Study in Maastricht

UM is known as the university with Problem-based learning (PBL) way of study. It’s weird and unusual to me as there is definitely no such thing in Hong Kong, even we have tutorials but the style is utterly different.
I took the course of Culture, Economies and Politics of Contemporary Asia which is jointly held by SBE and UCM in the first period. This cultural course is definitely more alike to the general education stuff instead of business-related, thus quite interesting if you want to explore out of the normal business framework. Talking about the course, be ready to find many Asians around you as at least to my understand, many students from Hong Kong and South Korea take that.
There are one lecture and one tutorial per week, it’s seem the workload is not heavy but the point is the readings you have to go through for each tutorial, around 100 pages per week. The lecture explains some models and concepts in the readings but many people tend to skip lecture and prepare the materials themselves, at most you can skip one lecture and two tutorials for this course. Each PBL session is lead by one student who is either assigned it volunteered to be the Discussion Leader and notes taken by a secretary, as mentioned before, preparation is of utmost importance as the PBL really dig into every single article assigned for the week. At the same time, participation in the discussion is useful in a sense that the misunderstanding can be clarified and build some new concepts from the interaction with course mates.
For the exam, unlike the normal practice in Hong Kong, the exam venue is in MECC which is a expo center near the train station but not inside the university. It takes about 20 minutes to get there by bus or 30 minutes by bike from the Main Guesthouse, so be ready to go there earlier. When you arrive the exam hall, the seat number is still unknown and the way is to ask the examiner in the area of your block (each course has an assigned block which can be found on the board in front of the exam hall). One more interesting thing is that food and drink are allowed during the exam which are prohibited in Hong Kong and there is permit to go to washroom with maximum twice.
The study style in UM is quite different from many places, at least to Hong Kong, which I didn’t get used to at the very beginning but soon kind of like it as it’s more effective to study and exchange ideas in a group.

Enjoy your study in UM and stay stunned for the future blogging!

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