Last semester I studied at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands which was an incredible experience. One main reason I chose to study in Maastricht was the location. There are a number of different airports and bus services that are easy to get to when you want to travel.

On exchange I met the most amazing people. I was lucky enough to live with a great group of people who made it really special. I lived in the guesthouse offered by the university, which made it so easy to meet people (make sure you get into building C… it’s the most fun). There is no other experience like exchange, if you’re considering it do it! No matter where you go it’s easy to have a great time.

One drawback with Maastricht is the workload, which is quite intense for exchange. They use a problem based learning system and expect every student to be prepared (even exchangers!) and the tutorials are mandatory. The classes are small and two students in the class usually run each session, the tutor listens and occasionally jumps in to explain the more complex concepts.

Top tips:
1. Don’t buy a bike for over 50 euros and don’t buy a chain/lock for under 20. If you wander around the city someone is likely to offer you something quite cheap and usually they will haggle (I heard a few stories of 5 euro bikes). If you buy a cheap chain on the other hand, your bike will definitely disappear…
2. GO TO CANTUS. There will be three during the semester and if you want my advice, make sure you have nothing planned the next day.
3. Plan your schedule so that you have either Monday or Friday free. When you select your courses at the beginning check what days they are on. You can only miss two classes per course so plan carefully to make the most of travel opportunities.

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