Exchange programme

The International Relations Office (IRO) of the Maastricht University School of Business and Economics (SBE) is responsible for all incoming and outgoing bachelor's and master's exchange students. SBE has around 147 exchange contracts with universities and institutions in 41 countries all over the world. On a yearly base, up to 750 SBE students spend part of their studies abroad within an exchange programme, and about 740 exchange students visit SBE.​ 

Partner universities and business schools

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Partner universities and business schools

Download one of the lists below to find out about our partners worldwide.

List of SBE partner universities
List of AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA accreditations SBE partner universities


Outgoing students

In almost all of SBE’s bachelor’s programmes a semester abroad at a partner university is a compulsory part of the curriculum. Depending on your study programme at SBE, you go on exchange either in the first or in the second semester of your third year of your bachelor’s. You can find the list of SBE’s partners on Intranet. You cannot go on exchange to a university that is not part of SBE’s network, nor can you attend a partner as fee-paying international student. Also, you can only do an exchange once.

You can apply for a semester abroad as soon as you have successfully completed your first year, meaning you have obtained all 60 ECTS credits. If you have obtained only 53.5 or 56 ECTS credits in your first year, you can still participate in the selection procedure for studying abroad, but the procedure will be a little different. Please check intranet for the details of the selection and allocation.

Please note that in the master’s programmes at SBE an exchange is not part of the curriculum. However, SBE does offer options to very motivated students who would like to supplement their programme with courses taken at one of SBE’s partners. This extra-curricular exchange will take place after you have completed all compulsory parts of your master’s programme. For an overview of partners that offer exchange places (always subject to availability) and for the application procedure contact the coordinator of the MSc exchange, R.reynders[at]maastrichtuniversity[dot]nl.

While on exchange – either as bachelor’s or as master’s student - you will need to have a valid registration at SBE, which means you will continue paying tuition fee at SBE.  However, you do not have to pay tuition at the host university. Keep in mind that there may also be other costs associated with your exchange programme, other than of course travel costs, insurance and living expenses. For example, some partners require that you purchase the university’s health insurance plan. Usually the host university will send you all detailed information well before your departure.

For specific details and information on the academic content of your exchange, please read the rules and regulations on the Intranet

Everything you need to know

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In your first year of the bachelor’s, the International Relations Office (IRO) will send you emails (UM account only) about the compulsory study abroad and the selection procedure. On the Intranet, you can find a timeline pertaining to the specific semesters. In the study abroad rules and regulations, you will find the requirements for going abroad.

If there are special circumstances (health issues, disabilities etc.) that need to be taken into account, make sure to contact the IRO before you start the procedure for your semester abroad.

The IRO determines who goes to what partner university based on a ranking of all students who sign up to take part in the selection; this ranking is based on the students’ average grade and number of ECTS credits obtained at the time of selection.

The students can send in a list of up to six partner universities they would like to spend their compulsory study abroad, after which the IRO will start matching students and partners. For more information on the selection procedure, tips on what to look for when picking out your six preferred partners, what to do if you do not get selected, and more, check here.

Even if you are selected, it sometimes happens you will not get to go to your allocated university after all. For example:

  • You do not meet a certain admission requirement (e.g. required overall average grade at the start of the exchange, or certain level of language proficiency);
  • You were not able to obtain the correct visa to enter your host country (check the visa requirements of the host country). Just so you know: it is always your own responsibility to obtain the required visa; the IRO cannot and will not be involved in the visa application process.
  • If there is an (unforeseen) imbalance with respect to the number of incoming and outgoing students. Especially universities in the USA reserve the right to refuse SBE students if there is an imbalance.
  • You fail to meet the deadline for submitting the required documents for application to your host university (please refer to the info under Partner Universities on Intranet to check the relevant application deadline);
  • If the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Netherlands issues a so-called negative travel advice for a particular country, the UM will not allow you to travel there. For detailed information, please check the guidelines for study trips to risk areas for Maastricht University students.
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Depending on your destination and your nationality, you may have to apply for an entry visa and/or a residence permit. The host university will inform you about this, but we do also advise you to check the host country’s embassy and immigration pages. Please stick to their instructions in order not to delay any processes.

You do not need a visa for EU-countries if you have an EU nationality. However, if you do not possess a European nationality, you need a residence permit if you stay longer than three months within a European Union country. For details, check the information from the embassy of the host country.

If you have a Dutch residence permit, you are allowed to spend a period of a maximum of nine months abroad during your SBE studies without jeopardizing your Dutch residence permit. If your permit expires while abroad, make arrangements to have it renewed before you go on exchange. A Dutch residence permit does not automatically grant you a legal stay in the other EU countries; always check the relevant embassy.

For non-EU countries, a visa is always required. You should start the visa procedure as soon as you have received the required document(s) from your host university. For details, check the information from the embassy of the host country.

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Health insurance: If you have a Dutch insurance in the Netherlands, you have a private health insurance. Always check with your insurance company if it offers worldwide coverage. For some non-EU countries, you will need additional coverage because of the extremely high medical expenses (e.g. USA, Canada, Australia and Switzerland). Some host universities in fact have compulsory university health insurance. Please refer to the relevant entry under Partner Universities, as well as your host university’s website, for more information.

We strongly advise you to also take out liability insurance. Please consult your insurance agent for the appropriate coverage and have them translate your insurance policies or certificates into English or -even better- in the language of your host country. Make sure you take these (certified) translations with you when you travel.

