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									ECTS Guide 2010-2011
Faculty of International Business and Communication

TABLE OF CONTENTS .......................................................................................................................... 2
PREFACE................................................................................................................................................ 3
ZUYD UNIVERSITY ................................................................................................................................ 5
FACULTY OF INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS AND COMMUNICATION .............................................. 7
INTERNATIONAL STUDY PROGRAMMES .......................................................................................... 8
EXCHANGE PROGRAMMES............................................................................................................... 13
IMMIGRATION PROCEDURES AND INSURANCE ............................................................................ 14
MODULES TAUGHT IN ENGLISH ....................................................................................................... 15
CLASSES AND EXAMINATIONS ........................................................................................................ 20
BOOKS AND HANDOUTS ................................................................................................................... 23
ACCOMMODATION ............................................................................................................................. 23
DATES AND DEADLINES 2010-2011 ................................................................................................. 23
ARRIVAL AND INTRODUCTION PROGRAMME ................................................................................ 24
THE NETHERLANDS.......................................................................................................................... 25
HIGHER EDUCATION IN THE NETHERLANDS ................................................................................. 29
MONEY MATTERS ............................................................................................................................... 31
DAY OR WEEKEND TRIPS.................................................................................................................. 32
ECTS INFORMATION........................................................................................................................... 33
NAMES AND TELEPHONE NUMBERS .............................................................................................. 34
STUDENT ORGANISATIONS .............................................................................................................. 36
THE CITY OF MAASTRICHT ............................................................................................................... 38
OTHER PRACTICAL INFORMATION .................................................................................................. 40

Zuyd University – International Office FIBC                                                                                                            2
This guide has been designed for international students who wish to participate in an international
exchange programme provided by Zuyd University.

Please note that the information in this guide (particularly regarding courses, visa, permits etc.) may
be subject to change. The text does not have an official status, which means that no rights can be
derived from it. It is intended for information purposes only. For the very latest information on visa
procedures, residence permits and work permits, please consult the websites of the Nuffic (The
Netherlands Organization for International Cooperation in Higher Education) at

We are convinced that internationalisation of our study programmes (e.g. by means of language
studies, cross-cultural management, work placements abroad and international exchange
programmes) is extremely important for our students, most of whom are pursuing an international
career. Therefore we have signed agreements of cooperation with a wide network of partner
universities abroad which gives students of our partner schools the opportunity to study with us as an
exchange student.

See you soon!

Maastricht, September 2010

                                                         Patrick Schoenmakers
Jeanette Oostijen
                                                         Co-ordinator International Affairs
                                                         Faculty of International Business and
Faculty of International Business and
                                                         Zuyd University
Zuyd University

Zuyd University – International Office FIBC                                                               3
The international office
Address:        Brusselseweg 150
                P.O. Box 634
                6200 AP MAASTRICHT, The Netherlands
                Phone:      +31 - (0)43 346 6282 / Fax: +31 - (0)43 346 6279
                Only for urgent matters call +31 (0)43 346 6642

Patrick Schoenmakers                                              Rick Maijer
Co-ordinator International Affairs Zuyd University                Study advisor
Faculty of International Business School and Communication        International Office
E-mail:                                  E-mail:
Phone: +31 (0)43 346 6462                                         Phone: +31 (0)43 346 6498
Fax:     +31 (0)43 346 6279                                       Fax:      +31 (0)43 346 6279

Angelique Cremers-Knubben                                        Audrey Luijten
Study advisor                                                    Study advisor
International Office                                             International Office
E-mail:                                      E-mail:
Phone: +31 (0)43 346 6272                                        Phone:    +31 (0)43 346 6282
Fax:      +31 (0)43 346 6279                                     Fax:      +31 (0)43 346 6279

Tamara Nkhata                                                    Nicole Lardenoije-Lemmens
Housing                                                          LLP Grant/Visa/Residence permits
E-mail:                                     E-mail:
Phone: +31 (0)43 346 6450                                        Phone : +31 (0)43 346 6487
Fax:   +31 (0)43 346 6448                                        Fax :   +31 (0)43 346 6448

Zuyd University – International Office FIBC                                                          4

General information

Zuyd University is an attractive and modern university of applied sciences in the beautiful province of
Limburg in the Netherlands. We are situated at the heart of the Meuse-Rhine Euregion, one of the
most dynamic regions in Europe, including cities like Aachen (Germany), Heerlen and Maastricht (the
Netherlands), and Hasselt and Liège (Belgium). Zuyd University offers a wide range of study
programmes that are focused on the interests of students and the needs of the regional, national and
international labour market. Zuyd University is one of the ten largest universities of applied sciences in
the Netherlands and has been awarded a top 3 status for three consecutive years.

In spite of the fact that more than 13,000 students are currently studying at our institution, you will get
a lot of personal attention. We strongly focus on the interests of individual students and therefore we
have chosen for small-scale and high-quality education in three cities: Heerlen, Maastricht and Sittard-
Geleen. Most of the study programmes at Zuyd University are taught in the Dutch language.
To take part in these programmes, you will need a strong command of Dutch. However, some of our
study programmes (e.g. International Business School) are suitable for international students.

               Maastricht, Brusselseweg campus

Zuyd University – International Office FIBC                                                               5
International programmes

Several international programmes are offered at Zuyd University, including a Bachelor-degree course
in International Business School, an MBA in Hotel and Tourism Management, an MA in Comparative
European Social Studies (MACESS), a Bachelor-degree course in Communication and Multimedia
Design, international study programmes at the Academy of Fine Arts and the Academy of Music and a
number of international classes in our European Studıes programme. For more information on these
programmes, please consult our university‟s website at

In order to comply with the national quality standards and procedures, Zuyd University has signed a
Code of Conduct with respect to international students. This Code sets out standards for Dutch higher
education institutions in their dealings with international students. By signing the Code of Conduct,
Zuyd University offers international students a guarantee of the quality of its programmes, student
recruitment, selection and counseling procedures. Only institutions that have signed the Code are
allowed to recruit international students from outside the European Union.

Zuyd University – International Office FIBC                                                         6

The Faculty of International Business and Communication was created in 2003, when the former
Maastricht School of Translation and Interpreting, the department of Oriental Languages and
Communication, the department of European Studies and the International Business and Languages
programme were combined into one school. As from 2008, the programme of International Business
and Management Studies, which was previously taught in the city of Sittard-Geleen, has been hosted
by the Faculty of International Business and Communication.

The Faculty of International Business and Communication is located at the Brusselseweg 150 in
Maastricht, the most international city in The Netherlands besides Amsterdam. Maastricht is the
capital of the Province of Limburg, the southernmost part of the country.

                     Cafetaria at the Faculty of International Business and Communication

International partners

As the university is situated only a few miles from the German and Belgian borders (in the Meuse-
Rhine Euregion), its location provides excellent opportunities for students to become acquainted with a
number of European cultures without travelling great distances. The university is part of the
LLP\Erasmus programme of the EU, the HORA EST network (a consortium of universities of applied
sciences in the Euregion Meuse-Rhine) and the Magellan Exchange network (an EU-USA

To add an international dimension to its courses, the Faculty of International Business and
Communication co-operates with many international partners in China, Europe, Japan, Mexico, Egypt,
Canada and the United States of America.

The Bachelor degree programmes at the Faculty of International Business and Communication

The Faculty of International Business and Communication offers 4 four-year Bachelor degree
programmes, which prepare students for a wide range of positions in businesses and not-for-profit
organizations. These programmes are:

 International Business School (Bachelor of Business Administration)
 European Studies (Bachelor of International Communication)
 Translation and Interpreting (Bachelor of International Communication)
 Oriental Languages and Communication (Bachelor of International Communication).
Most other programmes are taught in Dutch and to complete these successfully you will need a sound
knowledge of the Dutch language. However, some of the modules offered in the mentioned
programmes are taught in English, which makes them accessible to international exchange students.
International Business School is offered completely in English.

Zuyd University – International Office FIBC                                                          7

International Business School

As mentioned above, the International Business and Management Studies (IBMS) programme
recently moved to Maastricht and is now part of the Faculty of International Business and

As from the beginning of the academic year 2009-2010, the programmes of International Business
and Languages (IBL) and International Business and Management Studies (IBMS) at Zuyd University
started an intensive co-operation by offering one joint study programme to all new first-year students.
This co-operation will result in a merger of both courses into a new, four-year Bachelor‟s degree
programme of International Business School (IBS).

During the 2010-2011 academic year exchange students can choose first, second or fourth-year
courses. The first and second year are part of the newly developed International Business School
programme. The fourth year is still part of the IBMS courses.


IBS offers a thorough training in management skills, business environment, international marketing
and communications. IBS aims at "creating" economically and legally well-versed young professionals
with a very good command of English and one other foreign language.

The four-year bachelor-degree programme of IBS is a course with a strong international focus. The
entire programme is taught in English, which allows international students to participate in all classes.
Students are trained in a wide range of business and management skills, including foreign languages,
marketing, economics, management, finance and accounting, cross-cultural management and
international law. To stress the international character of the course, most students spend a significant
amount of time abroad to follow lectures and gain international work experience.

IBS students come from many countries, such as Belgium, Bulgaria, China, Germany, Indonesia,
Macedonia, The Netherlands, Russia and the USA. IBS has excellent facilities for self-study. A well-
equipped library and modern computer equipment are available from Monday through Friday.

For the latest information on the new International Business School Programme please see

                          IBMS graduation ceremony

Zuyd University – International Office FIBC                                                               8
European Studies

The European Studies programme has an international orientation and its curriculum, which
comprises the study of languages, cultures, law and business, aims to train students for jobs in an
international environment.

