Follow Nate, a student in our Summer Programme in European Studies, throughout his time in Maastricht and Europe. Here are exerpts of his first week in our beautiful city.
Just got in! The room is nice; it’s actually quite big. And quite hot. I’m so tired! I haven’t slept in over 24 hours and it doesn’t look like I’ll get a chance to do so. We’re on our way to the grocery store to get some food. Yep that’s right, I have to cook for myself.
I’m back from a tour of the city. It’s honestly beautiful. I really love it here! We walked around for quite a while until the tour was over and then found a nice place to eat. My fellow students are… interesting. Oh well, I like them! I’m drinking a beer and sitting next to my crazy fan. It’s wicked hot in here so my roommate Austin and I bought fans to put by our faces. RIGHT by our faces.
After lunch we decided to go on a hike in the hills of Maastricht and we saw the most amazing things. Quarries carved into mountainsides, old military fortresses, and just a general view of the city from a large hill. From that hill we could see across the entire city, from one side to the other. It was just too amazing to explain. After that we went back to the courts at Maastricht University’s International Guesthouse and played basketball with about 9 guys. We met some 3 Canadian dudes and got along really well, so we made plans to meet them at the bar for the game (the Euro 2012 final, the soccer tournament).
I just got back from taking a historical tour of the city after being introduced to our professors. Everyone is so friendly here. The city is absolutely astonishing; I can’t believe some of the sights! It’s just beautiful. I walked around with a smaller group afterwards to look for some sunglasses (mine broke), but to no avail. Now I’m back at the dorm. I got a phone also, and my books for class.
Today has been awesome! We went to the Maastricht Caves, which are not caves at all but a quarry that the Romans dug out so many years ago. It was breathtaking really. Napoleon has been inside it and so have I! That just blows my mind. We start class tomorrow.
Man, so much happened! Had my first 4-hour class and it was just as long (as I was anticipating my Belgian friend Gildy). She got here promptly after class and we went to Belgium! Antwerp is beautiful! The first thing we did was go to her boyfriend Jan’s boat. After that we went to a bar with more friends where we had a great time. It’s good to know that people from different cultures that speak different languages can relate so quickly. We went back pretty early (2:00am) and went to bed. I slept on the couch, but her apartment is so nice! Her kitty is adorable also!
In the afternoon we walked around Antwerp and saw a few of the stores and beautiful architecture. I ate a Belgian waffle and SMARTYBALLS, which are pretty much just fried dough with powdered sugar.
Saturday was a very touristy day. Me, Gildy, Jan and Els went to Brussels where we toured the Atomium, a huuuuuuuge structure that looks like an Iron molecule magnified millions and millions of times. So cool. Next was mini-Europe, which was definitely the highlight of my touristy trip. It is a literal recreation of Europe with miniature structures for each city!
About the author:
Nate Valorz is a rising Senior at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, VA. Born in Boston, MA, Nate was raised in Charlottesville, VA for most of his life before moving to Newport News to study Communication with minors in Computer Science and Leadership.