Maastricht, a city of 125,000, is located in the southernmost tip of the Netherlands near the borders of Belgium and Germany. The city served as host of the European Summit of 1991, where the "Treaty of Maastricht" was adopted as the formal foundation of the European Union. Maastricht is both a center of international importance and a small regional city and its accessibility, numerous galleries and museums, and lively café culture make the city an ideal study abroad site.
About the Program
Hobart and William Smith Colleges maintain an affiliation with University College Maastricht (UCM), a small, international undergraduate division within the larger Universiteit Maastricht (UM), which boasts a student population of 15,000. Founded in 2002 as one of the first liberal arts honors programs in the Netherlands, UCM program offers highly qualified HWS students the opportunity to study (in English) alongside Dutch and international classmates in a rigorous, highly interactive learning environment.
Students who participate in this program can select courses from: cultural studies, computer science, economics, environmental studies, European Studies, history, law, literature, mathematics, philosophy, political science, psychology, the sciences (biology, chemistry, physics – generally without lab), and women’s studies.
The standard course load is comprised of four course modules, normally two of which are in the student’s major field with the others being in elective areas. Students with special curricular needs can request permission to take one class at the larger Universiteit Maastricht (UM). For specific information about courses and the educational program, please consult the course curriculum section of the UCM website for a general discussion of academics. There is also a dedicated program for students interested in mathematics, computer science and artificial intelligence. That curriculum can be found here.
Due to the wide range of courses offered through UCM, this program can accommodate students from a variety of disciplines throughout the HWS curriculum. All students are engaged in a “problem-based learning” approach which places responsibility for learning squarely into student hands, and requires active class participation.
This program is open to second-semester sophomores, juniors and seniors in good academic and social standing with a minimum GPA of 3.3. This program is recommended only for students who are extremely independent, both socially and academically. Due to the challenging nature of study abroad in general, and of this program in particular, student academic and disciplinary records will be carefully screened.
Note: due to the timing of the academic calendar at UCM, seniors participating in the spring semester will not be able to return in time for commencement on the HWS campus.
Students reside in Guesthouse Maastricht, run by the Universiteit Maastricht for international undergraduate and graduate students. All rooms are furnished and there are communal kitchen/cooking facilities throughout the residence for the use of its guests.
The Maastricht program is not a “study abroad program” in the traditional sense in that HWS students will be directly enrolled at the university. While there will not be excursions designed specifically for HWS students, those accepted into the program will have the opportunity to apply for a "Maastricht Enrichment Grant" (MEG) of up to $500 to support travel and activities related to an academic or cultural interest. Maastricht students will receive information in the semester before departure, inviting them to apply for the grant by submitting a proposed itinerary to visit sites related to an academic or cultural interest. Applicants must also describe how they will present this experience upon their return to campus (this may be in the form of a photography exhibit, submitting an article to the CGE’s journal The Aleph, a presentation or demonstration, a blog, etc.).
In addition, there are opportunities for HWS students to join the UM student union, student clubs, and sporting associations that will enable independent and self-starting students to become fully immersed in the local culture and to learn more about Dutch society.
Students will be charged standard HWS tuition and fees and a $600 administrative fee. This will cover tuition for a four-course semester, health insurance, arrival services, and orientation program. Note that no room or board charge is included. Students will pay room fees directly to Guesthouse Maastricht and should plan to bring their board fee to cover meal expenses throughout the program. Room costs will vary depending on the option chosen but should range from $2500-$3500. While meal expenses will vary according to individual tastes, we estimate that $2300– $2500 should be sufficient for students who prepare their own meals.
Additional expenses not covered include airfare, books, and personal expenses (laundry, entertainment, ground transportation and independent travel). We estimate airfare for this program at $1000—$1200 from the East Coast, ground transportation (train) to Maastricht at $130, and books at $250. It is difficult to give an accurate estimate of personal expenses because student spending habits differ considerably. We would suggest a minimum of $1500 above and beyond meal and accommodation expenses. However, students on a tight budget should be able to manage with less. If you are concerned about finances, we strongly encourage you to talk to the CGE staff who can offer information and advice based on your specific situation.
HWS students must complete all components of the Global Education application in order to be considered for admission to this program.
This program is offered every semester.
All components of the application must be submitted online by the published deadline. Specific deadline dates are set each semester and will be in October (for Fall programs) and March (for Spring programs).
IMPORTANT: The handbook(s) below is/are the most recent handbook(s) published for this program. A new version, with updated information, will be made available each semester. Program participants will receive their updated handbook approximately 2-3 months prior to their program’s start date.
FALL HANDBOOK / SPRING HANDBOOK
Please DO NOT MAKE TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS until you have received final confirmation of the program start/finish dates for the specific semester you are attending. Dates included in versions of the program handbook intended for previous semesters do not necessarily apply to future programs.
NOTE: The information above is subject to change. Please see the CGE for more information.
Resources for Smart Travelers
Rick Steve's Packing Tips!