Nadiya Taghipour, Maastricht University – School of Business & Economics (The Netherlands)

About School

Originally, I am from Germany, but I am currently studying in Masstricht University in the Netherlands. There are a lot of students from Germany and Belgium that studies in our university. Maastricht is located in between Germany, Belgium and the rest of Netherlands. Since it is located at the borders of Belgium, students cycle to school which take about 20 minutes. As I am from Germany, personally, I take about an hour to reach school.

Currently, I am in my 3rd and final year, studying International Business and majoring in organization. Our course lasts for 3 years. In our 1st and 2nd year, we will take modules from all the specialization. Only in the 3rd year first semester, we will get to specialize in 1 area such as marketing, finance, accounting, strategy, etc. Our school adopted the Problem-Based Learning System (PBL), so we do not have so many lectures like here in NUS. We only have one lecture and two tutorials a week for every module. Each class have 15 students and we will need to prepare specific tasks before you come to class to discuss your tasks. Attendance is compulsory, and you are only allowed to miss 2 sessions max.

Our school do not have residences in the university like NUS. It is similar to SMU where once you exit the university, it is the city area. Majority of the students tend to meet for projects in school as compared to the city areas. The pressure in our school is rather high due to our academic system. After 7 weeks of classes, you will have exams on the 8th week. Hence, you will have exams every 2 months. After the final exams, we will have classes for about 2 weeks which is called the skills period. You will be taking up small courses like presentation skills, negotiation skills, quantitative methods, etc. Then you have summer holiday for 2 months before the semester stars again. Winter break in our university is about 2 to 3 weeks.

About School’s Activities

In our school, you can join school activities such as the case competition or the honours program. We have student associations, one of them is called scope. This association organises business events such as workshop to improve your CV. You can also participate in university sports which are similar to the CCAs here in NUS.

During the day, we have school and at night, we have activities with the student associations. There is this student association called Enactus where they organise social activities such as walking dinners – where students will go to 3 different locations to have appetisers, main dish and dessert respectively. This club is also consist of social entrepreneurship group. The club organised dance classes for refugees to learn dances like Bollywood or belly dance with local students. As there are many refugees in Maastricht, the aim for these activities is to bring together the refugees and students. Also, Maastricht do not have good clubs, so we go for house parties more.

About Maastricht

Maastricht is a small city and probably one of the oldest city in the Netherlands which you can see from its architecture. When you travel around the city, you will notice how old the bridges and houses are. Rarely you will get to see any new or modern buildings. The government are preserving these buildings but convert the interior to something new. For example, a book store or a gym or a university in a church. These buildings and its architecture had attracted lots of tourists to visit. Maastricht is also very nice for shopping. You wouldn’t have expected to find so many nice shopping areas in such a small city. The shopping areas can even be compared to the ones in the big cities in Germany.

About Food, Transportation and Accommodation

Traditional Maastricht food or a typical Dutch food includes fried fish, Belgium fries, crispy fried sausage and waffles. Maastricht food are largely influenced by the Belgium food culture since the city is located adjacent to border of Belgium.

Since the city is so small, the furthest you can live away from university is about 20 minutes away. Technically, students will all stay close to the university depending on your faculty. The university is separated by a river, Meuse river. On one side of the river, where the inner city is, there are the business, law, social sciences faculty. The other side of the river is the medicine and psychology faculty.  The city does not have trains except for the main train station that goes to the other cities. Within the city, you can take the bus. However, this option is not often utilized by the students as the places are all close by unless they. Many students cycle to school as well. It is like mandatory to have a bike in Maastricht or in the Netherlands in general. There is a special lane for cyclists which makes it safe to cycle on the road. Personally, I walk to the university as it is just about 10 minutes away from my place.

The accommodation in Maastricht is expensive as compared to Germany or Belgium. For an 18m2 room, I’ve to pay 410 Euros. Most of the students pay about 450 Euros for accommodation. However, this payment is an “all-in” payment where you the water and electricity bills are included.

About Germany

I am from Cologne located in the west of Germany. Cologne is about an hour away from Maastricht. It is one of the bigger cities and is known as the city of carnival. Right now, it is the carnival period. This is a nice and famous place in Germany. Cologne is known for the people’s kind and culture. We are very open-minded people and will extend anyone our help if needed. The city is very diverse as there are many people from different cultures in one place. I won’t call cologne a city but a spirit and a lifestyle. There are like many places that you can visit, and the people are very nice. There is a local language call Kölsch. We speak so differently as compared to the other parts of Germany, so you can directly recognize us.

In Cologne, you can visit the Rhine River or the Cologne Cathedral. As it is so diverse, there are a lot of international food there. Since the population of Turkish people in Germany is so high, you could to try the Doner Kebab there. It tastes completely different in other places and Turkey itself. However, when my friends and I are out for meals, we eat all sorts of food. What I miss the most would be the German breads. In Germany, we will have the breads with butter, cheese, turkey ham, yogurt and coffee/tea for breakfast. It is very important to have bread for breakfast unlike here. Some families might even have bread for dinner. If you were to visit Cologne, you will also have to try the Kölsch Beer.

NUS Bizad Club
NUS Bizad Club

Leave a Reply Text

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *