Maybe you’re hesitant to sign up, maybe you’re already packing and asking yourself, will I financially manage? Don’t worry, I will break down exactly how much I spent while on an internship in Brussels.
Before I get to the exact numbers, it is necessary to add that I was intentionally saving. I enjoyed myself while on the internship very much, but I did not go to Plux (square in front of the European Parliament where trainees and staff from European institutions usually meet up for a beer) every week and I travelled moderately. After work and on weekends, I often stayed home writing my bachelor’s thesis.
In the European Parliament, there is the possibility to go for lunch to the canteen, where one meal usually costs (with the discount of 50 cents for trainees) from 5.2 EUR to approx. 10 EUR. If you are on a traineeship elsewhere than in the EP or at the Commission, you will most likely not have a canteen and the food will cost you more. I did not go there every day in Parliament either, because sometimes we were busy over the lunch time and on other times because I wanted to save a bit of money and brought my food in a box from home. I ended up going to the canteen approx. 3 times a week, I think. I also saved on my meals with app called TooGoodToGo, where you can pay for food that restaurants and shops would throw away. You never know what you get, but I only had amazing experience. Everything is a fraction of the price you’d pay normally.
The accommodation and transport includes also accommodation in Strasbourg and the way back to Brussels (on the way there, I managed to get on the bus provided by the Parliament and did not have to pay anything). I went to Strasbourg once during my internship and these costs were later reimbursed to me on top of the monthly scholarship. During the internship I went on 6 trips in total. All only one-day, so I did not pay for accommodation anywhere. I was in Antwerp, Ghent, Brugge, The Hague, Dinant and Leuven. I stayed in Brussels for 3,5 months and all prices are counted for that period of time.
How much does accommodation in Brussels cost?
I paid 450 euros a month, which is an average I’d say. You can get cheaper accommodation (approx. 300 EUR, but beware of in which neighbourhood!), but when you are in Brussels for only few months, trainees often pay around 600 EUR.
TOTAL: 1595,6 EUR
How much does transport in Brussels cost?
I paid 49 EUR per month, but you have to count in also the price for the card, the first days until you manage to get it (especially if you arrive on the weekend like me) and also a bit higher price per day or week if you don’t stay full months (I stayed 3,5 month.).
TOTAL: 171 EUR
How much does travelling around Belgium cost?
Way to Brussels from the Czech Republic and back – 142,44 EUR.
Trips – 121,21 EUR
TOTAL: 263,65 EUR
How much will you pay for food and drinks in Brussels?
For drinks and meals “outside” (everything else other than a supermarket), I paid 369,44 EUR. In the supermarkets I spend additional 161,11 EUR.
TOTAL: 530,55 EUR
Here I included my phone bills (Czech operator Kaktus, cca. 37,33 EUR), presents (144,18 EUR), clothes, decoration etc. (106,63 EUR)
TOTAL: 288,14 EUR
GRAND TOTAL FOR 3,5 MONTHS IN BRUSSELS: 2774,28 EUR
How much did you spend during your internship? Do you think it’s a lot or not much? Can you compare with different cities? Let us know in the comments bellow!