Thursday and Friday were dedicated to introducing the exchange students to their faculty.
9 AM – At Maastricht School of Business and Economics, all the exchange students were greeted with coffee and stroopwafels before heading into the main lecture hall to find a Maastricht University bag filled with a few goodies and important information.
Two hours in the lecture hall begun with a welcome speech by the Mayor of Maastricht. This speech alone created such a positive and warm impression on Maastricht, which was enhanced by the speeches of the SBE faculty members. Time was filled with humourous and knowledgable speeches about academic matters, Police in Maastricht, ESN activities, how to deal with Dutch and what will happen if you’re placed in a group with a Dutch and German. Overall, the speeches made me feel comfortable with living and studying in Maastricht.
With groups of approximately 15 exchange students, we were paired with a regular student as our mentor for the afternoon. We were given the opportunity to look at sporting options during our semester abroad before exploring important aspects of the city and campus. The sporting options are incredible. Anyone who loves sport… This place is for you. Simply check out ‘UM Sport’ for yourself.
Wow…. Lunch was devine! We were given a delicious brown or white baguette with numerous filling options, a chocolate bar, bottle of water and a juicy green apple. Beats any packed lunch I have ever received!
Day two of introduction:
Thankfully a sleep-in was given to all the students who attended the Neon Party hosted by ESN on Thursday night. The day began at 11 AM with a two-hour session on Problem Based Learning – the teaching style used in SBE.
It’s going to be an interesting and challenging experience to become familiar with such a different teaching style. All together for my first teaching period, I only have three lectures between two courses… To replace that, I have eight hours of week of tutorials, which is divided into four sessions of two hours. They focus much more on one’s personal learning journey by placing all the responsibility on each student to prepare and present throughout tutorials. Looks like I am going to be studying a LOT.
Wow. How could any exchange student not feel special when SBE hosted a party on campus with free drinks and food for the afternoon? The staff at SBE have made each individual feel welcome, comfortable and at ease with their extreme organisation and generosity throughout our arrival.
My Friday night began with a delicious dinner of pasta cooked by my Italian flat mate. How cool is that? It tasted incredible! Despite our slight difficulty with communication, the night was filled with hilarious laughter. A mixture of people from three floors celebrated dinner with drinks before we ventured to the Vrijthof to begin the Pub Crawl. ESN hosted an organised Pub Crawl where all the students were split into different groups. At each of the eight bars around the city, we were given a beer or shot. The city was flowing with people throughout the night, even around midnight when snow started to fall!
ESN is also hosting a semester kick-off party tonight and a Dutch buffet dinner tomorrow. I am still so shocked and amazed at how organised and welcoming they are here. Altogether, the Introduction Days could not have been better. We have been welcomed into Maastricht and SBE with respect and excitement.
My weekend will be spent cycling and walking around Maastricht! I absolutely adore everything about this place!