1. Change the world, start in Leuven, Belgium
Imec is the world-leading R&D and innovation hub in nanoelectronics and digital technology. At imec you will work alongside 3,500 researchers. Researchers at the talent team, researchers in the process and the fab, researchers at the technical department, researchers at the cafeteria and researchers at the research department, of course. One team working together to achieve the same goal: to accelerate progress towards a connected, sustainable future. Change the world. Start here with us in Leuven.
2. Affordable and great quality healthcare for everyone
Health care in Belgium is easily accessible, affordable and excellent quality. Belgian hospitals are equipped with state of the art technologies and run by well-educated, qualified staff. Should you ever need, (obviously we hope not) there’s an academic hospital within 2 miles of imec where internationally renowned doctors will provide you and your family with the best care in the best conditions.
3. Excellent schools to educate the next imec generation
Education in Belgium ranks third best among the 35 OECD countries. It scores well above the EU and world averages. Belgian education offers the highest level of preschool participation, excellent teachers and a broad and flexible higher education system. And for its international employees imec co-founded the fast growing International School of Leuven. Until 12 years old public schools are free and until 18 there is no tuition. College and university tuition for a full academic year is only €900. Result: education is available to everyone.
4. Combine work and family the way you prefer
imec offers flexible work arrangements to help you successfully combine work, family commitments and personal life. We have 10 paid public holidays, at least 20 paid vacation days per year and an additional 12 compensation days. Government subsidies are also available to support your household management at an average cost of €10/hour. A babysitting service is available as well, at €5 to €10/hour.
5. The world is bigger in a small country
Belgium is the heart of Europe with Brussels as the seat of the European Union (EU), NATO, and other international organizations. Have a look at the map and find yourself surrounded by some of Europe’s most spectacular cities: London is only 320 km away, Paris is 265 km and Amsterdam only 173 km. Plenty of inspiration for a weekend city trip abroad. Should you want to further explore the continent or visit your family back home, Brussels International Airport is only a 20 minute drive or train ride from Leuven.
6. Expats are at home in Leuven
Leuven is a diverse city where highly educated people from 155 countries call home. Most of the population is multilingual and the majority speak and understand English. Imec also offers you, your partner and your children Dutch courses on campus and we help your partner find a job in Belgium. Next to that we support you with your immigration administration. That is why we work closely together with Leuven Mindgate to found an international house. The city has some international highlights. It is known for one of the world’s oldest universities, KU Leuven, the famous Stella Artois Brewery, the incredible medieval architecture of town hall and central square and the Unesco world heritage site, the Great Beguinage. Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent and Bruges are other magnificently beautiful historical cities nearby.
7. Ride the world’s most comprehensive railway network
The Belgian National Railways operate the most extensive railway network in the world and the majority of the international lines pass through its center in Brussels. There is a frequent, punctual train service from Brussels to almost all parts of the country and major cities in all neighboring countries.
Although, the most enjoyable way to get around in Leuven is by bike. The city’s surface roads are both beautiful by bike but also extremely organized and biker-friendly. Belgium’s system of scenic and inter-connected bike trails throughout the country- and extending to neighboring countries- make biking a wonderful mode of transport and exploration.
8. Eating in Belgium
The Belgian food culture is probably the next best thing to home. Vegetables, fruits, meat, fish and delicatessen are of outstanding quality and most of the defining ingredients from the world’s cuisines are widely available in our supermarkets and grocery stores. Also, there are plenty of home delivery companies in Belgium enabling you to order online, and conveniently receive groceries at your doorstep.
The diversity in Belgium allows for a variety of foreign cuisines in restaurant selections, and the farming culture provides the fresh produce for delicious ingredients. The American term “French fry,” is a bit of a misnomer as they are originally Belgian, but often misinterpreted to be French instead of referring to the French speaking people of Belgium. From fries to real Italian pizza, from Asian to Greek to Bratwurst and potatoes… and don’t forget Belgian chocolate and waffles. You’ll find everything you love.
9. Entertainment, leisure and arts
Leuven offers affordable public facilities and art and sport activities for you and your family. Almost every city and village have a library and an after-school arts, sports and hobby facilities and programs. A membership for a full year of arts academia for children is only 60 euro. In Belgium, there are movie theaters in all cities and most villages, and unlike other European countries, the films are not dubbed over, so they remain in English with subtitles.