Located on Spain’s southeast coast, Valencia is a Mediterranean city in all aspects. Locals embrace outdoor living and recreation by taking advantage of the area’s temperate climate (average temperatures range between 48-77°F). Popular activities include strolling on one of the city’s seaside promenades (the longest of which stretches 7 km, or over 4 miles), swimming at beaches that have received the highest environmental awards, or using ‘pedal-power’ to visit Valencia’s key cultural and historic sites—Valencia has been recognized as a bike-friendly city by the Cities by Bike Network, and has over 120 km (75 miles) of bike lanes and garden causeways that allow you to explore the city at your leisure. Valencia is home to a multitude of museums and cultural center, but this port city is perhaps best well-known for its innovative City of Arts and Sciences, a “unique complex dedicated to scientific and cultural dissemination”. This complex comprises 5 main elements: an interactive science center (Principe Felipe Science Musuem), l’Oceanografico (Europe’s largest aquarium), a performing arts venue focusing on opera (the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia), an IMAX theater and planetarium (the Hemisferic), and a large outdoor exhibition zone (the Umbracle). The city hosts festivals throughout the year, but students studying abroad in the spring will have the unique opportunity to experience Las Fallas, a two-week long regional festival that combines historic, religious, and comedic processions and events and culminates with pyrotechnic displays. Ninots, large and often satirical puppets, are created during the year and displayed during giant parades. One ninot is voted as the favorite and spared; the others are destroyed in large bonfires accompanied by impressive firework displays that light up the night sky and make this festival one that many people travel across the globe to attend.
Haifa is a beautiful city, set on the Mediterranean Sea on the slope of Mount Carmel. Israel’s foremost port city, it plays a major role in the nation’s economy and is a center for high tech research and industry. Its 17 kilometers of beaches host excellent surfing and sailing conditions and nature trails, bicycle paths, wildlife reserves, and Carmel National Park beckon for outdoor enthusiasts. The city’s historical and cultural riches include museums, film and music festivals, an internationally acclaimed symphony orchestra, theatre, and numerous cinemas, discos, restaurants, and pubs. It provides easy access to other parts of Israel, with Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Ben-Gurion Airport all less than two hours away. In addition to Haifa’s vibrant Jewish community, its cultural and religious mosaic includes many churches and mosques. Haifa is also host to the center for the Baha’i faith and to Israel’s only Ahmadi Muslim community. The Ahmadiyya is an Indian sect of Islam, founded in the late nineteenth century, which promotes peace among nations and opposes religious coercion. Their large mosque houses a prayer hall and a first-floor exhibit of their history and significant contributions. An UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Baha’i World Centre is an expansive complex of gardens centered around the gold-domed Shrine of the Bab. Other sights in Haifa include Stella Maris Carmelite Monastery, home to a cave considered by Christian tradition to be the grave of the Prophet Elijah, the nineteenth-century German colony, Paris Square, Carmel National Forest, Ein Hod artist’s colony, the Haifa Theatre and numerous museums.
Unnamed Road, Zvārdes pagasts, LV-3883, Latvia
Maastricht is one of the oldest cities in The Netherlands, boasting picturesque architecture, medieval town ramparts, cobblestone alleys and streets, seventeenth-century facades, and a Roman bridge. Maastricht has everything a student could wish for: a historic city centre; countless numbers of inviting sidewalk cafés, pubs, and restaurants; sports facilities; shops; and countless film, music, and theatre venues. Or get outside the city and experience the countryside by taking long, leisurely walks or mountain biking in the low green hills surrounding Maastricht. Studying abroad can be a more meaningful and invigorating learning experience than at home—both inside and outside of the classroom. You may be more curious and alert than you usually are so use this heightened energy to enhance your studies as well as your cultural and geographical explorations. You may also encounter different teaching styles and course processes; be prepared to adapt and to learn. Areas of Study Available at Maastricht University Your Maastricht University coursework will focus on the economic, political and socio-cultural aspects of Europe or approach topics from a wider international perspective. The six-week session is split into two 3-week instructional blocks, and you will enroll in one course during each block. During block one, you have the option to participate in a 4-ECTS Study Tour (2 US credits), or enroll in a 6-ECTS course (3 US credits) taught in a traditional classroom setting; during block two, you may only enroll in one 6-ECTS course (3 US credits) taught in a traditional classroom setting. Experience Europe both inside and outside the classroom, with the option to earn credit in either a traditional classroom setting and/or a study tour that combines lectures, assignments, and travel to key locations within Europe Choose from a variety of course topics that fit most majors, all with a distinctly European or international theme Live in a picture-perfect European town situated on the border of The Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany, with a medieval city centre and vibrant local culture Join in various field trips and extracurricular activities including a day trip to Amsterdam, and feel like a local by attending the many art and music festivals hosted by the city throughout the summer.