Olá a todos (hello everyone!)
I’m Patrícia, a 20 year old business student from Lisbon, Portugal! I study in Católica Lisbon School of Business & Economics and I’m here im Maastricht doing my first exchange experience. The first question that might pop up is: why Maastricht? The answer is so easy for me. I had more than 50 universities I could choose from but I opted to stay in Europe, Maastricht to be more concrete as it was a well ranked university according to FT and mainly because it is known to be of the most international universities in Europe. (And of course due to the university location that allows you to travel a lot!) 😉
My experience started as soon as I knew I was accepted. In a matter of days, I received a welcoming email from Maastricht University which also had information about the next steps (university bureaucracy…) and with some useful tips (regarding accommodation, for instance).
My first step was to choose the courses. I’m taking Strategic Marketing, Supporting Professional Development & Human Performance, Brand Management and Job Performance & Employment Relationship. I chose these ones as they belong to my favorite fields in business: Marketing & Human Resources. Within a few months I will tell you more details about this subject.
Second step: get a room. The university has a residence that has 3 distinctive buildings: M, P and C. I was told to get accommodation at the M building since it was renewed 2 years ago, the value for money was the best and it has the best equipment in the kitchens and room itself. I booked the room with 4 months advance and there only a few left. I opt to share a room with a friend of mine, Diogo. The main differences between the buildings is that in P building you don’t have common spaces, since you have a mini kitchen inside your room; in the M you share the kitchen and a living room and some of the rooms have a toilet inside; and in C building you share everything.
Third step: book the flight! You have 2 options: either travel to Amsterdam or Brussels. The only difference is that if you catch the train from Brussels (around 18,5€) you need to change trains in Liege, however if you catch the train from Amsterdam (around 25€) is direct. (I will give some useful tips on the next post for cheap tickets within and around the Netherlands!!!)
TIP1: the ISN Maastricht has a pick up service in Maastricht central station, so make sure that before you came you see the dates an ask for this free service 😉
My real experience started on the 19th of August. Fortunately, I have a dutch friend, Mascha, who picked me up in Brussels and drove us for the rest of the day to Antwerp (luckily there was a beer festival in town). I was one the first students to arrive at Maastricht thus everything was empty like the hallways or reception. Finally, I met Lilian, the housing officer manager for the M building, as she gave me all the important information about the buildings and gave me a welcome package (with some REALLY useful stuff, but I’m not saying it all so that it’s still a surprise)!
TIP2: If you are one of the first students to arrive it might be interesting to put a paper on the fridge door where you write down your room number and name, so that people can reach you 😉
I got the opportunity to participate in the INKOM week where I got to meet tons of new people. However, with this experience I felt like the INKOM week is more for full time students rather than exchange students. In a way that they kinda want to make friends “for life” and as you are an exchange student you are here for a short period. The good news? For international students we have the ARRIVAL week, sponsored by ISN Maastricht. A week full of interesting activities where you can easily engage with everyone from all over the world.
My classes started on the first of September with the introductory days at the SBE. We had useful introductory lectures on the first day and on the second we had a tutorial on how to use and learn with the PBL system followed by a welcome drink. (I will let you know more about the PBL system on the next post!!!)
See you soon,
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