My last blog

This is my last blog.I even can’t believe that my life in Maastrichet University will come to an end soon.The final exam will come in two weeks.After the final,I will travel for several days in Europe and then back to my homeland.My emotion to this is so complex.On the one hand,the classes in UM is truly much more difficult than that in my home university.Maybe when I’m back,I will have more time to relax.On the other hand,I feel sad every time I think about that in the future, I have to live my friends here and can’t travel as easy as now.

One special thing during this month is the King’s Day.It’s so interesting for me that everyone can have one day break just because that day is the king’s birthday.I followed the bus of ISN to Amsterdam.The city is very busy and crowded on that day.People from every cities in Netherlands gathered in Amsterdam.We enjoyed the holiday atmosphere there.Yong people song and danced followed the music.Many people were in orange that day.If you have no clothes in orange,don’t worry.Because there are many things like hats and T-shirts sold everywhere in the city which are all in orange.The amusement part was moved into the city center for fun for citizens,with many special food shops surrounded.We enjoyed such a different and happy day in Amsterdam that day.

The season is so perfect this period,with tulip everywhere.I also traveled to the Keukenhof park to see the flowers with my friends.With sunshine,music and different kinds of flowers in the park,we enjoyed a wonderful day there.After seeing so many tulips,we can say that we truly experienced the culture of Netherlands.

I don’t know why the library is not as crowded as that during last period.During last final,the library is nearly full of people everyday.We needed to get up early and rush to the library as soon as it open during the final of period 4.But this time it’s different.There are many places empty whenever I arrive.

Finally,I want to talk about my travel in Greece.Like a small white pearl in the Aegean Sea, where time seems to stopped, Folegandros is located between the neighbouring islands of Milos and Sikinos.Although Folegandros is a very peaceful and tranquil island, during the summer months it becomes very popular and alive attracting visitors from all over the world.The images are of the most beautiful and tranquil settings, and combine perfectly to create the ideal location for your unforgettable vacations in Greece.There is a good transport network with local buses connecting the main villages and hamlets, such as Chora, Karavostasi and Ano Meria, making it easier for visitors to travel around.Although Folegandros is a destination for peaceful vacations, there are plenty of options for fun and enjoyable entertainment. Folegandros is ideal for walks and trekking from one side to the other. It has steep but truly wonderful beaches with crystal waters and amazing scenery. Some are easily accessible and some are only accessible by boat.The traditional tavernas and the cafes and bars are ideal spots for pleasant moments in the laid back and relaxing atmosphere.The beauty of this island is really magical and will instantly captivate you. Whilst in Folegandros don’t miss the chance to sample the local products such as dairy, fresh fish and sea food as well the wonderful honey.

It’s only less than a month before I go back to my homeland.I really feel pity and hope that I will have the chance to come back to Maastrichet again in the near future.

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Period 5 begins!

After two months’ tutorial,period 4 came to an end.Then it came to my first final in UM.As a student who is not major in Accounting,choosing all the courses related to Accounting is really a big challenge for me.Before coming to Maastrichet University,I heart about someone that the courses related to accounting and finance are the most different ones.So I was really worried that I will fall the exam.During the final period,every time I went to the school library,I saw there is no seat left.Every student went to the library early ,maybe before the time it open, and stay their the whole day concentrating on their book.The library close later than before during the final,at 12 o’ clock.It enables us to have more time to study. I felt pressure.After several days’ review,the final exam eventually came.All the students went to a place which is far from our school to take the exam.The exam lasted for three hours.After that,my vacation started.

Then it comes to period 5.With the learning experience in period 4,everything during the tutor in this period seems easier than before.I think all of us have already been used to both the study life and the lifestyle here.I know new friends in now courses,and I’m looking forward to new cooperation with my new group members.

Lastly, I want to talk about my travel in Europe during the vocation.We first traveled to Spain.Spain is beautiful and culturally very rich.The Spanish people are extremely warm and very welcoming towards tourists.When traveling by train/bus, messages are translated from Spanish to English which was a great help to us. In terms of food, I can’t say I was super impressed by Spain.There is a lot of red meat consumption (ham) which makes it difficult for people, such as myself, who eat chicken and very little seafood.In addition, it is difficult finding vegetarian options, however we managed. In Spain, tapas or small plates are very common.You will tend to see people sharing tapas sitting outside a restaurant and people watching.  Each tapa can be shared between 2 to 3 people which is a great way to experience new dishes.Out of all the cities visited, I have to say Barcelona was easily my favorite due to its amazing architecture, widespread streets, and gorgeous weather.Then we traveled to France.The south of France is blessed with breathtaking beauty, and if you have the chance to visit the French Riviera in your lifetime.It is the perfect location for couples, friends, and family!Seriously, there is something for everyone.In my experience, the French Riviera is a lot friendlier towards tourists than Paris.After France, we headed over to the Italian coastline by train and finally reached our destination of Monterosso al Mare, the main village in the Cinque Terre (five villages).Out of the five villages in the Cinque Terre, I would say Monterosso is the best as it is more developed, prettier, offers a beautiful beach, and a bunch of Italian restaurants. You will sense a calmness in the tranquility that surrounds you in Monterossso.  This literally is the perfect place to blog, sip a cappuccino, and enjoy the splendid views. After spending 2 nights in the Cinque Terre, we headed north to Rapallo.From Rapallo we were able to visit the most famous city on the Ligurian Riviera – Portofino.

