"There's always something to do in Maastricht"
You stay in Maastricht over the summer and you will start a master’s here. You really must love this town.
“Actually, it was a long decision process to choose the perfect master’s. I checked out all European universities to see if they offered an interdisciplinary research master in European Studies. It turned out that Maastricht University was the only one. So, lucky me, I get to stay here.”
And what will you do during the Maastricht summer?
“It’s relatively quiet here without the majority of the students, but I don’t get bored because I have three jobs. I am a student ambassador for the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASoS), so I inform prospective students about the programmes at our faculty. I am also the chair of the student representatives at FASoS. Our faculty has a very strong student representation, which means that this upcoming academic year I will chair 29 representatives for bachelor’s and master’s. But most of all, I will work in my third job: student assistant with the Female Empowerment Maastricht University network (FEM). Together with the FEM board members, I am assembling a pregnancy and parenthood booklet for new parents. Themes are breastfeeding, bringing child to work, maternity/paternity leave, grants, etc. The booklet will be published at the beginning of the new academic year.
How did you get so involved at FASoS?
“When you start to work with the faculty, you find that it is a very welcoming environment. Once you’re in, there are more and more things you can do as you go along. I have become really passionate about the faculty.”
Any time for vacation?
“There are only a few other international students in Maastricht over the summer, but that’s okay. I will just calm down and relax. I will also travel a bit, which is ideal thanks to Maastricht’s central location. You can easily visit Aachen, Liège, Brussels from here, but also Amsterdam and The Hague are just a couple of hours away.”
Do you have an advice for other international students that stay here in the summer?
“For fresh students it may be hard to spend the summer here, because they don’t have a network yet and there is not much going on in Maastricht. However, once they have been here longer, they will see the possibility to get involved in projects over the summer. You might not think so, but there is a lot going on at the university in that period, you just have to be aware of the opportunities. So, keep your ears and eyes open and get involved!”
Danai Petropoulou Ionescu (23) just finished her bachelor’s programme in Arts and Culture.