University College Maastricht (UCM) - Exchange

UCM is a Liberal Arts and Sciencs Honours College where students can take courses in a variety of academic fields, like Philosophy, Political Sciences, Psychology, Sociology, History, International Relations, Business, Computer Sciences, and Gender Studies. The UCM exchange programme is a very important part of the curriculum. With a student body that is made up out of more than 55 nationalities, you will be part of a truly international community. With 50+ exchange contracts with universities and colleges in 27 countries all over the world, UCM is home to approximately 130 exchange students every year.

Apply for a semester abroad at UCM

If you are studying at one of the UCM partner universities, you can join UCM as an exchange student. Get in touch with the study abroad office at your home university to get more information about how to apply for a semester or full year at UCM. If your home university does not have an exchange agreement with UCM, you can apply as a fee paying contract student.

Study info
Partner universities

Application and fees

Study info

Exchange Students Application Information

All exchange students must be officially nominated by their home university. Visit your home university’s international office for information about their procedure to apply to UCM. Once you are nominated, UCM will contact you personally with specifics about our application process, as well as the deadlines in the process and the documents to upload to support your application.

You will be guided through the process of admission, course selection and visa application.

Students applying to our programme should be at least a second year undergraduate student at their home university at the time of participation We ask that their GPA is at least a 3.0 (B+) or equivalent to be admissible. After your application has been reviewed by UCM, we will inform you whether you can join our program.

Contract/fee paying student fees

If you are not studying at one of UCM’s partner universities you can still join our programme as a fee paying student. As a contract student you are obliged to pay an enrolment fee and a tuition fee for the courses you wish to enroll in:

  • €500 enrolment fee
  • €136 per ECTS

These fees are non-refundable and will have to be paid in advance.

Please contact our Office of Student Affairs for more information if you are interested in becoming a contract student.

Course offering

Study info

At UCM you will be able to choose courses in the Humanities, Social Sciences and Sciences and create interdisciplinary combinations. A full time degree seeking student can obtain maximum 30 ECTS per semester. This is a typical study load and consists of 4 courses (each 5 ECTS), 2 skills (each 2.5 ECTS) and 1 project (5 ECTS). Depending on your home university’s requirements you can adjust the workload as long as you enroll in at least 20 ECTS.

Fall semester
Period 1
7 weeks
Reflection week
Period 2
7 weeks
Reflection week/ Christmas break
Period 3
3 weeks


Spring semester
Period 4
7 weeks
Reflection week
Period 5
7 weeks
Period 6
3 weeks                                                 

Download the UCM Course catalogue 2024-2025 (pdf)

Grading system

Study info

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 deregister for the course before the course (de)registration deadline. 

When will I get my transcript?
Once all results have been processed in the system, the transcript can be created. Do note that this is time consuming. We kindly ask for your patience.

How will I get my transcript?
An electronic version of your grade transcript will be sent directly to your home university, you do not need to request it, this is done automatically. 

UCM’s grading system
Every course has its own requirements students need to meet in order to pass the course. These requirements are mentioned in the course manual.

All courses are assessed with a whole or half grade on a scale from 0.0 to 10.0 or a no grade. It should be noted that a 10.0 is very rarely scored (fewer than 1% of students). A grade of 5.5 is considered a pass. The grading scale applied by UCM, is to be interpreted as:

Letter GradeGPADutch GradeDescription
A+4.08.6 - 10Excellent
A4.08.0 - 8.5Very Good
A-3.77.7 - 7.9Very Good
B+3.37.4 - 7.6Very Good
B37.0 - 7.3Very Good
B-2.76.7 - 6.9Good
C+2.36.4 - 6.6Good
C2.06.0 - 6.3Pass
C-1.75.5 - 5.9Pass
D1.05.0 - 5.3Fail
D-0.00.0 - 4.9Fail

UCM 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.

Academic year

Study info

The academic year at UCM consists of a fall semester and spring semester. The fall semester starts in the late August/ early September and ends mid/end January. The spring semester starts in the last week of January and ends mid-June. 

  • Each semester consists of 3 periods; 2 course periods (7 weeks each) and 1 project period (3 weeks)
  • Exchange students arriving in Fall may decide not to take the project period in January and leave before Christmas (provided their home university agrees)


General info


Student housing in the Netherlands is not arranged by the university. Finding a room is your own responsibility. In Maastricht there is a shortage of student housing. Finding a suitable place to stay can be difficult and time-consuming. We advise you to start looking for accommodation as soon as your application has been conditionally approved.

Although Maastricht University cannot assist students in finding accommodation, we do want to offer you tips in your search for housing.

Most exchange students end up staying in the UM Guesthouse (C or P building) via Maastrichthousing. Maastrichthousing is affiliated with Maastricht University. The UM Guesthouse offers furnished single and double rooms and studios at 13 locations in Maastricht. The main buildings are located in the vicinity of UCM and are easily accessible by bike or on foot. The minimum stay is 3 months, maximum of 12 months.

