Frequently Asked Questions

1. Preparing your stay
2. Educational activities
3. Finances
4. Facts & figures about the Netherlands
5. In and around Maastricht

1. Preparing your stay

How do I obtain a visa?

Participants and prospective students of SHE will most likely be visiting the Netherlands for a short stay. For a stay of up to three months/90 days, a Schengen visa may be required. Whether such a visa is needed, however, depends on your nationality. Please check the website of the Dutch government or of the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND), to see if you fall into this category.

If you require a visa, we can provide, a letter upon request to the Dutch Embassy or Consulate in your country of residence. This will hopefully help to expedite the process.
If possible, we advise you to start your visa application well before (several months) the start of the programme you wish to attend, as the visa process can take a lot of time.

Where can I best take out a health insurance policy?

We advise visitors to our school to take out a medical travel insurance policy via AON Students Insurance. Via AON, you can take out an insurance package at a good price that not only covers medical expenses, but also includes additional important coverage such as legal and liability. This insurance will help you have a more carefree stay in The Netherlands.

What is the best way to travel to the Netherlands?

The best way to travel to the Netherlands is by airplane. From there, you can continue your journey by train. The following airports are located in the vicinity of Maastricht. Please check their websites to see whether they offer flights from your home country to the Netherlands:

Airport Distance to Maastricht
Maastricht-Aachen 9 km
Liège  30 km
Eindhoven 90 km
Düsseldorf Regional Weeze 100 km
Cologne-Bonn  100 km
Brussels Zaventhem 100 km
Düsseldorf 111 km
Antwerp 125 km
Rotterdam The Hague 208 km
Amsterdam Schiphol  220 km
Groningen Eelde 324 km

Schiphol Airport is by far the largest airport in the country and connects with most places in the world. The largest airline is KLM. Jet2.com, Easyjet, Transavia and Ryanair are a few examples of low-cost airlines that offer flights (in most cases from the smaller airports) to other cities within Europe.

What is the best way to travel from the airport to Maastricht?

Public transportation to Maastricht

Travelling by train from the airport to Maastricht
From Amsterdam Airport Schiphol there is an excellent train service to Maastricht via Utrecht (travel time approx. 3 hours). Maastricht has two railway stations: Maastricht Central Station, which is located in the city centre, and Maastricht Randwyck Station, which is right next to Maastricht University’s Randwyck Campus and a fifteen minutes’ walk from the symposium venue. All trains from the south (Belgium) stop at Randwyck Station. Coming from the east (Germany) and from the north (Amsterdam), one has to change trains at Maastricht Central Station in order to reach Maastricht Randwyck Station.

Paying public transportation: the OV-chip card
The OV-chip card is the means of payment for the public transportation system. The smart card is the size of a bank card and contains an invisible chip. The OV-chip card can be loaded with credit in Euros with which you can travel anywhere within the Netherlands. Tourists/travellers can buy an ‘anonymous OV-chip card’, which costs approximately € 7,50 and which should then be loaded with credit in order to be able to travel. The anonymous OV-chip card can be bought at the ticket office and vending machines at the railway stations. This card allows the holder to travel immediately and expires after 4 to 5 years. Important! Don’t forget to check in and out each time you board the bus, tram, metro or train. Please see: http://www.ov-chipkaart.nl/?taal=en or contact the OV-chip card customer service at 0031-0900-0980 for more information about this chip card.

In order to plan your journey from the airport to Maastricht by public transportation, the following websites might come in handy:

Within the Netherlands:
Dutch railways
Journey planner 9292 (railways and all other types of public transport)

Within and from Belgium (e.g. Brussels) to the Netherlands (Maastricht):
International rail planner
Belgian railways

Within and from Germany to the Netherlands (Maastricht):
German railways

Also check out the map and directions to UM locations to obtain directions on how to reach the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences at Maastricht University, which is home to the School of Health Professions Education (SHE). The visiting address is: Universiteitssingel 40-60, Maastricht, the Netherlands (select location Randwijck).

Taxi?

If you wish to book a shuttle service by taxi, the following websites might be useful (bear in mind that this is much more costly):

Belgian services:


Taxi Patrick Airport service
Telephone: 0032-474-747474
http://www.taxipatrick.be

All airport service
Telephone: 0032-11-201-101
http://www.allairport.be

Dutch services:

Taxi Frenske
Telephone: 0031-43-363 63 62
http://www.taxi-frenske.nl

Brull Personenvervoer
Telephone: 0031-43-343 00 00
http://www.brull.nl


As not all of these websites are available in English, it is advisable to contact them directly by phone/email.

Can SHE arrange accommodation for me?

