Trip to Maastricht

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To start the semester with a bang, the MIM-class went to Maastricht on a European Management Residency. Though it wasn’t that far -it only took us 2 hours to get there- and the seminar was given in Dutch, we were still excited to start the new year with an excursion abroad.

At 8.30 a.m. we were all on the bus to leave for Maastricht. And as our blog post about Luik already mentioned, MIM’ers aren’t morning people. Especially not after the fun and snowy weekend in the woods of Malmedy we just got back from. So, yet again, almost everyone was asleep during the ride to Maastricht. Two hours later, and a bit more awake, we arrived in Maastricht. First, we checked into the hotel, where we established that some people didn’t get a room. So in line with our class atmosphere at that moment, we started the week in a chaotic way. Beside the chaotic start, the hotel was very nice! After everything in the hotel got worked out, we were finally ready to start the week they’ve had planned for us.

The purpose of this week was to give us some insights about the current economic and political environment in Europe and how to do scenario building. To kick-off our visit, Ron presented us the program for the upcoming days and we immediately realized we were in for a very busy week of interesting and fun activities. One thing was sure: we weren’t going to return from Maastricht well rested. Spread over the days, a number of professors taught us about topics like the macro-economic policy of Europe, the financial crisis, the European labour market, the Eurocrisis and so on. With this information in mind, we all gave a presentation at the end of the week about the possible scenarios of the future of Europe. Although the professors didn’t go easy on us with their questions during the presentation, we think we can all say we learned a lot in our 4-day visit.

Of course, like always, it wasn’t all about school this week. The University of Maastricht made sure we also would have a lot of fun during our time there. The first day, they planned a city visit for us, where two really kind and enthusiast guides showed us around in the beautiful city of Maastricht. We established that Maastrichtenaars are not only very proud of their city; they also like to eat and drink. Although the guide told us that they love their food, we would’ve established this fact on our own by the end of the week since we were provided with food and drinks almost every minute of the day (not that we mind J). This brings us to a second fact about the MIM-class: We loooove to eat! So we can say that the extra-curricular activities that were planned for us were a perfect match. The evening activities they scheduled involve going to a nice restaurant, participating in a beer tasting and a network drink. And we happily attended all of them!

As we predicted at the start of the week, this wasn’t a week to chill out. Although we didn’t party like we did in Luik (and on numerous other occasions), by Friday afternoon we were sooo tired. We guess it’s safe to say that, although we learned so much in Maastricht and it was a lot of fun, we were also glad to get on the bus back home again to get some well-deserved sleep. And as the tradition continues… we all took a (small) nap during the ride home. As loud as we can be sometimes, the bus rides sure never are. To end this blog, we would like to say thank you to Ron for this amazing visit and we hope next year’s students will enjoy Maastricht as much as we did.

-Jasper & Stephanie-

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