Prospective students

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FAQ

Is European Studies a new study programme?

Is there an induction period?

I have only completed French Part 1 or German Part 1. Can I be admitted to the programme?

I have a foreign diploma. Can I be admitted to the European Studies programme?

Is there a restriction on the maximum number of students admitted each year?

Is this programme suitable for mbo graduates?

Do some of the subjects require a thorough understanding of maths?

How much emphasis is placed on economics in the ES programme?

What level of difficulty does European Studies have?

What is the level of language tuition provided?

What is the number of teaching periods each week?

Will I have enough time left for a part-time job and leisure activities?

Does the department attract many overseas students?

Do I need to attend all classes?

Will I be assigned a coach or mentor?

What are my career options after graduating with a degree in European Studies?

Is it easy to transfer to a Master's programme?

Can I choose where to attend a foreign exchange programme in Year 3?

Does the department select my work placement or internship in Year 4?

Which specialisation streams do you offer?

When do I need to choose my specialisation?

What is a minor?

Are students allowed to participate in consultation exercises?

What is the dropout rate?

Is it easy to find a job after graduating?

Do you need to be "pro-European" to take this degree course?

Does the European Studies department have a dress code?

What does project work entail?

What is the difference between the European Studies programme offered by a university of applied sciences (HBO), and a university?

What is the difference between the ES study programme offered in Maastricht, and that offered in The Hague and Leeuwarden?

What is the difference between European Studies and International Business?

How do I know whether this degree course is suitable for me?

Can I participate in your Experience European Studies day?

What is the average age of your first-year students?

Is it easy to transfer to another course, if I do not like the ES programme?

Is it difficult to find accommodation?

Is it possible to start the degree course in January/February?

 

Is European Studies a new study programme?
No, European Studies was launched at The Hague University of Applied Sciences in 1990. The Maastricht ES programme has been in existence since 2002. It was previously known under the title Higher European Professional Education [Dutch: Hogere Europese Beroepen Opleiding (HEBO)]. On 1 September 2010, the course was officially renamed 'European Studies'. The official language of instruction from then on is English.

Is there an induction period?
Yes, there are two induction periods. The first is the general Maastricht-wide induction programme, known as INKOM. This programme is intended for all students based in Maastricht, enrolled either at Maastricht University or Zuyd University of Applied Sciences. INKOM is a fun and informal introduction to the city of Maastricht, student life and to first-year students enrolled on other degree courses. INKOM is followed up by a second induction programme, held within the European Studies department itself. This session gives you the opportunity to meet your lecturers and fellow students, and to familiarise yourself with the faculty building, your timetable etc.

I have only completed French Part 1 or German Part 1. Can I be admitted to the programme?
No, you must have passed your secondary school exams in at least two languages (English is compulsory). The main language of instruction is English. As your second language, you must select the language in which you took your final-year examination at secondary school (HAVO 5 or VWO 6). This could be German, French or Spanish. Although it is not compulsory for your third language to be at HAVO 5 or VWO 6 level, it is, of course, an advantage! You can choose whether to take your third language at intermediate level, or at advanced level. Spanish may be taken as a third language without any previous knowledge. For Dutch as a third language (only for non-Dutch students) there are no prerequisites either.

I have a foreign diploma. Can I be admitted to the European Studies programme?
Generally speaking, a secondary school diploma (e.g. vwo, havo, Abitur, Fachhochschulreife or International Baccalaureate diploma) will give access to our study programme. You will, however, need to demonstrate that you have a good command (final-year examination level) of English and at least one other foreign language (German/French/Spanish) at B1 level of CEFR. Secondary education diplomas obtained in countries whose educational institution is not officially recognized in The Netherlands, will be checked in cooperation with NUFFIC, The Netherlands' Organization for International Co-operation in Higher Education, in The Hague. They are tasked with assessing the standard of foreign diplomas.

Is there a restriction on the maximum number of students admitted each year?
No, the European Studies course is not subject to a quota ("numerus fixus"). Provided you comply with the admission requirements, and have registered via Studielink preferably before the end of July, you can start the degree course. Our selection process is not based on your final exam results or registration date. However, you should register before the start of the academic year, 1 September.

