If you’re looking into exchange and wanting to find out about a great place to spend 6 months abroad, you have come to the right place. I am currently completing my exchange at Maastricht University in the Netherlands and I could not recommend the experience more!
Maastricht is a small but vibrant town in the south of the Netherlands with a population of close to 120,000, a large proportion of that total comprising university students, making it extremely easy to socialise and meet new people.
What makes this aspect even easier is the living arrangements. I am living in a guesthouse designated solely to exchange students from all over the world. Not only does this enable you to meet a lot of people, but the fact that you are living with other like-minded exchange students that are here to have fun and explore makes organising trips and planning social outings a lot easier.
In terms of location, Maastricht sits at the bottom of the Netherlands on the border of Belgium and Germany, making the rest of Europe extremely accessible. I am currently going into my 5th week here, however have already travelled to Cologne, Paris, Amsterdam and Rotterdam, just showing the ease of travel!
Another awesome part of doing exchange here is the celebration of Carnival. Carnival is a Dutch celebration where three days are devoted to dressing up and parading through the streets. It was awesome to immerse myself in a new culture and tradition, and it is something that I will remember for the rest of my life!
Something a little more challenging about exchange is the learning system that they have in place at Maastricht University. It is a system called Problem Based Learning, which is extremely different to the traditional teaching method that is undertaken by most Universities around the world, including UTS. Students are given a lot more control of their own learning, as they are in charge of facilitating the tutorials, whilst tutors take a supervisory approach. For me, this was quite a shock, as it means that a lot more preparatory work is needed to be completed before class in order to learn. Whilst the transition is difficult at first, you will get used to it, and I believe it limits the need to cram for exams, so definitely has its benefits.
Overall, my experience so far in Maastricht has been nothing short of incredible. The town is beautiful, the locals are great people, and I have made so many new friends from varying parts of the world. I could not recommend it more to anyone considering it – you will not regret your decision.
Bachelor of Business
For more information about the UTS Global Exchange program please visit: www.global-exchange.uts.edu.au