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International cooperation


EU-Asia Transcontinental Internship Project

Fact Sheet


  1. To offer intercultural work experience for the student
  2. To induce transfer of advanced knowledge and competence in the discipline from students to SME, company or institution
  3. To enhance collaboration in research and education between EU and Asian universities
  4. To investigate win-wins for all stakeholders


The commendation of the ASEM Rectors Conference in Seoul (Korea, 26-27 October 2010) that is part of the general recommendation No 4: Widen perspectives for mobility:

'Support European students: placement in Asian companies and vice versa through an expansion of existing schemes.'

Pilot project

Three or four European universities, each with one or two local companies (but with international activities, preferably in Asia), cross-correlate internships with three of four Asian universities, each also with one or two local, internationally oriented companies. Together, they develop a practical internship programme with students transferring from a European university to an Asian company and vice versa. The university in the country of the Asian company is responsible for the local monitoring of the qualitative and quantitative aspects of the internship (and vice versa).

Why a pilot project?

The small-scale project allows to address and evaluate all aspects and processes of the trans-continental internship and to seek solutions for problems that arise during the student's preparatory phase and during the effective execution of the internship. The outcome of the project will be an analysis of the processes, a financial analysis, the win-win for the stakeholders, and recommendations the outline and the financing of a large-scale programme. Especially for Asia part a spread in countries has been envisaged to gain sufficient insight into the practical problems caused by different cultural, economical and regulatory backgrounds.

Project group

  1. Three-four EU universities, each with 1 or 2 local SME's, companies or institutions with international ambition
  2. Three-four Asian universities, each with 1 or 2 local SME's, companies or institutions with international ambition


Student in MA1 in Business Management from EU university UA does an internship in Asian company C3.
University U2, local to C3, monitors the internship and reports to UA.

Student in BA4 in Electronic Engineering from Asian university U2 does an internship in EU company CE. 
University UC, local to CE, monitors the internship and reports to U2.

Student in MA1 in Art History from EU university UB does an internship in Asian museum C1. 
University U1, local to C1, monitors the internship and reports to UB.



The project will have three phases:

  1. A preparatory phase (Phase 1)
  2. an executive phase in which the internships take place (Phase 2)
  3. and an evaluation phase in which recommendations are formulated (Phase 3)

From formation of the pilot group to the final report: June 2011 – January 2013.

Pilot Group


  • Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium
  • Warwick University, UK
  • Freie Universität Berlin


  • Korea University or Yonsei University (Korea, to be discussed with the Korea Foundation)
  • Malaya University (Malaysia)
  • Indian Institute of technology Bhubaneswar (India)

(If deemed necessary, a fourth university can be added on each side)

Budget estimate

Total: 90.000 – 100.000 Euros, of which 80% to cover the cost for the internships. Contributions from stakeholders (such as the Korea Foundation) need to be examined.

Institutional cooperation

The Vrije Universiteit Brussel cooperates with several institutions of higher education.

Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB)

It is only natural for the Vrije Universiteit Brussel to have close ties with its French-speaking sister university. Several research programmes are already being conducted jointly with the ULB, and the cooperation between VUB and ULB in the field of education is growing closer every year (e.g. via the Solvay School). This kind of cooperation across language boundaries also offers both institutions an ideal springboard to Europe. More information on the ULB.

The University of Kent

The Vrije Universiteit Brussel collaborates with the Brussels School of International Studies of the University of Kent which offers degrees in international relations, international law and conflict analysis.

Northwestern Polytechnical University (NPU)

In 2014 the Vrije Universiteit Brussel signed an official Preferred International Partnership with the Northwestern Polytechnical University (NPU) in China. The intense collaboration is structured in a 3 layer concept, covering fields in: education, knowledge sharing and societal development.

Vesalius College

Vesalius College offers English-language education to young people from all over the world. This Brussels college of higher education is partly modelled on American top-notch liberal arts colleges, but it combines this model with European principles. In 1998, Vesalius was the first college on the European continent to be accredited by the Open University Validation Services. For more information on Vesalius College, click here.

Erasmushogeschool Brussel

The Erasmushogeschool Brussel (Brussels Erasmus College) and the Vrije Universiteit Brussel together make up the Brussels University Association (Universitaire Associatie Brussel). Read more about the Erasmushogeschool Brussel.

Brussels Chamber of Commerce

Since 1970, the Adult Education Centre of the Brussels Chamber of Commerce has offered high-quality language courses with the emphasis on communication and involving a wide range of socio-cultural activities to encourage students to use the language they are learning. In 2003, a total of 5,278 trainees were enrolled in the seven language courses offered by the centre in daytime education and in evening and weekend classes. Even VUB students sometimes take these language courses. More information on the Adult Education Centre.

XIOS Hogeschool Limburg and Provinciale Hogeschool Limburg

In 2003, the Vrije Universiteit Brussel concluded a collaboration agreement with the XIOS Hogeschool Limburg (Limburg College) and the Provinciale Hogeschool Limburg (College of the Province of Limburg), in order to offer these two establishments support with the academisation of their education programmes. If you would like to know more about this, here are the websites of the XIOS Hogeschool Limburg and the Provinciale Hogeschool Limburg.

Royal Military Academy

Both in the field of education and in the field of scientific research, the Vrije Universiteit Brussel collaborates closely with the Royal Military Academy. More information on the Royal Military Academy.

Hoger Instituut voor Readaptatiewetenschappen Leuven

Since the academic year 2003-2004, there has been a collaboration agreement between the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and the Higher Institute for Re-adaptation Sciences Louvain (Hoger Instituut voor Readaptatiewetenschappen Leuven, HIRL) in the discipline of agogic sciences. One of the results of this collaboration is a smooth flow of graduates from the HIRL Adult Education Centre to the course on Social and Cultural Agogics. For further details on the HIRL, visit the website. (website in Dutch)


The Vrije Universiteit Brussel is an active member of UNICA, the Institutional Network of the UNIversities from the CApitals of Europe. The network has 39 member universities in European capitals, representing approximately 1,500,000 students. Its members create various European initiatives and submit joint European project proposals. Read more here.


On the international level the Vrije Universiteit Brussel has concluded institutional collaboration agreements with 38 universities all over the world, and student exchange agreements with 160 universities.



International Relations and Mobility Office
Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Pleinlaan 5 
1050 Brussels, Belgium
Tel: +32 2 614 81 01 
Fax: +32 2 614 80 80 


What we do

- offer social and administrative assistance to students and staff in mobility

- manage quite a number of scholarship programmes with grants available to domestic and international students, based on a number of criteria.

- offer support in the design and implementation of selected international projects, in collaboration with VUB-academics and international partners or larger consortia.

- provide students of all nationalities with information on university life and facilitates their integration by organizing a wide range of cultural, social and sports activities, in collaboration with student associations.

What we don’t do

  • give information on educational programmes, curriculum and admission procedures. If you want to know more about VUB’s English-taught portfolio, the information desk at  will gladly answer your questions.

Opening hours*

Monday 09.00-12.30 13.30-16.30
Tuesday 09.00-12.30 13.30-16.30
Wednesday 09.00-12.30  
Thursday 09.00-12.30  
Friday 09.00-12.30 13.30-16.30

The office will be closed on Tuesday the 2nd of December 2014

At the beginning of the academic year (15/09/2014-31/10/2014) the International Office will be open from Monday until Friday from 09.00 until 12u30 and from 13u30 until 16.30.