The four-year full-time bachelor-degree programme focuses on Europe: its history, the current
political, social and economic situation, and its cultural diversity. Some of the lecturers are native
speakers from European and other countries and the programme is taught partly in Dutch and partly in
English. Dutch graduates are expected to be fluent in English and to have a thorough command of two
other foreign languages (chosen from French, German and Spanish). Non-Dutch students must be
proficient in Dutch in order to follow the full study programme.

The cultural diversity in Europe is such that, in order to be able to function successfully, graduates
need to be aware of the differences in the way things are done in e.g. Spain and Germany. These
various cultures require a fundamentally different approach and students of European Studies are
trained to handle this cultural diversity.

In the course of the second year, students opt for one of the following two specialisations:
Communication/Business Management or Public Administration, but when they graduate, they can be
considered generalists, able to perform a wide variety of tasks within a company or organisation.

In the third year of the programme, all students spend one semester at a university in another country
and at the same time exchange students from abroad will come to Maastricht. A large number of
students will also spend part of their final year abroad, working as interns for internationally-oriented
companies and organisations.

Graduates will enter a job market in which specialist knowledge tends to become dated rather more
quickly than in the past. Therefore, the European Studies programme places great emphasis on
developing organisational skills, interviewing techniques, managing group processes and giving

Three sectors of the labour market can be identified that particularly attract graduates of the European
Studies programme. Here are some examples:

    International commercial jobs in the field of communication: Euro-communication project manager,
     events organiser with a Dutch multinational, product manager, international communication co-
     ordinator, project manager with an international transport company.
    International jobs in the marketing and export sectors: assistant manager with an airline company,
     account manager with a bank, marketing communication specialist, marketing representative with
     a multinational, IT sales representative.
    International jobs in the field of public administration: secretary to a member of the European
     Parliament, officer at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, embassy official.

Zuyd University – International Office FIBC                                                              9
Translation and Interpreting

The Department of Translation and Interpreting of the Faculty of International Business and
Communication offers a four-year, full-time course of higher professional education. Unique in the
Netherlands, the Department of Translation and Interpreting currently has about 400 registered

At the Department of Translation and Interpreting, students are trained as translators, subtitlers or
software localisers, or as interpreters, specifically what is known as community interpreters. The
working languages are English and Dutch, and all students are expected to take French, German or
Spanish as an optional language.

The courses are student and problem-oriented and focus on translation practice in the workplace,
covering the fields of economics, law and science and technology. A special place in the programme
is reserved for working with computers, which are indispensable tools for today‟s translators and
international communicators.

The Department of Translation and Interpreting of the Maastricht School of International Business School
and Communication offers training in translating and community interpreting. The wide range of skills
acquired during the course will enable students to become providers of language services, either in
the Netherlands or abroad, in at least one of the specialist subject fields. With this training, they can be
international communications problem solvers and, thanks to the computer, part of a worldwide

Graduates have found a wide variety of jobs in translation and blockinology, the media, international
organisations, insurance companies, government agencies (such as embassies or ministries),
universities and the European Union, e.g. as freelance translators or interpreters, in-house translators
or editors, office managers of a translation company or agency, owners of translation companies,
localisers, subtitlers, proofreaders, international relations officers, PR officers or international helpdesk

Professional communication in an international context is varied and challenging. This is the world of
cross-border trade, international legal and administrative contacts, and global data flowfrom tenders
and contracts to product descriptions and manuals, from rules and regulations to telecommunication and

Besides a good command of two foreign languages, one of which is always English, and a thorough
command of Dutch, students are also trained in specialist subject fields such as economics, law and
science and technology. They learn how to apply documentation techniques and information
technology, which are essential tools for the translator. Documentation techniques involve the location,
evaluation and consultation of general and specialist sources of information. Information technology
comprises the use of the computer as a professional tool for word processing and desktop publishing,
sending e-mails and surfing the Internet, working with blockinology and document management systems,
using translation memory programmes and translation software, and localising software packages.

One semester in the third year is reserved for a five-month placement abroad in a country where the
major foreign language is the language of habitual use, allowing students to immerse themselves in its
language and culture. This placement entails either working or studying, or a combination of both - for
many students the highlight of the entire programme.

Oriental Languages and Communication

Learning foreign languages is a time-honoured tradition in the Netherlands. One of Europe‟s most
important exporting and logistics countries, the Netherlands consequently plays a pivotal role in
international trade. This international role has received a new impulse in the last few years as a result
of continuing globalisation. The world has shrunk: the door to China‟s market is wide open, Japanese
products are found in our living rooms or in our garages, and the Arab world is practically next door
nowadays. We have become part of each other‟s market.

Zuyd University – International Office FIBC                                                               10
It is no surprise then that the business community increasingly needs people whose familiarity with
oriental languages and cultures can facilitate business with these countries. If a Western organisation
is aiming to make and maintain good Asian or Arab contacts, then it must ensure that the lines of
communication are open. This means that International Business Schools require people with an
outstanding knowledge of oriental languages and a thorough knowledge of business practices,
supplemented by clear insight into the cultural and social backgrounds of their trading partners.
People possessing this knowledge and insight are hard to find, which is why we want to train new

The Department of Oriental Languages and Communication provides courses focused on the
professional world in one of three languages: Chinese, Japanese and Arabic. Students of Chinese or
Japanese have English as a mandatory language in their course load; students of Arabic may choose
between English and French.
A group of sinologists, japanologists and arabists are the core of the faculty. These are near-native or
native speakers with tremendous experience in didactics and in the practical application of oriental
languages in a commercial context. Guest lecturers from institutes in the Middle and Far East
supplement this core group. In addition, lecturers in English, French and the specialist subject fields of
economics and law are indispensable adjuncts to this programme.

Furthermore, professionals are regularly invited to share their experiences with students. The
department of Oriental Languages and Communication currently has about 160 registered students,
including a number of Chinese, Japanese and Arab nationals.

The department‟s goal is to train students to become professionals who make and maintain
commercial, cultural or social contacts in China, Japan or in Arab countries for international
companies, government agencies and non-profit organisations. To that end students carry out
countless assignments for which a good command of oriental languages is a prerequisite besides
other professional knowledge and skills.

The professionals that graduate from our school work for Western businesses as well as for Middle
and Far Eastern organisations in the Netherlands or are posted to Middle or Far Eastern countries by
Western companies. Graduates of the Department of Oriental Languages and Communication usually
find jobs as:

    country desk managers in large international companies
    office managers of companies‟ overseas branches
    managerial assistants in commercial establishments
    employees of embassies or consulates
    tour guides or station managers for tour operators
    programme designers for ethnic media
    translators or interpreters with government agencies
    account managers at distribution centres.

Zuyd University – International Office FIBC                                                             11
In the course of the programme, students study Chinese, Japanese or Arabic. The emphasis, more
than 50 per cent of the programme, is on learning to communicate in the chosen oriental language in
spoken as well as in written form. The initial phase of the programme focuses on colloquial everyday
language; later on in the programme students concentrate on the business aspects of language, such
as community interpreting, presentation techniques, translation, correspondence, making phone calls
and computer applications. In the final phase of the programme, students can choose from the various
language specialisations, such as journalism or tourism, or acquire an important dialect.

Students are made familiar with the historical, cultural, economic, political and social characteristics of
the chosen language. Understanding their own cultures will allow them to handle „foreign‟ norms and
mores, behaviour and attitudes. Besides these, students become familiar with the fundamental
activities of international commerce, such as marketing, account management, logistics, finance and
law. It is not so much the theoretical knowledge that counts, but the application of that knowledge in
concrete situations.
Students of Oriental Languages and Communication are exposed to several aspects of business such
as company culture, development and execution of a public relations programme, networking,
presentation techniques, conference organisation, promotional activities and the creation of audio-
visual productions.
Social skills, talking and conferencing techniques, negotiation skills, etiquette and telecommunication
are important elements in this study programme.

The programme comprises four years, the first of which is the foundation year. Each academic year is
divided into four blocks, each ending with examinations. Sometimes subjects are taught as separate
entities; sometimes they are combined within a project. Different teaching methods are used:
instruction classes, working groups, projects, individual counselling and training sessions. In the
course of the four years, students are assigned student counsellors, who discuss their individual
progress regularly and try to find solutions to technical or organisational problems which might arise.

In the third year, students spend one semester in China, Japan or Egypt, where they are enrolled in
intensive language training at an institution which supplements the School‟s curriculum with courses of
a high standard. Students of Chinese stay at the Beijing University of Technology, students of
Japanese at Kyoto University of Foreign Studies, Jissen Women‟s University or Nanzan University,
and students of Arabic at the DEAC in Cairo. During this placement abroad, students have the
opportunity to apply their knowledge of the chosen language, consolidate it and expand it. Living and
studying in an oriental country translates into an intense, real-life acquaintance with the country, its
inhabitants and the language they speak.

Based on personal interests or future orientation, students can specialise in the fourth year by
choosing topics for projects which did not receive the attention they deserved during the first three
years. Students can submit proposals to this end, which are supervised by members of the staff
according to their areas of expertise. The option also exists in the fourth year for students to be placed
as trainees at a company or organisation in the Netherlands, England, France, China, Japan, or in an
Arabic-speaking country. This placement takes place prior to graduation and lasts a maximum of three

Zuyd University – International Office FIBC                                                              12
Life Long Learning Program (LLP)/Erasmus

The LLP/Erasmus exchange program only applies to students from the European partner institutions
with which Zuyd University has signed bilateral agreements of co-operation. LLP/Erasmus students
can study at Zuyd University without paying extra tuition fees. Credits gained will be recognised by
and transferred to their home institution. The European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) facilitates the
credit-transfer process.

For all further details regarding the LLP/Erasmus exchange programme, please contact the Co-
ordinator of International Affairs or the Erasmus co-ordinator at your own university.