Services UM Guesthouse

  • Own reception, helpdesk and technical services
  • 24/7 on campus surveillance with direct contact to Guesthouse staff
  • Cleaning of all common areas (kitchen, showers, toilets, etc.)
  • On campus availability of a General Practice Center, Pharmacy and Travel Clinic
  • Large outside area with lawns, tennis courts, basketball field and parking places on Annadal Campus
  • ATLAS, the home of Erasmus Student Network (ESN) is located on campus
  • The rental price includes electricity, heating, water, taxes, cleaning, etc. No additional bills.

Unfortunately, we 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 want a room in the UM Guesthouse, go to Maastrichthousing. To book a room you first need to register as user; registration costs are non-refundable.

If the UM Guesthouse is fully booked, or if you prefer to stay elsewhere, you can click on the option private market or housing corporations. You may also browse the internet yourself. Do note that most private landlords offer only contracts for a year. Most housing corporations mostly offer unfurnished housing.

Some students choose to live in Belgium, where accommodation may be cheaper and it is possible to commute by bike to Maastricht. However, this choice means that you will need to register yourself with the Belgian municipality, and may face additional bureaucratic steps that are not covered here. Bear in mind that if you are a non-EU student and you have a residence permit for the Netherlands, you cannot live in Belgium or any other EU country (bordering the Netherlands).

Legal aspects, regular and irregular housing expenses
We recommend you to acquaint yourself with the legal aspects of renting accommodation and with the regular and irregular housing expenses. That way you will know what to expect and will be able to avoid unnecessary bills or disagreements when you leave. For more information check MyMaastricht.

Avoid getting scammed
Here are some tips on avoiding scams in the Dutch rental market:

  • Does the offer sound too good to be true? Then it probably is.
  • Always check the address of a room that is on offer; e.g. via Google, Google Maps.
  • Always check the credentials of the person offering a room; e.g. ask the person to provide a telephone number. Landline phone numbers in Maastricht start with 043 or +31-43 when the country code of the Netherlands is added. Google whether a name has been used before in a fraud scheme. Ask if you can register with the council at the address. If not, that's a red flag.
  • Never trust people who claim not to be able to arrange a viewing; e.g. because they are not in the Netherlands.
  • Never transfer money in advance
  • Never transfer money to Western Union, PayPal accounts or to foreign accounts.

Please take the following dates into account when booking housing:
Note that you need to make sure you arrive in Maastricht at least one day before the compulsory introduction days. The last day you have to be present at our school is the last day of the exam week or skills weeks. If you want to take a resit (=second chance to pass the exam) you have to be present in Maastricht. In this case the last day you have to be present at our school is the last day of the resit week. Please consult the academic calendar for the concerning dates.

Please note that the International Relations Office at UCM cannot and will not interfere on your behalf in case of problems, issues or even legal disputes, neither with the UM Guesthouse, Maastrichthousing, nor with housing agencies, landlords, local students subletting their room or apartment or otherwise. Instead, consult with your own lawyer or check the Housing Helpdesk.


General info

To study in the Netherlands, most non-EU nationals will need a residence permit. You can find more information about the requirements at, the official website for the Dutch Immigration and Naturalization department.

You will be contacted automatically by Maastricht University's Visa Office once your application is processed. The fee to obtain a residence permit for non-EU nationals is approximately €238 (January 2024).


General info

Medical costs can be high in the Netherlands, especially if you need to see a specialist or if you are hospitalised. It is therefore important that you are properly insured.

International students in the Netherlands are by law required to have adequate health and third party liability insurance. UM strongly recommends you to check, prior to your departure, both your health care and third party liability policies to make sure that you are covered abroad.

Students are also advised to have travel insurance which is also valid during your stay in the Netherlands, in particular if you plan on traveling during your exchange semester. Maastricht University doesn’t provide insurances. You are responsible for your own insurance and coverage.

Arriving in Maastricht

General info

Arrival directions
It’s easiest to choose Amsterdam Airport (Schiphol) or Brussels international Airport (Zaventem) as your destination airport when booking your ticket and then take the train to Maastricht.

Plan your trip to Maastricht with 9292OV.  

About 6 weeks prior to your arrival in Maastricht, a student of Universalis (UCM study association) will reach out to you about their pick-up service. If you want, a student will meet you at the central train station in Maastricht and assist you to your accommodation. Keep an eye on your inbox and make sure to reply in time if you are interested.

Communication platforms @ UM

General info

Student Portal
The Student Portal is your one-stop location for accessing and managing your personal university information. It has been designed to work on all devices, so that you can access the information you need, whenever you need it, be it on your laptop, tablet or smartphone. Use the Student Portal to sign up for courses, access your course material, answer your email, check your calendar, latest announcements, upcoming deadlines, grades, deregister for exams.

Use intranet to find academic related information, information about procedures, rules and regulations (e.g. academic calendar, information on registration for education and exams, information concerning exams, examinations and results. To access the intranet first login to Student Portal.

After registration you will receive an email containing your Student ID number and your password, which you need to login to your Maastricht University email.

The IRO will only send emails to this address after the start of the semester. Before that time we will use the email address you provided in your online application form.

MFA (Multi Factor Authentication)

UM strongly believes in data protection. Therefore, UM is continuously working to improve information security. Various measures have been and are being taken to make the university network even more secure. That is why UM is switching to the use of Multi Factor Authentication (MFA).

Curious about student life at UCM? One of UCM students vlogged a day in her life to show you what it's like!