“Maastricht University could definitely be more international,” says Raluca Nicolae, a master student of Management of Learning, from Romania. She reckons it would help if there were more nationalities at the university. “It would be better if the students came from more diverse backgrounds, instead of mainly from two countries; Germany and the Netherlands. Maybe the UM could promote itself more at international fairs.”
An international environment was not the reason why Nicolae chose Maastricht University. “I came here because the School of Business and Economics held a high place in the Financial Times ranking. I expected the professors to be competent and up to date with the latest developments in their field of expertise. Later, when I talked with friends and saw that most of the programmes were in English, I realized the university must be very international.”
She had no problem meeting people here and likes it that the university organizes gatherings for Romanian students. “It made me feel welcome and gives you a chance to talk to each other about your experiences and the differences with your own country.” She names one example. “Dutch students are more relaxed, they’re very easy-going. I think it’s because many of them are supported by their parents. Romanian students are more ambitious; they want to make it.”
She thinks the university has a role in teaching students about Dutch culture. “Perhaps they could give Dutch culture classes to the newly arrived. Culture is such an important part of student life. If you know more about each other’s cultures, it’s easier to understand each other. The university hasn’t explored enough what they can do in that area. Maybe they could organize something in a study-related way, like a business case competition. Now, people are making international friends too, but they’re also sticking with their own group.