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 multidisciplinary approach to research and education.
UM is the European pioneer of Problem-Based Learning (PBL), the education model it has been working with ever since the university was founded. Small-scale and personal, PBL challenges students not only to learn their subject matter, but also to actively develop their talents and interests as well as skills such as self-reliance, assertiveness and problem-solving capacities. This, combined with a broad and unique range of internationally oriented programs, is what makes UM stand out.
Maastricht University regularly ranks as one of Europe's leading universities. Among others, Maastricht University's master's program in International Business is ranked 25, being in the top 25 of the best business programs in the world according to the Financial Times. The Times Higher Education World Ranking regularly quotes Maastricht University as one of the best young universities in the world (5th rank).
Freeman students study alongside international and local students in Maastricht University's School of Business and Economics (SBE). SBE is home to over 4200 students and 500 staff, around 40% of whom come from abroad. SBE is one of only 1% of business schools worldwide to be triple-crown accredited (EQUIS, AACSB and AMBA). The School has an international network of nearly 150 exchange partners around the world and welcomes over 750 exchange students every year.
Maastricht is an especially popular tourist destination in the Netherlands because of its historical old center and broad shopping possibilities. The city is home to approximately 120,000 people, many of which are university students. Lively and energetic, Maastricht has Roman history, a maze of tunnel-caves, historical buildings aplenty plus a Burgundian sophistication to its dining, a bacchanalian delight to its nightlife, and a student-friendly street-life out of all proportion to its size.
Perhaps even more than in other parts of the Netherlands, the residents of Maastricht know how to speak foreign languages. So don't worry if you don't speak Dutch, many Maastrichtenaars are happy to converse with you in English, German or even French.
Maastricht is so close to Belgium that you could take an afternoon stroll to get there. If you travel only a little further you can also get to Germany. Travel to other countries in Europe is easy, as Maastricht has its own small airport with services to Spain, Ireland, UK, Italy and Portugal. Amsterdam and Brussels are just three hours away by train and offer easy connections to both London and Paris.
Known for its vibrant student life, Maastricht offers dozens of student associations and organizations devoted to everything from sustainability to sports, from drama to music, and to volunteering, studying, and socializing. Maastricht is the perfect setting for a university city, with many festivals and events reflecting a diversity of cultural influences, from Maastricht's famous Carnival to experimental theatre, from thought-provoking lectures to lively music concerns. Going out to eat or meeting for a drink at one of the city's many bars and cafes, especially outside,is a favorite pastime of both students and locals. Maastricht is also set against a backdrop of hills, trails, and open countryside, making it an ideal place for sports and nature lovers alike.
Maastricht University's International Student Ambassador Programme, also known as the UM Buddy Programme, is an initiative run by the Student Services Centre of Maastricht University and attempts to help new students adapt to life in Maastricht by pairing you with a buddy (a current student at UM) during your first months in the city.
Fall semester (Periods 1-2) runs from August - December with exam re-sits taking place in January. An optional Period 3 takes place in mid- to late January. Spring semester (Periods 4-6) runs February - June with exam resits taking place in July.
Students are expected to stay at Maastricht until they have completed their final exams. If a student does poorly on a final exam, they can re-sit the exam. Students can decide if they want to keep this option available. If so, they will need to plan to be in Maastricht for re-sits. It is not possible to arrange scheduled exams or re-sits on other dates, times or places, nor to make special arrangements with teaching staff.
Students are not permitted to arrive late for the Exchange Program. All exchange students must attend the compulsory introduction program.
Ranking and Rigor
Top 51 - 100 bracket in the world for Business and Management - 2017 QS World University Rankings by Subject.
Top 101 - 150 bracket in the world for Accounting and Finance - 2017 QS World University Rankings by Subject.
The exchange program at Maastricht University SBE is new. No data on level of difficulty compared to courses at Tulane.
For a list of sample course offerings at Maastricht University and their Tulane equivalents, please see the list of Sample Courses Offered.
Actual courses offered will vary from semester to semester and year to year. For a an up-to-date list of course offerings, please see the Maastricht University course manual: code.unimaas.nl.
Students will receive instructions for registering for courses after they have been admitted to the Exchange Program. Students that study at Maastricht University take 5 classes per semester (typically two "normal" business classes per period + one "skills" class in the final period, though the "skills" course is optional). Students should choose either first year courses or second and third year courses. If students mix, class schedules and/or exams may overlap. Course and exam dates cannot be altered!
Pay close attention to registration information and make sure you meet all pre-requisites before enrolling in classes. Students cannot change courses after the registration deadline!