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The host university’s information material will tell you if vaccinations are required and which ones. For up-to-date information, check the host country’s embassy or local health authority.

Note that if you take special medication, you should contact the embassy about the requirements to legally take this medication with you (you may need an official letter from your doctor).

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Please check the information under Partner Universities to find out whether your host university offers accommodation and/or offers assistance in finding housing. Also, check the website of your host university for up-to-date information.

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Although we want nothing more than for you to have a great time when you are studying abroad, mishaps - or worse, calamities, do sometimes happen. For example, you get so homesick that all you want to do is crawl back home. Someone in your family becomes seriously ill, and you are needed back home. Or you break a wrist in the week before exams…

If something like this happens, and you need to break off your study abroad, or you cannot take your exams, please let IRO SBE know immediately. Also, make sure you contact the International Office of your host university, so that they know what is going on and can offer assistance where and if needed. Finally, make sure you reach out to SBE’s Student & Career Counselling office, so that they can help you set up a plan to make up for the credits you will be missing.

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After your exchange

All students will receive an academic transcript of their host university. In most cases, your host university sends your transcript directly to SBE. The IRO will inform you once your transcript arrived. In some cases, you need to arrange receiving your transcript yourself. If this is the case you need to send the IRO the transcript yourself. Please read the 'recognition and registration of credits' section carefully in order to have your credits smootly transferred. 

  • Selection

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  • Visa

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  • Insurances

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  • Vaccinations

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  • Housing

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  • Emergency

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  • After your exchange

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Incoming students

If you decide to come to Maastricht University School of Business and Economics (SBE), you are in for a unique and unforgettable experience. Get inspired, make friends from around the world, choose from a comprehensive list of courses and experience a unique learning method during your exchange at SBE.

Again, if your university is an exchange partner of SBE, you can apply for a study abroad period at the International Office of your own university. As an exchange student you do not have to pay a tuition fee at SBE but you will continue to pay tuition to your home university.


All exchange students must be officially nominated by their home university. Please contact the International Relations Office of your home university if you want to get nominated for the Maastricht University School of Business and Economics (SBE for short) exchange programme.

Also, we can only accept you if you major in Economics or Business. If you are a bachelor's student, you have to have completed at least two semesters of relevant study before you start your exchange programme at SBE.

Deadlines incoming students

  • The application deadline for the Fall semester is
    15 May 
  • The application deadline for the Spring semester is
    15 October 

Language requirements

Since the official language at our School is English and all courses are taught in English, you are required to have an advanced level of the English language (comparable to the level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference) to be able to successfully complete your courses at our School (note that we do not require any proof of an English Language Test Score).

Language courses are offered by the Maastricht University Language Centre.

Everything you need to know

Traveling far from home, living in a country whose laws and customs are either slightly or totally different, no social safety-net to fall back on. There is no denying that participating in a foreign exchange programme is a huge change for most students. However, you can at least make sure that you have all your mundane administration taken care of before you leave, so that at least you won’t have to worry about that!

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Accommodation in Maastricht

Most exchange students are staying at the UM Guesthouse. This organisation is affiliated with Maastricht University. There are 350 rooms for one or two students and 45 rooms/studios specifically for master’s students. The main buildings are located in the vicinity of SBE, Faculty of Law, University College Maastricht, and the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. All are easily accessible by bicycle or on foot. Unfortunately, SBE cannot guarantee that all students who apply for a room in the UM Guesthouse actually get a room there. Applications are processed on a first-come-first-served basis, and we have no influence on that process.

If you do not want use to find housing on the private market you can just browse the internet yourself for landlords or companies that offer furnished rooms in Maasticht. Or you can look for local studenst who need someone to sublet their room or apartment to.

Examples of letting agencies:

If you want a room in the UM Guesthouse, go to, and click on “Guesthouse”. To book a room you need to register on Registration costs are non-refundable. Select the dates of your stay, and you will get an overview of available rooms. If the Guesthouse UM is fully booked, or if you prefer to stay elsewhere, you can click on the option “Private market”. Here you will find rooms offered by private landlords or commercial companies.

The option “Housing Corporations” is really only useful if you intend to stay in Maastricht for your entire degree. If you are an exchange student this option does not make a lot of sense, since it usually takes months before it will be “your turn”. An alternative way to find housing on the private market is to browse the internet yourself for landlords or companies that offer furnished rooms, or for students who are looking for someone to sublet their room or apartment to.

It is up to you to try and find a room on the private market, but if you do then keep the following in mind:

  • ALWAYS check whether the address of the room/apartment offered actually exists (via google maps, for example); only too often people try to make a fast buck by renting out rooms that do not, in fact, exist.  
  • NEVER transfer money in advance! There are a lot of crooks in the world, trying to swindle you out of your money. No matter how desperate you are, always check the credentials of the person subletting the room.

Your reservation at the Guesthouse is only possible for the period of your study in Maastricht, so not just for one week or month. Once you have signed the contract you are entering a legally binding agreement between you and the Guesthouse, meaning that the International Relations Office at SBE cannot and will not interfere on your behalf in case of legal disputes.

Note that your online housing reservation form will be used to base your contract on; this will be waiting for you upon checking in. If you want to change the dates on the contract, do so well before you arrive. The Guesthouse will not let you change after arrival. See also the cancellation conditions on the Guesthouse website.

