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 (Sept - Jan) Spring semester (Feb - Jun)
8 weeks 8 weeks 4 weeks 8 weeks 8 weeks 4 weeks
Period 1 ECTS Period 2* ECTS Period 3 ECTS Period 4 ECTS Period 5 ECTS Period 6 ECTS
2 courses 10 2 courses 10 1 project 5 2 courses 10 2 courses 10 1 project 5
1 skills 2.5 1 skills 2.5     1 skills 2.5 1 skills 2.5    
Total 12.5 Total 12.5 Total 5 Total 12.5 Total 12.5 Total  5
Max amount of credits per semester: 30 Max amount of credits per semester: 30
Max amount of credits per semester: 60

*Period 2 ends before Christmas break

Download the UCM Course catalogue 2023-2024 (pdf)

Grading system

Study info

The Dutch grading system, used from elementary through university education is the 1 to 10 scale given in the following table, wherein 10 is the highest grade, 5.5 the minimum pass  and 1 the lowest grade.

Educators uniformly comment on the great difficulty in obtaining 9's and 10's and the respectability of 6's. There is also agreement that an 8 represents a high level of achievement, while grades 6 and 7 generally account for the majority of passing grades awarded.

Letter Grade GPA Dutch Grade Description
A+ 4.0 8.6 - 10 Excellent
A 4.0 8.0 - 8.5 Very Good
A- 3.7 7.7 - 7.9 Very Good
B+ 3.3 7.4 - 7.6 Very Good
B 3 7.0 - 7.3 Very Good
B- 2.7 6.7 - 6.9 Good
C+ 2.3 6.4 - 6.6 Good
C 2.0 6.0 - 6.3 Pass
C- 1.7 5.5 - 5.9 Pass
D+ 1.3 5.4 Fail
D 1.0 5.0 - 5.3 Fail
D- 0.0 0.0 - 4.9 Fail


Academic year

Study info

The academic year at UCM consists of a fall semester and spring semester, each containing 20 weeks. The fall semester starts in the last week of August or the first week of September and ends the final week of January. The spring semester starts in the last week of January or the first week of February and concludes around the first week of July. 

  • Each semester consists of 3 periods; 2 course periods (8 weeks each) and 1 project period (4 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)

Download the UCM Academic calendar 2023-2024 (pdf)


General info

Most exchange students book their room online at the UM Guesthouse for the duration of their stay. With thousands of new students coming to Maastricht in August in preparation of the start of the academic year, there will be many others looking for a room as well. You are strongly advised to book your room as soon as you know you are coming to Maastricht.

Go to the Maastricht Housing website to start looking for housing (at UM Guesthouse, another housing agency or in the private sector)

In case of problems, the International Relations Office at UCM cannot and will not interfere on your behalf.


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 Naturalisation 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 €210 (January 2023).


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.

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