In Maastricht, education is based on the Problem-Based Learning (PBL) method. As opposed to other traditional educational approaches, Problem-Based Learning is not centred around the transfer of information from the lecturer to the student, but rather based on the learning process of the student. In small groups approximately 12 students meet once or twice weekly The students discuss specific problems in depth. These problems are formulated in such a way that students are led to pose all types of explanatory questions; e.g. how did the presented phenomenon come about? Based on this discussion, students formulate the subject matter to be studied. The PBL approach and group discussions stimulate students to acquire relevant knowledge, insight and skills relatively independently. This emphasis on self-motivation is a core feature of Problem-Based Learning. After individually acquiring the relevant knowledge, it is shared with the other group members and discussed.
Class meetings typically take place twice per week. Classes ("tutorials") are small, with on average 8-12 students per class.
One final examination at the end of the course is a common form of student learning assessment at Maastricht University. Exams are typically written. In the Netherlands, you can "re-sit" an examination if you do not do well when you take the test the first time. Exam re-sits take place in Maastricht in January and July. Exams cannot be proctored in the U.S.
Grading Scale and Conversion Guide
Maastricht University follows the Dutch grading scale. A 5.6 is required for a passing grade. Tulane works with World Education Services (WES) for credit evaluation and grade conversion. Below please find the U.S. equivalents for grades earned at Maastricht University.
For Freeman semester abroad programs, students must:
complete their lower division business core requirements prior to their semester abroad;
earn a 2.5 GPA in the lower division business core courses;
be in good academic, financial and disciplinary standing.
Students who are on disciplinary probation, academic probation and/or honor board probation during the semester or term in which they intend to study abroad are not eligible to participate in a Tulane study abroad program. Approvals are revoked for students who are placed on probation after being approved to study abroad.
Students on disciplinary, academic and/or honor board probation during time of application are considered only if the probation period ends prior to departure for study abroad. Such applications are reviewed on a case-by-case basis by Study Abroad & Exchange in consultation with Tulane's Division of Student Affairs and/or Academic Affairs. If the application is approved, the host institution will be notified of the probationary status. It is within the discretion of the host institution and/or Tulane to place additional restrictions on a recently-disciplined student's participation in a study abroad program.
Freeman Semester Abroad Application
To access the Freeman semester abroad application, please attend a Semester Abroad Info Session and make an appointment for follow-up advising with a Study Abroad & Exchange advisor.
Some exchange programs are more competitive than others. Students can list up to 10 school on the semester abroad application, in order of preference. All qualified applications are reviewed on a competitive basis based on GPA; completion of 3010s; academic, personal and professional relevance of study abroad programs; and academic, linguistic, personal and cultural preparation.
Upon nomination, exchange participants are required to submit secondary application materials to the host university. Please see the Maastricht University SBE Factsheet for more information. The secondary application is due by the host university's deadline.
Exchange program participants pay their regular Tulane tuition plus a $1200 study abroad fee but do not pay Reily Center, Health Center or Student Activities fees. Housing is not charged by Tulane University but rather paid directly to the housing provider abroad. Students are responsible for additional expenses, including international airfare, passport, visa, meals, local transportation, books and supplies, and personal expenses. See the budget sheet for more information.
Maastricht University Housing
Most exchange students end up staying at the UM Guesthouse, which is affiliated with Maastricht University. There are 350 rooms for one or two students and 45 rooms/studios specifically for master’s students. The main buildings are located in the vicinity of SBE, Faculty of Law, University College Maastricht, and the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. All are easily accessible by bicycle or on foot. SBE cannot guarantee that all students who apply for a room in the UM Guesthouse actually get a room there. Applications are processed on a first-come-first-served basis, and the SBE office has no influence on that process.
If you want a room in the UM Guesthouse, go to maastrichthousing.com and click I am a student >> I am an Exchange Student. Select the dates of your stay, and you will get an overview of available rooms. To book a room you first need to register as a user; registration costs are non-refundable. If the UM Guesthouse is fully booked, or you prefer to stay elsewhere, you can click on the option private market. The option housing corporation is really only useful if you intend to stay in Maastricht for your entire degree.
Please note that SSH (Stichting Studenten Huisvesting) is a student accommodation provider which offers accommodation (indicated as M Building) located at the same address as the UM Guesthouse, Brouwersweg 100. However, SSH is a totally separate legal entity.
If you do not want to use maastrichthousing.com to find housing on the private market, you can just browse the internet yourself to find more information about accommodation providers like housing agencies or landlords that offer furnished rooms in Maastricht. In addition, you can look for local students who need someone to sublet their room or apartment.
During your search for accommodation on the private market, keep the following in mind:
Always check whether the address of the room/apartment offered actually exists (e.g. google maps)
Always check the credentials of the person (sub)letting the room.
Check if your room/apartment is furnished (check for mattress and linens!) or unfurnished.
Never transfer money in advance!
If you are unable to come to Maastricht in advance to check the credentials of a room and landlord before committing, you may want to check out this Maastricht-based start-up called "Flattrust." This group of seasoned students can (for a modest fee) help you verify the existence and quality of the room/apartment by actually sending a student on your behalf to have a look and provide you with honest feedback. For more information about Flattrust please visit their website: https://flattrust.com/