Checking in/start date of your contract
You need to make sure you arrive at least ONE DAY before the compulsory introduction day (or a little earlier), so at the latest Wednesday, 30 August 2017 for students coming for the Fall semester and Wednesday, 31 January 2018 for students coming for the Spring semester. You can check in 24/7. Read the confirmation received from the guesthouse carefully!

Important note: It is never possible to shorten your contract!
If you think you may want to follow a skills course (not compulsory for exchange students) or you need to take a resit in January (for fall and year students only) or in July (spring and year students): you can always extend your contract once you have arrived in Maastricht, provided the Guesthouse does not have any subsequent reservations for your room.

Please go to the website of the Guesthouse for the reservation form, addresses, rules and regulations, and information on the type of accommodation, prices etc. The information listed on the Guesthouse website is binding.

Finally, there is SSH (“Stichting Studenten Huisvesting”; foundation for student housing). Please note that their rooms (indicated as “M Building”) are located at the same address as the UM Guesthouse, which is Brouwersweg 100. In fact, both SSH and UM Guesthouse share the same entrance. However, SSH is a totally separate legal entity. Renting a room via SSH is entirely at your own risk; do not expect the same level of assistance or service as from the UM Guesthouse. We therefore very strongly recommend you to find housing either in the P or C building; rooms in those buildings are maintained by UM Guesthouse. 

Warning: Please note that the International Relations Office at SBE cannot and will not interfere on your behalf in case of problems, issues or even legal disputes, neither with the UM Guesthouse, MaastrichtHousing, SSH, HousingAnywhere, nor with the corporations and private persons, students or landlords linked to MaastrichtHousing or otherwise. Instead, consult with your own lawyer or the Student Law Agency. Or contact the Housing Helpdesk.

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Application process

As mentioned earlier,  we can only accept you if you  major in Economics or Business, and if you have completed at least two semesters of relevant study before you start your exchange at SBE. If you intend to take master’s level courses during your exchange you have to have a relevant bachelor’s degree; contact the IRO if you are not sure whether you qualify.

The application deadline for the Fall semester is 15 May.
The application deadline for the Spring semester is 15 October.

UM Account & UM Email
To apply for exchange at SBE, you first need to register at Maastricht University (UM) so that you get a UM account. Before you start, make sure you have your passport on your desk, as you have to enter the exact data that are in your passport.

After you have completed the application for a UM Account you will receive an email (sent to the email address you provided online) containing the UM user ID and password which you need for the application to SBE and to access your UM Email account. Please note that your user ID and Password will be blocked if you do not complete the SBE application form within seven (7) days after receiving the UM Account information. To check your UM e-mail go to the Student Portal.

SBE application
Before you start your online SBE application, please make sure that you have a digital copy of all required documents at hand to finish your application:

  • Passport Photo;
  • Copy Passport (valid until at least three months after the end of your registration period at  SBE). For EU citizens a copy of their identity (ID) card is sufficient;
  • Most recent academic transcript from your current study, in English and certified;
  • Bachelor’s Degree (only if you intend to take courses at master’s level).

If you do not immediately upload the requested documents your student exchange application will be delayed. If you are a student who needs a visa to enter the Netherlands, this also means your visa application will be delayed.

If you have any questions concerning your registration and application, please contact the IRO via email. Always mention your UM user ID  in your emails to us. 

If you want to change any of the information you entered in your application, please do not complete a new form and certainly do not withdraw your application, but inform us about the change via email and we will process the change in our system. 

The complete procedure is explained in detail in the Manual Registration and Application

Manual Registration and Application
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Academic calendar

The academic calendar 2018/19 provides an outline of the study periods and tells you when the exam weeks are, and when there’s a holiday.

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Course information

Course database
In the online course database for exchange students you can find all the information you need about SBE’s bachelor’s and master’s courses, such as the course coordinator(s), learning outcomes and competences, number of ECTS, literature and prerequisites.

Courses code explanation
EBC1...: 1st year’s bachelor’s course
EBC2...: 2nd and 3rd year bachelor’s course
EBC4...: master’s course
EBS2...: Skills training bachelor’s level
EBS4...: Skills training master’s level 

When you select your courses, you should note that some will assume knowledge of topics covered in other courses (“pre-requisites”). If you do not meet these requirements you will not be allowed to register for the course. You are responsible for making sure you have the requisite knowledge to follow courses that state certain pre-requisites.   

Course level
All 2nd and 3rd year bachelor’s courses are either at introductory, intermediate or advanced level:

  • Introductory
    This course gives an introduction to the subject.
  • Intermediate
    You can only choose this course if you have prior knowledge about the subject via a course offered at SBE, or a comparable course at your home university.
  • Advanced
    Very high level; you can only choose this course if you have extensive prior knowledge about the subject via a course offered at SBE, or a comparable course at your home university.

Course descriptions
Each course description in the database follows the same format. You can find detailed information about the content, prerequisites, literature  and assessment methods. For questions you can contact the course coordinator via email.

Course selection and changes
At most universities you can change your courses in the first week of class. Not so at SBE: once the deadline has passed you can NOT change your courses. Explanation:  Maastricht University uses the Problem Based Learning Method, whereby the average class size is 15 students. This means there is a LOT of planning to do (finding enough rooms and teachers/tutors and making sure there are about the same number of students in each tutorial group). If we allowed students to change courses after the deadline this would create a lot of organisational and logistical problems. To help you choose courses that match your interest and home curriculum is exactly why we developed the online course database.

