Table of contents
New programmes at CES
Maastricht at this time of year
Studentsâ€™ impressions - courses
The European Fine-Art Fair
An American student in Maastricht
Spring programmes Introduction 5-day study trip
Fun events at CES
New programmes at CES
Photos: Aude Collioud and Joey Roberts
New CES Open Enrolment Semester Programmes As Europe and the world become increasingly integrated and complex, CES programmes are evolving to reflect these changes. We want our students to not just study Europe, but to feel a part of Europe while they are here and to become enriched by their experience. To this end, CES is extensively adapting and expanding its existing Open Enrolment Semester Programmes, to be introduced as of Spring 2012.
A New Focus on Europe:
The new CES Open Enrolment Semester Programmes will focus on: …European themes – all CES programmes offer selected courses that either focus on Europe or have a European perspective and take advantage of Maastricht’s strong connection to the EU, its central location in the heart of Europe and Maastricht University’s proximity to the ‘European capital’ Brussels ...adding a unifying ‘Core Seminar’ – each Open Enrolment Semester Programme has a primary Core Seminar that unifies and contextualises each student’s studies and experiences and culminates in a student symposium …academic study trips tailored to each programme and integrated in the ‘Core Seminar’ – during the semester, students go on a four-day European Study Trip and a series of shorter field trips to relevant institutions, NGO’s and companies where they speak with representatives and receive lectures and tours …providing a ‘Total Student Experience’ – every aspect of studying abroad affects the quality of education, including not only classroom instruction but also travel, extracurricular activities, work and internships, accommodation and social interaction …student-centred learning – students can choose from a wide selection of courses listed under the ‘Core Majors’ of each programme, but may also choose offered through CES as an elective; in addition students can pursue their academic interests and activities within the context of their Core Seminar and through Maastricht University’s wide-spread use of Problem-Based Learning …highlighting Dutch and ‘Euregional’ strengths and achievements – Maastricht is located in the Meuse-Rhine Euroregion, which includes areas of Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands: through guest lectures, courses and visits students can deepen their understanding of ‘typical’ Dutch and Euregional topics such as water-management, migration, city-planning and architecture, sustainability, developmental aid, multicultural issues and urbanisation … cooperation with EU and regional institutions - CES organises visits and interactions with relevant international institutions in Maastricht (for example the European Journalism Centre, the European Institute of Public Administration, the United Nations University/MERIT) and in cooperation with the Maastricht University Campus in Brussels …option to obtain an academic Minor while in Europe – during the Fall semester, students have the opportunity to achieve a complete and accredited 30 ECTS Minor at Maastricht University, this requires staying for four extra weeks until the end of January ...switching over to ECTS credits – as an integral part of Maastricht University, CES will apply the European model of accreditation (ECTS) as of Spring 2012
New 2012 Programme Offering The Center for European Studies (CES) is planning seven Open-Enrolment Semester Programmes. The creation of these programmes replaces and expands on the existing ‘Study Europe’, ‘Liberal Arts in Europe’ and ‘Business in Europe’ programmes. Starting Spring 2012 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Business & Economics in Europe European Law & Human Rights EU Politics, Policy & International Relations European Culture & Arts European Society & History
Starting Fall 2012 6. Public Health & Medicine in Europe 7. Psychology & Neuroscience in Europe From Fall 2012 CES will offer the opportunity to complete the following accredited academic Minors within the framework of some CES programmes: Minor Arts & Heritage Minor Crucial Differences Minor European Studies Minor Globalization & Development Minor A Non-European Modernity: India in a Globalizing World Inter-faculty Minor Entrepreneurship We look forward to these exciting new developments and to further enrich our students’ study abroad experience as their definitive ‘gateway to Europe’.
Jorg de Vette, Head of CES, will be attending NAFSAâ€™s annual conference in Vancouver (Canada) between 29 May and 3 June 2011. In addition to participating in workshops and seminars, he is looking forward to meeting up with many of our international partners from all around the globe to discuss the current affairs and new Open Enrolment Semester Programmes of CES.
New housing options: Maastricht Universityâ€™s Guesthouse (international dormitories) is the main place and a popular choice for international students to stay at during their time in Maastricht. CES is currently looking to expand housing options in order to accommodate other individual preferences. There will be opportunities such as communal housing with Dutch students or renting apartments and rooms from regular students on their semester abroad.
