Frequently Asked Questions for International Students

On this page, find everything you’ve always wanted to know about English degrees at Thomas More!

Already registered? Then, you will find even more details on the student portal. Learn more about your courses and administration, your computer, the learning centre, Belgian student life and our student services.
By the way, have you seen our Instagram and Facebook pages yet? Follow them to stay connected with your study programme and campus!


When is the application deadline?

EEA candidates EEA candidates can apply up to the start of the academic year/semester by submitting an online application.

After your file has been assessed, you will receive a decision by email. If your file has been approved, you will receive your admission letter and instructions on how to register online.

Non-EEA candidates: Non-EEA candidates can apply by submitting an online application until 5th of June (arriving in September) or 21st of
November(arriving in February). We advise candidates to apply as early as possible. It is possible to apply before you have obtained all required certificates. If so, you will receive a message to complete your file. The assessment process may take a couple of days or several weeks, depending on the specific case.

After your file has been assessed, you will receive a decision on the application platform. If your file has been approved, you will receive payment instructions for your 1st semester tuition fee* and blocked account. For more information about payments, see ‘Payments by non-EEA applicants’. Keep in mind that international bank transfers can take up to 10 working days. 

*Postgraduate candidates will need to pay the total tuition fee in advance.

Once we have received the payment, we will provide you with all the necessary documents to apply for a student visa in your country. Be aware that applying for a student visa can take up to 60 days.

Also note that, if you wish to receive an exemption for certain courses, you have to indicate this in your application file (under ‘extra information’) or send an email to For additional information, see ‘Can I get exemptions based on my previous studies?’

How do I make payments to Thomas More (application/tuition fee, blocked account)?

Thomas More only accepts payments by bank transfer (no credit card, PayPal, etc.).

EEA candidates:You will have to follow the registration instructions provided by admissions. After your registration has been processed, you will receive an invoice for the amount of the fixed part. (Check your spam folder!) The payment of the fixed part of the tuition fee can’t be reimbursed after the start of the academic year. When in doubt,contact the student administration for your campus:

Non-EEA candidates: You will receive a reference code as soon as your file has been approved by admissions. The financial department needs this code to trace your payments. When in doubt, contact our admissions team through the chat function on the application platform.

Are there any scholarships or grants for international students?

As an international student you can get a discount on the variable cost of your tuition fee based on your Thomas More study results.

The grant will be awarded automatically if you meet all these conditions:

  • you are a non-EEA citizen registered as a full-time student in an English Bachelor’s programme
  • you have a residence permit in Belgium based on a student visa (type D)
  • you achieved a study efficiency* of at least 60% in the first exam period

Are you entitled to a refund for (part of) your tuition fee? Then, make sure that your bank account number is available in KU Loket. That way, our financial department can ensure a quick refund. Registered students will find more details on the student portal.

If you are not registered yet, you will find more detailed information here.

Can I get exemptions based on my previous studies?

Receiving an exemption for a particular course means that you don’t have to take that course at Thomas More.
It may be possible to reduce your study time through exemptions based on previously acquired qualifications in another study programme. When applying, please indicate that you wish to be considered for an exemption. After Admissions confirms the approval of your application file, you can contact your programme’s study counsellor to request exemptions. You will receive contact details as soon as your application has been approved by admissions. 

What should I do with all the certificates I received upon registering?

  • NMBS/De Lijn certificate: if you come to school by train or bus and would like to purchase a campus card or season ticket with NMBS (the train system) or De Lijn (the bus system), you can use this certificate to prove that you are indeed enrolled at Thomas More and thus entitled to the student discount.
  • Proof of enrolment: this is provided by student administration, you can use this certificate at any time to prove that you are enrolled at Thomas More (e.g., if your landlord asks).

    Before you arrive

What’s the best way to look for housing in Belgium?

