MAASTRICHT. It is time for the XXL weeks at the University Library again. This means that the library is bursting at its seams with students studying. Elise Abraham, second-year student of Economics from Belgium and Mimi Ahlsrog, second-year student of International Business from Finland, can be found at the Inner-City University Library every day. “We live in the same house and we always study together. We usually arrive between 9:30 and 10:00 and work until six o'clock or so. But as the exams get closer, we may be here until 21:00hrs.” The so-called German Run – mostly Germans rushing into the library as soon as the doors open at half past eight in order to acquire a good place to study - is not for them. Too early, they both agree in the coffee corner. “We have tried it, but we are more productive when we start a little later.” The disadvantage is that the quiet rooms have already been taken.
“We are on the ground floor, you are allowed to talk there, but not too loudly,” says Ahlsrog, who has two second-year exams on her agenda next week: Corporate Governance and Management of Information Systems. Abraham is preparing for the exams on Productivity and International Economics that are planned for next Wednesday and Thursday. Going home for Easter? No, that is impossible.
Have they used the ‘break disc’ (to be placed on the table when you take a break – for a maximum of 30 minutes; if you stay away longer, your space becomes available for someone else)? “No, that wasn't necessary, there are still some seats untaken. Besides, half an hour is very short, certainly if you are having lunch.”
A little further along is Pavithra Perera from Sri Lanka. She is a master's student of Law and just finishing off a paper for the subject of Human Rights for Women. “I have to hand it in tomorrow. There is an exam on the subject next week. I am confident that I will pass everything.” Perera doesn't always study in the city centre library, which has 957 study spaces. “There is not always space. That is why I sometimes go to the study spaces at the Student Services Centre.” She hardly ever studies at home in her flat. “That is not so good for my concentration. It works better when you are surrounded by people who are also preparing for exams.” And in one of the pubs in the city? “No, there's too much noise there.”