Period 2: fun and travelling

Hey everybody!

It has been a while since i have written. So many things were going on, that I barely had time to write about my life here.

Since last time, I have had the opportunity to travel a lot, which will be the main topic of this blog post.

Rotterdam

This was my first trip, that I did along with 8 of my new buddies. The city is very modern, from the train station, to the infrastructure of many buildings. The city has also a unique architecture, with its cube houses, or with its Markthal, which is a market with a lot of food stands, and with a very concave shape.

Me and my buddies really enjoyed Rotterdam, and we would gladly come back one day!

Below is a photo taken that shows the unique architecture of the city.

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Brussels

One of the most enjoyable cities I have ever been to. The capital of Belgium is definitely a must-see. From the unique buildings to the history of this rich city, from the delicious gastronomy to the nice people in the streets, Brussels is my best trip so far.

The best part was when three of my “floor”-mates and me went to visit a brewery near the city centre. The brewery was “Cantillon – Brouwerij”, founder in 1900 which produces mainly Lambic style beers (Gueuze, Kriek, etc.).

Here is one photo of the beer barrels

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We had also a beer tasting which was really tasty! The beers were fruity, sour, a little bit like champagne, with strong flavor produced with wild yeast, and air components.

Brussels put a lot into my memories, I will come back for sure!

Paris

I came back to Paris after the exams of Period 1 (which were not that tough luckily), first to see my family, then to go to the Saké Festival, which I was awaiting for a long time.
There is a great flexibility to travel back home, which is good.
The festival was amazing, and sake’s were for some of them astonishingly exquisite.

For the next photo, all credits to Le Salon du Saké.

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Eindhoven

The last city, me and my friends went there to visit the Glow Festival in Eindhoven, which takes places all around the city. The festival consists in illuminating buildings, the nature and in creating glowing animations.
It was the first time I had encountered such an event, and it was pleasurable.

For example, this is one of the animations that we could see :

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Now that I have shown all places I have been to so far, I am going to describe my student life lately.

Period 2 is tougher than the first one, so I need to work a little bit more. Luckily, this does not prevent me from enjoying some parties and events in Maastricht.

I am continuing with going to the Social Dinners, which are dinners where one person out of a group of 8 people cooks a meal from his country.
Here is my group (we ate German food that day :)):

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And as always, I often have movies night, and I am enjoying every bit of my exchange.

See you!

Diego

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Hundreds of adventures!

Hey everybody!

Happy to write to you again. In this article, I will write about how I have enjoyed my first month in Maastricht. And there is a lot to say!

After the end of my arrival week, I got to begin the classes. The courses I chose were “Investment Analysis and Portfolio Management” and “Time Series Modeling”.

The first one focuses on various financial subjects, such as CAPM (and expected return of the market), Hedge Funds, Mutual Funds, Real Estate, etc.
The second one is a course of econometrics (of time series) and we use Eviews, with many tests.

Very interesting courses! I have learned a lot during this month. And the best is that it is not over yet.
But, on the other side, courses are r-e-a-l-l-y demanding, specially the first one. Many presentations have to be done and group homework take at least 20 hours per week. Working two full days (8AM to 8PM, or even more) for a single project is quite common.

I don’t want to discourage you, because work is not the essence of the exchange. There are a lot of events! You’ll get to enjoy student life here.

Every monday, tuesday, thursday, friday and saturday there are parties (or events). Themed-nights, board games, social dinners, casino nights, cantus, big parties (all these are organized by ISN Maastricht): if you want to party hard, you’ll never get bored!
But also, there are events with roommates: movies nights, dinners in the city, cocktails night, and trips!
And events with whoever you want in fact, because there is a lot to do here.

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(a dinner with my roommates at Fresh :))

Another important part of living here in Maastricht (and in the Netherlands) is… biking.
Bicycles are really going to improve your life, and there is a sense of freedom when you bike. It is also a good sport here!

