“Moving to another country is not scary”

First-year student

21-08-2020

Conor Johnston (20) is one of the first-year students who was worked hard during UM Sports Inkom workout on Wednesday morning. “I didn’t expect it to be that intense. But it was a good exercise.” He is pretty certain that he will be joining the sports centre. “I want to join the tennis club and the rugby team.” Especially the latter sport is “very big” in his home country Ireland. “I just play for fun. I think it will be great to be on a team with different nationalities.”

The greatest motivation behind his choice of International Business in Maastricht is the international character of the university. “I think it will be good for my future career to get to know people from various countries and cultures.” Problem-based Learning also appeals to him. “The system in Ireland is rather classical: lectures and a lot of self-study. I think that PBL makes students more confident in getting the best out of their studies because you work in small groups. Presentations, for example, are less intimidating.”

Johnston lives in a student house on Orleansplein. He shares a kitchen and bathroom with five others. Unlike many fellow first-year students, he didn’t find it difficult to get a room. “I started looking back in May. I noticed that a lot of people here are prepared to help. If you do a good search, you will certainly find something.”

Is it not scary to move to another country when you are only twenty? “Not for me; I have done it before. When I was about sixteen, I spent a year at a tennis academy in France. Everyone in Ireland has a gap year in 10th grade, which is two years before the final secondary school exams. I like the idea of living in a completely new place, making a fresh start. It is tough in the beginning, but you have to leave your comfort zone in order to be successful.”

“Moving to another country is not scary”
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