If you may only sign up for courses that are pre-approved by your home university , get approval well before the deadline. Should the information in the course database not be enough feel free to contact the relevant course coordinator at SBE.

Important note: in general all SBE courses (except for the skills trainings) are worth 6,5 ECTS but for some study programmes the number of ECTS per course might differ.  Students are advised to carefully check the number of ECTS when signing up for a course.

First year courses
As an exchange student you are expected to take 2nd and 3rd year courses. However, a selection of 1st year courses at SBE is also open to exchange students.

If you want to register for 1st  year courses and combine them with 2nd and 3rd year courses, you do have to keep in mind though that some of your tutorials might take place on the same day and the same time. This could also happen with the exam schedule. Unfortunately we won’t be able to change the schedule for you, and if you get a study delay as a result we cannot be held responsible.

You can only register online for the courses selected from the course database for exchange students and only via the Student Portal. Per eight-week study period you can register for up to two (2) courses but not fewer than one (1).

Skills training
Focusing on the acquisition of knowledge is not sufficient if you are a student of Business and Economics. You have to be able to work in all kinds of organisations, which implies that you need to possess several social and communication skills. SBE offers you the opportunity to obtain these skills, such as interviewing techniques or communication and leadership skills.

SBE also pays attention to quantitative skills like accounting, financial arithmetic, operations research, statistics and mathematics. Computer proficiency and basic knowledge of information science are also regarded as essential elements of the curriculum.

There are two skills periods (two weeks each): at the end of the Fall semester (period 3) and at the end of the Spring semester (period 6). A skills training counts for 4 ECTS;  you can only sign up for one skills training per period.

For master's students only
If you want to register for a mix of master's level and bachelor's level courses in the same study period (provided you have the correct level of course) you should keep in mind that you may end up having tutorials on the same day and time. Moreover, the exam date and time may also very well overlap. Unfortunately SBE will not be able to alter the course and exam schedule for you. Nor will  the tutor, the course coordinator, or the School be held responsible if you end up with a study delay as a result.

Course database
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Compulsory introduction

Compulsory introduction days
Each semester starts with a two-day compulsory introduction, which takes place in the main building of SBE (Tongersestraat 53, Maastricht).

Spring semester

  • Thursday, 31 January 2019
  • Friday, 01 February 2019

Thursday, 31 January 2019
The introduction starts at 08.30 hrs (in the morning). When you register at the Information Desk you will receive your welcome package and the schedule of the day, which includes different information presentations, a free lunch, a library tour and a city tour.

Friday, 01 February 2019
The second introduction day on Friday starts at 11.00 hrs (in the morning). Since the theoretical information you will receive about the PBL system on Thursday does not really tell you what you will experience during an actual PBL session, a general practice session will be organized in which the different steps, roles and expectations are discussed and practiced. After the practical session you should have a good idea of what to expect when classes start.

Keep in mind that if you choose to miss the PBL tutorial and end up having a lot of problems in class afterwards, that will be your responsibility!

After the PBL morning session we will end the day with a welcome drink. We hope you will all take part and enjoy! During this drink you will have the opportunity to meet all your fellow students. The get-together ends at 15.00 hrs.  

Learn more about PBL
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Course time table

Course time table
Approximately two weeks before education starts your timetable will be published in the Student Portal.


Go to Student Portal
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Course material

You can find all information about the courses you registered for in the Student Portal  >> “My Courses”.  This is in fact the only place where announcements concerning your courses will be posted, and course details such as goals, structure, method of examination. It is also where you will find course material such as reading matters, assignments, and education tools, so be sure to check back regularly. Normally the course material will become available about a week before the course starts, but there have been occasions where it was posted only a day before the class started!

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Courses in English

As mentioned before, all courses at SBE are taught in English. Our educational system, the Problem Based Learning (PBL) system, is student-centred rather than teacher-centred and requires everybody to actively take part during the tutorials but in the time between meetings. Speaking up and taking part in discussions is a crucial part of the system and this will also influence your final grades.  This means that if your goal is to improve your English while on exchange, this is not the right place to come to.

Just so you know, at the start of each semester we ask and receive feedback from our tutors and course coordinators concerning the level of English of each exchange student. If we get a complaint about you, we will ask you to go UM’s Language Centre to get tested. If you do not pass the test you will be strongly encouraged to take an extra English language course (at your own expense) as soon as possible. Note that a bad level of English will very likely negatively influence your grades.

If we do not get a complaint about your level of English then obviously you do NOT have to take the test at the Language Centre!

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Course registration & deadlines

As long as you register for courses before the deadline, participation is guaranteed: because of the PBL system there is no limit to the number of participants per course (we just make more tutorial groups). More information on how to actually register for courses check the Student Portal.

For deadlines please consult our Intranet pages.

You HAVE to attend your tutorial groups and are expected to participate actively. In fact, this will have an impact on your grade for that course. The majority of SBE courses have a 100% attendance requirement which means that you cannot miss one single lecture or tutorial. If you do not fulfil these requirements, you face the consequences. One of the consequences could be that you will no longer be able to pass the course successfully and thus will not receive any credits for the course even if you ace the exam.