The Magellan Exchange®
The Magellan Exchange programme ( is a transatlantic consortium that was
launched by the Cultural Exchange Network (CENET) in Jackson, Missouri ( in co-
operation with a number of European and US universities. Visiting students from the USA or Mexıco
may choose classes up to 30 European Credits or 12-15 US credit hours. Internships in companies
concurrent with classes cannot be arranged. Magellan can be contacted regarding student exchange.

The Magellan Exchange programme has the following advantages:

    credits gained at Zuyd University will be transferred to the home institution (ECTS credits will give
     insight into the actual study workload);
    additional attention is paid to European affairs, "survival Dutch", cross-cultural elements etc.
    tuition fees are waived for incoming students from partner schools.

For full details on the Magellan Exchange programme and information on application procedures,
please consult the Magellan Exchange website at

Dual award (double degree) programmes

Zuyd University has signed bilateral agreements with international partners, which include a double
degree for students who have been selected to participate in the specific programmes of study.
Currently, we offer double degree programmes at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge (UK),
Euromed Management in Marseille (France) and the IUP de Commerce International in Clermont-
Ferrand (France)

Admission of exchange students

In principle, the Faculty of International Business School and Communication only admits students
from partner universities with which our university has signed bilateral agreements. You will also need
to obtain permission from your home institution before you can be enrolled as a visiting student.
Please take into account that the classes for visiting students are taught in English. Therefore you will
need to have a sufficient knowledge of the English language (i.e. a TOEFL score of 550 or a 213
computer-based score or an IELTS score of 6.0). Exemptions are possible whenever explicitly
agreed upon. Students who would like to follow the regular study programmes taught in Dutch will
need to prove that they have reached at least an “NT2” level of Dutch.

                    Award-winning team, Europe Calling Project     Dutch and Asian students

Zuyd University – International Office FIBC                                                             13
Dutch immigration procedures for academic visitors

Foreign students who wish to study or do an internship in the Netherlands need to adhere to the Dutch
immigration procedures. The same applies to guest lecturers, postdoctoral students, and researchers
coming to the Netherlands for academic purposes. Depending on where you come from, what you are
going to do and for how long you are staying, you might need:

    a short-stay visa (VKV)
    an authorization for temporary stay (MVV)
    a residence permit (VTV)
    a work permit (TWV).

The procedures for obtaining a visa, a work permit, a residence permit and a tax registration number
are not simple and could be time-consuming. You will have to realise that the rules and regulations
have been drawn up by the central government and are not always easy to implement in practice.
Some of the procedures are extremely bureaucratic. It is therefore wise to contact Ms Nicole
Lardenoije-Lemmens at Zuyd Unıversıty‟s central Internatıonal Offıce well in advance:

There are different rules and regulations for students from different countries.

Generally speaking, students will have to convince the authorities that they have enough financial
means to live and study in the Netherlands. Students should have a health insurance and valid
documents such as a visa, passport, two passport photographs and a letter of admission from the host
university. The handling fees for residence permits are quite high (€ 438 for non-EU citizens). EU/EEA
nationals who would like to obtain a residence permit only pay € 30.

As the immigration regulations are subject to change, please consult the following website to find out
about the latest procedures:

Health Insurance

Before you come to the Netherlands, make sure that you have made arrangements to be properly
insured against the costs of medical treatment. The authorities will check that you are insured when
you apply for your residence permit.

There are three possIBSilities for health insurance:
 Your insurance policy in your home country covers your stay in the Netherlands.
 You take out a new or special insurance policy for your stay in the Netherlands.
 You are admitted to the Dutch national scheme because you work in the Netherlands.

The Netherlands has treaties regarding health insurance with the following countries: all of the EU
member states, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Turkey, Morocco, most of the countries of former
Yugoslavia, Tunisia, Cape Verde Islands and Australia.
If you are insured under the national health insurance scheme of one of these countries, your
insurance company can provide you with an international health certificate and declaration form called
E-111 or E-128. Make sure to bring this form with you to the Netherlands, and make a number of
copies of it. You will need this form whenever you require medical assistance in the Netherlands.

If your insurance does not cover your stay in the Netherlands, and if you cannot make use of the
international treaty descrIBSed above, then you will have to take out a private insurance policy. Some
insurance companies offer special insurance packages for international students, such as the
"Insurance Passport for Students" But whichever type of insurance you have,
make sure that the insurance documents are written in one of the more common European languages,
because the authorities will need to check them.

Zuyd University – International Office FIBC                                                            14
Liability insurance

If you cause an accident that injures someone or damages another person's property, you are
responsible for paying all the costs that result from the accident. You might, for example, break
something where you are working or studying, or cause damage to your rented room.
The resulting claim for damages could be very expensive. You are therefore strongly urged to have
good liability insurance. You can arrange for such insurance either in your own country or through your
host institution in the Netherlands.

In addition, you can be held responsible for damage that occurs in the line of duty while you are
engaged in professional activities. People who work in the health sector, for example, can be sued if
something goes wrong. In the Netherlands, damage that a person causes on the job is ordinarily
covered by the liability insurance of the employer. Student interns are covered in the same way that
regular employees are covered. To be certain, however, you should check with the company or
organization where you will be working to make sure that their liability insurance covers you.

Other insurances

Insurance to cover the costs of repatriation is also strongly recommended. This means that if you
should become seriously ill or die, a family member can be flown to the Netherlands to take you back
home. Finally, it is wise to insure yourself against theft and the costs of accidents and legal advice.


As the above-mentioned laws and regulations may be subject to changes, please consult or for the latest details and government requirements. Students who
fail to meet the requirements mentioned in the above-mentioned website, will not be admitted for
studies in The Netherlands. The information in this chapter of the guide is only meant to offer general
guidance and should not be a substitute for legal advice regarding your own particular circumstances.
Although Zuyd University does its utmost to supply the latest information, it cannot guarantee that the
information published in the guide or provided by telephone or e-mail is absolutely accurate at any
given moment. Zuyd University therefore does not accept any liability for consequences of using this


International Business School

As mentioned before, the entire International Business School programme is taught in the English
language. Visiting students can select modules/themes from the list on the next page. The availability
of classes depends on the semester and possible timetable constraints. To avoid possible timetable
conflicts we advise you to select modules from one department only and in one year only,
rather than mix modules from several departments and several years. Therefore we give
exchange students three options from which classes can be chosen. Please note that no third-year
IBS modules are offered in Maastricht, because all the students of IBS are obliged to study abroad in
the third year of their studies.

You will find a list of the modules that can be chosen by visiting students and you are advised to check
whether or not prerequisites are required for specific classes. In case of doubt, ask your academic
advisor to look into the course contents.

On request course descriptions can be sent to you. Please contact the International Office
( Make sure you also read page 20 “Classes and examinations”.

NOTE! The course programme might be subject to change

Zuyd University – International Office FIBC                                                             15

Semester I
Theme/Block 1.1 Introduction to International Business
Curriculum           Subject                                 ECTS
Knowledge               1. Management                        3
                        2. Marketing 1                       2
                        3. Finance & Accounting              2

Theme/Block 1.2 Research
Curriculum          Subject                                  ECTS
Knowledge              1. Marketing                          3,5
                       2. Statistics                         3,5
Practice & Skills      1. Marketing plan                     4
                       2. SPSS
                       3. Report

Semester courses             Subject                         ECTS
Languages                       1. English (block 1 and 2)   2
                                2. Second Foreign language   3
                                     (block 1 and 2)

Semester II
Theme/Block 1.3 Business & Finance
Curriculum          Subject                                  ECTS
Knowledge              1. Financial Management               3
                       2. Management Accounting              2
                       3. Business Organization and          2
Practice & Skills      1. Business plan                      4
                       2. Presentation
                       3. Excel

Theme/Block 1.4 International Environment
Curriculum           Subject                                 ECTS
Knowledge                1. Economics                        4
                         2. European Law                     3
Practice & Skills        1. Business case analysis           4
                         2. Argumentation techniques
                         3. Personal assessment

Zuyd University – International Office FIBC                         16

Semester I

Theme/Block 2.1 Communication 11 ECTS
Curriculum         Subject                                  ECTS
Knowledge          1 Marketing Management                   4
                   2 Consumer Law                           3
Practice & Skills  1 Marketing communication plan           4
                   2 Legal practice

Theme/Block 2.2 Sales 11 ECTS
Curriculum          Subject                                 ECTS
Knowledge           1 Sales Management                      4.0
                    2 Finance                               3.0
Practice & Skills   1 Sales briefing and demonstration      4.0
                    2 CRM and sales modules
Semester courses                                            (5 ECTS)
English III         1 English: listening                    2
semester course     2 English: speaking
                    3 English: writing & reading
Second Foreign      SFL block 1                             3
Language III        SFL block 2
semester course

Semester II

Theme/Block 2.3 Logistics 11 ECTS
Curriculum          Subject                                 ECTS
Knowledge           1 Logistics                             4
                    2 Commercial Law                        3
Practice & Skills   1 Value added logistics                 4
                    2 International contract

Theme/Block 2.4 – Entrepreneurship 8 ECTS
Curriculum           Subject                                ECTS
1 HRM-Management                                            2
1 ERP (SAP)                                                 2
2 Practice & Skills  Business case (HOTS)                   4
Semester courses                                            11 ECTS
English IV           1 English: listening                   4
semester course      2 English: speaking
                     3 English: writing & reading
Second Foreign       1 SFL block 3                          5
Language IV          2 SFL block 4
semester course
Crossing borders II  1 exchange program ??????????         2

         If in year 3 sem 1, otherwise: exchange program
         If in year 3 sem 2, otherwise: work placement

