Hello everybody!
I’ve just finished  a semester abroad in The Netherlands at The University of Maastricht. I am studying a bachelor of International Hotel and Tourism Management back at UQ and did random business courses at Maastricht- using up all my elective subjects by the way! I’ve just finished my 2nd year and seriously loved doing an exchange and I especially recommend it to any tourism student out there!!

As for the academic side things are a little different at Maastricht! They use a problem based learning technique (aka PBL) which is pretty much all about presentations every single class!! So comparing Maastricht to UQ I would say Maastricht is more work and more often but still easier to get good grades then UQ and less stress as long as you don’t mind presenting that is! You pretty much are made to keep on top of your workload but then there’s not really any huge assignments or anything… and almost everything is group work even academic papers.

A few more things to mention about class is that hardly anyone is actually dutch.. so if you’re coming here to get to know the dutchies think again cause you’re going to be grouped up with Germans almost always! It is a hugely international uni so you will be mixing with all different nationalities which is awesome because you get to learn about a lot of different cultures all at once! Also when selecting your courses I’d go for at least 2nd year courses because 1st year is all about discovering the PBL system but 2nd year and up is all about presentation skills which is so much more beneficial and a lot more relaxed in class too.

All the organizing is pretty straight forward too, because they have a lot of exchange students they have a really easy system set up, and the business faculty is completely in English which makes everything super easy!

I lived in the Guesthouse which is student housing just for exchange students and I couldn’t recommend this enough!! Yep it might be a bit more expensive but so worth it because you end up living with people from all around the world and there’s always a party going on in someone’s hallway… and if you can make sure you get into the C building, it’s always the most social and the most fun!

Living in Maastricht was the perfect location for travelling, so I managed to fly or train to a different country almost every weekend which is awesome. Oh another thing to mention about studying is that classes are compulsory and you will fail if you miss more than two classes, so I suggest picking a schedule that gives you a Friday or a Monday off so you have a 3 day weekend to travel. 

As for expenses I think it depends on how much you want to travel, but really save as much as you can! Everyday costs are about the same as in Australia and alcohol is about half the price so that helps the budget. Also everyone buys a bike so you don’t have transport costs and your bike should only cost you 50-100 Euros.  Another tip is don’t bother getting a dutch bank card cause everything is super frustrating and it takes forever to get everything done, so although you get charged fees for using your aussie account I would still keep with that.
So that’s about all I can think of just want to wish you good luck with your exchange process and I’m sure you’ll have an amazing time. I can’t think of one single person who wouldn’t do Maastricht all over again if they had the chance!
 

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