Guidelines PDF
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Exams, resits

You are automatically registered for the first exam of the courses you register for in the Student Portal.
The form of examination differs widely per course. In most cases, you have to pass a written or oral examination at the end of the course, but this will be mentioned in the course database as well as  in the relevant course information linked to the Student Portal.  Note that the course coordinator reserves the right to change the method of examination.

The exam results will become available 15 (fifteen) working days after the examination via the Student Portal. Your final grade of the course also includes the grades for participation and projects.

As exchange student you are subject to the same Examination Rules as the other students. Check them carefully via the Student Portal.

If you fail the course you will always get the opportunity to take a second exam, a so-called resit. NB:

  • If you fail the first exam, you are automatically registered for the resit.
  • If you decide not to take the resit, you must actively de-register via the Student Portal. 
  • When you have not taken the first exam or you obtained a NG of a course, you must register for the resit yourself. You can do this via the Student Portal during the registration periods.

More info on: Resit registration and (De-)registration exams 

On a different note: it is equally important to know that if you still have to take exams of your home university it is not possible to take them here in Maastricht. You either go back and take them at home,  or you make arrangements to take the exams in your own country before you come to Maastricht (which is not an excuse to miss the introduction days).Log onto to the Student Portal to register and de-register for the exams/resits. You are not allowed to do a resit for a course you got a pass for, or a  grade 5.5 or higher.

If you want to take a resit you have to be present in Maastricht to take part. If you have already returned to your home country the resit will not be faxed, sent or e-mailed to your home institution.

Note for all Fall students: if you decide to come back to Maastricht to take a resit for a course taken in period 2, you have to inform us via email so that we can make sure you can still access the Student Portal.


You can find the day/time and venue for the exams via the Student Portal >  your timetable.

Keep in mind that the examination schedule is always subject to change at late notice. Although the exam week dates are a given, the individual exam schedules are not, so when you pre-book your return flight make sure you can change it at low or no cost.

  • Don’t bring your mobile phone with you to the exam, whether it is switched off or not. You will be barred from the exam location if you do, and you will have to sign up for the resit in order to try and pass the course.
  • Do not be late for the exam, not even one minute. Take an early bus, get a taxi, whatever. Be. On. Time. If you are late you will be barred from the exam, and you will have to sign up for the resit.
  • Check the week before for  any changes in the exam day in the Student Portal.
  • Check the day before for  any changes in the exam venue or time in the Student Portal. This is your responsibility. 
  • Do not talk to other students during the exam; the supervisors might think you are cheating and may declare your exam/grade to be invalid.
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Important deadlines


Semester Deadline
Fall 2018 - 2019 15 May 2018
Spring 2018 - 2019 15 October 2018



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There are limited funds and scholarships available to financially support your study abroad semester. Check the Scholarship Portal, which is the European database for scholarships. The Student Services Centre of Maastricht University offers information on financial support as well.

Student Service Centre
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Student Portal

The Student Portal is your one-stop location for accessing and managing your personal university information. It makes your life easier by reducing the time and energy you invest in finding the information you need. It works on all your devices, uses your UM login credentials and offers you personalised information. Watch the video here

List of features:

  • Quickly check your daily calendar
  • Browse your annoucements
  • See your upcoming deadlines
  • Access your course information
  • Check your grades
  • Register for and deregister from exams
  • Download manual




Student Portal
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Transcripts, Grades & ECTS

Please keep in mind that once you have registered for a course it will always show up on your transcript at the end of your exchange, unless you cancel this course before the registration deadline. So even if you simply do not attend the course and do not to take the exam, the course will still show up on your transcript.

If you take a language course during your exchange at SBE this will not be mentioned on your transcript, as these courses are not part of SBE’s curriculum but are taught at UM’s Language Centre, who will provide you with a separate Proof of Participation after you have completed the course. Before you enrol in a language course please contact your home university to find out whether or not they acknowledge the grade/credits earned for a language course.

SBE’s grading system
Grades range from 0 to 10, which is the highest score. It should be noted that a 10 is very rarely scored (fewer than 1% of students and this is not a typing mistake. Grades 1 to 5.4 constitute a fail grade; grades 5.5 and higher are pass grades. "NG" means Not Graded and is given if you did not attend the exam.

When will I get my transcript?
If you come for the first semester (or Fall semester; starting in August/September) we will usually send out the transcript in March the following calendar year, as we have to wait for the actual end of the semester. After all the grades for the first semester are entered into the system we can start processing the transcripts.

If you come for a full academic year, or you come for the second semester (or Spring semester; starting at the end of January) we will send it around the end of August.

How will I get my transcript?
An electronic version of your grade transcript will be sent directly to both you and your home university. 

What if I find out I failed a course when I have already returned to my home country?
Unfortunately the Exams Committee at Maastricht University does not allow us to send the re-sit  to your home institution. The coordinator at your home institution knows this.  Sadly this means that you will have to return to Maastricht to do the re-sit . Alternatively, discuss matters with your coordinator.

What if I need my grades earlier because I need them to graduate?
Unfortunately we are not able to  issue preliminary transcripts. However, we can make a printout of what is published in the system so far, sign it, put an official stamp on it, and email a scan to your home institution.

Our School uses the ECTS system. The grade transcripts will contain  the names of the course you took, plus the Dutch grade and the number of ECTS credits. We do not use ECTS grades.

