Personal experience

Trip to Amsterdam and Queensday

Monday, April 30 is designated to national holiday called Queensday. The whole country goes nuts, everybody dress in orange, drink and enjoy themselves. I used the long weekend to visit my friend in Amsterdam and spend the Queensday there.

I AmsterdamI Amsterdam, source: my picture

I was in Amsterdam in July 2008, but to be honest, I do not remember much. I made a lot of pictures, because I had my camera for a short time and was really excited. I don't remember any more, where we stayed, just that the weather was not so good and I liked the bridges and canals in the city. That was 4 years ago, now I have been in the Netherlands since September 2011 (I went back to the Czech Republic three times) and I haven't been in Amsterdam. I postponed my visit until Katka (my fellow student from Charles University) went there for Erasmus exchange so I have a place to stay, a guide but mostly someone to walk thought the city and spend the time with. I planned my visit for long weekend including the Queensday. In 2012 it's celebrated on Monday, April 30. So let's go to Amsterdam!

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Moving into a new flat in Maastricht

Changing from Erasmus to regular master student is time for change - my sublet contract expired with no possibility to extend it, so I had to move. I got lucky so I found exactly the same room from the same landlord just a new steps away from previous place of living.

Good bye to my old roomGood bye to my old room, source: my picture

I was not very fond of the fact that I have to move. Great thing is that I got accepted by the Maastricht University for master programme which could be also taken as time for change, but I think we had a good thing going with my flatmates and I also got quite familiar with the place and the room. Idea of moving was also a bit scary because I was worried about finding a new place – I remembered the previous searching process I done in June and July. In the matter of a new place I got lucky – the landlord of the flat owns more places and he offered me a place to stay since February – also a subrent as the girl living there was going to the world for an internship. Cool thing was that it's the same block of flats so I do not have to take all my stuff to the other side of the Maastricht.

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Let's drive to Eindhoven – a rented car from

Eindhoven Airport is closed over night, so we needed to changed our plans concerning spending the night before we fly to home for Christmas. One solution was available and worth trying - renting a car, so we can get at the airport exactly on time. How to rent a car in Maastricht? It's actually pretty easy., Source:

I never rented a car, so obviously I had a lot of questions and I was not sure wheather I want to do it now. But the thing was, that it was a really nice solution to our problem and not that expensive. After my friends dig out more information I made a reservation via internet at the home page of for a middle class car – Open Astra or similar. The day after, I called there and made a reservation for a smaller one, as no bigger was available – I was not sure, if my previous order went through, as I got no call back. Ok, deal is to pick it up at 1 o'clock – the office is near the train station in Maastricht. After some stuff I needed to do in the town I met my friend Petra at the train station and we went to pick up the car that we need the next day morning. Well, because of my double order, we got lucky – we got bigger car for the price of a smaller one! One day, fully insured, leaving point Eindhoven Airport and 150km included cost about 55€. We also add gas consumption as we have to return the car with the full tank. It's strange rule, as for example in our case, the nearest gas station is about 4 km away and I could not find on the map, if it is open 24/7. Well, renting a car showed to be easy.

Book the cheapest car online

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Master graduation ceremonial at SBE at UM

Another official event at School of Business and Economics at Maastricht University I had opportunity to attend. This time as a guest not as a part of the promotion team. A friend of mine come to get her diploma and I offered to make some pictures.

MSc Graduation ceremonialMSc Graduation ceremonial, source: my picture

The Graduation ceremonial at School of Business and Economics at Maastricht University takes place in the Aula. Somebody calls it "church" so it gives you the image, how the place looks like. I connect the University with academic environment and I also connect it usually to old building and history. I do not now why, I just do, even here even though I am aware of the fact that Maastricht University was established about 30 years ago. But at least SBE is located in city centre of Maastricht, so the history is still there.

The dress code for the event was obviously the suit and the graduates also got a blue scarf with the Maastricht University on it. Quite nice actually, as It made the graduates distinctive from their families and friends. At the entrance I saw a guy I know from Open Days (Bachelor's and Master's). He was again working for the UM and told me, that there are 4 sessions today we are the 3rd. Wow, that's a lot of people who finish at SBE. But if I take the size of the school, that's actually not surprising.

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Free Dutch bank account for students – Rabobank

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.

RabobankRabobank, Source:

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.

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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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