SHE does not book accommodation for participants of short courses or conferences. Participants are responsible for booking their own accommodation. However, the website of the Maastricht Tourist Office (VVV-kantoor) may be of help as it offers an overview of various hotels, bed & breakfasts and apartments.

Hotel during the first or second capmpus based unit of the MHPE programme
We would like to inform you about the housing facilities for your stay in Maastricht.
MHPE students can benefit from a reduction when booking a room at the International Guesthouse of Aparthotel Randwijck. Participants will receive more information about this special arrangement from the respective secretariats as soon as they have effected their registration.

We have made a very attractive price arrangement with the Aparthotel Randwyck! We would like to offer you this as a great alternative for the UM Guesthouse with many advantages

Location: The Aparthotel is a five minute walk from the University. It is located across the train station Randwyck (you can take the train at Maastricht Central to Maastricht Randwyck which is about five minutes).

During the first or second campus based unit of the MHPE programme we made price arrangements for a minimum of a 3 week’s stay The Aparthotel Randwyck offers the following for a minimum of a 3 week’s stay during the first or second campus based unit of the MHPE programme

• Basic Room for one person for € 27,50 per person per night
• Family room for € 27,50 per person per night. The Family room has two separate bedrooms with total privacy and a shared bathroom

Registration: If you want to stay at the Aparthotel Randwyck your registration needs to go through the MHPE office. Send a mail to MHPE@maastrichtuniversity.nl

For more information about such longer-term accommodation, please check the ‘Services and facilities’ page.

2. Educational activities

When does the next educational activity start?

Please check our Course overview for all upcoming educational training activities that SHE has to offer.

Are there still one or more slots available for the upcoming course/activity?

Before we can answer this question, we advise you to first submit your application. SHE will contact you within a few working days and inform you about whether or not you can still be admitted to the educational training activity of your choice. If you would like to send a group of participants to attend an activity of SHE, then we advise you to send an enquiry beforehand by email to she@maastrichtuniversity.nl.

We would like to send a group from our university/institution to attend an activity of SHE. Would you be able to accommodate our group?

If you would like to send a group of participants to attend an activity of SHE, then we advise you to send an enquiry by email to she@maastrichtuniversity.nl. SHE can then inform you about whether or not there are still slots available for your group and how to go about applying.

Can I bring an accompanying person?

Sometimes participants/students come to Maastricht together with their spouse, children or other relatives/friends. This is absolutely no problem. Please note, however, that accompanying persons are not permitted to attend the programme or parts thereof unless explicitly given permission beforehand.

What is the main format of the activities organised by SHE?

The short activities organised by SHE are all conducted with an interactive and practice-based approach. The Summer Course and Visitors Workshop, for instance, include a visit to the Skills lab, library and study facilities, which are alternated by sessions of self-study and group work that require active learning. Short lectures are included to introduce new knowledge. The Certificate Courses and the longer-term PhD and master’s programme of SHE consist of distance learning, giving a great deal of independence to the student. The on-campus parts of the master’s programme are based on the Problem-Based Learning system, with a strong emphasis on practical exercises carried out either individually or in collaboration with other students.

Do participants/prospective students need to submit proof of English language proficiency, such as IELTS/TOEFL scores?

The working language of all SHE activities is English. Given the format of these activities, a good command of this language is required. Most short-term activities do not require official proof of English language proficiency.

However, the Advanced Course ‘Writing a PhD Research Proposal’, the Certificate Courses, and the PhD and master’s programmes do require proof of the applicant’s fluency in English. Please check the relevant "Admissions & Application Procedure" pages for further details about the English language criteria.

When finding your way in the Netherlands, you will notice that the vast majority of people speak English very well, even though Dutch is the official language. In Maastricht, sometimes you can also get by with German or French, as Maastricht is close to the German and Wallonian (French-speaking part of Belgium) borders.

Could you arrange for me to meet ...?

Sometimes participants/students request a short meeting with specific staff members of Maastricht University or the University Hospital Maastricht. We will always try to arrange such meetings for you, planning them in between the programme activities.

I’m a student. Are students accepted as participants?

At the beginning of the continuum of SHE’s training opportunities, students can participate in the Visitors Workshop, which is targeted at all people involved in academic medical education. On a more advanced level, however, certain qualifications are required. Check the ‘Student profile’ section of each programme or course for more details.

What time do the activities of SHE start and end?

The training activities of SHE usually take place on weekdays (Monday through Friday) between 9.00 and 17.00. Sometimes the programme starts a little earlier (8.00) for the registration of participants. When social activities are planned, this may involve an afternoon trip and/or and evening dinner that ends around 21.00. The programme of the Advanced Course ‘Writing a PhD Research Proposal’ also runs on Saturdays.

Can any ECTS credits be earned by taking part in the educational activities of SHE?