What is the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS)?
ECTS, the European Credit Transfer System, was developed by the Commission of the European Communities in order to provide common procedures to guarantee academic recognition throughout the European Community and, as from the academic year 1992/93, between an EC Member State and any country belonging to the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). ECTS provides a way of measuring and comparing learning achievements, and transferring them from one institution to another.

ECTS and courses at SBE
ECTS is a credit system based on student workload, which involves lectures, practical assignments and self-study. It also includes all work needed to prepare for an examination. One ECTS credit effectively stands for 28 hours of study (at SBE this includes the tutorial meetings, lectures as well as self-study plus preparation for the next tutorials).

At SBE the normal workload of one year of study for degree-seeking students is 60 ECTS, at a maximum of 30 ECTS per semester.

Note that the Skills training courses are not compulsory for exchange students, but if your home university wants you to take home 30 ECTS then you may have to sign up for one.

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Visa,Residence Permit & Nuffic Certificate (Chinese students)

Depending on your nationality you may have to apply for a special entry visa and/or a residence permit. Once you have completed the online exchange application the IRO will check this and, if applicable, will forward your details to UM’s Visa Office, who will get back to you via email. As soon as you hear from them, you should take action immediately and provide them with the necessary documents as soon as possible.

If you are a student needing a special entry visa it is especially vital to respond quickly to the Visa Office, since you will otherwise seriously delay your visa application.  If your visa is not ready in time for the introduction day and the start of the semester do not travel to the Netherlands, and NEVER apply for a short-stay or tourist visa. If you do so anyway, Dutch Immigration Laws will force us to deregister you as SBE student, which means you will not be allowed to follow courses.

If the visa office has not contacted you three (3) months before the start of your exchange semester at SBE please contact the IRO via email (please mention your name, student ID  and home university).

For more information regarding immigration requirements and procedures, please visit the Student Service Centre Visa and Residence permit pages.

Here you will find an overview of all Dutch embassies and consulates abroad.


Nuffic Certificate: only applicable to Students with the Chinese nationality

If you are a Chinese national (even if you are currently living outside China) you have to get a Nuffic Certificate to be eligible for a Dutch entry visa. This does not apply to Hong Kong (SAR), Macau (SAR) and Taiwan (ROC) nationals.

If you have the Chinese nationality (excluding British National Overseas) you are required to submit a Nuffic Certificate when you register as SBE exchange student. This is a document issued by Nuffic (Netherlands organization for international cooperation in higher education) that provides an assessment of your English language proficiency and of the validity of your diplomas and degrees. All Chinese students who wish to enrol in an English-taught programme at a Dutch higher education institution (= SBE) are required to apply for a Nuffic Certificate.  We strongly urge you to apply for the Nuffic Certificate at least four ( 4)  months before you intend to come to the Netherlands.

Exemption language test:
If you have the Chinese nationality but study at one of our partner institutions in Hong Kong (SAR), Macau (SAR), Taiwan (ROC) or any English-speaking country (e.g. Australia, New Zealand, United States, Canada, Singapore) where education is completely in English, you are exempted from the English language proficiency test. When you apply for the Nuffic Certificate you must provide a motivation that you request an exemption for the English language test (because you are currently studying at a university located in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau or in an English speaking country). The IRO at SBE will provide the Nuffic organization with a list of the names of the students who are eligible for the exemption. Do note that the exemption is only given for the English language test score. You will always need a Nuffic Certificate as validity of your diplomas and degrees  in order to be eligible for a visa for The Netherlands.

If you are Chinese and study at a mainland Chinese university, you WILL have to take the English language proficiency test. When in doubt, contact the IRO via email (please mention your name, student number, nationality and home university).

Again, the application for a "Nuffic Certificate" is part of the application for the visa, and does not replace the application as exchange student at SBE.

To apply for the Nuffic Certificate and to get more information go to the Nuffic webpage

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Webmail instructions

After registration you will receive an email containing your Maastricht University ID number and your password. which you need to log-on to your Maastricht University email account.

We (the International Relations Office) will only send e-mails to this address AFTER the start of the semester. Before that time we will use the e-mail address you provided in your on-line application form.

If you want you can check this e-mail using the following link:

You will see the a log-on screen (might be in Dutch depending on your settings)

User name: your Student ID number; this is the letter i plus seven digits
Password = password (eight digits)

You will receive this information via the email address you provided on-line to us.

Click to Log On to get access to your personal account.

The e-mail system used by SBE is OUTLOOK. 

You will receive more information about using the student account during the introduction day.

NOTE: access to your Maastricht University account remains possible until about 60 days after your registration as exchange student has ended. If you need to download or copy information from your account do so before it closes down.

UM Webmail
  • Accommodation in Maastricht

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  • Application process

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  • Academic calendar

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  • Course information

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  • Compulsory introduction

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  • Course time table

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  • Course material

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  • Courses in English

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  • Course registration & deadlines

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  • Exams, resits

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  • Important deadlines

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  • Scholarships

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  • Student Portal

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  • Transcripts, Grades & ECTS

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  • Visa,Residence Permit & Nuffic Certificate (Chinese students)

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  • Webmail instructions

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Social and daily life in Maastricht

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Getting around


The quickest and easiest way to get around in Maastricht is to use a bicycle like the rest of the Dutch: get a sturdy, no-nonsense, second or third hand bicycle, preferably not too expensive so that if it gets stolen you will not feel too bad. Be sure to buy a good solid lock  (or two) and fix your bicycle to an immovable object, in order to discourage thieves. Fun fact: most Dutch students spend more money on the locks than on the bicycle itself.

