Student Life in Maastricht
May 2021 — By Javier Báez García
Maastricht is in all possible ways a student city: students make up a large part of the population, and the town itself offers a lot of opportunities for students to have fun, stay healthy, and develop their most valued skills. Whether you are a movie geek, a sports fan, or a party animal, this small but vibrant town in Limburg got you covered! In this blog article, I want to give you a taste of what student life is like in Maastricht, and what opportunities are there to have fun and enjoy life beyond your studies.
Experiencing the Outdoors
In the coming weeks we will talk about the sports options that UM offers. But for now, we will say that we cannot overemphasize enough how many opportunities Maastricht offers to stay fit! Even I, someone who would always take Netflix over a sweaty workout, often go on spontaneous bike rides and runs in the city and in the beautiful surrounding countryside!
If you don’t want to take my word for it, then check out what Guus thinks! In this video, he explains why Maastricht is so good for running and provides you with some good running routes. I encourage you to watch the video to also get an idea of how truly breath-taking the landscapes in Maastricht are. A member of our team will be showing off some of her favourite runs soon so keep an eye out!
If mountain biking is more of your thing, then Maastricht can still offer you plenty of opportunities to get muddy. Especially around the St. Pietersberg area, in the south-west of the town, there are plenty of trails which you can challenge yourself with!
So even if you were not into running or biking before coming to study in Maastricht, there are plenty of opportunities to get into it once you arrive in town.
Activism and Volunteering
Activism and volunteering also represent a valuable part of student life in Maastricht for many students. Within Maastricht University, throughout the years a high number of student organizations and associations have been formed. Here you can join associations like Amnesty International Maastricht (AIMS), Unicef Student Team Maastricht (USTM), Precious Plastic Maastricht, and Maastricht 4 Climate. These are just some of the most famous organizations devoted to volunteering and activism students can get involved with during the course of their studies. You can find many more at this link.
A lot of organizations are also present to support international students upon their arrival in Maastricht, to support and nurture an inclusive culture within our international community. Bottom-up initiatives like the African-Caribbean Maastricht University Society (ACMUS), MSA Nour, UM Pride, Female Empowerment (FEM), and Feminists of Maastricht aim to bring communities together through events, initiatives, and projects.
I highly recommend following all of these organizations on Facebook to keep up to date with their events! Joining an organization can really help you make connections with other students and support you in settling down, which can be especially challenging during a global pandemic.
Maastricht has a lot to offer for students who enjoy art. The Bonnefanten Museum hosts many fascinating art exhibitions, very affordable for students who are granted a generous 50% discount upon the regular ticket fare.
A true art nerd surely knows that Maastricht hosts TEFAF every year, one of the most worlds regarded premier fairs for fine art, antiques, and design. TEFAF takes place at the MECC, Maastricht’s own Conference Centre, and in 2022 the fair is expected to take place between June 24th and June 30th. The website of the fair will give you an idea of how special it feels to walk through this exposition, something that I certainly recommend doing during your time in Maastricht!
Another extraordinary event that takes place in Maastricht every year is the Museum Nacht. This is an excellent occasion to visit all of the museums and historical buildings which the city has to offer in one night. I cannot fully express how much FUN this night is! 14 unique locations open their doors to visitors of all ages on a magical night you will definitely not forget! Expect to see all sorts of exhibitions and live performances, and to celebrate art in the most fun and engaging way. Next year the event is projected to take place on April 14th, a date you should all note down on your calendars!
If you are like me and you just LOVE movies of all sorts of genres, languages, and length, then you will LOVE living in Maastricht. My absolute favourite place in Maastricht is Lumière Cinema, a cinema Restaurant and Cafè located in one of the most romantic corners of Maastricht. I spent some of my best evenings out with friends there! Our evenings here would always be very special, as we would always stop at the bar after the movie to discuss and analyze actors, storylines, and photography. Lumière screens movies that are more ‘niche’ and offers students a convenient discount on the ticket. Just a few meters from Lumière you can find Pathé Bioscoop, one of the most popular movie theatre chains in the Netherlands. Here you can watch more mainstream movies, also in 3D and 4DX, and eat some of the most delicious popcorns in town (and nachos!). And after watching a movie with friends at the Pathé, you can always go to have chat at the de Gouverneur. This is one of the most famous bars in Maastricht, and it offers more than 300 kinds of beers, as well as amazing fries and bitterballen!
PRO TIP: if you don’t just love movies, but you obsess over them (like myself), then check out the Lumiere Specials. These special events can be movie screenings of foreign films occasionally streamed with English subtitles, or film screenings series dedicated to specific themes, which always include experts’ analyses and guided discussions at the end of the movie.
So, in summary, there is a WHOLE lot to do as a student in Maastricht. So much, that I might have left some opportunities behind! So, if you have a specific interest that I might not have mentioned here, feel free to ask us and we will get back to you with more information on the topic!