SBE Introduction day for Exchange Students

There are a lot of exchange students at School of Business and Economics every year and in order to present the Faculty of the Maastricht University and to provide people with contact with other exchange students, SBE organizes Introduction Day.

My groupMy group, Source:

As I mentioned in the last article about SBE Master's Introduction Day, I kind of took this introduction day at SBE twice. But I am really glad as each of those two days provided a bit different experience and as a result, I know more and I also had something interesting to do and I met a lot of people. Obviously I made the same mistake twice – I can't find any any pictures of the day, but I definitely took some Smiley :( and there are only a few provided by the University so the description has to be enough.

Introduction day for Exchange students is compulsory – you have to be there to get your Student card and let the UM know that you arrived and also to get all necessary instructions. And you also get a plenty of additional stuff including quite useful student handbook. You can also find it online, but printed version is more handy.

Introduction Day for Incoming exchange students – Programme

Time Activity
09:30 – 10:00 Collection of welcome package; coffee, tea and cookies will be served in the Ad Fundum
10.00 – 10.10 Welcome; by Stuart Dixons, Director of Bachelor's Programmes
10.10 – 10.20 Faculty Matters; by the International Relations Office.
10.20 – 10.30 Welcome by the Police of Maastricht
Presentation by Paul Vermin
10.30 – 11.15 Problem Based Learning, the concept; lecture by Simon Beausaert Department of Educational Research and Development
11.15 – 11.30 Study Advising at SBE, by Joey Mak
Study Advising Department
11.30 – 11.45 ESN Activities by ESN
11.45 – 12.00 ELEUM by Joel Castermans
12.00 – 12.15 Assembly; you will meet your mentor for the rest of this day
12.15 – 15.30 GROUP PROGRAMME
15.30 – 16.30 “Dealing with the Dutch: an Introduction to Dutch Culture“
Lecture by Wim Swaan, Assistant Professor International Business

Exchanger's introduction day at School of business end economics

Lecture hall at SBELecture hall at SBE, Source:

First step after coming to SBE was obviously the registration. They had prepared envelopes for us – so we just said our name and signed the paper that we received it. There was our Student card – needed for printing, identification, library, sports… then programme for the whole day and also confirmation for ING Bank needed in case you want to set up a Dutch bank account. On the programme was also a number of our group – I am not sure what random key they used for that. The registration took place at the information desk, so just near the Ad Fundum, where there was a free coffee and tea prepared for us. I met there with my fellow Czech students from IES. Will we meet today anyone else from our country? Well, we didn't Smiley :(. I saw there a couple of people from the Monday's ESN City tour. We moved to the lecture hall, where IRO (International relation office) has prepared welcome packages for us – a bag with a student handbook and information flyers about language centre, UM sports, culture events etc.

Exchange student's welcoming package
Exchange student's welcoming package, source: my picture

As stated on the programme, we got a short presentation from several organizations including local police Smiley :D They warned us, that bikes are stolen quite often so getting a proper lock is really necessary (who would have said that, huh? Smiley :D) but they didn't tell us anything about local rules (traffic, bike equipment, drinking...). At least most of those information is to find in the student handbook we got. There is something like buddy system in several countries for exchange students but do not expect that at University Maastricht. The reason may be the number of exchangers – about 400 only at SBE, so if you add another faculties… but there is an organization called ESN Maastricht (Erasmus student network) that organizes several events during the year for exchange students, has also an office at Student service centre where you can get a free Dutch SIM card (really needed), a map of Maastricht, ESN card (some discounts), a goodie-bag and of course you can go there to ask for help. Sounds interesting, I was curious what events they would offer us. Presentation about EleUM was similar to the one I heard the day before at Master’s Introduction Day at SBE. After that we were asked by group numbers to meet our mentors.

Meeting SBE Erasmus students

I finally got to meet Erasmus students who study at SBE but they were all bachelors! It didn't make much sense to me, why I was not put into a group with masters? I will definitely not have any courses common with bachelors and I would also be more interested to meet master students. Well, never mind. We went to the mensa where we got our lunch packages. As there was no space left, we sat outside, weather was really nice, so it was no problem. Photograph came to make a photo of us – see the beginning of the article. Our group was a really diversified – people from all around the world: Australia, China, Poland, France,… Our tutor was German and according to his attitude more party person than a study type. Ideal for those who wanted to chill out. I was really glad that I got all the information before and was no longer worried that I will miss something important. We had a lot of time and nothing much to do, as most of our group already saw Maastricht. So we sat on the walls near the library and talked. Time to get to know new people.

Dutch culture and education system

After chilled afternoon we moved back to the lecture hall for presentation about Dutch culture. The presentation was made in a funny and entertaining way so I really enjoyed it. What was also important and interesting was the explanation of the local education system. Meaning not the structure of the system, but the way it works – role of the teacher and grades. Here in the Netherlands grades have a scale 0-10 and for passing is usually 5,5 but almost nobody ever gets a 10. Getting 9 means really a superb performance, so we should not worry about that. Hm, easy to say, we would see.

What an entertaining day it was! I met my Czech friends again so we can exchange our experience from the first days in Maastricht. I still didn't have a bike so I had to walk home, but before that I agreed with Zuzka, that we should meet on Saturday morning when the free breakfast is provided by ESN and also the UM gift shop is opened.

Exchange vs. Master's Introduction day

I cannot help myself to compare the two days. I do not know why, but I actually enjoyed the Master's introduction day more. Maybe because I didn't know anything and everything was new. I definitely fancy Julie (the tutor) more than our guy today. She was more enthusiastic about school related things. I know that for most of the people and exchange semester or two is just to have fun, but even then it's better to know how the local systems works and where to find answers to your questions as soon as possible. Introduction day should provided students with the basic knowledge about possible complications, so they do not find about it later. When talking about having fun, the way PBL is made, I am not quite sure if we will have a lot of time during the week to have fun. Maybe weekend, but Maastricht University is about continuous learning.

Useful links

  • Maastricht University School of Business and Economics Exchange Students Facebook
  • Pictures from Introduction day for incoming students in September 2011
  • Introduction day webpage at University website
  • Download the Student Handbook for free
Article last edited 27. 1. 2012, viewed: 1998-times.
Total 1241 words.
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labels Labels:Bank account, Bike, Czech people, Erasmus, Library, PBL, Pretty Girls, Sightseening, Study, University
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