 4‘th .

Or are you more into shopping? Think Twice, Tweede hands winkel, are stores that sell second hand clothes in very good condition, cheaper than other stores and we are being eco-friendly. We have two big sale seasons in the whole city, one at the beginning of December and the second one in June.

As I mentioned before, Gent is a multicultural city , almost 80% of the people speak English . In Belgium there are 3 official languages : Flemish, French and German. If you are interested in learning Flemish/Dutch, Ugent offers language classes at UTC: https://uct.ugent.be/en/dutch-for-speakers-of-other-languages

How to get around in Ghent

You have public transport (bus and trams), my advice is to buy a monthly card at De Lijn ( in Korenmart). Always pass the card, controls are unpredictable and there are fines when you don’t pay a ride.

  • Bike: you can rent one bike at  https://fietsambassade.gent.be/en/rent-bike  or buy a second hand bike at Facebook marketplace.
  • Train: if you want to travel around Belgium , we have weekend tickets ( cheaper than buy single rides). My advice download the app SNBC (letter B with blue background).

Studying at Ugent

Ugent has 11 beautiful libraries, my favorite one is “Faculty library of law and criminology”, you can check the libraries at https://lib.ugent.be/en/libraries  . My second favorite place to study is  De Krook (public library), do not forget to book a spot at https://bookaplace.be/en

Methodology of study:  My advice is that you look for new strategies of study , the academic system in Belgium might lightly differ from your country, ask your Belgian classmates how they study and studying in groups will help you understand better that topic.

Ask your classmates to invite you to Discord, is a platform where the class discuss about a topic and uploads exercises .

Creat an account in Stuveco , is a platform where we can see a brief overview of previous exams approved by the teachers . So you can have an idea how the exam might look like. https://www.stuveco.be/nl/login

In case you're ill

Ugent has a Medical Service , you can book an appointment here : https://afspraken.doctena.be/e/NmVzZTZnTzIxNlNnbXRmNHRzbE9EVDRpT2pFRWFUNU1vU3M3OTFrK2lZNHBWNnY5ZHhJVXdBPT0%3D

According to your address you can google Huisartsen ,choose for the one that is closest to you and call/book an appointment, you will be attended by a general practitioner. Prices and fees depends on your insurance , normally goes from 3 to 4 euros per consultation.

Doubts or questions?

During your studies here if you have questions related to your program, you can book a meeting with Laura Haek , she is always open to help us.

If you have questions regarding your classes, do not hesitate to schedule a meeting with your teacher. It's always better to ask than to assume.

If you have more questions , I’ll be here to help you (Michelle.arboledajalon@ugent.be)

Enjoy the ride and lots of success !

Michelle Arboleda