Get ready for the best summer ever! The six-week Summer Programme in European Studies (SES) is designed for adventurous students looking for an authentic European study experience while earning credits towards their major. Choose from a variety of courses or study tours taught in English at Maastricht University, one of the highest-ranking universities in the Netherlands. Course topics fit most majors and have a distinct European or international theme.
Maastricht, birthplace of the European Union and situated on the border of the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, is a picture perfect European town, with layers of history waiting to be discovered in its medieval city centre. Students fall in love with Maastricht’s vibrant local culture and enjoy the many art and music festivals that take place throughout the summer. Centrally located in the heart of Europe, the Summer Programme in European Studies at Maastricht University is an ideal way for students to experience Europe inside and outside the classroom.
The programme starts with an introduction period to get to know the university and includes a 4th of July BBQ, CES services (such as airport pick-up and phone rental), Maastricht day and integration into Dutch student life.
Courses in the SES programme focus on the economic, political and socio-cultural aspects of Europe or approach topics from a wider international perspective. All classes include exciting hands-on experiences such as field trips, museum visits and seminars on location. Visit the site of the famous Maastricht Treaty, discuss business challenges with local entrepreneurs or attend a lecture about the Dutch Golden Age while examining the actual artwork in the museum. Learn how modern Europe emerged from the crucible of the 20th Century, discover the common foundations of European law or compare European public health systems. Maastricht University (UM), the most international university in the Netherlands, stands out for its innovative approach to learning and international outlook. Classes are typically interactive, with a limited number of students to give you easy, personal contact with the professor and fellow students. You will have classes four days per week and engage with European and other international students in a range of stimulating and challenging topics.
The SES programme also offers two exceptional multiple-day study tours where students discover the European Union first hand. The study tours take students to significant organisations, companies and cultural sites that are often unavailable to the casual tourist. They form an extensive and engaging preparation for many of the courses that follow in Maastricht. The Western Europe Study Tour takes students on a journey to the most important institutions of the EU, key European businesses and powerful financial organisations in Western Europe. During the Central and Eastern Europe Study Tour students gain in-depth knowledge of Eastern Europe’s transitioning economies and budding democracies.
Explore this vibrant part of Europe, including Germany, France, Belgium, England and the Netherlands. Students are offered a unique opportunity to explore Western Europe from the inside out, with a focus on evolving political and economic conditions. Take a first-hand look behind the scenes with site visits to European institutions in Brussels and organised lectures from EU policy makers, consultancy agencies and European business leaders. Dive into London’s famous financial district, soak up the multitude of culture in Paris and taste France’s famous Champagne region. Discover the Dutch business climate with company visits in Amsterdam. Immerse yourself in European culture in these iconic cities and learn how to do business in the EU.
Check out the CES Western Europe Study Tour look book.
Discover this exciting part of Europe, including Germany, Poland, Hungary, Austria, and the Czech Republic. Throughout the trip, students explore the conditions that have led to the current economic growth in Central and Eastern European countries and gain insight into emerging business opportunities. By visiting companies like BMW in Berlin, and by attending inspiring lectures on transition and democracy in Eastern Europe, students learn about the history, culture and economies of these lively and diverse nations. Step into Europe’s conflicted past in eclectic Berlin, where you visit Checkpoint Charlie and a former Stasi Prison.
Pay tribute at the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland. Discover the magical architecture (UNESCO World Heritage sites) of Budapest and discuss Hungary’s economic developments after the fall of the Iron Curtain. Take a tour of the United Nations offices in Vienna. Visit the beautiful Hradcany Castle district in Prague and the site of Nazi rally grounds in Nürnberg.
At CES we have a small team of young-hearted, dedicated people ready to help you, so you can focus on the things that really matter during your stay abroad, whether that is selecting the right courses, getting to an airport for your flight to Barcelona, finding a volunteer opportunity, meeting Dutch students, buying a bike or more. Read more.
Before you get here...
You will have one person responsible for your programme, who will guide you through the application process and the preparation of your stay abroad. The programme coordinator will sign you up for classes, arrange housing and order insurance (if applicable), as well as organise the airport pick up and the introduction programme. You can contact your coordinator with any question you might have.
After you arrive...
Once you're here, your programme coordinator will guide you through the application of your temporary residence permit (if necessary). Afterwards, we will be here for whatever you need. There are no limited office hours, our doors are always wide open and you can reach each programme coordinator on their cell phone 24/7. Just walk in, we are always happy to see you.
The summer programme is divided into two 'block periods' of 3 weeks each. You take 2 courses in total for a full workload: 1 course per block period. Alternatively you can go on one of the European Study Tours in block 1 and take a course in block 2. In the table below you will find an overview of the courses and Study Tours and in which block they take place (1 or 2).
Maastricht University uses the ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) to measure academic progress. Maastricht University courses typically have between 5-12 ECTS. How ECTS transfer depends on a student’s home university or college. Generally a 5-6.5 ECTS course is the equivalent of a full semester course (3 American credit hours).
You can earn a maximum of 12 ECTS for a Summer programme at CES. CES advisors help students select classes to meet the requirements of their home university.
During a regular course (5-6.5 ECTS), students spend an average of 4-6 hours (240-360 minutes) in class per week. For every hour in class students are expected to spend an additional 2-3 hours on study. The total workload for two regular courses or one intensive course is around 40 hours per week.
CES programmes are designed for enthusiastic and intellectually curious students dedicated to expanding their academic horizons while abroad. To ensure that students do well, CES offers extensive academic advising, workshops and regular monitoring. Maastricht University uses Problem-Based Learning (PBL), a student-centered teaching approach. Small groups of students (12-15) work on academic or practical cases prepared by their professors. Faculty act as guides to students who are in charge of their own learning and are expected to be committed, active and self-motivated.
Acceptance to the open enrolment programmes is competitive and early application is recommended. While most students participating in our open enrolment programmes are undergraduates at the junior or senior level, applications by motivated students at the sophomore and/or freshman level with a good GPA will be considered too.
You should have a minimum GPA of 3.0 in order to apply for a CES Open Enrolment Programme. If you have a lower GPA you can request to be considered if you can show a recommendation from a professor or academic advisor at your home university or college with specific details about your academic development so far.
Applicants must be proficient in English. Non-native speakers are required to demonstrate proof of English language proficiency.
Students with an International Baccalaureate or European Baccalaureate diploma are exempted, as are EU-nationals. International students who are enrolled as fulltime students at university or college in a native-speaking country where English is the language of instruction are also exempted.
All other prospective students must present a current TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Testing System), score before they can be admitted.
Your TOEFL test score has to be at least:
Your IELTS test score must be at least 6.5.
Complete and submit the online application form and send all additional information mentioned below via email / regular mail to your coordinator. Your CES coordinators will contact you within a week after receiving your application and additional information to assist you in the registration process and the preparations for your stay in Maastricht.
Please note that once your course list is finalised you will receive a course approval form which you will need to fill in with the help of your home institution.
The Center for European Studies incurs costs for each student we register. CES applies the following cancellation regulations:
Exceptions to the abovementioned cancellation regulations will be reviewed by CES on a case-by-case basis.