You can begin to look for housing from the moment you receive a positive decision on your application. Please consult our housing database: indicate the campus of your choice and choose the appropriate move-in/move-out dates. You will then see an overview of the student rooms available during the selected time period, information about the accommodation and the landlord’s contact details. You will then need to contact the landlord and arrange the contract yourself. You can find more details about housing on this page.

If you have any questions or need help during the process, contact

Where can I find an estimate of the cost of living in Belgium?

Click here for an estimate of study and living costs.

How do I activate my account?

After your enrolment has been processed, you will receive an email from Thomas More’s Student Administration. It will contain a personalized URL for you to activate your account. You need this link and your student number to complete the activation. Your username is your student number (r-number written as: r0123456). You will find this number in the same email. After activating your account, you will have access to the main information channel for your study programme and other services: the student portal.

You will need to set a password for your Thomas More and KU Leuven Association accounts. Please note that this password must comply with a number of conditions, which can also be found in the account activation email. Starting this academic year, everyone at Thomas More logs into their account with a password and an additional security method (usually an app on your smartphone). Read all about it here.
Is there a problem? Then, it is best to request a new code from the service desk by going to (choose 'I cannot sign in').

For your information: there is a difference between your account number and your email address. With the account number (r-number written as: r0123456) you can log in on school computers, check your email, consult online applications and so on. You will have also received a Thomas More email address, written as follows: <your r-number> (e.g.

For web-based applications from the KU Leuven Association (such as KU Loket), you can log in with your student number, and you don’t have to use your email address. More information can be found under the next question!

How do I check my Thomas More email?

About an hour after you have activated your account and chosen your password, this will also be registered in Office 365. Log in by going to and signing in with <your r-number> and the password you have chosen. You can also read your email with the Microsoft Outlook application. You can find this information on the student portal.

What is ‘KU Loket’?

KU Loket is your digital student file. You can check your legal home address and student room address, change your private email address, request documents, consult your exam results after each exam period, compose your Individual Study Programme (ISP) at the start of the academic year and send your ISP to your study counsellor. Your ISP is the contract that determines which courses you will follow and which exams you will take in a certain academic year.

Are you entitled to a refund for (part of) your tuition fee? Then, make sure that your bank account number is available in KU Loket. That way, our financial department can ensure a quick refund. Registered students will find more details on the student portal.

How to log into KU Loket? Access KU Loket through this link. You’ll have to insert your Thomas More username (r0123456) and password.
In KU Loket, you can request certain certificates online through the 'Self-service certificates' application. The application is available as a tile under 'Study & Exams'. The requested certificates will be sent by email.

What is Canvas?

Canvas is Thomas More’s digital learning environment. Log in by going to the student portal and looking for Canvas. You can log in with your Thomas More Account (your <r-number> and password). When you log in, you will be taken to your personal digital learning environment. There, you will find all the content for your courses. In Canvas, you can upload your assignments, find your study materials and take practice tests, if necessary.

Once you have submitted your Individual Study Programme (ISP), you will also see the corresponding courses in Canvas. Once your ISP (see the question ‘What is an ISP?’) has been approved, you will no longer be able to deregister in Canvas for the Canvas courses that are part of your ISP.
After activating your account, you will have access to Canvas within 1 to 2 days. To be clear: KU Loket and Canvas are two separate applications.

After touchdown: your first days in Belgium

What will my first days in Belgium look like?

At Thomas More, your first academic year starts with Welcome Days: one with fellow students from your study programme and one with all international students. 

Can’t be there during the Welcome Days? Let us know via!  We’ll give you a personal welcome upon arrival and make sure you get integrated smoothly. 

Where can I find my course schedule?

All programmes publish their course schedule on Please note that, once you have accessed your Individual Study Programme (ISP), you will see a provisional schedule. Changes can still be made. During the academic year, all changes will be visible on So, check it regularly. 

On the student portal you can see how to integrate this schedule with your Office 365 calendar.

What is an ISP?

