Politics, Law & International Relations in Europe

Video and Photos

Maastricht streets late at night.
Rainbow crosswalk in Maastricht
maastricht university
maastricht university
View from Mount Saint Peter, one of the highest points in the Netherlands. Standing at a whopping 171 m (561 ft).

About

Human rights, democracy and the rule of law are the core values of the European Union (EU). Yet in the wake of the European debt crisis, Brexit and the rise of Euro-scepticism, the future of the EU is far from certain. In a world of converging cultures and different political and legal systems, Politics, Law & International Relations in Europe students explore how policy-makers negotiate between member states with a range of different nationalities, languages and agendas.

Your adventure begins with a study trip to Berlin. Besides that, there are two cultural weekends included too: 'If it ain't Dutch it ain't much' and 'A taste of Paris'.

Highlights
  • Combines strong academics with integrated field trips and unique hands-on experiences;
  • Choose courses that meet your interest from over 400 courses offered;
  • Start the programme with a trip to Berlin.
  • Direct enrolment

Related Programs

Questions & Answers

Reviews

83%
based on 8 reviews
  • Academics 7.3
  • Support 8.4
  • Fun 8.8
  • Housing 8.3
  • Safety 9.1
Showing 1 - 8 of 8
Default avatar
David
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

CES Politics Program

The Politics, Law, and International Relations in Europe program at CES Maastricht is a fantastic way to get to know the Netherlands and Europe as a whole. The classes on European politics, history, and law will give you practical information that affects the everyday lives of European citizens and you as well during your stay and travels to other countries. For academics, you will be in classes with only Americans in CES and with regular University of Maastricht students in your other ones, which strikes a good balance between adjusting with the help of other Americans and integrating into European university life. The courses are enough to challenge you but not enough to ever prevent you from doing what you want. And of course, Maastricht is a beautiful and centrally-located city in Europe that you'll love to call home.

What would you improve about this program?
I wish that I could stay in Maastricht for longer!
Default avatar
August
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Can I come back?

I loved the Problem Based Learning (PBL) format of classes at Maastricht University. If you don't know what PBL is, it essentially means that instead of having class in big lecture halls, the classes are usually set up as small discussion groups with 15 or so students. By learning in more of a discussion-based environment, I retained far more information when compared to the classes I have taken in the past at my home university. In addition, I really appreciated the fact that there were so many options when it came to the international relations classes! The CES advisors were incredibly helpful in finding classes that not only fulfilled my home university credit requirements but also aligned with my academic interests. If I could do it all over again, I wouldn't change a thing about my study abroad experience here at Maastricht University.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
The only thing I would change is that I would spend more weekends in Maastricht. I booked trips for almost every weekend while abroad, and while it was fun checking a lot of European cities off of my bucket list, I would have loved to create more of an attachment to Maastricht.
Default avatar
Medina
1/10
No, I don't recommend this program

If Its Dutch, It Ain't Much

When I was accepted to study abroad at Maastricht, I was incredibly excited to have the opportunity to take classes on European Studies in the city where the modern European Union was founded. Unfortunately, my experience there failed to live up to my expectations and my semester there was one of the worst experiences I have had in my academic career.

Instead of arriving in a welcoming, inclusive environment, I unknowingly arrived in the Dutch version of Trump country and I wasn’t even safe from far-right nationalism in class. Having to listen to professors rationalize colonialism and slavery, insist that communism made Eastern Europeans lazy, and assign readings that were filled with racial slurs was incredibly demeaning. To come all the way to The Netherlands just to have to sit in class and be made to feel like I’m inherently inferior and don’t belong in the country because of my ethnic and religious background was beyond humiliating and dehumanizing.

I felt like the environment in Maastricht was so suffocating, both academically and socially, that I ended up traveling a lot just to escape and catch my breath for a moment. To feel like I had to escape from the city and country I had to call home for four months was incredibly upsetting.