Maastricht at this time of year
Trees are blooming, birds are singing, and the inhabitants of Maastricht are happily leaving their warm jackets at home to go and sit in the sunâ€Ś Spring is definitely here! Photos: Aude Collioud
Student impressions - courses
Depending on which programme they select, students coming to the Center for European Studies can choose from a wide range of courses and classes from almost every faculty and department at Maastricht University; the School of Business and Economics, School of Law, University College Maastricht (UCM), School of Psychology and Neuroscience, Department of Knowledge Engineering, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences and of course, the Center for European Studies. We have asked a few of our students about one of the classes they took during their time in Maastricht. Here are their inspiring stories.
"When I decided to come to Maastricht I had no idea of what to expect, other than a few great months. I had high expectations and can say that they were in no sense let down. To my surprise, the class I was looking forward to the least, Economics of European Integration, was the one I ended up enjoying the most. The class only had eight students, a lot smaller than the ones I have in S達o Paulo, which have around 40 students, and that helped me to get to know them better, learning about other cultures while doing so. What I most liked about it was that I got to learn more about Europe in an interesting way. This class which included subjects that didn't seem appealing at first is one of the things I'm very thankful about having done here." Beatriz Antunes, Fundacao Getulio Vargas (Brasil) Class followed in Maastricht: Economics of European Integration Programme: Study Europe, Spring 2011 Department: Center for European Studies
My favorite course was Business and Politics in Europe. It provided a considerable amount of information on the innerworkings of Europe and was able to give me widespread knowledge of an entire continent in a relatively short amount of time. I encountered daily revelations about Europe that I would have never reached back in the United States. I received a great deal of information from teachers and tutorial groups of Europeans that offered a unique perspective from the inside. Without having come to Maastricht for this class, I would never have received this perspective. As the one of only two Americans in the class, we were able to provide our own point of view, while learning from several other nationalities within Europe. Overall, it was a fantastic course, and I learned an extensive amount of information that could not have been received elsewhere. Jarred M. Olson, University of Denver (USA) Class followed in Maastricht: Business and Politics in Europe Programme: Study Europe, Fall 2010 Faculty: School of Business and Economics
It was a wonderful moment when I arrived in Maastricht in the mid of April 2011. As soon as I arrived I was amazed by the hospitality and cultural atmosphere in this city. I felt a bit like I was in Kota Tua, the Old Town of Jakarta, in Indonesia, where there are many Dutch buildings. I am really pleased with the academic environment here in Maastricht. At the Center for European Studies, I and other IFP fellows from Indonesia, India and Guatemala are really interested in the method and way of teaching and learning. Inside and outside class, we are really assisted by the experienced tutors who are constantly helping us improve our English skills and telling us about European culture, which is very interesting. Furthermore, we are very glad to share these experiences with each other. I would like to say thanks to CES staff who always provide fantastic service to the students. They are available for information, suggestions and help. I appreciate their incredible work. I get to experience so many new and fabulous things in Maastricht that I write them all down in my blog, to make sure I donâ€™t forget anything. Winarto, Ford Foundation International Fellowship Programme (Indonesia) Class followed in Maastricht: Pre-Academic Training (PAT April) Programme: Pre-Academic Training, Spring 2011 Department: Center for European Studies
Maastricht brings back many memories of new friends, shopping, travel and partying! But it was also a great University to study at. Maastricht University was spread around the city, very different to the University of Wollongong which has a more rural campus. The course I took was called 'International Relations and Politics in the EU'. But the title of this course does not even begin to cover what we studied. We looked closely at specific focus issues such as Human Rights but also how the European Union economic policies applied to everyday business transactions and economics. Coming from a legal background, I was actually terrified to study economics, but the course was structured in such a way that it was easy to understand. And it didn't hurt that we had the best tutor in Limburg, Matt Heckman. The 'Heckman' became a legend for our group, he was always ready with an ironic quip and a handy hint, and he is sorely missed. As soon as I arrived home, I began planning my trip back to the city of Maastricht!" Caitlin Diggins, University of Wollongong (Australia) Class followed in Maastricht: International Relations and Politics in the European Union â€“ Peace, conflicts and human rights Programme: AIM Overseas in Maastricht, January 2011 Department: Center for European Studies