Zuyd University – International Office FIBC                            17

Theme/Block 4.1 (quarter 1) Management Control
Curriculum Subject                                             ECTS        Weight
Integrative Integrative Case Studies                                   6    100%
            Strategic Management, Sustainability and
Theoretical                                                            2    100%
            Organisational Theory
            Management Control (Risk Management,
Theoretical                                                            3    100%
            Management Accounting, Financial Management)
            Accounting Information Systems, International
Theoretical                                                            2    100%
            Finance and Reporting Standards
Theoretical International Business School Law                          1    100%
Personal    Business Information Communication/ERP/SAP                 1    100%
            Total credits (EC)                                        15

Theme/Block 4.2 (quarter 2) Supply Chain Management
Curriculum Subject                                             ECTS        Weight
Integrative Integrative case/Paper                                     6    100%
Theoretical Integrated Logistics and Supply Chain Management           3    100%
Theoretical Organisational Theory and Behaviour                        2    100%
Theoretical Strategic Marketing                                        2    100%
Theoretical International Business School Law                          1    100%
Personal    Business Information Communication/ERP/SAP                 1    100%
            Total credits (EC)                                        15

Theme/Block 4.3 (quarter 3) Strategic Marketing
Curriculum Subject                                             ECTS        Weight
Integrative Integrative case                                           6    100%
Theoretical Strategic Marketing                                        2    100%
Theoretical Organisational Theory and Behaviour                        2    100%
Theoretical Economics                                                  3    100%
Theoretical International Business School Law                          1    100%
Personal    Business Information Communication/ERP/SAP                 1    100%
            Total credits (EC)                                        15

Theme/Block 4.4 (quarter 4) International entrepreneur
Curriculum Part      Subject                                   ECTS      Weight
Integrative A        Final Report                                     10   100%
Theoretical B        Economics                                         5   100%
                     Total credits (EC)                               15

Zuyd University – International Office FIBC                                         18

European Studies has launched a programme taught in English, which comprises a selection of
modules and projects. International students can compose a full semester programme by selecting a
number of these modules. Students who enter the Fall semester (=semester 1) can only choose
courses in block 1 and 2, students who enter the Spring semester (=semester 2) can only choose
courses in block 3 and 4.

Overview of modules taught in English (2010-2011)
                                                                                         Semester 1                   Semester 2
                                                  Module                                 Block 1          Block 2   Block 3          Block 4
      1         Introduction to Politics                                                    -                -         -               3.0
      1         Introduction to Economics                                                   -                -        3.0               -
      1         Introduction to European Culture                                           3.0               -         -                -
      1         Introduction to comparative law                                             -               3.0        -                -
      1         Word (self study, no course, selectable once)                              1.0              1.0       1.0              1.0
      1         Introduction to Marketing                                                   -                -         -               3.0
      1         Intercultural Communication                                                 -               3.0        -                -
      2         European Law                                                               3.0               -         -                -
      2         Organisational Behaviour                                                                                               3.0
      2         Excel (self study, no course, selectable once)                             1.0              1.0       1.0              1.0
      2         Concern Communication                                                       -                -         -               3.0
      2         Politics in the EU                                                         3.0               -         -                -
      2         Internal Communication                                                      -                -        3.0
      2         Skills in Practice                                                          -               1.0       1.0              1.0
      2         Introduction to Communication                                              2.0               -         -                -
      3         Introduction to Russian Language & Society (runs in block 3 through 4)      -                -                3.0
      3         European Economic Governance                                                -                -        3.0               -
      3         Event Management (self study, no course, selectable once)                  3.0               -        3.0               -
      3         Marketing Communication                                                     -                -        3.0               -
      3         International Marketing                                                     -                -         -               3.0
      3         International Organisations                                                 -                -         -               3.0
      3         Country analysis                                                            -                -        3.0               -
      3         American Studies                                                                                              3.0
      3         Selected topics on China and Japan                                          -                -                3.0
      3         Contemporary Political Issues                                               -                -        3.0               -
      3         Project Europe Calling                                                      -                -                7.0
      3         Minorities and Dominant Cultures                                            -                -         -               3.0
      4         European Regional Policy                                                   3.0               -         -                -
      4         Project Management (self study, no course, selectable once)                3.0                        3.0
     n/a        Personal Professional Development                                                  1.0                        1.0
     n/a        Dutch Life & Institutions                                                   -                -                3.0
    3+4         Minor Portal to Asia                                                                                          15.0
                Total study load (ECTS Credits)                                                    32.0                       86.0

Zuyd University – International Office FIBC                                                                                                  19
Classes offered to relatively small groups of students. Especially in the international classes, which
are conducted in the English language, student groups generally do not exceed 25-30 students. The
average number of lectures per week varies, depending on the course followed and the year of study.
A study load of 30 ECTS credits per semester would be the normal study load for full-time students.
Classes may include group assignments, self-study and presentations and generally most of the
classes are interactive (students are often expected to actively participate in discussions).

Classes run Monday – Friday.

Day schedule
Classes normally start at 8.45 a.m. The exact timetables will be made available at the start of the
study programme.

Absence (e.g. due to illness)
If you should be unable to attend a class because of absence or illness, you are strongly
recommended to inform your lecturer(s) about this.

The Dutch grading system
In the Netherlands all grades are awarded on a 1-10 scale (10 - 100% score). The lowest passing
grade is 5.5 (or 55%) while a 5.4 or lower indicates a fail. The grades obtained by you will be sent to
your home institution and the latter will be responsible for the conversion of your credits and grades.

Explanation of the Dutch grades:

    Perfect/outstanding (10 or 100%)
    Excellent (9 or 90%)
    Very good (8 or 80%)
    Good (7 or 70%)
    Satisfactory (6 or 60%)
    Almost sufficient (5 or 50%)
    Unsatisfactory (4 or 40%)
    Very unsatisfactory (3 or 30%)
    Poor (2 or 20%)
    Very poor (1 or 10%)
    Sufficient = pass = 7.0
    Insufficient = fail

Credit transfer

Exchange students can enroll in a selection of the modules mentioned on page 16-20. Please note
that availability of classes may be subject to timetable restrictions (when you select classes in
several departments and years of study, classes may be taught at the same time of the day).
You are strongly advised to inquire whether advanced classes can be attended without the necessary
prerequisites. Your home institution will decide on transferring credits back to your home institution
and the conversion of grades obtained in the Netherlands. The normal study load for a European
student would comprise 30 European Credits (ECTS) per semester, i.e. 60 ECTS a year.

Zuyd University – International Office FIBC                                                               20
ECTS grading scale

Examination and assessment results are usually expressed in grades. There are many different
grading systems in Europe. To help institutions interpret the grades awarded to exchange students, an
ECTS grading scale has been developed in the European Union. ECTS stands for European Credit
Transfer System.

The ECTS grade provides additional information on the student‟s performance to that provided by the
institution‟s grade, but does not replace the local grade. Please note that the ECTS grades are not the
same as the grades used in the USA.

The transcripts of records of Zuyd University will show the local Dutch grades. It is the responsibility of
the home institutions to convert these grades into the grades used in their own countries. However,
Zuyd University will be pleased to assist in this process by providing further explanations of the
students‟ performance.

ECTS          % of successful students        Definition
Grade         normally achieving the
    A                    10                   EXCELLENT - outstanding performance with only
                                              minor errors

    B                         25              VERY GOOD - above the average standard but
                                              with some errors

    C                         30              GOOD - generally sound work with a number of
                                              notable errors

    D                         25              SATISFACTORY - fair but with significant

    E                         10              SUFFICIENT - performance meets the minimum

   FX                          -              FAIL - some more work required before the credit
                                              can be awarded

    F                          -              FAIL - considerable further work is required

Transcripts of records

Transcripts of records will be issued by mail and sent to the Co-ordinator of International Affairs of the
student‟s home institute.

The procedure is as follows:
   - Before arrival in the Netherlands students submit their choice of courses and application form
       to the International Office (deadline 1 June 2010 for the Fall semester and 1 October for the
       Spring semester).

Grades and transcripts
   - After the exams, lecturers will hand in the grades to the Office of Educational Affairs (Bureau
   - The Office of Educational Affairs will process the incoming grades.
   - Students can view their grades online.

Zuyd University – International Office FIBC                                                              21
General information on examinations

You might be surprised by the somewhat different approach to examinations in the Netherlands,
depending on the subject matter and/or the academic staff involved.

You are therefore advised to take note of the following guidelines:
 Always make sure that you know exactly what you will have to study for an exam. You‟re entitled
   to have this information! Usually your teachers will provide this information well in advance;
 Always make sure that you know what the "format" of an exam will be, e.g. oral examination,
   multiple-choice questions, open-ended (essay) questions or a combination of both;
 Exams may last up to three hours (the minimum length is one hour);
 During some exams you will need a calculator, provided by Zuyd University.
   You can buy this calculator at our “Sales Desk” (Verkoopbureau) for € 6,50. Please note that it is
   not allowed to use any other calculator.
 In the event of a so-called resit (i.e. a second try to score a sufficient grade), the resit grade will
   count only if it is higher than the original grade(s) obtained for a subject during the year;
 Normally it is not allowed to bring any reference materials into the exam room (e.g. books,
   annotations, dictionaries). However, there are exceptions to this rule;
 If you have to answer multiple-choice questions, usually only one answer is correct. Always check
   this with your lecturer;
 Unless otherwise specified, you should always answer all questions in an exam paper (do not only
   select those questions that you think you can answer best).
 Please make sure you read the Education and Examination regulations carefully. Formal
   regulations and procedures are described in this document. This document can be found on the
   Infonet. Exchange students are subject to the Zuyd University examination regulations.
 Students who should fail any of their first exams are entitled to a second try (resit).

Visiting students are obliged to meet the course requirements, including the timetable of
examination. This means that students need to be physically present for taking exams (and resits, in
case of a fail in the first attempt) at the end of the semester.

Examinations are organised as end-of-block or end-of-semester finals. Some classes require
individual papers or group work to be submitted in the course of the study programme. Continuous
assessment may be applied in some classes, which makes regular attendance crucial.