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You can see how crowded it is. And this was nothing compared to now, because now you cannot see a single empty space! “Parking” the bike is a common problem here.
Bicycles will also bring you the possibility reach Aachen or Liège in two hours. I haven’t tried yet, but I am really willing to experience this.

And well that’s all for today, I am going to enjoy a nice cup of coffee.

See you!

Introduction week!

Hey everybody!

I’m glad to write to you again, finding some time in this new lifestyle is a challenge.

I arrived two weeks ago in Maastricht: I had barely the time to settle that the arrival week started.
This arrival week was organised by ISN Maastricht, an important exchange student’s association, which prepared various events so that we, students, could meet a lot, a lot and a lot of other students.

Monday, the first day, was the day of discovery, and these questions popped up in my mind: what can we find in this city? what am I doing here? where are we going to go?
I wanted to meet some people, so I decided to go to ISN’s “City tour”.
Within a few seconds of waiting outside to leave for the tour, I started talking with many students from Spain, Germany, Austria, China, United States, etc. And in fact, I never stopped talking with them, and we went on the tour, which was enjoyable, with nice sightseeing of Maastricht.
Then I went to the dinner organised by ISN. It was also a place where I could meet a lot of people, and I ended up joining the “Welcome Drink” to party with my new buddies.

On Tuesday, my floor roommates did a pre-party, and then we went on International Tuesday in the Van Bommel bar, where there were a lot of international students.

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Wednesday was a chill day, I did again the city tour and the dinner, to meet other people. It was lots of fun!

And on thursday, the school introduction began at my nice university: the SBE. I like this brown chocolate color of the school!

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A nice welcome word was presented by Marielle Heijltjes, and we received a warm reception from the SBE staff.

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After that we had some information about laws, PBL, dutch culture, sports, the library, etc. And we did a city tour under the rain (it was my 3rd one…).

The same day, I went to the pub crawl! One of the funniest events I’ve ever been to. You get to go to 8 different bars, and in each bar, you get a drink. The mood was so high, and my group was really cool: I also have new spots where I can find good beers in Maastricht ;-).

And finally on Friday I did a mandatory PBL session, and enjoyed the Welcome Party of the SBE with some delicious kroketten.

I enjoyed a calm night with my roommates, and slept happy of knowing all these people.

Because yes, this exchange is a huge opportunity to meet a lot of people (I’ve meet more than a hundred I think) and to have fun (and in-between studies :-)).

See you!

Diego

Diego : Presentation and Preparing for Maastricht!

Hello everybody! 🙂

My name is Diego, and I come from the University of Sorbonne in France. I will be studying in Maastricht for one full year, and writing for you about my experiences, my thoughts and the student lifestyle in this city of the Netherlands!

Leaving my house to live in another country is something new for me, as I have always lived with my parents. But even if this situation is new, I don’t feel stressed out, just curious, and willing to live this opportunity that my home university and the Maastricht University have given to me.

  • Preparing myself:

Language:

Prior to my moving in Maastricht, I started learning a little bit Dutch three months ago. Some basics in order to deal with my everyday life! I have a small apprehension with the language, but hopefully it won’t be too difficult.

Ik hoop dat de Nederlandse taal niet moeilijk zal zijn want ik wil graag Nederlands in een jaar leren.

Friends and family:

I had to do an internship for three months, so I’ve had only two weeks of holidays so far. I used this limited time to see my closest friends, even though many were abroad, or had to work.

It felt quite strange to leave them and to tell them goodbye. It was unusual and touching.

My family encouraged me, either by phone, or in person, during dinners or everyday. I felt really sad leaving them.

Baggages:

It was a complex thing to prepare all my baggages! I took clothes for all seasons, my coffee and tea machines (I forgot a chocolate machine!): all what I needed for this exciting year!

And well, without going too much into detail (administrative, housing, etc.), I’m am looking forward to arriving in Maastricht tomorrow! I will take some photos and inform you about the big events that will take place.

See you later!

Diego