Had I known that I would have had to constantly confront far-right nationalism and defend my humanity both inside and outside the classroom, I would have never set foot in Maastricht. As much as I did enjoy my travels and the new people that I met, I can not ignore how much pain I went through during my time there.

What would you improve about this program?
Mental health services available at the university should have been advertised properly so that students could have known they had an option if they needed help. Improvements to scheduling are so greatly needed, having to change half of the classes I originally signed up to take because of scheduling conflicts is beyond frustrating and unacceptable.
Response from CES Maastricht University

Dear Medina,

At CES Maastricht we value our students’ feedback and strive to create the best possible study abroad experience for everyone. Therefore, we are sorry that you did not have a good experience. As we have already discussed, we are in contact with the faculty and relevant staff members. We would like you to know that we take your feedback seriously and we are working very hard behind the scenes to look into the matter. We will keep you informed throughout the process.

If anything comes up in the meantime, feel free to e-mail your coordinator directly.

All the best,

The CES staff

Default avatar
Corbin
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Life changing

Maastricht is the best place to study. It is not a huge city but a great college town where you will never run out of things to do. The CES staff here will end up becoming your family. They want the best for you and will go above and beyond to make sure you feel like home. The academics are so unique because it is a different learning style so you meet lots of other international students but also have class in small groups and you discuss the whole time. The housing is amazing as well, you feel so safe here and everything is taken care of for you so there is no worrying about finding a place to stay! Overall Maastricht is the best university in my eyes and it has changed my life for the better.

What would you improve about this program?
No improvements
Default avatar
Rebecca
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My CES Experience

Study abroad has been amazing so far. I've been able to travel, take challenging courses, and also join volunteer projects in my free time.

This block, I took a course on EU law and politics and learned about the history of the EU; additionally, I took a course of public policy evaluation. I enjoyed both classes, because I was able to engage with Dutch and German students through my tutorial by doing group projects and presentations, which enabled me to learn about Europe on a whole new level.

The CES staff is incredibly friendly and helpful. My advisor has continued to help me find classes I am interested in, and other staff members have helped give me advice on things to do and places to visit.

Default avatar
Devin
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Maastricht University IR Fall Abroad

Global perspective, traveling the world, international studies. These are the some of the main reasons we choose to study abroad, and my time here in Maastricht has been an amazing experience that went far beyond these initial goals.

The Politics, Law & International Relations in Europe program has you take courses where you work through problems and global issues in a team. Proposing possible areas of growth and global cooperation. Be ready for a lot of reading and essays. The courses are challenging and a lot of work, but its manageable.

The CES staff are the most helpful and outgoing advisors I have ever had in college. The CES’s passion and energy enriches the study abroad experience and their focus on helping students makes this program an amazing experience.

The ability to go out of my comfort zone and be able to actually see and experience the world has been an important point of personal growth for me. The local connections I've made, the cultures I've been able to celebrate and be a part of have enriched my time here as a student and made the courses feel more important and relatable.

What would you improve about this program?
The support for the program covers a lot of the issues I've faced here, and the CES trips were a great part of my time studying abroad.
Default avatar
Nicholas
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Home Away from Home

The CES Staff was extremely helpful. Whenever I had a problem or question, they were quick to help. They made the transition to living abroad very easy. The CES staff made Maastricht home away from home for me. My study abroad experience has been challenging but enlightening. I have learned a lot more about myself, but also my capabilities of being independent. This experience has changed my life completely.

What would you improve about this program?
More encouraged interaction with non-CES students.
Molly
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

CES Maastricht

A once in a lifetime experience that allows an expansion of prior knowledge combined with a diverse student and staff centered in the heart of Political Europe.

A globally diverse staff that genuinely cares and invests in their students and the experience they have while abroad.

Life changing opportunity, do it!! I've had so much fun here and the people are amazing, both the students and professors as well as the local people.

About CES Maastricht University

Maastricht University (UM) is the most international university in the Netherlands and, with 16,300 students and 4,300 employees, is still growing. The university stands out for its innovative education model, international character and...