First of all, let me introduce myself! I am from France, 22 years old, and am normally studying at emlyon for an MSc in Management. 🤓 I have decided to do my exchange programme at the University of Maastricht because it is said to be the 2nd best university in the Netherlands, 5th best under 50 year old university worldwide, and the city is well-known for its student life ! 🍻
I must confess that these first days have impressed me and gone beyond my expectations! The city is cute! For these of you who know Lyon for example it is quite comparable. Before arriving, I thought Maastricht would be a red brick and depressing city from the North … In fact it’s not!! On the contrary, the city centre is bright, with a nice architecture and airy thanks to lots of shops and their vitrines. 💫 Just to give you an idea, Germans and Belgians from the border come to shop and escape in Maastricht on the weekend! If you do not have the chance to study at the University of Maastricht I can only recommend you to come and visit the city at least for a weekend!! 🎉
Let me tell you why the fall semester is a wise choice!
The fall semester is sequenced by many events, which will enrich your study and cultural life!
First of all, at this time of the year the Netherlands have a lot of holidays succeeding!! For example, I was told that March begins with the Carnival, which is said to be delirious. 🎭 Then you have the European Fine Art Fair animating the city for a whole week with merchants from all around the world! Not to mention that there will also be the Easter holidays. And at the end of April, the Dutch celebrate their famous King Day!! So you’ve understood, the fall semester promises an amazing time in Maastricht! 🔥
On the student level, Maastricht University organize a Study Abroad Fair in March, which is the occasion to discover new universities around the world and meet new interesting people! 🎓 In addition, the career week at the SBE takes place in March. It’s basically a networking and information week that can be very useful to kick start your career! For example this year we will find representatives from the number one bank in the Netherlands ING bank, and also from Procter and Gamble, Amazon and EY among others ! 🚀
Useful tips and study hacks!
Tip #1 : If you are the party type or feel to meet new people, you’ll definitely use the ESN card. It’s a card sold by the international student office which costs around 20 euros and give you unbeatable discounts on many events, such as pub entrance, international parties and travels to discover Europe. You will easily earn your 20 euros back!! 💵
Tip #2: Contrary to the common wisdom, bike is not necessarily a vital tool. T he bus is expensive. But wait till you’re installed in Maastricht and analyse if you need a bike. For example I go to school by foot, it’s only a twenty-minute walk. 🕺🏼 Also buying a second hand bike is not always the best solution, considering that it can get stolen and you’ll have to buy a locker. Instead have a look at the “Swapfiets” website. This company allows you to rent a bike for 12 euros per month and replace it if it gets broken for example. Keep also in mind that bikes are not allowed in the city centre during opening hours in the day (around 10:00 till 18:00). 🚴
Tip #3: If you want to be part of a sport team of the University of Maastricht, there are a lot of opportunities! ⚽️ For instance the football teams are looking for new girl and guy players! Just give it a try and maybe you’ll be accepted in the official teams!
Tip #4: There is an official bookstore for students of the SBE, which sells the books required for your course of the period. The bookstore is called the “Studystore” and is located in front of the SBE. 📚 You may also check the Facebook groups for second hand books. It might be a helpful solution for your financings. Also check out that website where students upload their course summaries and corrected exercises! The latter is named “Studydrive”! 👀
Tip #5: Keep in mind that not all store accepts credit cards. They allow sometimes only maestro card and cash. Even the supermarket may ban you from using a visa credit card. ‼️
Why am I so excited about the coming days!
I am happily surprised to see how many international students I have already met! 🤗 In less than a week I can’t even count how many new people from all around the world I’ve met. You’ll run into students from the US, Singapore, Italy, Turkey, Scotland, China, Denmark, Switzerland, Sweden etc. Maastricht University counts more than 50% of students from 100+ countries and you can feel it! That has really impressed me so far. 🌍
Also the global reputation of the University of Maastricht seems particularly laudatory. 🇳🇱 It’s partly due to the innovative teaching system, which stimulates cooperation, interaction and self-study. I am really curious to see how the Problem-Based Learning system will motivate me and bring me new knowledge! 🔥
PS: we’ve learned in the opening session that the Dutch people is particularly egalitarian. Have a look at this traffic light!! 😍