Maastricht is one of the Netherlands’ oldest cities, and has been the site of many globally important events. Thanks to the Maastricht Treaty it is known as the birthplace of the European Union and the Euro.
It is the capital and largest city in the Limburg province, located in the southern tip of the Netherlands between Belgium and Germany. 122,000 people call the city home, and about a quarter of them are students. There are three institutions of higher education in Maastricht. The largest, Maastricht University, is regularly ranked in the top 100 in the world.
The city boasts an impressive 1,677 Dutch national heritage sites (Rijksmonumenten) - only the capital of Holland, Amsterdam, has more. There are various notable sightseeing opportunities, such as the city fortifications, and many areas of natural beauty like parks. Yet it is still a modern place. Its location near the border and its young student population give Maastricht an international, metropolitan feel.
The Netherlands is known to offer a high quality of living, and Maastricht maintains this standard. Not only are the inhabitants blessed with plenty of purchasing power, but it is far less expensive than some of Europe's capitals such as London or Berlin. This is not to say that it is cheap, but your money goes a long way. As far as contemporary living goes anyone would be hard pressed to do much better, especially considering the historical significance of the area.
Maastricht University is the largest university in Maastricht, and generally the most well-known. Nearly half of its students come from abroad, making it one of the most international universities in the Netherlands. An increasingly large number of the courses are taught in English. The university was officially established in 1976 as a medical school, but within a decade it had expanded to include courses such as law, economics, art and culture. Maastricht University’s largest faculty, the School of Business and Economics, is “triple-accredited” by EQUIS, AMBA and AACSB - a distinctive feature it shares with the top 1% business schools in the world.
Its fierce local rival is the Maastricht School of Management (MSM), one of Europe’s oldest business schools. It offers full-time MBA degrees and also short courses for executives.
Students seeking a more practice-oriented education may want to take a look at Zuyd University of Applied Sciences. They offer English-taught Bachelors and Masters programmes in a variety of subjects.
Maastricht is a very compact town with short distances. You can easily get around on foot or bike.
Maastricht shares a tiny airport with the German town of Aachen, with only a handful of destinations. International students will prefer to seek flights to and from Düsseldorf, Cologne/Bonn or Brussels, all of which are within reach by train or bus.