The ISP (=individual study programme) is actually the selection of courses that you will follow within an academic year. In your ISP, you determine which courses (= subjects) you will take in the coming academic year and for which units you will also take an exam. This ISP must always comply with the rules of your study programme, so as a first-year student, you have little to choose from, except for possible graduation subjects, electives or educational subjects.

Stuck? No problem! On your welcome day, you will get an explanation on how to fill out your ISP, what your class group is, etc. 
Don't wait too long after the welcome day, there is a deadline for the ISP. After that, you cannot change it yourself. After approval of your ISP, it cannot be changed according to our Education and Examination Regulations. Only at the beginning of the spring semester, you can still adjust your package for the spring semester.

You can reach your ISP through the KU Loket, on the right under the tab 'Education and Students'. In your ISP, you can also submit a request to change your course group.

When can I fill out my ISP, and how do I make changes?

You can only edit and forward your ISP if you are linked to a class group. This class group not only determines which compulsory course units you have to take but also determines the class group you are assigned to for these compulsory course units.
As long as you are not linked to a class group, you have no editable ISP. In this case, when you open your ISP, you get the message '... no class group ...'.

Although we strive for automatic class grouping for all programmes, there might still be a number of programmes that have to divide the class groups manually, e.g., due to internships or other reasons.

Once you are linked to a class group, our administration will automatically suggest an ISP. For first-year students (i.e. new students at Thomas More), this is always the package of compulsory course units of the first programme phase. You can edit your ISP once you are linked to your class group. All compulsory course units for your programme phase (first year, second or third year) will be ticked. You can unsubscribe from course units by removing the check mark, or you can register for additional course units by ticking them. These choices have to be in accordance with the rules of the programme and of Thomas More. As a new student starting in September, you are obliged to book all 60 credits in the first year.

If you have already acquired credits elsewhere, you can apply for exemptions (see ‘Can I get exemptions based on my previous studies?’). Note: this is an application for exemptions, so someone from the study programme still has to approve it. 

Is it possible to combine work and studies?

It is possible to work as a student in Belgium. However, there are limits on how many hours per week you can work. Also, due to the workload required for you to be successful in your studies, financing your education through a student job is not advisable. 

For details about working as a student, check the Study in Flanders website, where you will find a nice overview of the limitations on and requirements for student work.

Extra information about the education system at Thomas More

What are ECTS credits, and how many hours of work do they entail?

What are ECTS credits?

ECTS is short for European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System. It is a standard way to compare the credits associated with a certain amount of learning and the associated workload in higher education across the European Union.


ECTS is a credit system based on student workload. The credits are a value given to course units to describe the amount of work needed to complete them successfully. 1 ECTS corresponds to 25 to 30 hours of work per semester (including time spent in class, meetings for group work, reading assignments, studying for exams, etc.).

ECTS credits express a relative value. Study hours are estimates because you may spend more time on a course you are not so familiar with and maybe less on another course that is exactly in your area of interest and expertise. That means that one of your 3 ECTS courses may involve more work than a 6 ECTS course.

A bachelor's degree consists of 180 ECTS credits. One year’s study is 60 credits, which is normally equivalent to 1500–1800 hours of total workload. 

ECTS grading scale

ECTS also includes a standard grading scale, shown in addition to Flemish standard grades.

EXCELLENT - outstanding performance with only minor errorsA17-20
VERY GOOD - above the average standard but with some errorsB15-16
GOOD - generally sound work with a number of notable errorsC13-14
SATISFACTORY - fair but with significant shortcomingsD11-12
SUFFICIENT - performance meets the minimum criteriaE10
FAIL - some more work required before the credit can be awardedFX8-9
FAIL - considerable further work is requiredF0-7

Help! I’m stuck! 

If you have any problems with or questions about your registration, activation code, account, email, Canvas, ICT, libraries, etc., please contact our student helpdesk at
Your question will be entered into a log system, and you can rest assured that it will not be overlooked!

Oh no! My question is not in this list! 

Can’t find the answer to your question, or is there an answer that is not entirely clear? Feel free to send an email to, and we will certainly look into it!