Think of cities with a long, rich history and Istanbul will be among them. Founded as “Byzantium” around 660 BC, it was also known as Constantinople. Upon the founding of the Turkish Republic in 1923, the city was renamed Istanbul and it has become the cultural and economic center of Turkey. The city and region’s long and extensive history is evident in historic ruins and buildings which coexist with the high rises, art, and culture of a modern, bustling city. When living in Istanbul, you will experience a culture rooted in thousands of years of history and influenced by countless civilizations. For centuries, Turkey has been a crossroads of religions, not only of Islam and Christianity, but also of many others now forgotten by history. A list of historical figures and civilizations that lived in, invaded, conquered, or were conquered by what is now Turkey is impressive and spans centuries. Istanbul is a beautiful waterfront city, situated on the strait of Bosphorus, and is the only city in the world to span two continents. One of the oldest existing cities in the world, you will benefit from Istanbul’s mixture of culture, art, and religion from both east and west. Cultural, archaeological, and historical sites in Istanbul include magnificent palaces, fountains, tombs, Turkish baths, churches, mosques, cisterns, and city walls that remain from the Byzantium period. It also has the attractions of a modern city, with art, design, music, fashion, shopping, and cuisine to enjoy and savor. Turkish cuisine is renowned as some of the world’s best, drawing influence from all corners of the former Ottoman Empire. The city has extensive public transportation—ferry system, metro, and buses. The climate is temperate and you’ll experience all four seasons.
Bilbao is located in the north of Spain near the French border and has an international airport with direct flights to most large cities in Europe. Both Bilbao and Getxo (where most of the housing placements are located) are situated in an area of beautiful green mountains that face the ocean, making it possible to hike in the morning and go swimming in the afternoon. Close by, there are several picturesque coastal towns with great beaches that are easily accessible by public transportation. Bilbao is the poster city for successful urban renewal and the spectacular Guggenheim Museum of Art has ushered in an era of international tourism to the area; in urban renewal circles, the use of a revitalized cultural sector to kick start the renewal of a city’s economy is known as the “Bilbao effect.” Bilbao is home to some of the world’s most renowned architecture including: Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum, the Euskalduna Music Hall and Convention Centre, Norman Foster’s Underground, Calatrava’s Bilbao airport, and other projects by architects such as Arata Isozaki and Cesar Pelli. Additionally, the Solomon Guggenheim Foundation has given its approval to expand around Urdaibai's Natural Reserve area. Bilbao is the largest city in the Basque Country with a population of approximately 350,000; the greater Bilbao region has just under 1,000,000 inhabitants. Bilbao was recently recognized by the Eurostat report as one of the top three safest areas in the EU. It is an extremely walkable city with a great transportation system that is efficient and safe. The city includes many pedestrian areas, including the old quarter with shops, restaurants, and coffee houses. There is also a bike path along the riverfront and through the main street of town. Getxo is a charming, coastal community popular for its beaches, lively nightlife, and diverse cultural activities. It is well connected to downtown Bilbao by subway (20-25 minutes away). Getxo is a relatively young town—80% of the population is below the age of 60—and it is not touristy, maximizing the opportunity for students to meet local peers. Getxo is known for its numerous outdoor activities and cultural events including: surfing, canoeing, hiking, rollerblading, paragliding, music festivals, a medieval market, and much more.
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.