Is this programme suitable for mbo graduates?
Experience has shown that, in terms of language proficiency, there is a considerable gap between candidates with an mbo diploma and havo/vwo candidates. We have found that some mbo students struggle in the propaedeutic year, mainly because the basic grammatical points are covered in less detail at mbo level than at havo/vwo level. In addition, we expect holders of a havo or vwo diploma to have a good command (final-year exam level) of at least two foreign languages (English is compulsory). No such statutory admission requirements have been laid down for mbo diploma holders; in principle, any holder of mbo Diploma Level 4 can be admitted onto the European Studies degree course. However, this does not imply that MBO 4 is a suitable 'entry-level standard' for this degree course. Students who have passed their mbo4 exams in at least two foreign languages (including English) stand the best chance of successfully completing the European Studies course. Students with limited or no prior knowledge of French and/or German are strongly advised not to enrol.

Do some of the subjects require a thorough understanding of maths?
No, Maths does not form an integral part of the European Studies programme. Some subjects, such as Research Skills and Statistics, require a basic understanding of mathematical concepts. However, Maths is certainly not required to gain admission to the degree course. In other words, there is no need to bring your calculator!

How much emphasis is placed on economics in the ES programme?
Prospective students are not expected to have studied Economics at school. In Year 1 of the European Studies programme, students are introduced to the concept of International Economics and Marketing. These subjects can be taken by students who have no prior knowledge of Economics.

What level of difficulty does European Studies have?
It is not easy to gauge whether you will find European Studies demanding or difficult. No two students are the same, and every individual has specific strengths and weaknesses. There are, however, a number of questions you should ask yourself before enrolling:

• are you interested in foreign languages, and do you have an above-average command of foreign languages?
• are you interested in other languages and cultures?
• are you prepared and able to work intensively with other people?
• do you have sufficient self discipline?
• are you interested in EU current affairs?
• are you considering an international career?
• are you a born initiative-taker and organizer?

If you answered 'Yes' to all or most of the above questions, European Studies is suitable for you. Motivated students with a proficiency in modern languages, who are prepared to invest the necessary time and effort into their studies, are generally likely to last the whole distance.

What is the level of language tuition provided?
The entry level for both the first (English) and second languages (German, French or Spanish) is the equivalent of HAVO Year 5 (final-year exam level) or B2 level (CEFR). With regard to the third language (German, French, Spanish or Dutch), students can choose between advanced and intermediary level. The entry level for the third language, being French or German, is the equivalent of HAVO 3, Spanish and Dutch are suitable for beginners.

What is the number of teaching periods each week?
Our academic year is divided into four blocks of 10 weeks. Each block has its own timetable. Your timetable will therefore change at least four times a year. Some blocks consist of more compulsory lectures than others; however, the average number of contact hours per week is ± 16-18 hours. Sometimes, you may only need to attend 3 or 4 days a week. At other times, you may be expected to attend lectures every day. As well as attending compulsory lectures, you will also work on group assignments, projects, individual tasks, tests etc. Full-time students will dedicate around 40 hours a week to their studies.

Will I have enough time left for a part-time job and leisure activities?
Yes, most students are able to combine their studies with a (limited) part-time job and leisure activities. You are, of course, free to decide how much time you dedicate to work and leisure. We treat all our students as adults. You are responsible for your academic results, and we expect you to be able to assess how much time you can dedicate to leisure activities and/or part-time work without adversely affecting your studies.

Does the department attract many overseas students?
European Studies is taught entirely in English, overseas students also take the four-year degree programme in Maastricht. Next to that, European Studies attracts a considerable number of exchange students. These are overseas students from one of our partner universities, who spend six months in Maastricht as part of the exchange programme.