Should you be unable to sit for one or more examinations, you should immediately notify the Co-
ordinator of International Affairs or the co-ordinator of your study department, explaining the reasons
for your absence.

                                              Graduation ceremony IBMS

Zuyd University – International Office FIBC                                                           22
Details about the purchase of books will be provided to you on arrival. Handouts and readers can be
purchased at the Sales Desk located in the school building. Books that are only needed incidentally
(ask your lecturers!) can also be obtained from the library free of charge. The librarians will be pleased
to fully inform you about all the possibilities on the day of your arrival.

Most institutions of higher education in the Netherlands do not offer campus accommodation to their
students. Many students live at their parents', with host families or in student houses.
However, our university can offer student rooms at the Avant-Garde dorms, which are situated at the
edge of the Scharn district in Maastricht, near several schools, a swimming pool, shops and
close to the A2 motorway. There is a bus stop at 200 metres from the building with regular
bus services to the railway station, the university and the AZM academic hospital.

The rent is approximately 295 euros plus a 404 euro refundable deposit at 2% interest. Mobile
Wireless Internet will be available for 15 euro per month and a 50 euro deposit. You will get a duvet
and pillow but no bed linen. Pots and pans, crockery etc are provided in the shared kitchen.
A brochure is available for international students who would like to stay at the Avant-Garde dorms
during their study exchange, please contact Tamara Nkhata (

DATES 2010-2011

Deadline admission Fall semester                 1 June 2010
Deadline admission Spring semester               1 October 2010
General introduction                             September 1-2-3, 2010
Welcoming session Fall semester                  September 3 , 2010 at 10:00
Start of classes Fall semester                   September 6 , 2010
End of Fall semester (including exams)           February 4 , 2011
Welcoming session Spring semester                February 4 , 2011 at 10:00
Start of classes Spring semester                 February 7 , 2011
End of Spring semester (including exams)         July 8 2011

Zuyd University – International Office FIBC                                                             23
Arrival information

From Schiphol International Airport there is a regular train link to Maastricht. The train journey will take
approximately 2,5 hours. Train times can be found on the website of the Dutch railways (
Students who arrive at Brussels Airport should take a train from the airport to the Brussels-Noord
station and change trains there. An intercity train will take you from Brussels-Noord to Maastricht, via

Upon request students will be met by a buddy on arrival at the Maastricht railway station. You should
inform the buddy coordinator (Ilona van Bergen, about the time, date and
place of arrival well in advance, so that she can make the necessary arrangements.

                             Maastricht-Aachen Airport


You will be assigned a “buddy”. This is a student who will pick you up at the railway station (in
Maastricht), take you to you room and assist you in getting accustomed with your new surroundings.
The buddy coordinator will contact you by mail. Make sure you also inform your buddy on your arrival
date, time and place.

There will be a short specific departmental welcoming/introduction session for international exchange
                                   rd                                                 th
students on Friday September 3 2010 (first semester) and on Friday February 4 2011 (second
semester). You will be informed about the course programme, the examination system, the school
regulations, etc. A guided tour of the building and its facilities is included.

The week prior to the start of the Fall semester there will be a general introduction week organized by
Zuyd University. During this week activities will be organized to get acquainted with Maastricht and its
surroundings. More details on this programme will be sent to you when you have been admitted to the
exchange programme at Zuyd University. For more information, please contact Ms.Tamara Nkhata at

Zuyd University – International Office FIBC                                                              24
 The Netherlands

General information

The Netherlands, also known as Holland, is a country that offers global services and has an attitude of
openness towards the rest of the world. It is open to business, but it is also open socially and
culturally. This makes the Netherlands ideally suited for receiving people who seek to enrich their
knowledge through study abroad. What they find is hospitality in an open, safe society that is
accustomed to dealing with people from around the world, and above all, to working with them. The
Dutch population itself has always represented a variety of religious and political viewpoints. Respect
for the other persons‟ opinions and convictions is the national virtue that gives strength to the fabric of
society, with its many strands. In one sense or another, everyone is a member of some minority, and
understands that to be treated with respect requires treating others in the same way.

The Dutch have an urbane, cosmopolitan lifestyle, but they live in cities built on a human scale. The
largest city is Amsterdam, but even this city has a population of only 732,000. Closer inspection
reveals that the cities in the western part of the country in fact form a continuous ring, 60 kilometres in
diameter. It‟s called the Randstad and includes Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht, Leiden
and Delft. But each Dutch city has its own character, history and city centre. Many European capitals
are all within easy reach. Brussels is two hours by train, and a one-hour flight from Schiphol Airport will
take you to Paris, London or Berlin.

Zuyd University – International Office FIBC                                                             25
The atmosphere in the rest of the country is urban as well, despite the small scale of communities. In
this small country with an ultra-modern telecommunications network and an extensive system of public
transportation, nothing is far away.

You can travel through the Netherlands by train in less than five hours. The Netherlands is thus quite
literally a gateway to the European Union, of which it is also a founding member.

Much of Europe‟s economic development has taken place, and still does take place, in the
Netherlands. Rotterdam has developed into one of the world‟s largest ports. Shiploads of goods are
unloaded here. Schiphol International Airport is the fourth largest passenger and cargo airport in
Europe, providing access to and from Europe for millions of people from all over the world.
In the virtual world, the Netherlands also serves as a gateway to Europe. The first non-military Internet
connection point in Europe was set up in 1988 in Amsterdam. In 2001, TeleGeography Inc. ranked
Amsterdam as the third biggest Internet node in the world in blocks of interregional Internet bandwidth.

The Netherlands is situated in the west of Europe, with the North Sea to the west and the north. Its
neighbours to the east and the south are Germany and Belgium. The country covers an area of
41,526 sq. km., and has a population of 16.6 million. Most of the inhabitants are Dutch and the official
language is Dutch.


The North Sea and the warm North Atlantic Gulf Stream ensure a temperate maritime climate. This
causes a changeable but moderate climate, with mild winters and relatively cool but sometimes hot
and humid summers. Temperatures below 0 or above 25 degrees Celsius are unusual; clouds and
wind are common features. Although the annual rainfall is moderate, it is unpredictable. Therefore,
raincoats and umbrellas are essential items for everyone who travels to The Netherlands.

Trade as the pillar of development

For many centuries, the Dutch economy has had a uniquely international outlook and its image as a
trading power has never changed. Its prosperity and stable economy owe much to the consultation
and coordination between government, employers and trade unions. The Netherlands plays a major
role in the world trade system as a centre for many international enterprises. It is home to many
multinational companies, including Philips, Unilever, AKZO NOBEL and Shell.


Already in the early 17th century, the Netherlands was an advanced country, with much of its wealth
coming from trade. Today, international trade is still the main engine of economic growth in the
Netherlands. In fact, the Netherlands is one of the world's ten leading exporting nations. This small
country, with its highly educated population of 16 million, is still one of the world's most developed
countries. It ranks among the 15 richest countries in the world; in 1998 it was fifth on the IMF's
international competitiveness list. For many years, it has been home to such Dutch multinationals as
Philips, Heineken, ING Bank and KLM. Many international companies have located their European
headquarters in the Netherlands. These include Sony, General Electric and Sara Lee.

Gateway to Europe

The Netherlands is at the centre of a complete transportation network, comprising air, sea, river, road
and rail links extending in all directions. Rotterdam is the world's largest port and millions of tons of
cargo are loaded and unloaded there everyday. Schiphol International Airport is the fourth largest
passenger and cargo airport in Europe. The Netherlands accounts for 53% of the river transport on the
Rhine and the Meuse, and 27% of all European trucks make use of its highways.

Zuyd University – International Office FIBC                                                              26
The world's third-largest exporter of agricultural products

The Netherlands exports agricultural products to the whole world. It has a 7.7% share of the global
market. Nicknamed “Europe's vegetable garden”, it is the world's leading exporter of vegetables, while
Dutch flowers hold a 60% share of the world market. Intensive, hi-tech production methods and
modern management have brought high yields, top quality and surplus value to Dutch agriculture.

Water conservation projects and reclaimed land

The Netherlands lies on a flat, low delta and a quarter of its land is below sea level. Because of its
precarious location it has the one of the best barrier dams in the world.

Emphasis on foreign investment

Dutch foreign investment amounts to USD 200 billion, 6 to 8% of the world total. In 1996 the
Netherlands worked out a 7-year plan for loans to China worth a total of USD 500 million.

A financial power

Three famous Dutch banks are among the 25 biggest and most powerful banks in the world: ABN
AMRO Bank, Rabobank and the ING Bank. They all have offices in the world's leading financial

An industrial power

The Netherlands has developed a prosperous export-oriented economy. Its industry, which has a very
international character, is involved in such areas as chemicals, food processing and metals. The
electronics industry has also flourished in recent years.

Advanced science and technology

The Dutch government invests as much as USD 4 billion a year in science and technology. The
Netherlands is at the forefront of advanced technology in such fields as the environment, energy,
information, biotechnology and materials.

Zuyd University – International Office FIBC                                                              27

      Official name: Kingdom of the Netherlands, commonly referred to as the Netherlands or
      Head of government: The Prime Minister.
      Capital city: Amsterdam.
      Seat of government: The Hague.

The Kingdom of the Netherlands is a constitutional monarchy, and the monarch is head of state.
However, the role of Queen Beatrix is mainly representative and ceremonial. The executive branch of
government or “the Crown” is composed of the royal head of state and the Council of Ministers led by
the Prime Minister. The legislature is formed by Parliament together with the Sovereign and Ministers.
The Dutch Parliament consists of two houses: the First (Upper House) and Second (Lower House)
Chambers. Judicial power is given to the Supreme Court.

