If I had thought that period 4 ended very fast, this past month passed faster than ever. I knew it was going to feel that way so I was already determined to make the most of the time I had left in Maastricht in order to go back home without any regrets. And I’m very happy to say that I accomplished all my goals and even overcame some fears.
Practicing languages while having fun
I studied French for 11 years at school but didn’t practice since I started to go to university so I was gradually forgetting the language and I was feeling really bad about this. This is also one of the reasons I chose to have my exchange here in Maastricht. I knew that there were a lot of French speaking students and I hoped I would be able to practice that language here. In fact, I was very lucky to be matched with a Belgian buddy when I registered for the MyBuddy program. She’s been helping me practice French while I help her improve her Spanish, since she will be soon going to Peru to have her exchange semester in my university.
I really recommend joining the MyBuddy program. My buddy contacted me even before I arrived in Maastricht and gave me a lot of tips to ensure I had a good start. We met during the first week of class and introduced me some of her friends as well as their buddies, with whom I’ve been able to share a lot of nice experiences during these past months: from going out to try new restaurants from time to time, to sharing our knowledge in different languages like Spanish, French, Italian and Thai, and joining the “Walking Shot” event organized by the Mybuddy Program.
One of the advantages of living in Maastricht is that you can travel to many places without spending neither a lot of money nor time as you can easily go on day trips to very nice places in The Netherlands or Belgium.
One of my most memorable trips was to a village in Belgium. A friend who is doing her exchange in Prague came to Maastricht and convinced me and another friend to go visit Chateau Miranda, a 19th century abandoned castle. I was skeptical at first since we were going to do a 3-hour trip just to see that castle and we weren’t even sure if we were going to be able to enter the building. I started to regret having gone there once we arrived to that little village that was literally in the middle of nowhere and was almost as empty as the castle we were going to see. To top it off, we realized that we would have to climb some hills and walk a lot of kilometers in the woods in order to reach that castle. I’ve never liked adventure sports, let alone in this kind of isolated places, but we had already gone all the way to that place and my friend was so excited to see that castle that I just couldn´t back. All I could do is go with them and hope we could come back home safe and sound (I didn´t want to wait for them by myself in the middle of nowhere, neither 😅).
We ended up all covered in mud and with some little scratches in our hands but we enjoyed looking at the beautiful scenery and really made it to the castle! It had already been too much adrenaline for one day so I didn’t dare to go up the tower, but my friends did and had a great view of the village from there. Overall, I think it was a great experience. Even though I think I wouldn’t do something like this ever again, I’m somehow happy that I went there with them and that I now have these unforgettable memories.
Participating in an international competition
I think one of the reasons time seemed to pass faster is that I’ve been busier this period. A couple of friends and I have been participating in the SSE Finance Challenge competition organized by the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga since April, and we had to meet several times to work on the tasks together. It was sometimes very tough because the three of us had different schedules and the weeks we had to compete happened to be also the weeks where we had presentations or had to hand in reports in the courses we were taking. However, we managed to do well in both our courses and the competition and even ranked first in the preliminary rounds! 😃 We now have to go to the finals in Riga at the end of this month and hope we can keep it up 😋.
PD: If you also like Finance, I really recommend you to participate if you do your exchange in the Spring semester. The registration period is in March and the competition starts in April.
And last but not least I wanted to thank you for reading my posts. I read a lot of posts myself before coming to Maastricht and I found them very useful so I hope I could help you somehow as well.