To get a second hand bicycles try one of these addresses in Maastricht: 

You can also ask your non-exchange fellow students if they happen to have any spare bicycles standing around at home, which is fairly common.

Please note that the laws for cyclists in the Netherlands are quite strict: 

  • Do not ride against traffic on a one-way street (there’s many of them in the city centre!) > you will get a fine.
  • Brakes and especially lights should work > if not, you will get a fine. 

Public transport

The Netherlands has a dense railway network which is perfect for travel between city centres. The carriages are modern and clean and, although many Dutch people complain about delays, the trains usually run on time. Smoking is not allowed on trains, in the station or on the platforms. Some destinations in the Netherlands can be reached directly from Maastricht; for other destinations you have to change trains at some point in the journey.

Check for timetables and ticket options.

Information about the departure times of the other modes of public transport in the Netherlands (buses, trams and metros):  

The OV-chip card is the main payment method for public transport in the Netherlands. For more information check:

International train travel 
Maastricht does NOT have a ticket office; there are ticket machines.

Regional Airports

Maastricht has a regional airport that is served by several low cost carriers, which at the moment fly to seven European destinations.  Maastricht Aachen Airport, as it is officially called, can be reached by public transport (bus 59) in about 30 minutes from the train station.

In Liège, Belgium you will also find low cost carriers to take you places (17 so far), some of them even outside Europe. To get to Liège Airport take a train from Maastricht to Liège Guillemins station (about 30 minutes), then change to local transport

Finally, at one hour north of Maastricht by train, you will find Eindhoven Airport, where you can fly  to 75 destinations in Europe, plus Morocco. 

There are more small airports in the Netherlands of course, but if you want to plan your travels efficiently they are just too far from Maastricht.


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How to open a Dutch bank account

To have a Dutch bank account while you are studying at SBE could be very practical. Although Maastricht University has special student arrangements with ING Bank,  you are free to open a bank account at any other bank in the Netherlands such as SNS or Rabobank.

No matter which one you choose, always bring with you:

  • Passport (non-EU students ) or ID card (EU Students)
  • Proof of local address (copy of your rental contract should work)
  • Letter of Acceptance from SBE
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Healthcare insurance

Everyone in the Netherlands, even if you are here for only one or two semesters, must have insurance for medical expenses. Which type of healthcare insurance you need depends on your personal situation.

There are three different types of cover: Dutch public healthcare insurance, an EU Health Insurance Card or a private insurance. 

Dutch public healthcare insurance
If you are planning to work during your studies or if you are planning to do a paid internship, you HAVE to take out a public healthcare insurance in the Netherlands.

Should this apply to you, however, you are free to buy insurance from any Dutch public healthcare insurance company. Ask the IRO, your employer or your internship provider if they can refer you to an insurance company that will give you a discount.

Please note that a Dutch public health care insurance only covers your medical expenses. You will need to take out a separate insurance to cover repatriation, liability, accidents, etc.

EU Health Insurance Card
If you are an EU/EEA or Swiss national studying in the Netherlands, but not working or doing an internship here, and if you are insured for your medical care through a national health system in your home country, you are probably eligible to receive a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which covers your necessary medical costs during your stay in the Netherlands.

You can apply for the EHIC in your home country. More information on the EHIC is available on the website of the European Commission.

As long as you do not work or take on a paid internship in the Netherlands, you are not obliged to take out any additional insurance in the Netherlands.

Private healthcare insurance
If you are not from the EU/EEA or Switzerland or are not obligated to take out a Dutch public healthcare insurance (because not going to work or do an internship here), you should check whether your existing insurance back home covers your stay in the Netherlands.

If not, you have to take out a new or special insurance policy for your stay in the Netherlands.

More information
Want an overview of the insurances you need to have in order to be properly insured during your stay in the Netherlands (apart from medical cotsts, think liability and  legal aid)? Download the insurance checklist below.


Insurance checklist
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Medical Care in Maastricht

In the Netherlands, if you need medical assistance you always go to the General Practitioner (GP). If the GP thinks you need more specialised expertise, you will receive a referral for a specialist in the hospital. Without this referral you cannot see a specialist in the hospital. GP’s do not usually make house calls.

If you are staying in the UM Guesthouse you can go to the reception desk for more information on how to find a General Practitioner in the area, or you can go to De Poort (Becanusstraat  15), which is around the corner from  the UM Guesthouse. 

If you need medical attention when the GP can no longer be reached (so after 17.00 hrs or before 08.00 hrs, in the weekend or on public holidays) , call +31 (0)43-387 77 77 and make an appointment to go to the “Huisartsenpost” near the Emergency Room of the hospital, at P. Debyelaan 25 - 6229 HX Maastricht (this is on the other side of the river).

Only make an appointment with the Huisartsenpost if there is a real medical emergency. Otherwise just contact a GP the next week day. Check the website for information.

Information Brochure
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Dutch language course

Although the official language at SBE (and the rest of Maastricht University) is English, you might want to learn a little bit of Dutch anyway, so that you can at least say “Ik spreek geen Nederlands” on the off chance that you encounter people on the street who do not speak English.

