Wow. Time is definitely flying over here, I can’t believe I have already been here for over two months! So much has happened during this time including travel, study and the sun finally coming out! Here is a quick run down on life in Maastricht during February:
Problem-based Learning –
I was introduced to PBL in my first week, that is problem-based learning. This was definitely an interesting and new concept to me which included a lot more class discussions and interactions. I feel the main emphasis of PBL is that students learn best when they are in an interactive environment and when they are working to solve the answers and understand the content themselves, compared to a lecture based system where there is limited interaction and the content is given to you in the form of a lecture. I enjoyed having class discussions on controversial or interesting topics but have to admit that PBL includes constant reading, preparing and discussing. It is definitely not an easy system and sometimes feels a bit overwhelming when you are assigned 80 pages to read in 2 days! When it came to studying for the exams I did find that I could recall a lot more of the content then usual.
Discover Holland –
I was lucky enough to go on the Discover Holland weekend with ESN which was great being able to see more of the country I will be living in for the next few months. We visited Utrecht, Rotterdam, Kinderdijk, Volendam and the water management centre at Keringhuis!
The water management system at Keringhuis was really interesting as I was never fully aware of these issues the Dutch face in terms of flooding and Volendam was a beautiful little dutch town.
As I previously mentioned I have chosen to stay in Volksplein for the semester. I really enjoy it here and like that the kitchen/bathroom/toilets are only shared between 5 people, instead of 15 like guesthouse. Guesthouse also has its perks as there are lots and lots of exchange students there so you tend to head over there for pre drinks or dinner. There are also a lot of exchange students who have chosen to find private accommodation which usually is cheaper and more value for money but you are separate from most of the other exchange students.
I am loving life in Maastricht so far and am excited for the months to come. Spring is blooming and the town is starting to look truly beautiful!