Have you considered moving to the gorgeous city of Ghent? Whether you’re a digital nomad looking for a new location, offered an incredible opportunity to move to Ghent for work, or have had a chance to move for retirement, Ghent is a fantastic place to live, being the second-largest city in the Flanders region in Belgium. The port destination is accessible from numerous towns and is in the country’s north-west area. Here are some of the pros and cons of living and working in Ghent.
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Pros of living and working in Ghent
It’s not difficult to find a place to live in Ghent that’s reasonably priced. Whether you’ve decided to rent an apartment or buy a home in Ghent, you’re likely to find something within your budget. For a three-bedroom apartment in Ghent, you can expect to pay around 850 Euros a month, which is super reasonable compared to more expensive areas of Belgium.
If you speak English, you’re in luck. Many people in Ghent not only speak Dutch but have a firm grasp of the English language. This makes it easy for those from English-speaking countries to move over to the city and feel comfortable. Plus, they offer many introductory language classes to help learn the Dutch language. If you’re a new immigrant, city organizations can help you assimilate and find daycare, assist with residency paperwork and up-to-date medical care.
The people of Ghent
A huge benefit of living in the beautiful city of Ghent is meeting and connecting with the locals. The people of Ghent are friendly and easy-going. They are happy to accept new visitors and are willing to swap stories of their experience to help you along the way. Their attitude makes it easy to assimilate into the Ghent lifestyle. Just go to local bars and you will be surprised with how easy it is to build up a social life!
Ghent is very family-friendly. People will always help you with a stroller! There are also tons of playgrounds, parks, walking paths,… This city is perfect for families with small children!
Ghent is an energetic and dynamic city. You have a movie scene, a fashion scene,… etc. There are also attempts to make Ghent the new place to be for startups and tech companies! The tech sector in Ghent is booming! Did you know that Ghent actually scores 2nd place in Belgium and 163 worldwide for startups? This is based on its startups ecosystem.
Ghent is one of Belgium’s oldest city. Because of this you will find lots of history and culture throughout the city. Walking through the old city center of Ghent is like walking in a life-size painting.
The Gothic Cathedral for example, contains many works of art like Hubert and Jan Van Eyck’s altarpiece. There are also lots of museums to visit in Ghent. You have for example the Museum of Fine Arts which contains lots of treasures made by Flemish masters.
Port of Ghent
Ghent is home to the Port of Ghent as well. This is part of the North Sea Port. This creates lots of opportunities! The port of Ghent is the third busiest port of Belgium. Just Google Job opportunities Ghent and you will find a list of companies looking for workers!
These were some of the pros, lets continue with the cons of living and working in Ghent!
Cons of living and working in Ghent
The half year turn over
Living in an international city does have some drawbacks. As many people are attracted to the town for its jobs, it will experience a high turnover once these jobs end. These positions are usually offered for periods of six to 12 months, and once they finish, most end up leaving the city, which means you might lose some friends along the way.
If you’re hoping for endless days of sunshine, you’re not likely to find it in Ghent. On a typical day, you can expect lots of grey clouds and limited daylight hours. The warm time of the day, between the hours of 10:30 AM to 3:00 PM, is the ideal time to enjoy the outdoors. You’ll find the best weather during June, July, and August, where the temperature rises to 35 degrees!
It can be challenging to get through the red tape to find the things you need, as services are not laid out or explained anywhere accessible. What should take a week to complete most of the time can take a few weeks or months to reach a resolution.
Eyes on the price
Ghent is more expensive to live than Brussels, the capital of Belgium and Europe. Ghent is popular for a hip, trendy and young vibe. The city is called the hipster capital of Belgium. This has driven up the cost of living.
How to rent an apartment in Ghent
Globexs offers a fine selection of furnished apartments for rent in Ghent. The rental process is specifically designed to make life easy for people who move abroad. No hassle rentals.
A selection of the best expat apartments in Ghent.
Below we show you a small selection of our offers in Ghent. These apartments can be rented on a monthly base, with flexible rental contracts. Perfect for a temporary stay in Ghent!
Join the expat community in Ghent
The Facebook group “Expats living and working in Ghent” is the meeting spots for newly arrived and established expats.
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