An international and pleasant living environment

The Dutch are accustomed to dealing with people from around the world, and above all, to working
with them. This is often the case, considering the fact that in Amsterdam, for example, more than 40%
of the population has come from another country. Other groups of people with non-Dutch backgrounds
have been living in the Netherlands for decades as a result of historical ties. English is spoken by most
people in the Netherlands.

The quality of life is an important issue in the Netherlands, as the Mercer study of 2003 has confirmed.
According to this frequently quoted survey, which assessed the quality of life for expatriate workers
world-wide, Amsterdam is among the world‟s most appealing cities to live in. It is ranked 12th world-
wide and 4th in the EU. Taking only personal safety into account, Amsterdam is ranked 25th world-
wide. This survey indicates that Amsterdam is considered to be as safe as Vancouver and Montreal,
but much safer than cities like Brussels, Berlin, Sydney, Hong Kong and New York.


Dutch is the official language of the Netherlands. But alongside Dutch, most residents of the
Netherlands are taught several foreign languages at school. These always include English, but can
also include German and French. English is widely used in the Netherlands and most of the population
speaks and reads it.
Since the formal adoption of the bachelor-master system in the EU in 1999, the Netherlands has been
one of the frontrunners in implementing the new system. Already the Netherlands offers many
international programmes leading to a bachelor‟s, master‟s or PhD degree. For many years it has
provided more international study programmes taught in English than any other non-English-speaking
country in the world. The number of study programmes taught entirely in English is still growing
rapidly. Both in the classroom and in daily life you will be able to communicate in English.

Further information

The following websites contain a lot of useful information on studying and living in The Netherlands:

 (Study in The Netherlands)
 (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
 (Dutch Tourist Board)

Zuyd University – International Office FIBC                                                             28
Higher education in the Netherlands
General information

International students are welcome in the Kingdom of the Netherlands and in Dutch higher education.
Like most Western European countries, the Netherlands is highly advanced in education, research
and technology. More than most other countries in Europe, it is internationally oriented; its location
and excellent infrastructure make it a crossroads.
Dutch education and research enjoy an international reputation in several fields. For instance, the
advanced technology applied in agriculture makes Dutch farmers the most productive in the world.
Hydraulic engineering is another example. The Netherlands is a coastal country but most of it lies
below sea level. Large areas have been created artificially, and Dutch engineers are constantly finding
new ways of protecting the land against flooding. The ingenious system of dikes and dams built to
safeguard the southwest corner of the country is known around the world as the Delta Works. Dutch
science is well known in the fields of electronics and chemistry. Multinational corporations with
headquarters in the Netherlands, such as Philips, Shell and Unilever, conduct pioneering research in
these fields.
Dutch education and research score well on international scales. Dutch education gives students
extensive freedom to exercise their own initiative. Students do more than passively absorb what
lecturers tell them. A lot of the work is done in groups and students are expected to contrIBSute
actively. They often conduct their own independent research projects.
The Netherlands is internationally oriented. The Dutch tend to be very well informed about world
affairs, as is evident in the wide news coverage offered by the Dutch media. Books and periodicals
from other countries are used extensively in higher education, and a growing number of courses and
study programmes are conducted entirely in English.

Dutch higher education

The Netherlands has two main types of higher education institutions: universities and universities of
applied sciences. 450,000 of the country's 16.6 million inhabitants have received a higher education.
The universities train scholars and researchers. Courses and research are specialized and many
graduates find work in research organizations. Universities of Applied Sciences are more skills-
oriented and they train students for specific careers.

High quality of education

The Netherlands has long been famous for the high quality of its education. What matters in the
Netherlands is the degree that you have earned, not the university where you earned it. On completing
their courses and passing their examinations, students are awarded degrees that are officially
recognized by the relevant authorities. Degrees are protected by law and accepted internationally.
Higher education in the Netherlands enjoys a worldwide reputation. This is achieved through a
national system of legal regulation and quality control. The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science
is responsIBSle for legislation pertaining to education. The agriculture and public health ministries play
an important role in assuring the quality of study programmes in their respective fields.
An important aspect of the higher education system in the Netherlands is the recently established
system of accreditation, which aims to guarantee a high standard of quality of programmes offered in
higher education. A quality control system is of course not new and has always played an important
part in Dutch higher education, but as of 2002 the responsIBSilities for quality assurance have been
allocated to the Netherlands Accreditation Organization (NvAO). According to the Act on Accreditation
of Higher Education of 2002, all degree programmes offered by universities and universities of
professional education will be evaluated according to established criteria, and programmes that meet
those criteria will be accredited, i.e. recognized. Only accredited programmes will be eligIBSle for
government funding and students receive financial aid and will graduate with a recognized degree only
when taking or after completing an accredited degree programme. Accredited programmes will be
listed in the Central Register of Higher Education Study Programmes and the information will of
course be available to the public.

Zuyd University – International Office FIBC                                                            29
Quality of Dutch universities

This system of quality control guarantees that the education offered at all the universities in the
Netherlands meets the same high standards. When Dutch students choose where they want to study,
they are not thinking of which institution is best, but instead are looking at which specializations the
universities offer or which emphasis or academic tradition they feature. Each of the universities in the
country has its own atmosphere and style. They distinguish themselves in this way, and not through
any absolute measure of quality. For these reasons, employers in the Netherlands look first at
the degree a person has earned. Where the person earned it is not so important.

The Dutch way of teaching

Respect for each individual‟s opinions and conviction is the national virtue that gives strength to the
fabric of the Netherlands‟ diversified society. This is the foundation of the teaching method used at
most Dutch educational institutions. The teaching style can be descrIBSed as student-centred,
providing students with the attention and freedom they need to develop their own opinions and
creativity for applying the new knowledge they acquire. The Netherlands has received international
acclaim for its ground-breaking Problem-Based Learning (PBL) system, which trains students to
analyse and solve practical problems independently through an emphasis on self-study and self-
discipline. A large portion of all study programmes involves writing papers, working in groups to
analyse and solve specific problems, acquiring practical work experience in internships, and
conducting experiments in laboratories. The Netherlands enjoys a long tradition in education and
research. The oldest university in the Netherlands was established in 1575. Many Dutch study
programmes are internationally oriented and not only address Dutch issues, but also extend the
subject matter to a European and international level. This is reflected in the large number of
European-oriented study programmes, such as European Studies, International Business School and
European Law and Communication. Experience shows that people with Dutch higher education
function very well in other parts of the world. For a small country like the Netherlands, this international
orientation, also in education and training, is a prerequisite for survival in an increasingly
internationalized world.

Zuyd University – International Office FIBC                                                              30
Money matters
In 2002 the former national currencies of most of the European countries were replaced by a new
common European currency called the Euro. There are EUR 0.01, EUR 0.02, EUR 0.05, EUR 0.10,
EUR 0.20, EUR 0.50, EUR 1.00 and EUR 2.00 coins. The Euro bank notes represent a value of EUR
5, EUR 10, EUR 50, EUR 100, EUR 200 and EUR 500. The exchange rate is close to that of the US
dollar. The biggest advantage of the common currency is that you can travel through most of the
continent without having to exchange currencies.

If you have a bankcard that allows access to the CIRRUS or Maestro network, you can withdraw
money from your account through ATMs (you will need a PIN-code). Travellers' cheques can be
exchanged at the local branches of the major banks. Please note that some banks do not accept
USD100 bank notes.

Most shops only accept cash payment and in some cases also credit card payment (VISA or
Eurocard/ Mastercard) but usually credit cards are only used for larger amounts. This means that you
should always carry some cash. The Netherlands has a relatively high living standard and some
products may be more expensive than in your own country. Make sure that your budget is sufficient for
the entire period of your stay. Generally speaking, you should be able to survive on about EUR 750
per month. However, if you wish to visit other parts of Europe while you are here, we recommend an
extra budget for travelling.

If you wish, you can open a bank account in the Netherlands. With the Dutch bankcards you can pay
for your purchases in most of the shops and supermarkets.

How to open a bank account for students in the Netherlands

Why a Dutch bank account?
As a service to its students, Zuyd University makes it possible for all students to pay their annual
tuition fee in 12 equal instalments. However, this is only possible when the student has a Dutch bank
account. If you would like to pay your tuition fee in instalments or need a bank account in the
Netherlands for other purposes (for example to pay your rent) then ING have an account that caters
specifically to students. ING and Zuyd University cooperate with each other to offer you banking

Please read this carefully. It will assist you in opening an account.

Students can open an account at any bank in the Netherlands. However, Zuyd University has made
arrangements with ING (in Heerlen, Maastricht and Sittard) to make opening an account easier and
hassle free. Each bank has its own requirements and features.

Requirements when applying for an account with ING (in case one or more of the following
situations apply to you):
     Minimum age is 18.
     You live abroad during your study at Zuyd University.
     You have a national identity card, a driver‟s licence or other valid proof of identity with a
        photograph, issued by a qualified authority.
     A written and signed certificate of registration from Zuyd University is required (your student
        card is not sufficient).

Zuyd University – International Office FIBC                                                             31
Features of the ING account:
    The account does not allow for products involving any type of credit, for example credit cards
       and loans.
    No deposit or minimum balance is required.
    Full internet banking facilities are available.
    Use of ATM/money machines with the direct debit card.
    The account and use of the facilities is not free of charge. Using your direct debit card in a
       country outside of the Euro zone will incur a charge. Transferring money to a foreign country is
       not free of charge (except to countries in the Euro zone using the IBSAN and BIC codes).
    An annual banking fee of € 12.40 is charged.

How to open the account

      1. Visit an ING office in Maastricht, Heerlen or Sittard and bring the following:
                   - a valid proof of identity
                   - the written and signed evidence of enrolment issued by Zuyd University.
      2. Fill in the application form handed to you at the bank. If your application is approved, you will
         receive an e-mail from ING inviting you to collect your direct debit card.
      3. You will receive a separate application form for internet banking at your home address. Sign
         this form and send it to ING in the envelope provided. Stamp the envelope if you are
         posting it outside of the Netherlands.

