The innercity UL in March 2020
Studying in the UL during lockdown
MAASTRICHT. It is Tuesday, January 12, around one o'clock. Location: the entrance to the university library in the city center. The German Lennart Buggert, pre-master student of European Studies on Society, Science and Technology, is very focused at his phone. “I have my social media moment,” he laughs. "It’s not fixed in my schedule, but I take the time now and then so that I don't have to check my phone while studying."
The country is in lockdown; the university is closed. But for students who find it difficult to study at home, who have mental or physical problems, or who are lonely, there is a limited number (eighty of the nine hundred) study places available in the University Library in the city center. All other locations are closed. They can reserve a time slot via the website: on weekdays from 8.30 a.m. to 1 p.m. or from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and on weekends there is only one shift: from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Buggert has just finished studying; he will soon jump on his bike to his room. “I love the bike ride home,” he says. But there is another reason why he loves the library: "When I study in my room all day, I go crazy."
Besmire Beca, Master's student of Strategy and Innovation, lives in an old student house with twelve others. "It is noisy and it is not healthy to sit in my room all day with earplugs in." She could also study with her parents in Germany, but "my siblings also live there and the libraries are closed in Germany."
Where Beca seeks peace and quiet in the UL, Flemish Emma Vergauwen, master's student of Economics, goes to the inner city library because of the people. “In my room I am all alone. I enjoy having people around me studying.” Normally she studies at the faculty, never in the UL. "But this is currently the only place you can still go to." Vergauwen is going to start on her thesis and is therefore reading a lot. "I am looking for a good subject in macroeconomic policy."
The Turkish Halil Suat, research master's student of Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience, is also working on his thesis at the UL. He can concentrate better in the library. “It doesn't have to be done until August, but I want to finish earlier so that I will be free in the summer.” A nice extra of studying at the UL: “There are free newspapers. I like to read them during breaks.”