Petr Polák is a former Erasmus master student of Economics and currently regular master student of Infonomics at Maastricht University in the Netherlands. This blog is about his life and experiences in Maastricht. More about this blog.Recommended:
- ESN – Maastricht City Tour, dinner and beer
- Master’s Introduction Day at SBE
- Let's drive to Eindhoven – a rented car from Sixt.nl
- SBE Introduction day for Exchange Students
- Holland trip – Nijmegen, 's-Hertogenbosch, Utrecht
- UM Sports, Master Dinner and Comedy night
- Free Dutch bank account for students – Rabobank
- Moving into a new flat in Maastricht
- Period 5 at Maastricht University – summary
- Netherlands' countryside visit and back to Prague
- Back to Maastricht for Thesis Defense
- Trip to Amsterdam and Queensday
- The Hague, Scheveningen, Rotterdam
In order to be able to get my bank account at Rabobank and get tax discount I needed to get Dutch social (BSN) number, which requires registration of my stay in Maastricht at local municipality. The meeting was scheduled for today.
The first strange thing is, that you actually need to make an appointment for that, and it can scheduled minimum 3 weeks after you ask for it. As I was there on the 3rd of October, I was offered the 24th, but I had planned my visit in Czech Republic for that date, so we scheduled it for today Monday, 31st of October, 9 a.m.
As I missed the green light at the traffic light near my place, I wanted to use the way around as usually so I could save time, but there is some construction work on the street. So I wanted to ride with my bike over the footpath for about 2 meters, and there was a fence on the road. An old nervous guy stopped me, that this ia a place for pedestrians and forced me to get of my bike for these 2 meters. I was really pissed off, because I was in a hurry, you cannot see anyone in a range of a few hundred meters except of these 2 guys, each of them on the other side of the construction (about 20 meters long), forcing people not to ride on bike on the sidewalk. Aahh… This has nothing to do with security as they do not protect anyone, it is only a big waste of money and people get annoyed. But these guys think, how important they are. They also are not pleasant to ask you kindly or reason why. So after this small incident, the rest of my way was ok.
Labels: Bank account, Bureucracy
My 5 days long visit of my home country is at the end. Time to get back to Maastricht to pass my exams and continue with studying. This time I fly and then go by train. Sounds pretty easy, doesn't it?
The main reason for my short visit of the Czech republic, was my bachelor graduation ceremonial that took place on Wednesday 26th of October 2011 in Prague. Not only I finally got my diploma (I passed the exams on the 14th June) but I also had a chance to meet a few of my friends in my home town Náchod over the weekend and than some of my friends from the Charles University on Wednesday evening and on Thursday morning. The only thing, that a bit ruined the relaxing atmosphere of my visit what the fact that my first exam was scheduled to be on Friday, October 28. But let's move to the description of my journey from Prague to Maastricht.
Labels: Eindhoven, Erasmus, Rotterdam, Sightseening, Train
After 2 months in Maastricht I am going home, but only for one week. The reason is my bachelor graduation ceremonial that takes place in Prague. I didn't want to waste my time, so as soon as I could, I am on my first journey to home, to visit my friend and family.
I am from Náchod, small town in the Czech Republic. How to get there from Maastricht? Well, this time was my journey to home split into three pieces. From Maastricht to Aachen by car, from Aachen to Prague by bus and from Prague to Náchod by train. Departure at 11:45 on Friday, arrival at 9:54 on Saturday –
When I read about the departure place and saw it on Google Maps, I was a bit confused. But it was it. There was a small hut with name of companies on it, including Eurolines. There were also time-tables for different destinations in Europe like Poland, Czech Republic, Romania, etc. But on the other hand, it was not looking very comfortable – actually open space, no benches around. I hoped, that my bus will arrive on time. As time went on, I get more nervous, so I entered the "office" and asked. The guy sitting there told me to wait, as my bus comes from France, so it may have some delay. Ok, at least some information. I was sure, that I am at the correct place, I only needed to wait. But I was getting darker and colder. It's definitely not a place for a lonely girl. At 7 p.m. office and kiosk nearby closed.
Labels: Germany, Sightseening
Aachen is very old and famous German city. As my bus was leaving from this place at the evening, I decided to take the opportunity to arrive there earlier and use Friday afternoon for discovering the city.
I am going home. I ordered bus ticket from Aachen to Prague. A friend of mine offered me to drive me there after Friday's lecture, because she lives not far away from Aachen. As my bus was scheduled to leave Aachen at 18:45, and she dropped me off at about 12:15, I had the whole afternoon for sightseeing. I got lucky, because the weather was really nice and sun was is shining since the morning, so I was not freezing as the days before.
My tour began at church named Heilig-Kreuz-Kirche and without map. I only printed out map for how to get from the main train station to the bus station, which was almost 5 km from there – Wilmersdorfer Straße near Gartencenter. I decided to find the main square and then the train station. I remembered a few things from my vitit to Aachen about 4 years ago. It was a short visit on Sunday, when every shop was closed, the first half of it was raining really heavily. So what I saw, after the rain stopped, was mostly the city centre.
