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Brush up your language skills at Semper adult education

14:37 14/01/2022
With more than 10 languages on offer and business courses that focus on real-life situations, Semper CVO is an affordable choice for skills enhancement in the capital

One of the many interesting things about the capital of Belgium is its linguistic complexity. Ranked as the world’s second most international city, Brussels is a truly multilingual melting pot.

So many Brussels residents make meaningful connections and find opportunities by learning a new language. The more languages you speak, the more you will enjoy what the city has to offer.

Being multi-lingual is also an invaluable asset when it comes to job hunting, as most businesses and institutions in the capital reach out across borders and have an international networks of clients, partners and suppliers.

CVO Semper has been at the heart of learning process for over 50 years. The Brussels campus of this centre for adult education was founded by Beci, the Brussels chamber of commerce. It is located at VUB university in Ixelles with branches throughout the city, including Brussels centre, Jette, Laeken, Neder-Over-Heembeek and Auderghem.

Getting information at Semper

CVO Semper brings together keen language-learners of all ages and nationalities. The school currently counts 140 nationalities among its students. Semper offers Arabic, Dutch, English, French, German,  Greek,  Italian,  Polish, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish classes for all levels, from beginners to most advanced. Classes are taught on weekdays and evenings, as well as Saturdays, both in class and online.

“At CVO Semper, we are always looking for ways to improve our services and introduce new approaches to language learning,” explains Semper director Ria Cauchie. “This is crucial in order to address social shifts and changes in the job market.”

To be as flexible as possible for students, Semper has three formulas: @home, @class and @combi. “The aim is for our students to be able to work at their own convenience,” says Cauchie, “whether that’s in a classroom, at home or through a mix of the two. All students receive personal feedback throughout the course and can benefit from a program of personal tutoring.”

CVO Semper was in fact one of the first centres for adult education in Belgium to launch blended learning courses 15 years ago. At present it participates in a research programme on the benefits and challenges of online learning in partnership with Milo, VUB’s education department.

Students at Semper

One of the most common objectives of language learners is to enhance their skills in order to find work or improve their career prospects. CVO Semper business classes are popular because they focus on real-life situations at work by helping students to prepare presentations, write notes, participate in meetings or have informal chats with colleagues.

Josip Juric is a student of Business French. “The course has taught me how to address key topics related to project and personnel management, handling and filing complaints and negotiating with business partners,” he says. “The interactive nature of the course and the weekly group work replicated real business situations. The course has helped me to improve my business-related vocabulary, which allows me to go forward with more structure and confidence.”  

A centre for life-long learning must also invest in ongoing training of its own staff. “We give great importance to sharing best practices with our international partners in Europe,” says Semper vice director Hans Harmen Smet, in charge of international exchange programmes. “We actively participate in Erasmus+ partnership programs on a variety of topics, such as diversity, digital inclusion and European citizenship.”

Semper sends its staff to training centres abroad “to keep abreast of pedagogical trends,” he says. “We also help our staff acquire new insights by organising job shadowing in schools throughout the continent.”

Courses at Semper are now open for registration at

Written by The Bulletin with Semper