I greatly enjoyed the UCM Immunology course. The structure of the class incorporated the Problem-Based Learning system into case studies. During lectures and expert meetings, we learned the material from the book and were expected to know and understand the biological processes involved in an immunological response. Furthermore, our learning in the course was complemented by case studies. Every week we tackled a new case study, whether it be to diagnose a patient with certain symptoms or to better understand topics such as organ transplant and the possibility of organ rejection. My expectations for this course were met and exceeded and I enjoyed learning the material as well as solving the various case studies. I would highly recommend this course to anyone who is interested in public health, biology, life sciences, medicine or has background knowledge in biology. Shazia Ruybal, Colorado College (USA) Class followed in Maastricht: Immunology Programme: Study Europe, Spring 2011 Faculty: University College Maastricht
Taking my first law class abroad was an interesting and rewarding choice. During our first lecture, the class felt a little overwhelming but that feeling dissipated as soon as I started in the smaller and more intimate setting of the tutorial group. It was a unique experience to study the common law system in a class environment in which I was able to learn not only from the professor but also from my many international peers. For each legal issue you could be sure to hear opinions from students who reside as close as Great Britain and France to students who reside in places as far away as Turkey. This rich and diverse background of my fellow students enabled me to view and weigh legal issues from many different perspectives which is not a benefit I would have had studying at my home university. It is safe to say that taking this class at Maastricht University was a very enriching learning experience and a great choice for anyone interested in legal studies. Yannick Schindler, Colorado College (USA) Class followed in Maastricht: Introduction to Common Law Programme: Study Europe, Spring 2011 Faculty: Faculty of Law
The European Fine Art Fair
CES managed to arrange several entrance tickets for TEFAF (The European Fine Art Fair) which took place in March. TEFAF is the worldâ€™s leading arts and antiques fair, housing a prestigious collection of original masterpieces from all around the globe. We gave the precious vouchers to some lucky students, who had the chance to go and experience this unique event. They came back with the captivating stories below.
“TEFAF is great!” “You MUST go to TEFAF!” “You’ll love it!” All the great comments about this art exhibition convinced me to personally pay a visit to TEFAF. As I approach the entrance of the exhibition, I walked pass a group that were leaving. “Those were some things that you don’t see every day,” one murmured to another. What an understatement that turned out to be. When I entered the exhibition, it was almost as if I came out of a dark tunnel and crossed into a surreal dimension of pink tulips and bright, illuminating lights. My excitement grew as I found paintings, ancient and modern sculptures, antique jewelry, Chinese porcelain, furniture, manuscripts and textiles in each individual room, with gentle light projected kindly onto the art pieces to amplify their beauty and magnificence. The quality and especially the creativity of these art works were beyond my comprehension. I was lost in a world of fine art. The sound of history, culture and talent echoed in the hallway. My journey to TEFAF unfolded as one of the most intriguing experiences in my life. Although I was unknowledgeable about art, having been exposed to such wide array of quality art works has undoubtedly expanded my horizon and introduced me to the world of art. TEFAF 2011 is truly unforgettable. Ethan Liu University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Programme: Business in Europe, Spring 2011
As I walked into the fair I felt like I was going into the red carpet at an award show. Huge chandeliers and fancy bars at the entrance. When I saw the map of the venue I realized how large of an event this really was. As I started to walk around I suddenly looked at the sticker prices of some of the art I was looking at. I look down at what I brush off as a nice painting and realize that the price tag is â‚Ź100,000 (This was the first of my many sticker shocks). All the sudden I realized that I was in the center of one of the greatest museums in the world but everything had a price tag. Never in my life could I have imagined walking into a museum and asking, how much for this one? Michael Nadel Indiana University Programme: Business in Europe, Spring 2011
The first room I entered in the Tefaf housed works by artists such as Renoir and Picasso. Because I am certainly not an art connoisseur, I was instantly struck by the amount of paintings and artists I had heard of -- indicating to me the sheer scale and grandeur of the fair. Further, unlike in a museum, where you are always separated from works of art by way of a glass case or velvet rope, at the Tefaf, you could get as close as you wanted to your favorite works of art, as long as you did not touch them. In that sense, it was clear that the Tefaf was not meant for the lowest common denominator of art fans. If the organizers trust you enough to get close to the art, they must assume that you certainly have an active sense of appreciation for it. For me, the Tefaf experience surpassed most other museum experiences I have had. Because you could not only get close to the art, but because the art was being displayed in such a way to emphasize its potential use, the experience felt very interactive. I could feel how the people around me were not just looking at the art for the sake of looking at it, but for the sake of imagining how it could potentially fit in their lives. Rebecca Klein Brandeis University Programme: Liberal Arts in Europe, Spring 2011 19
