How does the MSP support studying a semester abroad?
- MSP is an excellence programme, seeking to form an outstanding set of students in the sciences. The emphasis of this programme rather lies on gaining knowledge and experience in a scientific environment in order to be ready for future work placements.
- The semester abroad does not easily fit into the MSP schedule (problems with credits and requirements), and is therefore not intended for the general student body.
- However, if you desire to follow courses that are not offered at MSP and are crucial for your further specification (for instance marine biology) a semester abroad at a university offering these courses is strongly recommended.
- Generally, stronger support is given for performing the bachelor thesis abroad:
i. when performing the bachelor thesis abroad or at the desired master university the impact of the abroad experience is much higher than when you go abroad for a semester (people anticipate that a semester abroad is mostly used for cultural benefits, not scientific)
In which cases is a semester abroad advisable?
- When seeking to follow courses that are not offered at Maastricht University
- In cases where students have not yet had the opportunity to study outside of the Netherlands
What partnerships does the MSP have with other universities?
- University of Bath, UK
- University of Adelaide, Australia
- University of New South Wales (UNSW), Australia
- École Polytechnique de Lausanne, Switzerland (high level of French skills required)
What other options exist to find a partner university?
- Check the university partnerships which UCM has and hope that they can place you within their programme
- Search for a university which offers your desired courses yourself
i. In this case, be aware that it is possible that you may have to pay their fees!
ii. Check whether there is a partnership of the university of your choice to any other department of Maastricht University! – that may save you the double or expensive fees
- Always talk to your academic advisor and/or other MSP staff – they might have connections and tips for you!
Is there an alternative to going abroad for a semester?
- In most cases it is more advisable to go abroad for your bachelor thesis. The benefits of this are:
i. It saves you the hassle of going through credit and requirement problems
ii. It saves you the risk of having study delay and not being able to graduate on time
iii. It gives you a larger impact on your CV
iv. It gives you the opportunity to already get familiar with your desired master university and maybe also get an advantage in admissions
What stages are there in the procedure?
- The different steps can vary, so talk to your academic advisor as soon as possible !
- In general, you need to contact the abroad university, your academic advisor, maybe another staff member and the examination committee
When do I need to start organising my semester abroad ?
- Try to start as early as possible, ideally 9 months in advance!
i. Too late organisation can lead to disapproval of the semester abroad request! (or to various problems with customs – visa problems etc.)
Who can I contact for the semester abroad?
- Your academic advisor is always the first person you should contact for issues like this.
Are there going to be more partnerships with other universities established?
- The main aim of the MSP programme is not to send as many students abroad as possible. The experience abroad is not essential part of the curriculum. The goal is to gain interdisciplinary knowledge in the sciences, which is not always easy to keep track of when not performed within Maastricht University. So generally, there is no emphasis on striving to establish many more partnerships.
Advantages/disadvantages of going a semester abroad
Gaining experience abroad
Can cause study and graduation delay (not all required 3000 level projects/practicals/courses might be covered)
Improving language skills
Can be very expensive!
Following courses required your master which are not offered at MSC
Does not necessarily add value to your portfolio
Possible and sometimes beneficial, however the con sides must be accounted for when planning semester abroad
Often the bachelor thesis abroad is the better option