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Counter-culture culture

Counter-culture culture

“Back when I did Feminist Studies up at UCSC it wasn’t even a department yet. It was just run by a collective of women,” says the cashier as I pay for my textbook.  In downtown Santa Cruz, in the bookstore called The Literary Guillotine, I feel myself tipping headfirst into history. This small space is crammed floor to ceilin...

UM scores better but drops in THE ranking

UM scores better but drops in THE ranking

MAASTRICHT. A minor drop this time for Maastricht University in the new annual world wide ranking of universities by Times Higher Education. Place 88 was exchanged for place 94, even though the UM score for various criteria was higher than last year’s. The shift is mainly due to the increase in the number of universities assessed. From 800...

“The word tricycle comes to mind”

“The word tricycle comes to mind”

Two bicycles under the raised bed, chain wheels and sprockets on the wall and a row of tires under the window. Jesse Raas is obviously a cyclist. His room is the venue for this evening’s dinner with professor of Philosophy Tsjalling Swierstra and three other members of the student mountain bike and cycling association Dutch Mountains. Having ...

Be gezellig, don’t boast and be sure to complain

Be gezellig, don’t boast and be sure to complain

How does one ‘be’ Dutch? Greg Shapiro, self-proclaimed ‘American Netherlander’ and comedian from Boom Chicago, Comedy Central, answers this question meticulously in his book How to be Dutch. Using quiz questions in the style of the official integration exam, Shapiro pokes fun at the reader, himself and especially the Dutch. ...
Talk American To Me

Talk American To Me

‘How’s it going?’ ‘I’m awesome!’ (accompanied by big thumbs up) ‘We should totally meet up sometime. Text me!’ And you never see them again. This is a typical round of American small talk, as acted out by our orientation leader during the ‘Understanding US Culture’ presentation...

“We did end up bringing him a new pillow, that same night”

“We did end up bringing him a new pillow, that same night”

A year into her PhD programme, Maastricht graduate Karin van der Ven dropped out. She knew what she wanted: to start a student services company. “Deep in my heart I had a vision of Jules.” Back then, in 2009, one of the first services was the bike repair. And it’s still alive. A major growth area is in the management of student ro...
Three days of PAS

Three days of PAS

Maastricht University, celebrating its fortieth anniversary last week, went all out with an art and science tour, the PAS+ festival, boasting 150 activities. The wonderful weather helped; the performances in the gardens were very popular. As far as the lectures given by scientists were concerned – one spoke of Sjeng Tans’ legacy, anothe...
“Mr Van Schayck, life is no joke”

“Mr Van Schayck, life is no joke”

Tuesday evening, Bogaardenstraat 16. We’re sitting on the first floor of an apartment building where students and Maastricht locals live in harmony together. Most of the time, at least. The police were called in a few weeks ago, says psychology student Elizabeth de Nijs. “Nienke and I were just talking, with a bit of music on in the bac...

Milestones

Milestones

Stuck between cultures, I’ve done adulthood all wrong. In Switzerland, where I grew up, drinking beer and wine is legal at sixteen. So for me, drinking was never a rebellious act to gain adult prestige. The big marker of adulthood was eighteen, the age I was allowed to vote and, in theory, drive. But driving held little symbolic value for me ...

“Do you speak three languages or more?”

“Do you speak three languages or more?”

Did you go to an international school? Do your parents have different nationalities? Are you left- handed? Last Tuesday, around 350 first-year students were sent wandering around Brasserie Tapijn armed with a sheet of nine questions. Their task: to find, among the 60 buddies – also known as ambassadors – and their fellow students people...

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