So far it seems that Maastricht, my home for the next 5 months, is full of 4 things: churches, bicycles, students and beer. With 40-50 churches, endless varieties of Dutch, German and other European beers, 20,000 students and countless bikes this relatively small city of 100,000 people has a welcoming and friendly vibe.
Applying and planning for exchange was probably the most exciting process I’ve experienced…that is, of course, exchange actually started! I spent the month or so prior to arriving in Maastricht appreciating the European summer in Ireland, Athens and the Greek Islands, Budapest, Copenhagen and Lund. Coming on Exchange is the best excuse to travel, the only downfall was trying to pack for 6 months knowing you would have to carry all of it while traveling.
I arrived in Maastricht a couple days before the “Inkom” Introduction week. It’s mainly targeted towards first year students but exchange students are more than welcome. We would have day activities like sports, information markets, a beach trip and city tours. The nights (and early mornings) were spent drinking Dutch beer and exploring the different venues and bars around Maastricht. The introduction week was on a scale I’d never seen before – it seemed like the whole city revolved around Inkom!
The following week was the International Arrivals week. I got to meet some other exchange students with day activities like lunches, boat tours and scavenger hunts, as well as evening activities like dinners, pub crawls and other parties and events. We even attended an End of Introduction Week party that was held in a church….it felt a little wrong but very fun! We also had Faculty Introduction Days which were a little more serious (but still provided free beer – the Dutch way).
Maastricht uses a Problem Based Learning (PBL) system where students guide each other in their learning and tutors mainly just supervise. It definitely has a greater workload and requires more attentiveness than the traditional lecture tutorial system. However, you do get to avoid cramming for exams as you learn throughout the semester. Learning a new system is definitely daunting but exchange is supposed to challenge!
Amy Lund 11971227 Business