As with other EU countries, EU nationals may enter Belgium for up to three months without a permit. If you intend to stay for longer than three months you should apply to the Town Hall within eight days of your arrival for a certificate d’inscription au register des �trangers (CIRE), which will permit you to stay in the country for a year, or a certificate d’immatriculation, allowing you to look for work for three months.
Belgium’s busiest tourist industry lies in Bruges. Here you are likely to find work in bars and restaurants, earning around �5 (approx. �3.50) an hour or more. The best way to find out about casual work is to travel from place to place and enquire in person. Some hostels even employ workers in exchange for accommodation. Other than the usual jobs in hotels, bars, and pubs etc. it might also be worth contacting Venture Abroad, a company who organise tours of Belgium and employ guides during peak tourist months. This kind of job will provide you with a bit of money whilst learning and seeing more of the culture of Belgium.
Several British and European camping agencies operate throughout Belgium, and again most jobs can be found during the peak tourist times in the summer. Eurocamp arranges work for couriers on Belgian as well as other European campsites. It is preferred that you can speak another European language well because the job involves welcoming and interacting with a range of visiting nationalities. Employees must be over 18, and can anticipate earning approximately �95 per week.
Au pairs in Belgium can earn up to �347 (approx. �244) per month for performing typical au pair duties, which include looking after children and general domestic duties. Childcare International Ltd is an agency that can place au pairs with Belgian families, provided with accommodation, meals, time off, and about �40 weekly pocket money. Au pairs must be aged between 18 and 27.
One of Belgium’s main harvests is hops. Often the best way to find jobs on farms is to visit in person and ask if there are any opportunities. Fruit and crop picking is not a particularly productive money-earner but it can tide you over for the time being. Payment depends on the employer. You may be paid depending on how much you can pick, how long it takes, or on the quality of the produce. The Young Farmers’ Clubs International Farm Experience Programme places volunteers in three to twelve month projects working on international farms. You are required to pay your own fares, insurance, and registration, and experience in the farming industry is needed.
The International Voluntary Service (IVS) offers a range of opportunities for volunteering abroad. Short-term ‘workcamps’ are set up to focus on a community issue, which may include work with those with special needs, the elderly, or environmental conservation projects. Most workcamps are organised for summer months and last only a few weeks, during which time you will be provided with food and accommodation. You must pay a membership fee of �15 to IVS.
- National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs
- The International Farm Experience Programme
- YFC Centre
- National Agricultural Centre
- Stoneleigh Park
- Warwickshire CV8 2LG
Venture Abroad can help to find seasonal placements.
Eurocamp often have vacancies for employment at their campsites.
Children International can help you find au pairing services.
Sci-ivs.org provides information about the International Voluntary Service.