Baylor students study in Maastricht

CES representative Kyra Van Leendert visited to discuss the Baylor in Maastricht program Monday. Photo credit: Jessica Hubble

One of the oldest study abroad trips at Baylor looks to take a new group of students this spring.

For over 20 years, Baylor University has taken students on a study abroad trip to Maastricht, in south Netherlands. Maastricht, a 15-minute bike ride from Belgium is a quiet town and is home to the Netherlands’ oldest university.

“I loved Maastricht. It is a fairytale city; it’s absolutely incredible,” said Addison senior Abigail Miller who went on the trip in the spring of 2016.

Maastricht is a town with about 125,000 residents, 10-15 percent of whom are in the program. Students attend the University of Maastricht, the oldest university in the Netherlands. While studying at the University of Maastricht, Baylor students take two classes taught by Maastricht professors and two classes taught by Baylor professors.

“The way the program is designed, you take classes from the professor who is going with you, but then you can also do corresponding classes with a professor back at Baylor. The classes you are taking in Maastricht are going to help you with your degree.”

Travel is at the heart of this program as the students are provided with a Eurail pass: a train ticket that has access to the majority of trains across Europe. In addition, according to Van Leendert, there are five to seven airports within an hour and a half of Maastricht where inexpensive plane tickets are not hard to find.

On Monday evening, Kyra Van Leendert, a representative from the Center for European Studies, the organization that Baylor coordinates the study abroad with, visited Baylor to speak with students preparing to go on the trip.

“You are in the heart of Europe,” said Van Leendert. “It is very easy to travel on your days and weekends off. It is the perfect way to see Europe before working life starts.”

With the freedom to travel on weekends, classes are a priority during the week. Missing a class is not an option, and leaving class early to take a cheaper flight is not allowed.

“Classes come first, and they are 100 percent mandatory,” said Van Leendert.

While travel opportunities are exciting, students often overlook their host city of Maastricht and all that it has to offer. As the oldest city in the Netherlands, Maastricht is full of interesting people and cultural experiences.

“One thing I would recommend is taking more advantage of Maastricht,” Miller said. “I wish I had explored Maastricht more.”

The Maastricht program fills quickly, but students who are interested can apply once again in January for the following semester.