Further information see

Day or weekend trips
Maastricht is not far from the cities of Amsterdam, Aachen, Cologne, Antwerp, Brussels, Liège,
Luxembourg, Paris and London (because of the Eurostar a new train link from Brussels across the
Channel). Most of these cities can be accessed by public transport (train, bus and air links).
Comfortable high-speed trains to France and the United Kingdom depart from the railway stations of
Aachen (Germany), Brussels, Liège (Belgium) and Maastricht.

Cycling in the countryside in the southern part of Limburg is a popular pastime. While the Netherlands
is generally a very flat country, the south can be deceivingly hilly. The Ardennes, a mountainous area
in Belgium, is also within reach.

At the Tourist Information Centre and at the railway station (and of course at the travel agents' in the
town centre) you‟ll find many brochures about all the possIBSilities and the prices. There are special
student discounts for rail travel in Europe. Ask your local travel agents‟ for further information.
Maastricht-Aachen Airport offers direct flights to Amsterdam, London, Munich and many other places.
Phone +31 (0)43 3589898 for further details. You can reach this regional airport by bus (about 30
minutes). Furthermore, there are taxi services at the airport (the charge from and to Sittard is
approximately EUR 35).

The airports of Amsterdam, Brussels (Zaventem and Charleroi), Cologne-Bonn, Düsseldorf,
Eindhoven and Liège are also relatively close at hand.

The Maastricht railway station has excellent train links to the rest of the Netherlands. The bus station
right next to the railway station offers many connections to several parts of the city and to other towns
and villages in the area. There is also a taxi stand at the railway station.

Zuyd University – International Office FIBC                                                              32
ECTS information

A common language for academic recognition

The European Community promotes study abroad as a means of improving the quality of academic
cooperation bringing benefits to students and higher education institutions.
Studying abroad can be a particularly valuable experience. It is not only the best way to learn about
other countries, ideas, languages and cultures; increasingly, it is an important part of professional and
academic career development.

Students envisaging a study abroad will be looking for:
 study programmes which are relevant to their final degree,
 full academic recognition which ensures that they will not lose time in completing their degree by
    studying abroad.

To help students make the most from their study abroad, the European Commission has developed a
European Credit Transfer System, which provides a way of measuring and comparing learning
achievements, and transferring them from one institution to another.

ECTS helps higher education institutions to enhance their cooperation with other institutions by:
 improving access to information on foreign curricula,
 providing common procedures for academic recognition.

ECTS can also be used within one institution or between institutions within one country.
Also consult

What does ECTS offer to the student?

    ECTS guarantees academic recognition of studies abroad.
    ECTS enables access to regular courses alongside local students, with the benefit of full
     participation in the academic life of the host institution. This characteristic of ECTS distinguishes it
     from many other student mobility programmes.
    ECTS enables further studies abroad. A student may prefer not to go back to the home institution
     after the study period abroad, but rather to stay at the host institution -- possibly to gain a degree -
     - or to move to a third institution. The institutions themselves decide whether or not this is
     acceptable and what conditions the student must fulfil in order to get a diploma or transfer

What does ECTS offer to institutions of higher education?

    ECTS creates curriculum transparency by providing detailed information on the curricula and their
     relevance towards a degree.
    ECTS helps academics to make academic recognition decisions thanks to prior agreement on the
     content of study programmes abroad between students and their home and host institutions.
    The use of ECTS can also be a catalyst for reflection on course curriculum structures, student
     workload and learning outcomes.
    With ECTS, higher education institutions preserve their autonomy and responsibility for all
     decisions concerning students' achievements, without amending existing course structures and
     assessment methods: all courses and assessments are those which are normally taken by regular
     students at the host institution.

What are ECTS credits?

ECTS credits are a value allocated to course units to describe the student workload required to
complete them. They reflect the quantity of work each course requires in relation to the total quantity
of work required to complete a full year of academic study at the institution, that is, lectures, practical
work, seminars, private work -- in the laboratory, library or at home -- and examinations or other
assessment activities.

Zuyd University – International Office FIBC                                                               33
In ECTS, 60 credits represent one year of study (in blocks of workload); normally 30 credits are given
for six months (a semester) and 20 credits for a block (a trimester).
ECTS credits are also allocated to practical placements and to thesis preparation when these activities
are part of the regular programme of study at both the home and host institutions.
ECTS credits are allocated to courses and are awarded to students who successfully complete those
courses by passing the examinations or other assessments.

What is the ECTS grading scale?

Examination and assessment results are usually expressed in grades. There are many different
grading systems in Europe. To help institutions translate the grades awarded by host institutions to
ECTS students, the ECTS grading scale has been developed. This provides additional information on
the student's performance to that provided by the institution's grade, but does not replace the local
grade. Higher education institutions make their own decisions on how to apply the ECTS grading scale
to their own system.

Names and telephone numbers
This chapter contains the names and addresses of persons and institutions you may encounter during
your stay in Maastricht.

The following persons can be reached by telephone and/or e-mail. For telephone calls, please contact
the reception (phone +31 - (0)43 3466666) and ask them to put you through to the person concerned.

   J. Oostijen (Jeanette), Dean of the Faculty of International Business and Communication, e-mail:
   P. Schoenmakers (Patrick), Co-ordinator International Affairs, e-mail:
   A. Cremers-Knubben (Angelique), International Office, e-mail:
   A. Luijten (Audrey), International Office, e-mail:
   R. Maijer (Rick), International Office, e-mail:
   Office of Educational Affairs, e-mail:
   Central Student Administration, e-mail:
   M. Cauberg (Marja), Co-ordinator IBS, e-mail:
   R. Sterk (Robin), Co-ordinator European Studies, e-mail:
   R. Braeken (Rob), Co-ordinator IBMS, e-mail:
   J. Wesselius (Janneke), Co-ordinator Oriental Languages and Communication, e-mail:
   M. Thelen (Marcel), Co-ordinator Translation and Interpreting, e-mail:
   H. van Nunen-Smit (Helmy), Co-ordinator Translation and Interpreting, e-mail:

You should contact our International Offıce for all inquiries regarding your study, exams and
accommodation. If necessary, they will then refer you to one of the above-mentioned persons.

Zuyd University – International Office FIBC                                                         34
                                                                            South Limburg

In case of emergencies (accidents, fire etc.) you should always dial 112.

Police station

Prins Bisschopssingel 53, 6212 AB Maastricht, phone 0900-8844. Open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to
5 p.m. For reports on crime, accidents etc. dial the central reporting station (0900-8844, 24 hours per
day). In case of emergencies call 112.


There is an Academic Hospital in Maastricht: the AZM. The academic hospital is situated in the district
of Randwyck. There is a close co-operation with the University of Maastricht, particularly the faculty of
Medicine and the faculty of Health Science.
After consulting your general practitioner you may be referred to a specialist at the AZM. These
specialists can offer a more specific treatment than your GP. Medical treatment is given on a policlinic
basis or by means of hospital treatment for one or more days. This all depends on the duration and
intensity of the treatment. The telephone number for general information is: 043-3876543.

The AZM has a casualty ward in case of emergencies. They either treat you there or refer you to the
specialist in attendance. A GP post is also situated in the casualty ward. From Monday to Thursday,
from 6 p.m. until 8 a.m. and from Friday 6 p.m. until Monday morning 8 a.m., this is the place to turn to
in case of emergencies. Phone: 043-3877777.

In January 2000, a General Practitioners‟ post was established in the casualty ward. From Monday to
Thursday from 6 p.m. until 8 a.m. and from Friday 6 p.m. until Monday morning 8 a.m., this is where
you can go in case of an urgent need for medical treatment. Outside these hours, GPs have office
hours in their own practices during which they can be consulted. Telephone: 043-3877777.

City Hall

Mosae Forum 10 (riverside), Maastricht, phone 043-3505050 (Gemeenteloket). Open Monday –
Wednesday from 8.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m., Thursday from 8.30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday from 8.30 a.m.
to 12.30 p.m.

Zuyd University – International Office FIBC                                                            35
Erasmus Student Network

The Erasmus Student Network is an organisation that takes care of the primary care and social
integration of the 1,200 exchange students that study at Maastricht University and Zuyd University
each year.

In the first place there is the primary care of exchange students. ESN offers incoming exchange
students an arrival service and shows them around in Maastricht and in their future faculty. Every
exchange student gets a mentor who shows him/her around and who keeps in touch with the
exchange student during his/her stay in Maastricht. A mentor is responsIBSle for groups of ten people
and has dinner with them in the Twee Heeren, the home pub of ESN. If the students have problems or
questions, they can go to their mentor or to the ESN office at the Oude Tweebergenpoort 2.

Besides that, the Erasmus Student Network offers the exchange students possIBSilities to integrate.
This happens in a lot of ways. ESN organises an introduction week twice a year, which is filled with all
kinds of activities, ranging from a tour through the underground fortifications of Maastricht to a cantus,
a traditional Dutch beer-singing party. At the beginning of September, ESN also organises an
introduction camp. In addition, ESN has an international drink every Tuesday at the Twee Heeren and
organises parties and other activities throughout the year.

ESN informs the exchange students about topics that are important to them in several ways. There is
an ESN website and ESN publishes a newspaper, “the Babble”. The Babble is published 5 times a
year. ESN also has office hours every day from 3 to 5 p.m. at the ESN office, Oude Tweebergenpoort
2 (next to America Today).

