Friday, June 20, 2008

my school and home.

when i first arrived in maastricht, i thought there was plenty of time to explore the town and take some photos. the next thing i knew, school was out and i was flying home, with no photos to keep as memories! so you can imagine the mad nostalgic rush, running around with mike to visit my school and snapping away before we leave. so here's a part of my life for the past few months:

i lived in a guesthouse (aka dorm) which is relatively more expensive than the other alternatives, but a large cohord of international students lived there and the facilities are great! we've got clean rooms, toilets and showers, free laundry, tennis and basketball courts too. i was really fortunate to live in an area where my neighbours always kept the toilets and showers clean, some other parts of the dorm weren't exactly as pleasant. the best part was the nice view from my window - a large patch of green grass with trees and a few resident birds. =)

a double room shared with my korean roomie (left)

the kitchen and communal area

my slogging area

my snoozing companion

Universiteit Maastricht (UM) has the best business school in the netherlands, which is why it wasn't all fun and games but also a fair amount of studying to do during my exchange. that said, it was probably the most enriching classes i've had in a long time. somewhat similar to smu, UM focuses on class participation, but to an even larger extent.

the funky front gate of the business school

the modern hallway with old brick walls

there are no professors lecturing, just a tutor to supervise class discussion. each class has only 10-14 students, which also means that if you don't do your pre-readings before you come and you don't know shit, you're screwed!

a typical classroom

though the amount of text to read is quite atrocious, the good thing is that both the tutors and students aren't as crazy about projects. in smu, if we get a project assignment due in week 12, we start meeting twice a week in week 3 and each time meeting lasts for about 3 bloody hours. in UM, if we get a project assignment due in week 12, we meet in week 10, for a total of 3 meetings each lasting an hour, and everything's done. i highly suspect it's got to do with our absolute kiasuism, hoping to outdo one another, and also the professors' knack for handing out impossibly difficult project questions.

the printing area with old architecture retained

in smu, you'll get dirty looks for not making to a meeting, unless you have a good reason, like someone died. in UM, you'll get dirty looks for staying a minute longer indoors for project meeting on a bright sunny day.

holland is big on cycling, full stop. they even have bicycle lanes marked out on the roads specially for motorists and cyclists. cars have to give way to cyclists. how cool is that? we cycle to school, to the supermarket, to the city center - everywhere. the best part is not having to worry about a long walk home or some crazy ass driver honking you down from behind.

typical holland

i used a hand-me-down mountain bike that's so small it looks like a midget beside the huge dutch bikes, but it's proven to be the most reliable of the ones we all owned! i'm so proud of it and missing it already. =/ if only the singapore gah-ment realizes that increasing erp gantries ain't the way to solve the problem.

my lovely mini alaska

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