Nowadays people have different possibilities to search for their future university. You can find all of them on Facebook, Hyves, Twitter, you name it. However, one way to explore your future education has been around for decades by now; the open day. At this day the university does everything to promote itself as being one of the best in the world. You have to feel right at home. Every single person you will meet at the university this day will put on their happy face to show you how awesome Maastricht is. That’s where I come in.
As a part-time job I work as a student assistant at the Registration Office of our fine university. For the past two years I had the pleasure to work at all the bachelor open days (and I mean pleasure without a hint of sarcasm this time). Working there is always fun. You get a lot of contact with new people, the atmosphere is very friendly and the work isn’t that hard because most people don’t have pain in the ass questions.
I never went to an open day of the university myself. At that time I didn’t think it was that important, because the university organizes experience days as well. On these days you can get more in depth information by participating in tutorial groups and lectures which specify on your study of interest. I went to two experience days; One for LAW and one for Psychology. I wasn’t that interested in LAW, but I teamed up with a friend of mine to go to these days and she wanted to go to LAW for sure. I didn’t mind because my high school considered this a legitimate reason to miss a day of school. I therefore gladly accompanied her. However, after the experience day at Psychology I had my mind set on biological Psychology. They made it appear that we would be doing biologically oriented courses half of the time, something which interested the hell out of me. This overview wasn’t exactly accurate because you only get a couple of purely biological courses until year three in which you specialize. Kind of a bummer, so be sure you check the prospectus of your education of interest before you jump into it. This doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy my study, not at all, but it didn’t live up to the image the faculty creates at the experience day. I asked a student of the Psychology faculty who gave information at the open day some questions about Psychology in Maastricht
I can imagine that you don’t go to the open day either, because you have other stuff to do or just don’t want to go. It’s not smart to start a study without knowledge about it. However due to the abundance of information via multiple sources it might not seem necessary to go to experience or open days. However it can be very useful (and I therefore recommend you to go to at least one of them). For example, you can get information about housing. I asked the employee of the housing organization of Maastricht University, ‘Kamerburo’, whether it is easy to find a room in Maastricht.
Next to his stand students could find the stand of ‘Student Life Maastricht’. These jolly folks gave information about the other side of going to study. The student life is a huge transformation from your high school life. You have to become more independent, might have to find other hobbies and/or need to new friends. There are multiple associations you can join in Maastricht. You have the big student associations, the study associations, the independent fraternities and sororities, sports clubs and so on. One way to discover all of them is by joining the INKOM. This is the introduction week of Maastricht and I would recommend it to all of you. It’s a week filled with fun, new friends, lovers, parties and some cultural stuff (as far as you are able to wake up that early). I therefore asked the promo team of Student Life for some information about their beloved city.
Even though this might not come across as very serious answers, they actually represent how students behave to each other. I don’t like it when people give strict formal answers without being able to laugh in between them.You don’t behave like that to your friends or family, do you? I couldn’t interview the entire open day so I suggest you come and take a look yourself in the spring. Hope to see you there.