Growth, Well-being and Quality of Life

Guest lecture with promising title by Prof. Dr. Christoph M. Schmidt, but was it really that good? It really depends, but I had definitely more fun in a pub afterwards, even I again couldn't drink any beer because of my eating experiment.

Prof. Dr. Christoph M. SchmidtProf. Dr. Christoph M. Schmidt, Source:

There were several guest lectures since the beginning of the semester, but for some reasons I haven't visited any of them so far, mostly because of my salsa lectures. Also my fellow Infonomics guys wanted to come, so we agreed to go into a pub after the lecture. For those, who know my economic believes, might be a bit surprise that I even wanted to spent my time at this lecture, but I was also expecting something more let's say descriptive and theoretical and then it's a good topic for discussion.

Prof. Dr. Christoph M. Schmidt introduced himself as the president of the RWI in Essen and a member of the German Council of Economic Experts, which is a group of economists that gives advise to the German government. At that point started to be a bit worried and hoped, that we will focus more on economics than on politics. Sometimes he managed to. Well, I mostly liked his comments about results from some research.

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Open Day at Bonnefanten museum

Museum in Maastricht opened its door for free today. I wasn't there before so why not use this initiative from the City of Maastricht and have a look what this place has to offer. I also met there some friends from the Art faculty - what a nice afternoon!

Malte is drawingMalte is drawing, source: my picture

The Bonnefanten museum is located at the riverside near Kennedy bridge. I met there with Zuzka at 3 p.m. I took my backpack for camera with me, but I was forced to put that in the security locker. Next time, I will take only small bag only for a camera. I took the programme brochure and realized, that there are also workshops and performances. We missed one just only because they started earlier! Never ever happened to me, that something starts sooner than scheduled. We weren't allowed in, so we decided to walk around and see what is in the museum. My overall impression of this place is that this place definitely not fit into my definition of a what a museum should be as such, meaning collection of historical artefacts. This is obviously an art gallery or I got something wrong.

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Bachelor's Open Day

Another Open Day at Maastricht University and I also had chance to be part of the promo team. The biggest difference was definitely the amount of people who arrived today and after it, we had a free drink party.

SBESBE, source: my picture

Open day at SBE for prospective bachelor students was similar to the Master's Open Day that took place about a month ago. The main difference was about the amount of people, who came to see the university. About 1000 students were expected, but most of them also brought their parents. On a master open day, there was only one welcoming lecture in a big hall and not all the people were there, still the room was about half empty. Now? There were like 3 lectures and always the lecture hall was completely full. Information stands were moved from AdForum to the Mensa, and in AdForum were only refreshments and cakes provided. If I have a good information, no pies left which means about 1400 pieces!

To run out of the statistic a bit, I really understand, why Bachelor programmes at Maastricht University as so interesting. According to some evaluations based on students, Maastricht University is first in the Netherlands and Elsevier ranking 2011: First place in the Netherlands for BSc International Business and BSc Econometrics and Operations research. That's something. UM also fully adopted PBL learning system and has practised it for several years.

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Microeconomics game time!

We were only a dozen of students in Microeconomics master course and all were facing some difficulties with the course. But we cooperated, work together, help one another and as a result we all passed and created nice relationships.

MonopolyMonopoly, Source:

We decided to meet after the final exam and celebrate our success. There was also a game afternoon on Sunday before the final exam, but here were only a few of us. This time more people had time and I offered that we can meet at my place, as we have quite a big living room and my flatmates are at home over the weekend. To have some fun we decided to play some games and guys as the last time, will bring some cake.

I spent the morning with cleaning the place and was exited about the afternoon. The start was scheduled at 15 o'clock and about an hour before, I started to receive bad messages. Guys with cake texted me, that they will arrive a bit later, but others wrote me, that they can't make it for different reasons. Smiley :( Come on, guys, this can't be true! We agreed on this as everybody said that this is a suitable time. Well, I cannot do anything about that.

At least Aidas and Adam arrived, so we had plenty of case for the tree of us and we enjoyed playing card game and monopoly. I enjoyed the time and it was nice closure of the weekend. I hope next time there will be more of us, as it's much more fun.

