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Maastricht University, the Netherlands

Only two and a half months into my exchange at Maastricht University, located in the Netherlands, and I can already say that it has been the best decision I’ve ever made. Maastricht offers a variety of courses for Law students, mostly surrounding International and EU Law. Coming from Australia EU Law has never been a part of my course, so taking subjects and learning about new systems has been an intriguing part of my degree. Both tutorials and lectures are used at Maastricht, however they follow the Problem Based Learning System (PBL). This means that tutorials are much smaller and are led by students with a major emphasis on discussions as a group. This method while not too different from UTS, has been helpful in engaging me in the content and really having to think about what I am learning as I am expected in at least one of the classes to lead the discussions. Overall, class has challenged me and I find the style in which it’s delivered and the subjects thought-provoking.

Uni life at Maastricht has been a lot of fun. I live in the Guesthouse where hundreds of exchange students also live. It has been so helpful to meet people and there is always someone around to talk to or something happening in the common rooms. The Guesthouse is located about a 15-20 minute walk from the Law Faulty, or if you have a bike which (most students do) it is only a short ride. Having a bike is the easiest way to get around and lets you move through the city quickly, you can even go for bike rides across the border into Belgium.

Being in central Europe has meant that travelling is much more accessible. Whether it’s just a day trip somewhere close by or a week travelling around Europe when there’s a break in classes. I’ve been lucky enough to travel on weekends and days off to cities and countries close by. Maastricht is right on the border with Belgium and Germany, which means I am able to travel there frequently and relatively cheaply.

As well exploring the Netherlands, it is also great place to live. There are several airports close by to Maastricht meaning that often you can get cheap flights and travel in time off. Recently I have flown to London and Budapest and had awesome trips with friends I have made at uni. I have more trips planned when my exams are finished and look forwarded to travelling Europe at the end of my exchange. 

When in Maastricht you have to try the hot chips with mayonnaise, and waffles, these are the local foods and are found all over the Netherlands and Belgium. There is even an aisle in the supermarket dedicated to waffles. While Maastricht is a small city it has a lot to offer with lots of cafes and bars scattered around. It even has a carnival festival in March which runs for 3 days and the whole city celebrates dressed in crazy costumes.

Overall Maastricht is a great place to pick for exchange, it’s a university city full of students. I would highly recommend picking Maastricht as an exchange destination, I wouldn’t have wanted to go anywhere else.

Amy Squires-McCarthy
Bachelor of Law and Communications
Maastricht University
the Netherlands

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