This last week has completely flown by and I am very saddened to be leaving Europe at the moment.
This week started with a trip to Amsterdam, which was a lot of fun as I've never seen another city like it before. The tour around Amsterdam was so interesting, especially learning about why the houses are so thin (the government used to tax by how wide the front of your house was) and how they managed to get furniture in. They managed to get furniture in their thin houses through hooks on the front of the house and lifting the furniture through windows on the upper floors, we actually got the chance to see this incredible and terrifying event on our tour. Then during the afternoon my friends and I shopped before heading back to the hotel ready for the pancake cruise. The pancake cruise was incredible and I must admit I ate way too many pancakes! My friends and I then decided to check out the Amsterdam nightlife and we luckily knew some people in the city and they took us to the bar district and the red light district didn't interest us that much. Although the red light district at night is something not to be missed! The nightlife in Amsterdam is very very different to nightlife in Australia so it was an interesting experience.
The next day our very tired group headed to the amazing Anne Frank house. It was an awesome experience and I didn't realise that the house was as big as it is, but I learnt a lot about her time there and decided to buy the book. After this we headed to the beautiful Leuven. Unfortunately it was quite rainy and cold so this dampened the trip a tad but seeing the more stereotypical Holland was awesome including a clog making demonstration. By the end of this I was definitely tired and ready to head back home to Maastricht.
Monday started with a lecture on positive psychology interventions which allowed us to get a grasp of the wide variety of interventions that there actually are. Group A and B moved onto their tutorials whilst C and D had the afternoon off. Being in group D I had the opportunity to look around Maastricht and finalise my presents for family. I also took this time to do some more work on my oral presentation as the symposium was coming up fast. I chose to do an oral presentation and I was one of six people to end up doing an oral, where the 40 did posters.
Sadly we had our final tutorial this morning. I am so very grateful for the group that I was in, as everyone in it was bright, friendly and just lovely to hear different opinions from. So when we finished the tutorial today it was quite sad as they included some really amazing discussions. I will especially miss our tutor Elke, was a real delight to learn from. It was really a day of finishing as we had our sixth and final lecture on happiness and well-being, which as per usual motivated and made me feel really positive.
Wednesday only had the one class, which was our final workshop on positive psychology coaching. It was really cool to actually talk through some coaching techniques and get a feel for what these interventions can be like from the side of the coach. The afternoon was used to get together my presentation as I switched from a PowerPoint to a Prezi as I believe they look more professional. And then the evening I was talking to some law students about their exam the following day.
Thursday was our day off, which was really useful to practice my speech. A lot of the psychology people went abroad, with my roommate and a few friends just heading to Aachen in Germany for the afternoon. That is something I will definitely miss about Europe- the close proximity to all these amazing countries and the ability to travel between them so smoothly. So once again I spent my day off being boring and studying, although this time I decided to walk around town for a little bit in the afternoon for a little break.
It came up quickly but symposium day was upon us on Friday. Myself and a few other people doing oral presentations headed to the building early and looked where we would be presenting our proposals. As we walked in I was blown away with how incredible and professional the posters looked. We soon started and we heard the first 3 oral presentations. I was in the second group, going fifth overall. The proposals were all so different but all were awesome to listen to and eventually I calmed down my nerves enough to be motivated by the speeches. After the first three speeches were finished the posters were analysed and everyone got the opportunity to look at all the posters and ask some questions to their owners as well. After this the second round of oral presentations went and I eventually stood up in front of 50 or so people and presented my proposal on the effect of mindfulness meditation on reducing sleep paralysis. I was so glad to get it over and done with and I am honestly really glad I chose an oral presentation to challenge myself a little bit as I feel I have a lot of information already on my research proposal. The symposium sadly wrapped up and we had a small break, in which I got some fries and stew, before heading back to a quick evaluation session on the course and then the closing ceremony. For me the closing ceremony was really sad as the amazing experience came to an end and all these lovely people I had met I might not see again, or at least I might not see them again soon. The course was an experience I will never forget and cherish throughout my university experience and beyond. This is because the course content was interesting, new and different. The lecturers were so passionate and friendly and every single student was motivated and interested. I also must mention that CES and AIM were so amazing and helpful. Aude was so lovely and if we ever had any troubles at all she would help out! So at the closing ceremony we all had a few drinks and said our goodbyes. However a lot of the students went out, including myself, to party and celebrate our experience. It was a great night and I got to hear so many different experiences from the Law and International Relations courses.
Saturday morning was checkout, but there was a little difficulty. Overnight it had snowed so much everything was backed up, making it very difficult for the 100 or so Australians trying to leave Maastricht. The snow was beautiful and I had never seen that my snow before in my life so although it was stressful it was also lovely to finally have seen it on my European journey.
I will definitely miss beautiful Maastricht, the people and the culture, but I will investigate ways in which I can head back and study once again.
Oh magical Maastricht, how I'll miss you
Read more about my first week experience in Positive Psychology, Maastricht University Week 1!
and my second week experience in Positive Psychology, Maastricht University Week 2!