Labels: Germany, Historical place, Sightseening
Are you a student and do you need dutch bank account? My experience with the process of getting bank account in Netherlands. What looks like an easy and fast thing can at the and be pretty annoying and long-run deal.
I have several czech bank accounts, as I am quite sensitive to the services provided by banks. I hoped, that I will not have to create another one, but I had to. Reason was quite simple – I worked for the university at Master's open day. If you are forreign student and you do not have Maestro card, you will not be able to pay with your card in the shops, so you also would like to create a bank account. At Rabobank, there are bank accounts for students totally for free. The only problem – dutch bureaucracy and time horizon of several weeks. In order to be able to have a bank account, you have to have BSN/sofi number (social security number, unique identifier of you in Netherlands). Another complication for most of the foreign people will also be the language – everything is in only Dutch. Including Internetbanking, so be prepare for that. But let it take step by step, how the whole process looks like and what is an alternative to Rabobank.
Labels: Bank account, Bureucracy, Erasmus, Money
Maastricht University organizes four times a year Open Days for prospective students. Twice for Master programmes and twice for Bachelor programmes. I had a chance to participate at the university side and help out on autumn Master's Open Day.
I think I can skip now the part about how I get there as a member of Maastricht University promo team and came back to that later. I have a long experience with Open Days – I helped out at high school for several years and also at university. On the other hand I actually visited not that many open days, so I do not have much to compare it with. But never mind, my point is to introduce Master's Open day at School of Business and Economics at Maastricht University.
At first, I must say that I liked the way it was organized. We got clear instructions a few days before on about an hour long meeting and than also via e-mail. As there were not that many people expected, all tables with programme presentations were located at AdFundum, as well as some refreshments.
School of Business and Economics presents
There was programme for the whole day. Everything started by an introduction in the large lecture hall – common for everybody. Then people spread around the whole building – there were special presentations of each programme in tutorial rooms and also general information tables at AdFundum.
Visitors got a welcome package at the entrance – with some information about the school and also with the programme of the Open Day. We were nicely instructed, that we were not selling but presenting the University. SBE has definitely a lot to offer: Maastricht University is known of its PBL (Problem based learning) teaching method and internationality – everything is in English, because there are more that 60% of international students from about 40 countries. Especially bachelor programmes are rated among best in Europe.
It's actually quite good idea to provide special Open Day for Master and Bachelor students. The programmes are different and people have also different questions. In addition to that, school that big can expect a lot of visitors and separate days can help with organization. As it was expected that a lot of people will spent there several hours, there were free drinks and refreshments provided – in the morning cake and sandwich for lunch. The end was scheduled to be at 16 o'clock, but most of the visitors left before 5 o'clock.
Labels: Infonomics, PBL, University
Timetables for next period are published and can be opened on the internet. No more waiting, everybody can make their plans till the end of the year 2011. It's nice, that deadlines here are met.
My new timetable! Second period of the fall semester including exam week is from 31. 11. 2011 to 22. 11. 2011. There can be small changes, but still I finally have the idea, what my schedule will look like. I really liked my time table in the first period, because I had only three days of school and one tutorial after the another, so no blank space between them. In addition to that I started at 8:30, which made me get up and I had the whole afternoon free. I also had free Mondays, longer weekend is always good If I get something like this now, I would be happy.
Every student can find his personal student time table via My Portal -> Web Timetable -> My Student Timetable ->select period and view button. I clicked on it and… well, it could have been worse Again 3 days of schools, no blank spaces between tutorials, but everything is in the afternoon! Two times a week from 4 to 6 in the evening? That's completely reversed to my schedule in the first period. At least I have free on Fridays.
In anybody interested, there is complete Academic Calendar 2011/2012 for SBE.
Labels: Bureucracy, Erasmus, PBL, Study, University
Weather changed. Last few weeks, we had almost summer – warm, no clouds, no wind. Quite an exception for Netherlands, but not any more. Rainy and windy autumn has arrived.
I was really lucky (and everybody here in Maastricht) that the mother nature was so kind to us until now. For about 3 weeks, I could enjoy sun and ride a bike every day without getting wet. I made some bike trips around Maastricht but not to another cities, which I now regret a bit. Today, for the first time, I had to ride my bike in the rain. It's not pleasant, as my fingers and ears are freezing and then I sit in wet clothes in a cold room for several hours. As autumn is there, also wind gets stronger, which makes riding the bike really difficult. Combination of cold, wind and rain is exactly what I dislike.
Somebody told me, that the rain here is usually very strong and short. Well, It seems to be true, but I got really unlucky because it rained only in the time I had to ride on my bike to another part of the town. Great. But I do not want to be complaining only about the weather, because I was aware of that before I came here.
Labels: Bike, Weather
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