Hello again readers!
I hope everyone enjoyed my first blog post and felt inspired to undertake an overseas study experience. This blog post will centre around my last two weeks at Maastricht University, including the magnificent memories made in Germany and the intriguing lectures that taught me so much.
To start off, I write this blog with a bittersweet feeling. I am happy to see my family and home in Australia, but I already miss the beautiful people I shared my overseas experience with and the gorgeous city of Maastricht. The friendships I made were genuine, full of humour and invaluable. The people I met overseas were incredible and I absolutely cannot wait for a reunion trip!
Studying abroad is an excellent way to learn about different communities and learn from other students. I noticed during my time overseas that fellow students utilised different terminology for legal and psychological concepts, which I was able to research and grasp for myself. This was a fantastic and enjoyable way to learn, which expanded my knowledge across multiple disciplines.
Every student shared a different viewpoint in tutorial discussions, which enabled me to develop an appreciation for various disciplines. I had never previously studied paraphilic disorders, or the difficulties associated with police interrogation techniques… so it was thought-provoking to discuss these topics with psychology students and university staff. My time spent studying overseas has only strengthened my passion for law, criminology, social science and psychology.
The week ended with an exquisite trip to Germany. For me, Cologne Catholic Cathedral was the highlight. I have never seen a building quite like it. The level of architectural detail on both the exterior and interior of the cathedral left me speechless. I could have spent hours gazing at the building and still notice different details. As someone who loves photography, my only regret was that I could not capture the entirety of the cathedral in one photograph. I was able to gaze over the city of Cologne from the rooftop bar of the hotel. This view was breath-taking and a perfect start to my last weekend overseas.
The next morning, I discovered Hohenzollern Bridge, which was overwhelmed with thousands of padlocks. I loved reading lock engravings that were made decades ago. The day was then spent eating gelato, walking the streets of Germany and enjoying the company of friends. The weekend was the perfect break away from study and content heavy subjects.
The National Socialism Documentation Centre of the City of Cologne (also known as NSDOK) was educational, intense and even heart-breaking. It was an eye-opening experience and I would suggest to anyone to visit this place whilst in Germany. From 1935 to 1945, the centre was the headquarters of the Gestapo ‘secret police of Nazi Germany’. The centre is now a memorial for the victims. The Gestapo prison remains in the basement of the centre. The prison was a poignant reminder of the violence people can commit against other human beings. Translating inscriptions on the prison walls, where prisoners had carved their greatest fears shortly before their tragic death, was horrifying. The visit gave me a new appreciation for the history of Germany, and I am grateful that I had the opportunity to visit the centre.
Your schedule whilst studying overseas can be hectic, as you try to fit in as much as possible. If you are considering studying in Maastricht, I would highly recommend booking a brunch cruise. Cruising along the Maastricht river and eating traditional Dutch cuisine is a fantastic way to relax for two hours. Giving yourself a break away from the sometimes fast paced schedule is a great way to recharge!
A group dinner at Brasserie Tapijn was the perfect way to celebrate the end of our time in Maastricht. The venue was classical, accompanied by scrumptious food and wine. I wish I had visited this venue a few more times before it was time to depart the city. Having a drink with friends and talking about the events of the preceding weeks was superb.
I will briefly mention the assessment for the end of the Forensic Psychology program, as many students are curious about this. The debate assessment was entertaining, enjoyable, informative and thought-provoking. I found I learnt a lot regarding various topics in that final day of the program and loved listening to the contentions fellow students articulated. It was wonderful to be in a room with so many creative and intelligent people.
I would like to mention my visit to the Dienst Justitiële Inrichtingen (Custodial Institutions Agency), which I did not mention in my previous blog post. Dienst Justitiële Inrichtingen is a correctional facility delegated with the role of detaining individuals convicted with criminal offences. Being able to visit this facility was excellent and I found it great to learn about rehabilitation programs in the Netherlands for serious offenders. There were counselling, healthcare, psychiatric care and rehabilitation programs available for both adult and juvenile offenders. Comparing the systems of Australia and Europe was great!
This brings me to the end of my second blog post. My time overseas was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience, an irreplaceable adventure that strengthened my passion for my degree and career. It would not have been the same without the extraordinary people I met along the way. There were plenty of laughter, plenty of pranks… but above all magnificent friendships were made. I feel blessed to have been surrounded by so many clever, diverse, comical, sincere and welcoming people. I wish everyone good health, happiness and a rewarding university journey and career.
The decision to travel abroad and study is one of the best things you could do for your own personal growth. I took the plunge and I will never regret it!
Hello everyone! My name is Amelia Young. I am a passionate student from the University of Newcastle (UoN) who is currently studying a Combined Bachelor of Laws and Social Science. I have always loved to travel. My favourite place (so far) is undoubtably the beautiful city of San Francisco. Walking across the iconic Golden Gate Bridge in the sunshine is one of many priceless travel memories for me. Friends have described me as confident and strong-willed. I am always happy to chat and I love meeting new people. In my downtime, I read true crime novels and watch documentaries concerning crime, psychology and the law (Netflix of course! Haha). Above all, I enjoy spending time with my amazing parents and partner, who have always encouraged my tertiary education. This winter I am lucky to be able to combine my love of travel with my love of education; I will undertake a short academic course at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands. I can’t wait to share my experiences and hopefully encourage others to study overseas. Follow me on Instagram for more @ameliab_y