The  Language Centre at Maastricht University offers several Dutch classes, but for exchange students these are the most suitable:

  • B@sic Dutch – blended learning for beginners (1,5 ECTS)
    B@sic Dutch blends self-study with practical language training. During the self-study phase, you practice your grammar and revise class materials, and in class you can ask questions and practise your language skills with the instructor and your fellow students.
  • Dutch Course for Students NL-9 (3 ECTS)
    This course is divided into five modules, all of which focus on speaking, listening and reading skills, with some attention also paid to writing.  You can decide on whether to do each module in 7 (class twice a week) or in 14 weeks (once a week).

If you decide to take a language course this will not be mentioned on your SBE exchange transcript, as it is not taught at SBE but the Language Centre. However, you will receive a separate Proof of Participation from the Language Centre itself. Before you enrol in a language course please contact your home university to find out whether or not they acknowledge the grade/credits earned for a language course. 

For more information on class times, fees and other issues check UM Language Centre

UM Language Centre
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Blogs Exchange Students

Curious about what previous exchange students went through while studying at SBE and living in Maastricht?  Read about their experiences with the Problem Based Learning system, riding bicycles, carnaval, Dutch culture, eating cheap as an exchange student, discovering the Netherlands and Sinterklaas on these blogs.

Visit weblogs
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International Student Network

ISN Maastricht (International Student Network) is part of the Erasmus Student Network (ESN), which is a non-profit international student organisation. Their mission is to represent international students, and to provide opportunities for cultural understanding and self-development, based on the concept of  Students Helping Students.

Apart from the pick-up service described in the section Travel to Maastricht, they also offer an extensive line-up of activities and events set up for you to meet the other exchange students, and to explore the Dutch culture and the somewhat typical features of Dutch student life. 

Throughout the academic year they meet for a drink twice a week at different bars throughout Maastricht. They also offer the opportunity to participate in trips to see a bit of the Netherlands, parts of Belgium or other places in Europe. For all information on the activities organised by ISN check their website.

ISN website
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You and the Law: Student Police Officer

The Maastricht Police Department has appointed a special Student Police Officer, who is the central contact point for all students in Maastricht with regard to safety and the laws in Maastricht (think: soft drugs policy). For example, if you go to the Police Station to report a break-in, or an assault, or theft of your bicycle, this is who will be notified about it and who will guide you through the process. If needed, you can contact the Student Police Officer via email but do not use it to complain about a fine you may have received for going into a one-way street (just saying…). You would totally be justified to contact him though, if you find yourself in a difficult situation, such as if your room was robbed and you have no idea what to do.

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Move that body!

Mens sana in corpore sano

At a 14-minute bike ride from SBE you will find the modern and spacious facilities of the University Sports Centre. Here, you can take part in group classes, use the free weights, or join one of the 12 Student Sports Associations to improve your general health. You can also study at the Learning Spaces (175 places available) or meet your friends at Time Out Sports Café. The indoor sports programme offers numerous activities, so you’ll be sure to find something you like.

For information on opening times,  costs, timetables, types of activities and loads more,  visit the website of UM Sports.

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The INKOM (fall semester only) is a general/social introduction week at the start of the academic year, organized for all first year bachelor’s and master’s students coming to study at either Maastricht University or Zuyd University of Applied Sciences. The INKOM stands for five days full of non-stop fun activities, student parties and sports events. On average about 2,700 students participate in the INKOM week each year so they get to know each other and the city of Maastricht. 

As exchange student you are also more than welcome to participate in the INKOM week, but keep in mind that the INKOM does not replace the Academic Introduction Days for exchange students on 01 and 02 September 2016.

More information on the programme can be found on the official INKOM website. If you have any questions about the INKOM contact the organization of the INKOM directly via email.

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Maastricht summer school

The Maastricht Summer School was set up a few years ago in collaboration with the Maastricht School of Management and Zuyd University of Applied Sciences, and offers courses on all sorts of subjects, as well as a social programme.

The Maastricht Summer School (courses, accommodation  and social programme) are not part of the exchange programme at SBE, so the relevant fees you have to pay yourself.For the course overview and the different programmes, please check the Summer School website

If you have any questions contact  the Maastricht Summer School via email

Important note: If  you are coming to SBE as exchange student but you will also take part in the Maastricht Summer School, make sure to arrange accommodation for both programmes.

Visit summer school website

Social and daily life in Maastricht

  • Getting around

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  • How to open a Dutch bank account

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  • Insurance

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  • Medical Care in Maastricht

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  • Dutch language course

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  • Blogs Exchange Students

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  • International Student Network

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  • You and the Law: Student Police Officer

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  • Move that body!

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  • Maastricht summer school

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The IRO incoming team has tried its very best to compile a very elaborate website for incoming students. However, maybe you missed information, or there are things you do not quite understand. If you have questions or need help, you can always send us an email or, once you have arrived, you can also come and talk to us in person during the open office hours at the Information desk.

Either way, we are here for you!

More information

Like to know more about the faculty, the university and the city? Check out these pages:

Exchange at Maastricht University
Why choose Maastricht?
Problem-Based Learning
About the School of Business and Economics

Problem? Question?

Don't hesitate: contact us!

International Relations Office
Open Monday until Friday 10.00 - 11.30 hrs
Tongersestraat 53

 6211 LM Maastricht