Do I need to attend all classes?
Attendance is mandatory for most classes. We therefore urgently advise you to attend all classes shown on the timetable. Failure to attend will make passing this course very difficult, and put you at a disadvantage when it comes to preparing for your examinations. Learning a foreign language, for example, can be compared to travelling on a high-speed train. You board the train in Year 1, and need to remain on board throughout the journey, which ends in Year 4. 'Disembarking' the train for a few weeks is not recommended; the language train and your fellow passengers will continue the journey without you. If you are absent for longer periods of time, you will miss out on a lot of useful information. Learning a new language involves more than reading a few extra chapters in a book. Furthermore, the European Studies degree course requires students to undertake regular group-based assignments. Your fellow students greatly depend on your presence and contribution.

Will I be assigned a coach or mentor?
Yes, each student is assigned a coach. We aim to ensure that you are assigned the same coach throughout the four years. The coach is your personal development supervisor. He or she will arrange regular appointments to discuss your academic progress with you. If you are encountering difficulties, your coach will either assist you, or refer you to a specialist.

What are my career options after graduating with a degree in European Studies?
Our European Professionals enter organizations across a broad and diverse spectrum of fields. A degree in European Studies offers employment opportunities in a wide range of industries and sectors. You will of course end up working in an international context. The main strengths of our graduates are an excellent command of foreign languages and communication and organizational talents. They have a thorough understanding of the EU (both culturally and historically, politically and economically), are versatile, and are equally at home in the public and the private sectors. More information on potential career options can be found under the 'career prospects' section of this website.

Is it easy to transfer to a Master's programme?
Your university of choice will decide whether you qualify for a one-year Master's programme, or require an extra transitional year. As the European Studies degree course is taught entirely in English, the transition to an overseas Master's programme should be considerably easier. Many of our graduates have successfully transferred to a Master's programme, both in the Netherlands and overseas. In Year 4, European Studies offers a pre-master minor to enter the European Studies Master programme of Maastricht University.

Can I choose where to attend a foreign exchange programme in Year 3?
In Year 3, the exchange year, you can choose from over 55 partner universities and universities of applied sciences offering this degree course. Your ultimate choice depends on the following criteria: your language preference (English, German, French or Spanish) and your specialisation. You are free to decide which subjects to take from the curriculum of the host university or university of applied sciences, as long as 10 EC are related to your specialisation.. A concise summary of our partner institutes can be found on the 'study abroad' page of this website.

Does the department select my work placement or internship in Year 4?
No, you are expected to select your own work placement or internship. The choice is left at your discretion. The internship should preferably be abroad. If you choose to stay in the Netherlands, your internship must satisfy a number of additional criteria. As a minimum, your Dutch internship provider should operate in an international context. If you are struggling to find a suitable placement or internship, our International Office can help you. Of course your internship needs to be approved.

Which specialisation streams do you offer?
We offer two specialisations: Communication and International Business and Communication and Public Policy.

When do I need to choose my specialisation?
Your specialization is chosen in Year 2. By then, you will be familiar with both streams, and will be able to make a well-informed decision.

What is a minor?
A minor is a block taken in Year 4 consisting of a specialisation module. All students enrolled in any HBO programme are required to select a minor as part of their studies. Some students decide to explore their chosen discipline more in-depth. Alternatively, you may prefer to broaden your skills set by selecting a minor in another subject, or by writing a thesis. You are free to choose whatever minor you wish (within the curriculum offered by Zuyd University, or elsewhere, arranged by mutual agreement), tailored to your personal wishes and aspirations. Minors offered at the Faculty of International Business and Communication are: Lobbying and Public Affairs, Professioneel Schrijven, Portal to Asia.

Are students allowed to participate in consultation exercises?
Yes, the Departmental Committee and the Study Programme Board are two important consultation bodies within Zuyd University. Students can also express their views and opinions during the 'info hour' with the head of department.

What is the dropout rate?
After Year 1, approximately 65% of students commence on the main phase. Generally speaking, these students go on to obtain their Bachelor diploma.

Is it easy to find a job after graduating?
Our graduates have found suitable employment relatively soon after graduating. Some of our graduates are offered a suitable job via their internship provider. Due to the current economic climate, employment opportunities may be slightly more limited, although we have seen little evidence of this.