SHE’s activities can be expressed in terms of European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) credits. In this context, one ECTS credit stands for 28 hours of study (contact hours + hours of self-study, preparation, etc.).

Short Courses: 2 ECTS
Advanced Course ‘Writing a PhD Research Proposal’: 12 ECTS
Certificate Courses: 5 ECTS (7 for Scientific track)
Master of Health Professions Education: 60 ECTS

I have a special interest in Problem-Based Learning (PBL). Which SHE activities should I participate in?

The Summer Course ‘Expanding Horizons in Problem-Based Learning’ and the Visitors Workshop are both short-term educational activities that teach you every aspect of PBL. The Visitors Workshop is a two-day workshop that offers participants a dip into PBL as implemented at the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences at Maastricht University. This workshop will give you a taste of what the Summer Course is like.

The first week of the Summer Course will introduce participants to PBL in the broad sense. The second week will explore the subject in-depth and from various perspectives, exemplified by modules such as assessment and skills training.

Do the activities of SHE require any specific preparation beforehand?

The Visitors Workshop and Summer Course do not require any specific preparation. However, participants will receive the literature some time in advance, and they can already skim through if they wish to do so. Some of the other activities may require specific preparation. Please view the relevant sections ‘What kind of material is necessary?’ under the ‘Admissions and Application’ page of each activity for further details.

I do not have a background in medical education/medicine (e.g. I’m a dentist). Can I still apply for the short or longer-term educational activities of SHE?

Although the SHE activities take place in a medical setting, the lessons learned can be exported to and applied in other settings as well. Therefore, it is not uncommon for SHE to accept applications from participants with various backgrounds. Nonetheless, it is advisable to submit your application in consultation with the coordinator of the activity. He/she has the adequate knowledge to advise you as to whether or not participation will make sense considering your expertise and personal objectives.

3. Finances

Are there scholarships or any other funding possibilities available for people from developing countries?

Unfortunately, the School of Health Professions Education (SHE) is not in a position to sponsor its students and participants. As for the Summer Course, however, we do try to waive a maximum of 50% of the registration fee for one or two of our participants each year. In May of each year, we decide if we will be able to provide such a scholarship, and if so, who will receive it. If you would like to apply for the Summer Course and wish to be considered for such a scholarship, then please leave a note in the remarks box when submitting your application. Please keep in mind that the scholarship will not count towards travel and accommodation expenses. Check the scholarships section on our website for an overview of suggested links to organisations that may be of help in finding scholarships or grants.

Do you accept payments made by credit card or in cash?

The only way to settle payment of the registration/tuition fee is by bank transfer. Payments made by credit card or in cash cannot be accepted.

Could you send me an invoice?

Upon request, we can certainly send you an invoice. Please note that it may take 10 to12 working days before the Accounts Receivable Department has processed such requests.

4. Facts and figures about the Netherlands

What is the climate like in the Netherlands, and what type of clothes do I need to bring?

Situated on the North Sea, the Netherlands has a moderate maritime climate which generally features soft winters and cool summers. On average, the coldest month is January, whereas the warmest temperatures are reached in July. Daytime temperatures vary from -5°C to 6°C in the winter and 17°C-30°C in the summer. However, please keep in mind that night time temperatures can get as low as 5°C in the summers. Within the Netherlands, the climate differs in accordance with the distance to the sea and changes in landscape. For instance, the average temperature in the north of the country is a few degrees lower than in the south. On the other hand, the coastal areas on average catch more hours of sunshine.
 
Despite the widespread idea that people have of the Netherlands, the average rainfall occurs no more than 7% of the time. Nevertheless, we do advise you to bring your coat and umbrella, as it can be cold, windy and rainy—especially since the south of Limburg, where Maastricht is located, belongs to one of the wettest areas in the Netherlands. If you come from a warm country, then it is wise to always bring warm clothing with you, as our climate tends to be quite cold for you.

5. In and around Maastricht

When and where are the Maastricht markets?

In Maastricht, you can find the following markets:

  • Small wares market: every Wednesday from 9.00 to 14.30
  • Large wares and fish market: every Friday from 9.00 to 14.30

Both markets are held at the central Market square (Markt).

  • Organic farmers’ market: every Thursday from 14.00 to 21.30 at the square in the Stationsstraat.
  • Flea market: every Saturday from 10.00 to 16.00 in the Stationsstraat.

Where can I rent a bike?

