I decided on Maastricht in the Netherlands -situated on the border of Germany and Belgium. I couldn’t of made a better choice…
I decided to fly out a couple weeks before semester started to do some exploring. First stop was Russia (St Petersburg, Novgorod and Moscow) which was full of interesting history and architecture, next was Turkey which was chaotic but so full of life (my favourite was Cappadocia) and lastly a quick visit to the peacefulness of Santorini in Greece (beach hopping and riding around in buggies). We have just had two weeks of uni and i have already done a day trip to Achen (Germany), a long weekend in Brussels and the next two weekends I’m off to Italy (Lake Como) and then Oktoberfest in Munich !! These are the experiences that i have been saving for…and living in the centre of Europe with carpooling, busses, trains and last minute plane deals leaves a lot of room for spontaneous trips!
MAASTRICHT STUDENT LIVING
I am loving it here. The first week or so i was quite lonely as i ended up arriving slightly early-so the dorms were quiet and it was hard to meet people. But now the dorms have filled and my corridor is already a little gang who looks out for each other. In my corridor i have students from Sydney, Spain, Chile, South Korea, Canada, Italy and America.. and we all chill together, share meals and pre together before going out. The diverse perspectives over the dinner table is fascinating.
Maastricht is so international!!! Everywhere i go..i can speak english. Even in my classroom most are international and the classes thrive on dialogue between students from diverse backgrounds. Classes are run by students..and teachers sit back and watch whilst assessing students on their contribution to class conversations based on readings.
Bike riding is insane here. There are apparently more bikes than people living here.. We bike ride everywhere-to uni, parties, grocery shopping. Its lots of fun but getting use to riding on the other side of the road and giving way and the various other road rules took quite a bit of time.
I only have uni for 8 hours a week, 4 on Monday and 4 on Thursday which sounds like very little!! But i have so much preparation for the classes that you can’t get away not doing.
Monday nights-i have a social dinner group which is a group of ten of us from different countries that alternate cooking for each other. After dinner there are international social, chilled nights organised.
Tuesday-massive international party night
Thursday-another going out night
Wednesday& Friday-food markets in the city square
Friday night-there are Foodbank events where the Maastricht community gather fruit and veggies that supermarkets are about to throw out and make feasts in warehouses for everyone to share
Thursday night until Sunday-i try explore somewhere new in Europe with couchsurfing to save money..
I already see how hard it is going to leave this place. Hoping i can extend for another semester…
If your considering Maastricht University and have specific questions feel free to email me on firstname.lastname@example.org