Do you need to be "pro-European" to take this degree course?
No, you do not necessarily need to be in favour of the European Union. However, you are expected to be interested in the issue of 'Europe'. We teach students to take a critical look at the EU and its institutions. The course also provides ample opportunity to discuss subjects such as the European Constitution, EU expansion and the impact of the EU on our everyday lives.

Does the European Studies department have a dress code?
No, we do not tell our students what to wear to lectures tutorials. We do however expect you to be dressed in a representative, appropriate manner, especially when you are in contact with external clients, guest speakers or lecturers, and that you maintain a well-kept appearance when representing our department off campus.

What does project work entail?
Projects are undertaken in groups; you work together on a specific assignment. This might be a fictional assignment, or a genuine, in-company assignment. Working in a team can be enjoyable as well as challenging. You learn more about yourself and the others by working as part of a team. Are you brave enough to assume the role of leader? Are you able to accept somebody else's authority? Do you address each other's mistakes, etc? Each project must conclude with a group presentation of the results. More substantive information on our projects is available on the 'projects' page.

What is the difference between the European Studies programme offered by a university of applied sciences (HBO), and a university?
The European Studies course offered by an hbo institute incorporates more practical elements into the curriculum. An academic degree is generally aimed at theory and research. Furthermore, our emphasis is on strategic communication and on foreign languages. Although European Studies at research universities is an English-language degree programme, little or no attention is given to other languages. The European Studies course offered by these universities generally focuses on administrative/political issues.( At Maastricht University, these issues are examined in the Public Administration module.) hbo degree courses are open to secondary school leavers with a havo, vwo or mbo 4 diploma. Research university degree courses can only be taken by holders of a vwo diploma.

What is the difference between the ES study programme offered in Maastricht, and that offered in The Hague and Leeuwarden?
The ES courses offered in Maastricht, The Hague and Leeuwarden consists of the same core components and curriculum; however, each institute emphasizes different aspects. The European Studies programme (previously known as HEBO) was launched in 1990 at The Hague University of Applied Sciences, which has the biggest ES department (with almost 400 first-year students). With over 100 first-year students, the Maastricht programme operates on a smaller scale. Leeuwarden is the smallest of the three ES departments. At Maastricht, the programme is offered exclusively in English, In The Hague there is both a Dutch and English stream.

What is the difference between European Studies and International Business?
European Studies focuses on international communication whereas International Business focuses more heavily on economics. International Business students spend most of their time reading subjects such as Accounting, Finance, Marketing, Sales, Logistics etc. Topics such as Communication and Languages – which play a pivotal role in European Studies - are a subordinate part of the IB curriculum.

How do I know whether this degree course is suitable for me?
We recommend that you start familiarizing yourself with the department and the course as soon as possible. Read the brochure and website thoroughly, visit one of our open days, take part in an Experience European Studies day, contact students enrolled in the programme, etc. When selecting a degree course, it is important to consider two things. Firstly, is the content tailored to your needs and requirements? Secondly, do you feel at home in this city/town (in this case Maastricht)?

Can I participate in your Experience European Studies day?
If you are in your final year at secondary school (or already have a diploma that grants admission to this degree course) and you have attended one of our open days, you can register for one of our "Experience European Studies day". Please enrol for this day during one of our open days.

What is the average age of your first-year students?
Most of our students are havo diploma holders, i.e. 18 years of age, but there are, of course, also older students.

Is it easy to transfer to another course, if I do not like the ES programme?
Although possible, this usually delays your academic progress. It is however possible to transfer completed course components to your new degree programme (provided they are part of the curriculum there), and apply for an exemption for those components. The board of examiners of the department in question will assess whether the course components correspond with your completed components, and whether an exemption can be granted.

Is it difficult to find accommodation?
Maastricht is a real student town. You will find plenty of student accommodation in the city centre and suburbs. It is however advisable to start looking for suitable accommodation in time. More information can be found on the 'accommodation' page.

Is it possible to start the degree course in January/February?
No, we do not have a February intake; prospective students commence their studies in late August.

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Dates 2016-2017
 

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