Bachelor of Business Management/Arts
Bachelor of Business Management/Arts

Hi my name’s Amber and I did my exchange in the beautiful city of Maastricht, which is right in the centre of Europe, and the perfect base for travelling. Throughout my exchange I went to fifteen different countries which were utterly amazing. Of all the places I visited I think Dubrovnik in Croatia was my favourite; it’s so beautiful and is where they film Kings Landing in Game of Thrones! But I also loved the opportunity to see smaller places that I wouldn’t have gone to otherwise, such as Luxembourg City , in the tiny country of Luxembourg (only 2,586 square kilometres), which is only three hours away by train as well as Utrecht in the Netherlands and Aachen in Germany.

But don’t think that because I’ve started by talking about the other places I’ve been that Maastricht doesn’t have a lot to offer! Maastricht is stunning with cobbled streets and medieval buildings. The business school is even in an old monastery. Maastricht also has more cafes than anywhere I’ve ever seen, people just love chilling in the sun and it’s very relaxed, and because it’s relatively small you feel at home very quickly - and don’t worry everyone speaks English. I was also lucky enough to be in Maastricht during the World Cup when everyone goes football mad and all the houses are covered in orange. If there’s a match on everyone flocks to one of the many pubs.

Now to move on to the academic side of things: Maastricht uses the PBL (problem based learning) system which basically puts emphasis on discussions, presentations and reading with few or no lectures. Each tutorial consists of a group discussion on the week’s reading, with some courses having individual presentations and others using facilitations (where you lead the discussion and present the key topics of the reading). It’s very different to UQ, but it’s very interactive and you will learn a lot. If you want to improve your presentation skills, Maastricht is definitely the place to come!

Now here are a couple of recommendations for coming to Maastricht:
- Firstly concerning accommodation, Most exchange students stay at the guesthouse, which is the best place to stay, I was in the C-building with Maastricht housing (http://www.maastrichthousing.com/) which was nice enough but I would recommend staying in the M-building which is run by short stay (http://www.sshxl.nl/shortstay/ ) I had friends in that building and it’s defiantly the nicest building the guesthouse!
- Secondly get an ESN card and sign up for events and trips. The ESN (Exchange Student Network) runs a lot of great events from dinners to parties to weekends away. The ESN sells cards during arrival week and this card will give you discounts on all their events ( and at €5 it’s pretty cheap). The ESN trips are a great way to see places with other exchange students – trips include Paris, Prague, Amsterdam, The Netherlands and Belgium. They also have a pick-up service for when you arrive. See their website for more info: http://www.esn-maastricht.nl/ .
- And finally, if you want to read more about my experiences and other exchange students’ experiences, check out the exchange student blog site: http://iroincomingsbe.wordpress.com/ . I definitely recommend an exchange in Maastricht its great fun and you won’t regret it!
 

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