It’s already the end of April,but the weather here is still cold.Every time thinking about I will leave Maastrichet University two months latter,I feel sad and depressed.I how that the time left will flow slower,and I will try hard to make everyday I spend in Netherlands colorful.

Colorful life in Maastricht

How time flies.I have been in Maastricht for over two months! I still remember the first days I was here.These memories seems like happened just several days before.When thinking about the truth that I have to leave Netherlands two months later,I feel sad and recognize that I should cherish everyday I stay here.

 

The second month in UM seems more significative than before,because everything seems have been into the right way.Most of us have gotten used to the life here.

 

Although language is still a big problem for me,which makes it difficult for me to take part in the discussion,I tried hard to say something in the classes, and eventually I succeeded.Most of the courses in period 4 had gone to the end after over ten classes.We all learned a lot during this process.

 

Because no courses were taught in English before I came here,it’s the first time I learn these academic things in English.I know plenty of new nouns about my field,and got the ability to describe the difficult principles in English words.Each class has about 15 students,and students are divided into several groups to do the tasks together.Everyone needs to read the chapters and do the preparation before each class.Our group members make discussions,assign tasks and do the preparations together after classes.In my course,it include a presentation and a facilition done by each group.Both of them need us to read the book first,and then make the slides as well as prepare for what we want to say during the classes.Before each preparation,our group member needs to meet more than 3 times to finish all the preparations.The content we need to show during classes include the book,additional articles about the topic,videos and interactions with other students.Tutor give each group a score after each presentation.During the classes except for the presentation and facilition,the form of the tutorial is always that one student be the leader and control the whole class.The leader cover the book by throwing several questions and ask other students to make the discussions.I once tried to be the leader.Although I did it not good enough,I think it was still a well attempt.We often cover the assignment in the book.It needs us do the homework before classes and discuss it during the second part of the classes.If we still have questions after discussions,our tutor will explain them in detail.These tutorials makes me dare to talk no matter whether I can explain my opinion clearly and fluently,and makes me enjoy the feeling that group members work together for the same aim.

 

Except for study,I also took part in several activities hold by regular students and exchange students.I went to several different kinds of parties.We cook special food belong to our own countries and share with students from other countries.We talked with people from different countries and with different life backgrounds.We talked a lot including traveling ,hobbies and politic.It’s really an excited thing to feel free to talk about everything with people with different nationalities and listen to their opinions.We talked,share delicious foods and play games together,and eventually become good friends.From my point of view,the most important thing during exchange life is to meet different people with different characters,different backgrounds and different thinkings.Talking with them is not only a way to make different friends,but also a tool to have a deeper comprehension about the whole word.I really enjoy this process.

 

This month,I enjoyed different aspects of the life in Maastricht University,and had a deeper comprehension about the students’ university life in Netherlands even in Europe.For me,life is better and easier then the first month.And I am looking forward to new challenges in the following several months!

My first month in UM

I’m Shiqi Zhang.My home university is Shandong University located in the east of China.

My home university was set up about a hundred years ago.It has a long history,and many famous person graduated from it over the century.It’s in a big city with many people living in it,so it is a little crowded.And it also near Chinese most famous mountain “Tai Mountain”.But UM is completely different from my home university.It’s a young University,and located in a quiet city with less people living in.On the introduction day,when I mentioned that my home university is near to a famous mountain,our leader joked that”Mountain? We just have hills here!”

I came to Netherlands by plane with several friends.Although UM provide pick-up service for us,we come here by ourselves.It’s easy to find the school.Our plane landed in Amsterdam,then we took a train to Maastricht,and walked to the guesthouse.I’m pleased with the accommodation here.We first went to the information desk in the main building  to check in.Then we entered our room soon.I share a double room with my friend.The room is about 15 euro per day.There are a kitchen, a television,two beds two desks,two wardrobes and a dining table in the room.The toilet and shower are shared by several students outside our room.People living in the guesthouse are all exchange students.The students living in my floor are from all over the world.And there are supermarkets,bus stations and mails near our guesthouse.The staffs here are all friendly.Everything is very convenient.

There was an introduction day several days after we arrived here.It was hold in the main building of SBE.We first get a letter at the entrance,with our student card and group number in it.Then we ate free cookies, drunk coffee and talked with new friends in the building.When time was up,we went to the hall to listen to the lecture.Teachers introduced many useful things and situations we will face during our exchange life.UM is truly an international university.There were hundreds of exchange students set in the hall.But in my home university,the number of exchange students is really small.After that,we were seperated into several groups and had lunch together.After meal,we took a city tour leaded by our leader.There are about 15 students in each group.Nearly everyone is from different country.We walked around the city,and leaders introduced important buildings to us.Then it came to the second of introduction day.We made a simulative pbl class to make us familiar with the process of pbl,in case that we would not be adapted to the new learning pattern.During the pbl,we first introduced ourselves in turn.Then the leader introduced many aspects of pbl.After that,we get a topic and began the simulative pbl.Although it was the first time that everyone be in this kind of class,everyone tried hard to take part into the discussion.After that,we dissolved and took part in a party for all the exchange students.We ate and drunk together.Because of that party,I knew many new friends from all over the world.

The first month in UM is colorful.I experienced a totally different life which is completely opposed to that in my home university.I also met many friends from different country with different experiences.Everything is new.I enjoy the life here,and I’m also looking forward to what will happen in the future