I studied at Maastricht University in January 2018 as part of my International Studies degree. What an experience. From the moment I stepped out of the train station in Maastricht, I knew that this was going to be one amazing journey. The culturally-rich city has so many hidden little treasures around every corner, and no matter how many times I walked into the main square, I was constantly in awe by its beauty. It is truly a fairy town.
The program itself started off perfectly. I reached the student housing with a friend that I had met in Paris who was as well doing the program, and we made our way to our assigned rooms. I entered my room to meet my roommate and we connected instantly. She also just happened to live in the same area as me back in Melbourne!
The first few days included a visit to a welcome celebration at the university, winery, a city tour and some free time to get to know Maastricht. Classes begun after three days and they were only three days a week from 8:30 till 1:30. Although it was intensive in the work we did, there was a balance of study and leisure to explore, even country-hop in a day! The program also included weekend trips to Brussels and Amsterdam, which were full of exciting activities so there was never a dull moment. It gave us the change to bond as a group and share experiences together that we will all never forget.
This journey changed me as it made me become more aware of the world, appreciative of life and diligent in the work that I do. As someone who is studying International Studies, it has made me more passionate about my future and what I can do. I have grown as an individual and without this experience, I do not think it was possible for these changes to have occurred. Whilst this was done through the intensive aspect of the work, the people that I met on this program were just unbelievable, and without them this experience would not have been as amazing as it was. I have made friendships and memories with these people that I will hold very close to me and I thank them for the experiences that we had together. I would also like to mention the CES staff, thank you for your ongoing support!
Maastricht will always hold a special place in my heart and I long to go back to this beautiful city.
For future participants, I say just do it - you will not regret it one bit. It can be an overwhelming thing to study overseas, but it will be something that you can remember for a very long time. You will meet incredible people, you will be challenged, and you will grow as an individual. It is an opportunity that you cannot put a price on it. This program has by far been a highlight of my degree and I am already planning to do one very soon!