Gelly Tran (19, the Netherlands), Fiscal Economics
Ten years from now, I hope to live and work in New York or Hong Kong

“In high school I was good at economics and mathematics, but I didn’t want to just study economics. I searched for a combination of economics and law, with the emphasis on economics. That will probably enhance my chances on the labour market later. Maastricht appealed to me for its Problem-Based Learning and international atmosphere. And I immediately liked all the old buildings that are used by the university.     

My parents are from Vietnam and my grandparents are from China. During elementary school, I visited a Chinese school on Saturdays and at home I also speak Chinese. I love to travel and feel drawn to Asia; I follow everything that goes on in Hong Kong. But also the US, where I spent my holidays several times, appeals to me. Therefore, ten years from now, I hope to live and work in New York or Hong Kong.

To those who don’t know the programme, I always say that I ‘study taxes’. With regard to legal area, the programme is oriented to the Netherlands, but during the economics courses I often share the classroom with foreign students from other programmes. I think it’s great that you get to discover different opinions and cultures during your studies.

Because I really enjoy the contact with foreign students, I have registered as a buddy for foreign students with the UM International Student Ambassador Programme. Recently, we had the kick-off. At first, I was quite nervous because I didn’t know anybody, but everyone was very friendly and open. I met many new people I would normally never have come across. One of the three students I will help find their way in Maastricht is from Hong Kong. I can speak Cantonese with her.

During the first year of the programme I joined study association Scope, but because I found the study load heavier than expected, I couldn’t participate very actively. Working on your study programme eight hours per day sounds okay, but if you really do that, it can be tough, especially because you also want to do other things besides studying. This year I hope to do more of those things and I've joined the fiscal economics study association First. I want to meet a lot of people and hear their experiences.  

In the first year of your studies you get a lot of freedom, so I postponed the work a bit. But then suddenly everything had to be finished at once. Therefore, I would advise to keep up with the work. I usually study in the university restaurant when it’s not busy. It’s not too quiet and I can concentrate best there.”


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