ESN Maastricht
P.O. Box 616
Phone 043-3883089 (office)/ 06-55906590 / 06-55906591 (cell phone numbers)


AEGEE stands for Association des Etats Généraux des Etudiants de l'Europe
European Students Forum. Its name is derived from one of the birthplaces of democracy, the Aegean
Sea, and the first parliament at the dawn of the French Revolution, Les Etats Généraux. AEGEE is
one of Europe's largest interdisciplinary student associations, which promotes a unified Europe, cross-
border co-operation, communication, integration among students and strives to create an open and
tolerant society of tomorrow. AEGEE is a voluntary, non-profit organisation that operates without being
linked to any political party. It is represented in 271 university cities, in 40 countries all around Europe
and has about 17,000 members.
What makes AEGEE truly European is that it does not use national level but solely relies on local
groups (called antennae) in university cities all over Europe. The structure, itself, does not allow a
creation of physical and tries to erase the existence of mental borders between students coming from
all parts of Europe. In the end, the activities of all antennae are co-ordinated by the European Board
(Comité Directeur). In order to contrIBSute and give support in the area of Higher Education, East-
West relations, Culture, International Politics and Public Relations, the supporting working groups
have been created.
Larger scale conferences are regularly organised and they cover various topics as: “Peace and
Stability", "Borderless Europe", "Managing the new Eastern Border" and many other.
AEGEE enjoys support from the European Commission, has consultative status at the Council of
Europe and UN. AEGEE is also a member of the European Youth Forum and has co-operated with
UNESCO on international projects.

Zuyd University – International Office FIBC                                                              36
Last but not least, AEGEE is made of incredIBSly motivated young people, who work for what they
believe, getting in return personal satisfaction and hope that they have slightly influenced the course of
things they have touched. In short, the European-minded student finds an almost perfect environment
at AEGEE to learn and act as a European.

Phone 043-3883465
Open daily from 11.30 a.m. to 1.30 p.m.


The "Association Internationale des Etudiants en Sciences Economiques et Commerciales" was
established in 1948 by students from seven Western European countries. Meanwhile it has become
the world‟s largest student organisation with branches in 87 countries, covering more than 900
universities. AIESEC reaches more than 70,000 students. AIESEC‟s goals include a contrIBSution to
the development of countries and its citizens, by means of international understanding and
AIESEC organizes work placements and exchange programmes, an orientation project, personal skills
training, a career week and so forth.

AIESEC Maastricht
Abtstraat 4, room 2002/2004
P.O. Box 616
Phone 043-3883863/ 3883609

Open daily from 10 to 12 a.m. and from 1 to 4 p.m.


The international students‟ association Alliance Maastricht was established in 1999 and is the
youngest association in Maastricht. It focuses on the integration of national and international students
in the Dutch student life. Committees organise training events, debates, workshops, excursions etc.
Alliance also organises parties that are accessIBSle to everyone.

Alliance Maastricht
Oude Tweebergenpoort 2
Phone 043-3883146

Zuyd University – International Office FIBC                                                            37


The history of Maastricht goes back to about 50 B.C., when the Romans built a settlement by the main
road, near a fortress in the river. The city's name is derived from the Latin '"Mosae Trajectum", the site
where the Meuse could be crossed. This settlement grew to become a walled castellum, which was
abandoned towards the end of the fourth century A.D.
From c. 380 to 722 A.D. Maastricht was a bishop's see. Saint Servatius, who died in 384, was the first
and Saint Hubert the last bishop.
The latter transferred the bishop's see to Liège whilst retaining his prerogatives in the town. As from
1202 Maastricht was ruled jointly by the Duke of Brabant and the Prince-Bishop of Liege. The rights
and privileges of both temporal and ecclesiastical lords were laid down in the so-called "Aide Caerte"
(1284), and this situation continued until 1795.
Maastricht had its first outer walls built in 1229. Before long the town was felt to be too small, and at
the beginning of the 14th century construction work on a new series of walls was commenced.
Maastricht had to withstand many sieges; because of the Meuse crossing it was an important town
strategically, and Dutch, Spanish and French armies besieged Maastricht frequently. During 1795 the
occupying French forces took drastic measures, making Maastricht the capital of a French province,
the Department of the Lower Meuse.
After Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo, Belgium and the Netherlands became a united kingdom under
King William 1. After battling for nine years (1830-1839), the two countries went their own separate
ways; thanks partly to the intervention of General DIBSbets, Maastricht remained a Dutch city. In 1867
Maastricht lost its role as a fortress; the city started on a new period of expansion.

Maastricht now

Maastricht nowadays has about 120,000 inhabitants and an area of 5896 ha. The city lies on the rivers
Meuse and Jeker, at the foot of Mount St. Peter. The major economic activities are commerce,
services and industry (e.g. pottery, glass, paper and cement). Educational facilities include the
University of Maastricht, Zuyd University and several other institutions.

The centre of the city is especially attractive, due to its wealth of historic buildings; some 1450
monuments are protected by law. Care is taken that both new and renovated buildings maintain the
typical atmosphere of their surroundings. Because of its heritage value, the whole of the Maastricht
city centre has been declared a protected area. We therefore thoroughly recommend a city walk.

Zuyd University – International Office FIBC                                                            38
On the southern side of the city (Randwyck) a new economic centre has been built, with exhIBSition
halls, a conference centre, the provincial government building, an academic hospital and office
facilities. A new central district is located on the river Meuse: the Céramique site. Until a short time
ago, the site was home to the potteries of the Societé Céramique, from which the project has taken its
name. Céramique is a unique combination of apartments, offices, shop, parks and the famous

A number of European institutes have already been set up in the city, e.g. the European Institute of
Public Administration and the European Centre for Work and Society. Countless people visit the city to
shop around in the various shopping centres or to taste of the convivial Burgundian atmosphere.

Access is excellent, whether you are travelling by car, rail, bus or air. Maastricht-Aachen Airport is a
modern blockinal, with flight departures several times a day to places like Amsterdam and London. In
addition, the airport fulfils an important role in the tourist (charter) and freight sectors.

Since 1991 Maastricht has been well known throughout the world as the city whose name will always
be closely linked to the unification of Europe. The half-yearly summit conference of the European
Council, which was held in this city on 9 and 10 December 1991 under the chairmanship of the
Netherlands, resulted in the "Treaty of Maastricht". This laid the foundation for the political, economic
and monetary integration of Europe.

For more information consult:

General Maastricht freshmen’s introduction

Maastricht University and Zuyd University encourage foreign students to take part in their study
programmes and they therefore have a good reputation internationally. For this reason a rising
number of foreign students come to Maastricht every year to start their studies. The INKOM is the
ideal possibility for freshmen in Maastricht to get to know every aspect of the Maastricht student life.
Student life consists of several fraternities, sport and study associations. In a group of 10 fellow
students, the freshmen will be guided by two mentors, who will show their groups all possibilities in
Maastricht. This ranges from serious studying to the best well-known student pubs and the Maastricht
nightlife. The introduction is an opportunity that should not be missed.
More information on the introduction is available at:

Zuyd University – International Office FIBC                                                             39
Other practical information
A note on the Dutch language
In most sectors of Dutch society you can get along well speaking only English; but in other sectors you
will need to speak at least some Dutch. In any case, you will understand Dutch culture better if you
understand the language. The best way to learn the language is by taking Dutch lessons in your own
country and then spending a vacation in the Netherlands before your internship or period of study
begins. The Dutch embassy in your country should be able to tell you where you can get lessons. If
you follow these up with advanced lessons alongside your study or work in the Netherlands, you
should be able to express yourself fairly quickly.
However, you will notice that the Province of Limburg has its own dialect, which does not sound like
Dutch at all!


The Netherlands has a near-perfect public transport system. Trains generally run on time, with
frequent connections to a wide number of destinations.

For bus travel, you are advised to purchase a bus-card (Strippenkaart) in advance at the General Post
Office or at the railway station. Tickets purchased on the buses will be more expensive. The
Strippenkaart is valid on all buses, the underground and trams nationwide. A Strippenkaart with 15
“strips” cost € 7.60 and a 45 “strip” card costs € 22,50 in 2010 (prices are subject to change). Bus and
tram fares are based on a zone-system, which works as follows:

First you check or ask the driver how many zones it will take to reach your destination. Then you make
sure that the corresponding number of zones plus one extra “strip” is stamped on your card, either by
the driver or in a machine. For example, if you travel in one zone, you should have two strips stamped.
For two zones you should stamp three strips etc.
Your ticket is only valid after it has been stamped. This can be done by the driver or the conductor. In
trams without a conductor, you should stamp your ticket yourself in one of the yellow stamp machines.
Fold the Strippenkaart at the correct number of strips and insert it into the machine. You must
calculate the number of zones you will be travelling in/through yourself. When having the
Strippenkaart stamped, only the last strip of the number of strips required must be stamped. The strip
or strips before should remain unstamped. It is compulsory to carry a valid ticket throughout the
journey. For frequent bus travel you can also buy a cheaper weekly or monthly bus card.

To save money, most of the international students in the Netherlands ride bicycles. As a newcomer
you may need some time to learn how to cycle safely in busy traffic. Second-hand bicycles are widely
available. If you buy one and sell it again when you leave, you will have had very cheap transportation.
Don‟t forget to buy a decent lock, as bikes are frequently "borrowed" by others.

You cannot simply drive your car to the Netherlands and expect to use it here. If you are from a
European Union member state, you may use your national driving license in the Netherlands. If you
are here for longer than three months, however, your own license is only valid if you are officially
registered with the authorities. After 12 months you will need a Dutch license. Check in advance
whether or not you will need an international driving license. You might need it to drive through the
countries that lie between your country and the Netherlands.

Make sure that your car insurance provides full coverage for all costs that you might incur in the
Netherlands (these can be very high).

Parking places can be hard to find, and car parks are often quite expensive. There is a carpark
available at school. Charge is 1,15 Euro per day.


Electrical appliances require 220-230V AC and a special plug. Adaptors and converters can be
purchased before departure, but take into account that, in spite of these, 110V equipment may not last
very long.

Zuyd University – International Office FIBC                                                             40

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