For bike and scooter rentals, you can turn to: 

  • Aon de stasie: Bicycle specialist with a broad assortment of accessories, bicycles and other two-wheelers. Stationsplein 26, Maastricht.
  • Courtens Bike Sport: Bicycle rentals, only a 5 minutes’ walk from the Vrijthof. Calvariestraat 16, Maastricht.
  • Maastricht Biking: City and Mountain Bike Tours in the wider surroundings of Maastricht. T +31 (0)6 178 387 28.
  • Bella Vespa, La Dolce Vespa & Solex rental: Rental of Vespa Scooters and Electric Solex bikes, cycle tours, packages or guided tours Postwagenstraat 8, Maastricht.

Where should I go for my daily groceries?

In Maastricht you can find various supermarkets spread across the city, such as: Albert Heijn, Aldi, C1000, Jumbo and Lidl. Albert Heijn is considered to be the most expensive one, whereas you will spend less at Aldi, Lidl and Jumbo. At the Brusselse Poort shopping centre, you will find all kinds of stores, ranging from supermarkets and drug stores to boutiques and furniture shops. You can also find an Asian grocery store, Amazing Oriental, at the Laag Gubbelstraat.

What Maastricht events should I definitely not miss?

Throughout the year, Maastricht is enlivened by numerous cultural, musical and artistic events. Below you will find a selection of the highlights that will captivate diverse audiences. The dates are for 2014, but most of the dates will vary slightly each year.

Carnival

Complete with elaborate costumes, processions, a tipsy brass band contest and street carnival
2 - 4 March

The European Fine Art Fair (TEFAF)

One of the most prestigious international art fairs in the world
14 - 23 March

Jazz Masters Maastricht

Jazz festival in theatre setting with international programme
22 - 23 March

Jeker Jazz Festival

Special jazz festival in Maastricht cafés
October

Amstel Gold Race

Annual cycle race tour through South Limburg
19 April

Spring fair / Sint Servaas fair

Fair on the Vrijthof square
May

André Rieu concert

The Maastricht violinist and conductor performing in his hometown
11 to 12 and 18 to 20 July

Preuvenemint

Culinary festival with a musical side programme
Last week of August

Festival Bruis

A two-day free family festival with good food, great music, local bands, theatre and more
August/September

Het Parcours

Opening of the cultural season
September

Musica Sacra Maastricht

Art festival with a broad and international programme of music, film and theatre
18 to 21 September

Magical Maastricht

Christmas / winter event
December


Can I make use of any swimming or other sports facilities during my stay?

The sports organisation UM SPORT provides a wide variety of sporting facilities for students and employees of Maastricht University and students of Zuyd University of Applied Sciences. As participation is tied to a subscription rate of at least € 30, it will not make sense to become a member if you are visiting Maastricht for only a few days or weeks. However, you are welcome to explore sports activities in Maastricht on your own. Here are some options that may interest you:

Swimming

Subtropical Swimming Paradise ‘Mosaqua’
Landsraderweg 11
6271 NT Gulpen

Swimming pool ‘Geusseltbad’
Discusworp 4
6225 XP Maastricht

Running
Maastricht Running Tours is recommended for the joggers among us. These tours combine a guided city tour along the most important and interesting sites in Maastricht with a unique running workout.

Health and fitness clubs
As most health clubs require a subscription, it is again not advisable to become a member if you are visiting Maastricht only for a short stay. Nonetheless, below you will find a list of health and fitness clubs in Maastricht in order of proximity to SHE:

Sportdomein Fitness- en Aerobic centre
Sportcenter Body Vision
Il Fiore Health Centers Céramique
Topfit Maastricht
Mac Athletic Club Maastricht
Club Pellikaan

Where can I go to the movies?

Maastricht has two cinemas: one regular cinema (Pathé) and one that particularly caters to culturally-minded audiences (Lumière Cinema). The Belgian Euroscoop cinemas in Lanaken, Maasmechelen and Genk, are also quite popular among Maastricht residents:

Lumière Cinema Maastricht
Bogaardenstraat 40b
6211 SP Maastricht
T +31 (0)43 321 40 80

Euroscoop Bioscopen
Lanaken, Maasmechelen or Genk
T +32 (0)89 77 85 90

In between the programme activities, I would like to visit Paris, Brussels or another European metropolis that can easily be reached from Maastricht in a weekend. Could you advise me on the best way to travel?

Trips to Paris and Cologne (Köln) can best be booked online via the website of the Thalys high speed train. In this case, you first need to travel by commuter train from Maastricht to Liège-Guillemins, where you can board the Thalys train for the metropolis of your choice.

For other international train services, please consult the website of NS Hispeed, where tickets can also be bought online.

Non-European visitors have the option to buy a Eurail Benelux pass, with which they can travel by train throughout the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg for 3 or 5 days within the period of 1 month.

European visitors on the other hand, can book similar tickets via InterRail.

Those who do not mind the extra travel time might want to consider a bus trip offered by Eurolines.