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Field Research & Internship, Brussels

Study Abroad Program Overview

Use the professional European workplace to gain language fluency, cultural understanding, and comparative knowledge in your chosen field. As the capital of Europe with a culture all of its own, life in Brussels provides not only a deeper understanding of Europe to future European affairs specialists, but also offers internships in a wide spectrum of fields, including architecture and urban studies, cultural studies, natural sciences, art history and more. The field research and internship program begins with thorough academic training, continues with an internship, and culminates in a research project.

​Please note the research and internship program is offered in three locations: Brussels, Paris, and Strasbourg. Although you will apply initially to one of these locations through UCEAP, in your application to the internship provider you will rank two locations in order of preference. You will be assigned to one of these two choices based on the best internship placement for you.

Students attend classes with international students.

Language of Instruction


Language Study



Fall :  
​mid August to mid December

Spring :  
​mid January to mid May








​You can choose to find your own housing, rent a room in a family home with kitchen access and full freedom to come and go, or live in one of several independent student residences or foyers. Housing is arranged by UCEAP's partner in Brussels, the Institute for Field Education (IFE). More information on housing

Extracurricular Activities

From a series of tours throughout the city, to day trips to discover other Belgian towns and regions, you will have the opportunity to explore Belgian culture first-hand. Sample activities include a tour of federal parliament, exploring Brussels through a literary walking tour, visiting the Hergé museum, or going on a day trip to Antwerp or Liège.

On-site Support

​UCEAP students are supported by UC’s network of UCEAP offices at every UC campus and partnerships with UCEAP host universities throughout the world. In Brussels, local staff at the Institute for Field Education (IFE) provide assistance with your academic program, housing, safety, and other issues.

Course Opportunities

​Your program begins with five weeks of intensive preparation to provide you with an in-depth introduction to the local setting and culture in which you will be living, working, and studying. Your classes during this period are with other U.S. students. At the end of the preparatory session, you will engage in a series of workshops on the intercultural workplace: what to expect, how to react, what the norms are, how to deal with situations that arise. After a week-long break, you will begin a 12-week internship. During your internship, you will develop and complete an independent research project under the guidance of a research advisor.  You will enroll in the following courses:
Preparatory Session
  • Belgium: A contemporary European culture- 3 quarter/2 semester UC units
  • Brussels in Belgium and Europe: A socio-urbanist approach- 3 quarter/2 semester UC units
  • Belgium in Europe and the World: An historical approach- 3 quarter/2 semester UC units
  • Elementary Conversational Dutch- 1.5 quarter/1 semester UC units
During the Internship Period
  • What is Europe? Culture(s), institutions, society(ies)- 4.5 quarter/3 semester UC units
  • Internship/Field Research- 9 quarter/6 semester UC units
All courses except for Elementary Dutch are upper-division. 
Use the following resources to learn about courses on UCEAP:


​You are required to take a full-time course of study while abroad: 24 UC quarter/16 semester units, 6 courses.

Research and Independent Study

​Research or an internship is a required component of this program. See the Internship tab for more information. 

About IFE: Founded in 1987, the Institute for Field Education (IFE) is a non-for-profit French educational organization that exposes U.S. students in depth and in situ to contemporary French and European society. It is governed by a board of directors composed of faculty from the University of Paris and Sciences Po and professional practictioners as well as a representative of the American academic community. It draws on the French and Belgian university systems for teachers. IFE provides students with program structure, support, contact, and advising.

Test Drive Your Future

Internships abroad are a great way to enhance your resume for today’s competitive job market. Stand out from your peers, gain hands-on experience, and develop your global professional network.


​​At IFE, the placement process is highly individualized and is never list-driven. IFE works with you to define the most appropriate placement strategy and keeps you informed of the process.
  • Arts and Culture: Museums, publishing houses, galleries, theater companies
  • Global Studies: Research institutes, think tanks, NGO's, not-for-profits, government ministries
  • Social Sciences- Public Policy: social welfare, urban planning, macro-economic modeling, teaching, gender activism, environmental affairs
  • Science- Engineering- Pre-Med: Angiogenesis, computer meteorology, bipolar disorder, dark energy, innovative methods in biostatistics, new generation lower limb ortheses, open-source computing, automotive design, plant growth modeling
  • Media: TV​ newsgathering, music blogging, video production, press relations for government ministries, publishing agencies, French magazines, 
  • Business:​ Advertising campaigns, client relations, market studies, new product development

This is not an exhaustive list of internships available on this program. The staff and faculty at IFE will assist you in locating a placement that is best suited to your academic interests. 

Setting Up Your Internship

  • The placement process begins pre-departure with the admissions application which includes a placement form which allows you to describe in detail what you wish to pursue during your semester of Field Study and Internship. From that point forward the process is completely individualized. It is not a list-based process.
  • IFE is an academic institution and the crux of a placement is the degree of fit between the internship description and your academic goals for the semester at IFE.

Additional Information

  • Your internship requires a field research paper to be submitted at the end of the program. You will have a research advisor from your field to guide you through the internship and your final paper.
  • You will receive 9 quarter/6 semester UC units for your internship.
  • Visit the IFE Brussels Internship page for more information.

Estimated EAP Costs *

OptionWeeksUnits (Qtr)Units (Sem)UCEAP Fees 1Additional Costs 2
* Estimates do not include Miscellaneous Campus Fees or, if applicable, Non-Resident Supplemental Tuition, Graduate or Professional Fees. If you are subject to out-of-state tuition at your UC campus, you will pay Non-Resident Fees on UCEAP.

1 UCEAP Fees: This represents an estimate of UCEAP fees for the current year. Actual amounts will vary due to potential changes to UC fees, exchange rate fluctuation, etc. This figure includes UC tuition and fees for undergraduate, in-state residents. For a detailed breakdown of what’s included in this estimate, visit the Participants Portal and select the appropriate program. Non-Resident Fees apply: If you are subject to out-of-state tuition at your UC campus, you will pay non-resident fees on UCEAP.

2 Additional Costs: Average living expenses include but are not limited to room and board, transportation, books, supplies, and other incidentals and do not include recreational travel or entertainment. The total cost will vary depending on your personal expenses, exchange rate fluctuation, and the program you attend. For a detailed breakdown of the estimate, visit the “Cost” tab of the appropriate program.

All fees are subject to change without notice.


Class Level:

Junior, Senior

Language Prerequisites:

- The University-level language requirement is: minimum 7 quarters / 5 semesters with a minimum language GPA of 3.00.


3.00 cumulative GPA at the time of application and maintained through the end of the last term prior to departure.

All applicants must also have:

  • Serious academic goals and a clear plan for integrating EAP studies into the student's UC degree program.
  • Social, interpersonal, and cross-cultural sensitivity; maturity; willingness to adapt successfully to different living and academic environments; appropriate behavior in a variety of situations.
  • A willingness to abide by program regulations.
  • Completed all campus- and program-specific requirements and be in good academic and disciplinary standing.

Application Information and Deadlines

Important: If you are planning to participate in back to back study abroad programs (with UCEAP or any other organization), you must notify your campus study abroad office. There are important things to consider when participating in consecutive programs, such as program dates and visa requirements. Not all program combinations are possible.

Application deadlines and information on the application process are available through your Campus EAP Office. Supplemental pre-departure materials will be required for many programs, including, but not limited to, host institution applications, visa and housing applications, medical clearances, etc.

For participation in the program, you must meet all deadlines and submit complete application materials.

These are minimum requirements. After selection by your UC Campus EAP Office, final admission is determined by IFE - Institute for Field Education

Visit your Campus Study Abroad website for program-specific deadlines: