Direct Exchange Program – Artesis Plantijn University College

University of SalzburgArtesis Plantijn University College is a brand new university college, originating from Artesis University College and Plantijn University College. AP or Artesis Plantijn University College Antwerp stands for Antwerp and Province, Arts and Professional, Ambitious and Passionate. AP’s 9,000 students, 23 educational major and 8 art programs, are clustered into 4 facilities and 2 schools of art. Even though AP University College is very young, its schools of arts have a long history: the Royal Conservatoire Antwerp was founded in 1898, and the Royal Academy of Fine arts is 350 years old.



belgiumAs one of the founding members of the European Union and also the home to the EU, Belgium holds a very important international seat in Western Europe. It is a tri-lingual country with different regions speaking French, Dutch and German.

Belgium gained independence from the Netherlands in 1830 but still holds close ties to both the Netherlands and France, making it a truly unique country. The Dutch mostly reside in the northern part of the country in the region of Flanders and the French reside in the southern part, called Wallonia. Belgium is known for the beautiful and touristic medieval cities such as Bruges and Ghent, the diamond capital of Europe in Antwerp and the gorgeous countryside in the southern region of Wallonia, with its rolling fields and picture perfect little houses.



Belgium’s second city (population 510,000) and biggest port, Antwerp still retains an intriguing medieval heart with café-filled cobbled lanes, a riverside fortress and a truly impressive cathedral. Today, Antwerp is known for its vibrant fashion, entertainment scene and startling architectural and cultural contrasts. Antwerp has bred many a creative mind, a phenomenon that undoubtedly began in the 16th century with the genius of Peter Paul Rubens. Antwerp is renowned for being the “world’s leading diamond city,” more than 70% of all diamonds are traded in Antwerp. Due to its long and culturally rich history, the city of Antwerp houses many interesting historical buildings. Antwerp is 3 hours by train to Paris and Amsterdam.

Areas of Study

Artesis Plantijn University College is specifically tailored for students majoring in Social Work.


Minimum overall GPA 3.0

No Dutch, French, or German language proficiency is required.


Estimated budget for a semester at the Artesis Plantijn University.


Senior social work students may participate during the Fall Semester of their Senior Year:
Fall Semester Arrival: Last week in August
Fall Semester Ends: Third week in December

Junior Social work students may participate during the Spring Semester of their Junior Year:
Spring Semester Begins: Second week in January
Spring Semester Ends: Third week in May


The University of Maine School of Social Work offers you the opportunity to complete one semester in Antwerp, Belgium. Our unique program, Global Work with Immigrant Children, will give you the opportunity to learn about social work in an international context. You will be able to practice your skills with an international internship in work with immigrant children and youth. You will also learn about the model of “social education” (or social group work as it’s known in the US) that is utilized in Belgium. This model provides “hands-on”, practical experience in working with vulnerable children and youth. You will enroll in 15 credits of courses that will transfer into the Bachelor’s in Social Work program. Prior to beginning your internship, you will complete a Dutch Language immersion class. The majority of your classes will be conducted in English and your Field Internship supervisor will be a fluent English speaker.

Successful completion of the AP University study abroad courses will enable students to stay “on track” for graduation with their social work program. Courses will transfer into the social work major. Students will enroll in the following courses during their study abroad semester at AP.

AP Course                         UMaine Social Work Course
Field Internship                     SWK 495 (6 Credits)
Social Education Seminar   SWK 462 (3 Credits)
Field Seminar                         SWK 497 (3 Credits)
Elective                                    SWK 497 (3 Credits)
Total: 15 credits

Additionally, you can see an e-book of courses: here.

Grading Scale

Artesis Plantijn ECTS Grade UMaine Grade
18-20 A A
15-17 B A/B
13-14 C B
11-12 D C
10 E D (No Transfer Credit)
0-9 F F


AP University does not have dormitories or housing facilities for visiting students. The Office of International Programs at AP University assists exchange students with securing housing. Students live in apartments with other international students. The average monthly cost for housing and food is around $600. There are metro and bus systems for easy travel around the city.

Helpful Links

Student Voices

Catie BorerI spent a semester studying orthopedagogy which roughly translates into social educational care work in Antwerp, Belgium. I interned at the Intercultural Women Center of Antwerp where I worked with mothers and their children, planning programs to help connect and develop attachments with their children. I was able to work with women from all over the globe like Morocco, Turkey, Ghana, India, etc. I was able to backpack the month before in Ireland and Croatia. This time abroad has been the most rewarding experience. It is a gift to travel and learn about so many people’s cultures and lives.

Catie Borer – Social Work