The atmosphere that hung over the soft murmurings over each piece of art was unlike anything that I had ever encountered before at a museum or gallery. The passion was vivid and palatable; there were conversations in French, English, German, Spanish, and a host of other languages that I couldnâ€™t even identify, and yet I still understood the subject and emotion in their words. I have never before been in such close proximity to so many art lovers and indeed important members in the art world. While there were many pieces that struck my eye, I was drawn to a simple Degas sketch of one of his trademark dancersâ€” simple in its execution and color, but able to capture movement and life with a few simple strokes. That, for me, was the most beautiful sketch; though technically incomplete, I felt like I was seeing a more intimate view of the artist than a perfectly finished piece in the museum. TEFAF was an extraordinary experience that allowed me to see the other side of the art world, away from the put-together and organized world of museums in which other people have decided what should be put into them. I felt like I was able to decide for myself what was worthy of time and recognizedâ€”I become my own art critic. Lauren Crean University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Programme: Business in Europe, Spring 2011
An American student in Maastricht
Audrey Cary is from Texas, USA. She has come to study in Maastricht for a semester together with another 41 students from Baylor University. As part of a travel writing course back home, she has been writing a blog and numerous articles in different online and printed media throughout her stay in the Netherlands, giving us a peek into what life is like for an international CES student in Maastricht. Here are little snippets from her blog, on differences between the American and Dutch ways of life, and on Maastricht on a sunny spring day. Text: Audrey Cary Photos: Audrey Cary and Aude Collioud
I’ve never felt more American in my whole life than I have in the last month or so. My lifelong understanding that pizza is a finger-food and goes best with Coke has recently been demolished—apparently it is horrendously impolite not to cut your pizza with a knife and fork, and it’s only natural to accompany it with a glass of wine. Although every day I’m getting better and better, the list of ways that I fail to fit into the European lifestyle grows continually. The first time I forgot to bring my own bags to the grocery store, I had to stuff my pasta, water, fruit, soup, and bread into my medium-sized purse. Every time I have to pay for “toiletten” I bite my lip as I hand over those precious forty Eurocents that could buy me half a loaf of bread. The most large-scale of all the differences, though, is adapting to the work schedule of shop owners and grocery stores. If you forget to shop for groceries on Saturday, you’re stuck eating a piece of old bread and a package of peanut butter on Sunday. In honor of the idea that living well means relaxing often, most all shops and stores close early each day, open late on Mondays, and are closed all day on Sundays. In America, if you discover late at night that you need paper for a project due the next day, you can make a midnight run to Wal-Mart (and you can pick up an energy drink and some new woolly socks if you’d like, too). But here, the city actually sleeps. Besides the slight inconvenience of not having an everything-you-could-everneed store open all night long, this idea that relaxing is healthy for the soul is a concept I really wish America would adopt. At least now I’m fully and openly aware of my past culture and habits; I realize how I’ve been both spoiled (gas prices…) and deprived (of a culture where life is more so about relaxation than working), and I’m so glad my eyes are being opened now so that I can fully appreciate both America and Europe for their distinctively different lifestyles and ideals.
The other day I was around town by myself, and it was one of those times when I realized that this moment would forever be stashed in my fond memories of Maastricht. I looked all around me at the new foliage and flowers that recently shed their winter blankets. I walked underneath a massive rock archway, crossed a wooden bridge, and found a gated area where goats, long-wool rams, and deer grazed the little grass field. As I walked along the river flowing through this park, geese and ducks waddled and quacked and honked on all sides of me, begging for bread or crackers. Trees canopied over the edges of the water and the walkway, and the sun peeked through the gaps in the trees; it was warm and windy, and it felt like home. The park was dense with the sound of Dutch chatter, kids laughing, and geese honking. I walked back and forth along the road, watching the animals and the people, engraving those sights and sounds in my memory. I’ve already grown to love the scenery and the buildings in Maastricht, but I guess the winter blanket was lifted off of my eyes, too, because I saw the whole town with new excitement this day. My university back home has some old, beautiful buildings on campus, but none of them compares to the tapering spires, the elaborate cathedrals, and the colorful history and picturesque exterior of the architecture in Maastricht. I’d never even seen a cobblestone street before Maastricht, and now I walk them every day, staring in awe at the beautiful buildings around me. Now, when I catch myself thinking of a 100-year old building as ancient, I feel silly when I realize that it’s just a baby on the European timescale.
