1. Hi Valentina! What was the beginning of your University Experience like?
Hi everybody! When I started my journey at Maastricht University, I was really happy and excited. I couldn’t wait to experience something new, like living alone, moving to another country and getting in touch with people coming from all over the world. At the same time, I was obviously nervous, since it was my first time living away from my family and I didn’t know what to expect.
2. Why did you decide to attend a University abroad?
Since I was in Middle School, I have always wanted to study abroad. After my high school graduation I took a gap year, and then I decided to apply for Maastricht University (UM). I chose UM for its international nature. In my course od studies there are students coming from every part of the world, talking to them and getting to know their different cultures is an extremely unique and stimulating experience. Italian Universities hardly offer the same kind of international environment.
3. Was the college admission process complicated? Would you suggest that students gather enough information about studying abroad before applying?
The admission process was not complicated. One-on-one meetings with the staff from Dual Diploma Program helped me in the initial bureaucratic phase. I highly recommend researching on the University website and paying attention to deadlines and documents to submit. As for me, once I sent all the necessary documents and a motivational letter, I had to go through a final interview, where I was asked questions regarding my passions and my hopes for the future.
4. Which course do you like the most at the moment? What would you like to do in the future?
Being a student in the Liberal Arts & Sciences Department I have the chance to choose the courses that interest me the most. “Introduction to Business Administration” and “Advertising: Marketing and Communication of Brands” were my favorite courses. The first one was an introduction to all the different areas of business management, from marketing to accounting, from corporate finance to sales management. To concretely apply what we had theoretically studied, we had to take part into a real time simulation, divided into groups. The aim was to create a company, a product, and administrate everything in a way that would allow us to fight the competition. The same practical approach has characterized the second course, where, as a final exam, I had to create an Integrating Marketing Communication (IMC) plan by inventing a product for a new company. In the upcoming term I am going to focus on “Development Economics” and “Public Health Policymaking” – perhaps in the future I will be able to merge the two areas.
5. How did Dual Diploma help you?
Throughout this experience Dual Diploma has helped me a lot. From a language point of view, I knew I had the skills I needed to do well at school and as soon as I moved there, I found it natural to speak and write in English (in fact, after seven months I seem to have lost some of my Italian!). Dual Diploma has especially helped me on a human level, preparing me psychologically for the international environment in which I now find myself in. It also allowed me to find my method, it was easier for me to organize independently my university study. I can do nothing but thank Dual Diploma Program, because it really made my transition to college life as easy as a second nature for me.
6. How was the first day of your new adventure? What surprised you the most?
I was impressed by the people, their diversity, their own way of being and doing.
7. Which advice would you give to a student wanting to study abroad just like you?
I would recommend not letting fear get the best of you, be confident and start this new and stimulating experience with an open mind. Practically speaking, I would suggest finding out more about the University curriculum, in order to understand if the courses offered match the topics that inspire you the most. Moreover, I would recommend organizing some one-on-one meetings with the Dual Diploma staff, they will help you make admission process less stressful since you will know what to expect.
Thank you, Valentina for sharing your experience. For sure many other students interested in studying abroad will treasure your advice!
Let’s stay in touch, and remember that the Dual Diploma Community will be cheering for you and your dreams!