Why Maastricht is perfect for your international exchange


Updated on Jan 16 • 4 minute read

Studying abroad for a semester or two is a great opportunity. You’ll be immersed in a new culture, study at a well-respected university, have memorable experiences and meet plenty of friends. Sounds pretty great, right?

However, it’s very important to take great care when selecting your new home for the next few months. Of course, your university of choice will play a major role in this decision, but it’s also nice to know that the city where you’ll be spending so much time has fun activities, exciting places to go and will be convenient to your studies.

So, let’s take a look at Maastricht and all it has to offer for your international exchange.

It’s in the Netherlands

The Netherlands is one of the most attractive countries for international students who are studying abroad. With its many compact, easily accessible cities and sought-after universities, it’s easy to see why.

But when it comes down to it, students really love the Netherlands for its warm people and its delicious food, making it a wonderful place to live. Plus, it’s easy to apply for registration in this country, allowing you to stay or work for longer than four months, meaning that you’ll be on your way to acclimating to your new Dutch lifestyle before you know it.

A Remarkable Location

While each city in the Netherlands is unique in its own right, Maastricht has a cozy appeal that is completely like any other locale, often referred to as a “village.”

However, a huge part of its allure is that it is located closer to some cities in other countries than it is to major Dutch cities, such as Rotterdam or Amsterdam. When you are centrally located in a convenient city like Maastricht, you can easily visit places like Brussels, Liege, Cologne and Luxembourg. What an added incentive!

A Nod to International Flair

Speaking of so many exhilarating destinations, Maastricht is just the spot to revel in your new-found international status! Luckily, you moved to just the right place!

With so many esteemed institutions of higher learning to choose from, most have a high international enrollment. In fact, Maastricht University is considered to be the most international university in all of the Netherlands, boasting the fact that 49% of their students and 40% of their staff originate from other nationalities.

Maastricht has also gotten quite a name for itself due to, well, its name. The Maastricht Treaty or the Treaty on European Union, signed in February of 1992, was created in Maastricht, outlining the agreement between members of the EU, including settling on the euro as the European currency.

Additionally, you will find the name of this city in another more curious description. The Maastricht Syndrome is known to describe an all-time sexual low, that some believe originates due to the sufferer’s location. This term was first coined referring to this experience while in Maastricht, so don’t fear. It doesn’t come along with the territory!

A Fun Culture

Maastricht is the epitome of a relaxed, good-time-loving culture. The people are friendly and welcoming, typical to what you might find in a small, free-spirited community.

Maastricht also really understands how to thoroughly embrace its historical significance, often through collections housed in its wonderful museums. You can expect to find Roman-era artifacts in an underground spot, treasure stowed in a cathedral and breathtaking galleries of contemporary art. Additionally, the city has several cultural organizations that have joined together to form the Cultural Freezone Collective, including Landhuis, Landbouwbelang, Kunstfront, B32, OHP9, and the Mandril.

Events Galore

Thousands of people flock to the Maastricht Carnival each year, so it should definitely be a reason to look forward to your international exchange in this area. This 2-week-long extravaganza fills the city with revelers, as visitors come for the local foods, the entertainment and the enormous procession that takes to the streets. Yellow, green and gold will decorate the downtown area with balloons and lights, with many companies closing up shop for the three main days of the celebration.

And if you happen to be in Maastricht during the winter holiday, you must make it a point to visit the Christmas market! Complete with a ferris wheel and an ice skating rink, this is the best way to welcome in the festive season.

Party in the Alla

While the Carnival only comes around once a year, Maastricht has a lively nightlife scene, with the Alla at its very center. This is a place where everyone goes, with parties that rage until the sun comes up. In fact, the Alla is open later than any other club, meaning that most nights of partying will typically end there.

Upon your first visit, you may think that the Alla is rather small, with only one DJ. Yet, upon further inspection, you’ll see that it has two dance floors, a smoking room, food and endlessly flowing drinks. What else could you ask for?

This is the kind of place where you swear you’ll never go back, but you end up there, often rather unceremoniously, every weekend. It’s a great place to party with the locals and even residents from across the border. Of course, you’ll undoubtedly visit with some of your new classmates, so do your best to keep your dignity intact!

Convenient Housing

Maastricht offers a variety of different housing options for students who are relocating to the area. But as with many other popular “student cities,” finding housing in Maastricht can sometimes be a bit challenging.

You should start searching for budget friendly student rooms in Maastricht at least three months before your move, regardless if you think of living in a student dorm or a studio, or even share an apartment with a few of your classmates. And always search with the help of a trusted rental platform like HousingAnywhere.com, which can assist with your needs in Maastricht or in a number many other cities across the globe.

When you arrive in Maastricht, set time aside for exploration of this vibrant city, full of culture to experience, places to go and nights to spend with new-found friends. Enjoy your time in Maastricht!

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