Host of the European Summit of 1991, where the "Treaty of Maastricht" was adopted as the formal foundation of the European Union, Maastricht is both a center of international importance and a small regional city. Located in the southernmost tip of the Netherlands, the city of 125,000 inhabitants sits near the borders of Belgium and Germany, and is a short train ride from France. Its accessibility, numerous galleries and museums, and lively café culture make Maastricht an ideal study abroad site.
Hobart and William Smith Colleges maintain an affiliation with the University College Maastricht (UCM), a small, international undergraduate division within the larger Universiteit Maastricht (UM), which boasts a student population of 15,000. Founded in 2002 as one of the first liberal arts honors programs in the Netherlands, the UCM program offers highly qualified HWS students the opportunity to study (in English) alongside Dutch and international classmates in a rigorous, highly interactive learning environment.
Students who participate in this program can select courses from: cultural studies, computer science, economics, environmental studies, European Studies, history, law, literature, mathematics, philosophy, political science, psychology, the sciences (biology, chemistry, physics - generally without lab) and women's studies. The standard course load is comprised of four course modules, normally two of which are in the student's major field with the others being in elective areas. All courses are taught by the faculty of University College Maastricht. Students with special curricular needs can also request permission to take one class at the larger Universiteit Maastricht. For specific information about courses and the educational program, please consult the UCM website or stop by the CGE to consult the program catalog.
Due to the wide range of courses offered through UCM, this program can accommodate students from a variety of disciplines throughout the HWS curriculum. All students are engaged in a "problem-based learning" approach which places responsibility for learning squarely into student hands, and requires active class participation.
This program is open to all juniors and seniors in good academic and social standing with a minimum GPA of 3.3. This program is recommended only for students who are extremely independent, both socially and academically. Due to the challenging nature of study abroad in general, and of this program in particular, student academic and disciplinary records will be carefully screened. (Please note: due to the timing of the academic calendar at UCM, seniors participating in the spring semester will not be able to return in time for commencement on the HWS campus.)
Students reside in Guesthouse Maastricht, run by the Universiteit Maastricht for international undergraduate and graduate students. All rooms are furnished and there are communal kitchen/cooking facilities placed throughout the residence for the use of its guests.
The Maastricht program at UCM is not a traditional US "study abroad program" in the sense that excursions designed for our group are not offered. Instead, HWS students will have the opportunity to apply for a grant of up to $500 to cover travel and related expenses during the semester. The CGE will email Maastricht students in the semester before departure, inviting them to apply for the grant by submitting a proposed itinerary to visit sites related to an academic or cultural interest and indicate how they will present this experience upon their return to campus (this may be in the form of a photography exhibit, submitting an article to the CGE's journal The Aleph, a presentation, a web site, etc.). In addition, there are opportunities for HWS students to join the UM student union, student clubs and sporting associations that will enable independent and self-starting students to become fully immersed in the local culture and to learn more about Dutch society.
Students will be charged standard HWS tuition and fees and a $550 administrative fee. This will cover credit for a four-course semester, arrival services and orientation program. Note that no room or board charge is included. Students will pay room fees directly to Guesthouse Maastricht and they should bring their board fee to cover meals. While food expenses will vary according to individual tastes, we estimate that about $2,200-$2,400 should be sufficient for students who prepare their own meals. Rent ranges from $2,400-$3,500 for the semester depending on amenities chosen. Additional expenses not covered include airfare, books and personal expenses (laundry, entertainment, ground transportation and independent travel). We estimate airfare for this program at $900-$1000 from the East Coast, ground transportation (train) to Maastricht at $120, and books at $250. It is difficult to give an accurate estimate of student expenses because student spending habits differ considerably. We would suggest a minimum of $1,500 above and beyond meal expenses. However, students on a tight budget should be able to manage with less. If you are concerned about finances, we strongly encourage you to talk to the CGE staff who can offer information and advice based on your specific situation.
NOTE: This information is subject to change. Please see the CGE for more information.