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Trip to Brugge – popular city full of tourists

It's Saturday, ideal time for some travelling. My friends sugessted that Brugge would be nice place to see, to we agreed on trip to Belgium by train. Brugge showed up to be nice city that attracts a lot of tourists.

BruggeBrugge, source: my picture

And and two of mine czech speaking Erasmus friends agreed to meet at the train station at 8 a.m. We couldn't buy the tickets before, because there train people on strike in Belgium. But in the morning looked everything fine. There is really good offer for young people – younger that 26 years – one day return ticket to Belgium costs only 15€, but because it was bought at the cash desk it cost 50 cents more! I do not know why, but next time I will buy at at the automatic machine.

I also met a friend from Canada – I have the Antitrust course with her, and guess what, she also wanted to go to Brugge! I offered her, that she can join us, as I would be more fun. Now we were group of 4 people going to discover Brugge, we had no exact plan, no map but a nice sunny day and open mind. There is no direct train from Maastricht, we first had to go to Liege and there change the train. It was the first surprise and nice begin of today's trip for me.

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The beginning of the Carneval season

Today is Friday the eleventh of November and it means, that this year's Carneval season is about to start. Netherlands is quite popular with that, so let's have a look what the fuss is all about. Isn't it all just about opportunity to get drunk?

CarnevalCarneval, source: my picture

Today is for some people special, because someone could think, that today's date is magical. Well, It looks nice I must admit that. But I am now in Maastricht and for people in the Netherlands is today also the beginning of the Carneval season. The official start was announced to be at 11:11 on 11. 11. 2011. Here in Maastricht is the central place Vrijthof, so this is also the place which was prepared for this event. How prepared? There is a big stage, kioks with beer, toilets and also fence all around.

I was not sure, what I should expect and I also didn't want to be there alone, so I met there my Czech speaking friends and we went to the Carneval together. I didn't have any costume, shame on me, but I was just curious. My housemate warned me, that I didn't want to be there, because everybody is drunk there. Well, I am in Maastricht and Limburg people are crazy about carnevals, so I definitely have to see this. When I rode my bike to the city centre, I saw a lot of people heading from the Central train station to the city centre and everybody had a costume. I parked my bike at the library and walked to our meeting point.

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GRE and PPI test – another experiment

By chance a friend of mine told me, that some people from psychology are doing some research and are seeking for people willing to participate. I was, because I enjoy beeing part of a research.

GREGRE, Source:

What has the research to do with GRE test and PPI? The traget of the research is to determine some qualities of students at Maastricht University. GRE® stands for Graduate Record Examinations and PPI for Personal Potential Index, both done my ETS®. GRE tests are used by universities as an adminision requirement, some universities are also using GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test). The biggest advantage is its decentralization, meaning that you can take it in your home country at several places and you get universal result you can use anywhere. It's computer based test that acording to (Wiki) aims to measure verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, analytical writing and critical thinking skills.

As any other research, there was also offered a compensation for the four hours spent with the test and questionaires. I got 25€ voucher, that can be used at several places. Nice. And I will also get the official GRE results!

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Period 1 at Maastricht University – summary

Going to school and passing exams is what full time student does. Period 1 including the exams is over and therefore it's ideal time for evaluation. How were my courses and how did I enjoy the first part of the autumn semester?

Lecture room at Maastricht UniversityLecture room at Maastricht University, source: my picture

For three years I started my winter semester at the beginning of October. It's normal in the Czech republic, but the system is different in Netherlands. After Master's Introduction day we had weekend to get prepared for the lectures and tutorials starting the week after that. The first period at SBE took place from 5th September till 21st October followed by the exam week from 24th till 28th October. Obviously everything happens pretty fast so you are expected to be prepared even for the first class. It's your responsibility to check the EleEUM, where the tutors post material and information about the course. Maastricht University has problem based learning (PBL) approach and therefore students are required to read a lot and be really prepared for each class. No excuses like "I'm Erasmus" works here. Team assignments are common practice and therefore for most of the students, one of the university library becomes a second home. Get ready for that.

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