Spring programmes Introduction 5-day study trip
Tim Knabben is a student assistant here at CES. He has been working with us for several years, and has joined countless study-trips to exciting destinations. He writes about the 5-day study trip which we organised for our Spring 2011 students in late January. Photo: Tim Knabben Text: Tim Knabben
“Welcome on board the 5-day study trip bus, my name is Tim, the lucky one to be joining you guys on such an exciting journey” That’s how it all began. That’s how all study trips usually begin actually. A bus load full of students ready to explore Brussels, Bruges, Paris, Reims and Versailles. This time the bus is mostly filled with American students. But we also have a few ‘Dutchies’, namely secretary Kyra, programme coordinator Maaike, student assistant Bert and I who have the honour to join as CES staff members. Once the last person has run back to her room to get her passport we are ready to roll. The weather is good and even though it’s early everyone is raring to go! After a short drive we arrive in Brussels, the city of Belgian waffles and chocolate but also the heart of the European Union (EU). We head straight to the European Parliament for a presentation and guided tour. Even though I have been there many times already with previous study trips, it still stays interesting. And it’s even more interesting for the students who are here for the first time, and who start to understand the concept and functioning of the EU. After the opportunity to ask questions and to visit parts of the building (we get to see the plenary room where all EU Parliament members meet and take important decisions), we check in at the hotel and we change out of our formal outfits (you have to look your best when you get the chance to go and visit such an important place as the European Parliament!). Time for lunch and after that a historical city tour that takes us through different parts of beautiful downtown Brussels. After about two hours of walking in the charming cobblestone streets, we are happy to go into Delirium, one of the most famous cafés in the city, to warm up a little and sample some of the local specialities. Dinner and socialising in the evening provide yet another opportunity for the whole group to get to know each other a little better in an intercultural and informal setting. This is only the first day of the five we are going to spend together, working and learning a lot about Europe during the day and exploring the local culture in the evenings – a perfect match if you ask me. I won’t give you too many details about the rest of the trip (I wouldn’t want to spoil it for future students), but I will just say this: after the activities in Brussels we visited the stunning Palace and gardens of Versailles, the breathtaking Louvre and had a twilight boat tour through Paris to name a few cultural highlights. All in all we had five intense, awesome, exciting days which gave a fantastic bonding opportunity for the new CES students and the perfect kick-start for their programme here in Maastricht. And of course, it was once again a lot of fun for me and the other members of the CES crew who came along for the ride.
Fun events at CES: Dutch soccer game
Photos: Kyra van Leendert
After witnessing the convincing success of the Dutch soccer team against Sweden live from the stadium with 150 students last October, CES staff and students donned their orange outfits once more on 29 March, and made their way back to the Amsterdam Arena. After 90 intense minutes, the game ended up just as positively as the last one we attended, with an impressive 5-3 victory from the orange team against Hungary. We really believe that all the cheering and clapping of the international CES crowd from Maastricht brings good luck to the team! We will put the theory to the test and keep you up-to-date with the results of the national soccer team, hopefully all the way to the finals!
Fun events at CES: extracurricular activities
On top of the introduction activities and semester events, CES students have the opportunity to participate in optional extracurricular activities. There are all sorts of possibilities outside class for students to meet new people while having fun and discovering new places in or around Maastricht. In the past few weeks the following activities were organised:
Bowling evening A fun group of CES staff, students, and even some visiting family members joined together for an entertaining evening at Maastrichtâ€™s bowling center.
Photo: CES bowling team
Kazematten and air-raid shelter visit An interesting visit in the exhibition area of this extensive underground network below the streets of Maastricht, which served as a refuge during World War II.
Drielandenpunt excursion The precise place where the borders of the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany meet is just a stoneâ€™s throw away from Maastricht. A whole group from the University made their way there through the beautifully green countryside for an entertaining afternoon at the highest point in the Netherlands. Photo: Caitlin Murphy
Summer 2011 at CES Pre-Academic Training (PAT) April: 11 April – 18 August Xavier University in Maastricht (Xavier University, Cincinatti, Ohio): 16 May – 13 June Baylor in Maastricht (Baylor University, Waco, Texas): 16 May – 11 August Penn State University in Maastricht (Penn State University, Pennsylvania): 20 June – 30 July Summer Programme in European Studies: 4 July – 12 August Pre-Academic Training (PAT) July: 18 July – 18 August Meiji Gakuin University in Maastricht (Meiji Gakuin University, Japan): 5 - 28 August
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Mailing address Maastricht University Student Services Centre | SSC Center for European Studies | CES PO Box 616 6200 MD Maastricht The Netherlands Visiting address Maastricht University Student Services Centre | SSC Center for European Studies | CES Bonnefantenstraat 2 6211 KL Maastricht The Netherlands Phone: +31 (0) 43 388 5282 Fax: +31 (0) 43 388 5290 Email: email@example.com
Published on May 26, 2011